Persuasive Writing Packet


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Persuasive Writing Packet

  1. 1. Petsuasive Writing packet 8th Grade Language ArtsDirections: Write a persuasive essay about an issue withinthe school. Convince the reader to take action about youressay. Use a minimum of three sources to support yourposition,Possible Issues: school lunches, recess, homework,uniforms or the dress code, starting/ending time of theschool d"y, year-round school, field trips, sports, etc.You wiII be provided with a list of topics to choose from. Tryto choose something that youre passionate about to bringstrong voice to your essay.Sources: You must use at least 3 sources to support yourposition: tr A school survey E At least two published articles discussing the issue
  2. 2. 8th Grade Persuasive Writing PreviewDirections: Read each of the paragraphs and answer the questions below. Argument #l: Every Vote Counts Americans live in a democracy. That means we have the right to vote for our leaders. WhenAmericans tum eighteen, they are legally able to vote. There are elections for mayor, city council, congress,senator and many more positions. The right to vote is something that not all citizens take seriously. Some believe that their votedoesnt make a difference. Others think that everyone else votes, so why should they? Some people believepoliticians are ineffective and that their actions wont make a difference in their lives. However, others takevoting very seriously. Groups who only gained the right to vote more recently, like women, AfricanAmericans, and new citizens, often vote in higher percentages than other groups. They dont take their rightto vote for granted since they were unable to vote for hundreds of years in America. Of course, everyoneshould vote. There have been many elections, including the presidential election in 2000, where the winnerwas determined bv iust a few votes. One of the most patriotic thinss vou can do is vote. Argument #2= Cat Suffering must Cease Millions of cats live in the United States. Many are purchased or adopted and brought intowonderful homes. Unfortunately, some people who own cats later decide they dont want their pets andabandon them. Other times cats get outside accidentally and become lost. Without their homes or ownersto feed and protect them, they wander the streets looking for food and shelter. They can contract seriousdiseases. Cars hit some and larger animals kill others. Its a very sad situation. Even worse, if these homeiess cats have not been spayed or neutere<i, the femaies wiii becomepregnant. The Feral Cat Coalition reports that the number of homeless cats that can result from one maleand one female pair is stunning. If each pair of cats averages 2.8 surviving kittens, one pair and theiroffspring will produce 66,088 kittens in only six years. After 1 1 years, that number grows to 1 1, 506,077,There are not nearly enough homes for all of these cats.l. Which argument is more convincing? Why?2. List some techniques used that help to convince the reader to agree with the writer (at least 2).3. What are some synonyms for persuade?4. What are elements of STRONG persuasive writing?
  3. 3. 8th Grade Language Arts Persuasive Writing NotesPURPOSE OT PERSUASTVE WRITING:1. To the readers about a topic theyknow little about, or have not given serious thought to.2. To the readers about thetopic.3. To the readersPERSU.H,SIVE STRATEGIES :I. Focus on benefits for readers o The writer must explain to readers how they will from performing the action, taking the position, or purchasing the recommended item.2. Address readers concerns . The writer should predict what the readers response will be and then try to any of these negative thoughts with facts.3. Show supportive reasoning o The writer needs to readers that the decisions or actions recommended will actually bring about benefits.4. Present reliable evidence . The writer should research (when possible) to support their opinions with5. Appeal to readers emotions o Using words that lead readers to have strong such as pride, patriotism or anger helps them to connect with your position. 2
  4. 4. 8tl Grade Language Arts Persuasive Essal Topics1. Locker/Backpack Searches: The principal at your school has instituted random locker and backpack4rookbag searches to check fol guns. knives, and other weapons. Anyone caught with these /eapons will beimmediately suspended. The principal argues that the random searches will not only guard against illegal /eapons at school but u,ill also help students feel safer. Consider carefully the advantages and disadvantages ofrandom searches at school. Do you agree or disagree with this policy?Directions for Writing: Now, write a persuasive essay stating your position and supporting it .ith convincingreasons,2. Field Trips: ln order to save money, your principal is thinking about canceling all field trips for the remainderof the year. Think about the advantages and disadvantages of school field trips as compared to the cost involved.Do you agree or disagree uith this idea?Directions for lhiting. Now, write a persuasive essav about continuing or discontinuing school field trips. Givereasons to support your position.3. Library Censorship. Your school library has come under criticism for allowing patrons under the age of 18 tocheck out books that sorne consider unacceptable. The books are either inappropriate. describe graphic violence.or use questionable language. As parents have complained, the town council has considered removing allquestionable books from the library. Consider the advantages and/or disadvantages of this action. Strat is yourposition on this issue?Directions.for Writing. Write a persuasive essay stating your position and supporting it u,ith convincing reasons.4, Online Classrooms. The state department of education has provided funding for an expenmental onlineschool. Ail the classes will take place on the Internet, using email, online chat. and the World Wide V/eb. Thestudents taking classes at this new online school will never meet each other face-to-face. They will only interactoniine with each other and with their teachers. Consider the advantages and/ol disadvantages of an online school.What is your position on this issue?Directions for Writing: Write a persuasive essay stating your position and supporting it with convincingreasons.5.Later Start Times. Curent research suggests that because teenagers have different sleep patterns, they wouldbenefit from beginning the school day at alaler time. Suppose your Board of Education has proposed that theschool day begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. Do you agree or disagree that this later schedule uould bebeneficial?Directions for Writing: Now write an essay in which you persuade the Board of Education to agree with youropinion. Support your position with reasons and examples.6. Cell Phones: Due to potential problems. many school sl,stems have adopted a policl that forces students to -powerdown" and bans cell phones and electronic devices on school grounds. However, some of these electronic devices couldactually be used to help students with their school work. Do you agree or disasree that cell phones and electronic devicesshould be banned on school grounds?Directions .for Writing. Nou write an essay in which you convince the reader of your opinion. Support yourposition rri,ith specific reasons and examples, J
  5. 5. 7, Extracurriculars: Imagine that your school district has proposed saving money by eiiminating extracurricularsports (football, basketball and baseball) from the high school program. Think about the possible effects ofcutting sporls from the school program. Decide whether you are for or against this proposal,Directions -for Witing. Nouwrite an essay in which you persuade the reader why this is or is not a good idea.Defend your position with specific reasons supported by several detailed examples.8. Communiry Sewice. Many schools require all students to perform some tlpe of community service such asworking in nursing homes or hospitals. Think about how you would feel if you were required to do so.Directions for Writing. Now write an essay in which you persuade the reader that students should or should notbe required to perform community service. Defend your position with several detailed reasons. Develop thosereasons with supporting examples.9, School Uniforms: Since schools have seen a rise in gang violence, stealing, and discipline problems. manyschool districts are considering requiring students to wear uniforms. Think about how you would feel if you wererequired to wear a school uniform. Are there benefits or drawbacks to requiring students to wear school uniforms?Directions for Writing. Now write an essay in which you persuade the reader that school uniforms should orshould not be required. Defend your position with specific reasons supported by several detailed examples.10. Longer School Day; The school board of your district is considering making the school day longerby adding an extra hour. The purpose for lengthening the school day is provide more time for instructionand practice in the existing school curricula. They believe that greater student achievement can beachieved by making the school day longer. They point out that there are experts in the field of educationwho agree with them. The school board is seeking input from all community members. Consider theadvantages and disadvantages oflengthening the school day by an hour.Directions for Writing. Write a persuasive essay stating reasons for your position on this plan.11, Homework: Your school day is seven hours long, yet many teachers require homework. Does homeworkhelp you to learn better? Think about the advantages and disadvantages of homework. Decide whether vou thinkhomework should be required or not.Directions for Writing, State your opinion about whether or not homework should be required. Your goal is toconvince your reader that your opinion is "right." Be sure to include the effects homework has or does not haveon your learning, as well as other arguments to support or prove your opinion. Look at the opposing opinion andinclude some answers for possible arguments from the reader.12. Recess. Your school does not currentlv pror.ide a recess for students. Consider the advantages anddisadvantages of recess.Directions for Writing. Write a persuasive essav in which you convince the reader of your opinion. Support yourposition with specific reasons and examples.13. School Lunches: A healthy lunch is one of the most important factors for a successful education. Yourschool is currently considering changing the school lunch program. Consider the advantages and disadvantagesof changing the school lunch program.Directions.for Writing: Write a persuasive essay in which you convince the reader of your opinion. Support yourposition with specific reasons and examples. +
  6. 6. Name Period 8th Grade Persuasive Essay Topic BrainstormingTopic Selection: Choose a method of prewriting (free write, list, web, etc...).Consider the following questions as you pre-write: I. Which "Writing Situation" have you chosen for your topic? 2. Why did you choose it? 3. Who is affected by your topic? 4. What do you want changed? 5. What do you need to learn/find out about your topic? 5
  7. 7. Computer Lab Instructions 8th Grade Language Arts Persuasive Unit Part One: Research Instructions /e will be in the computer lab two days for you to research your topic and gather at least two arlicles touse in your essay. Use this checklist to guide your time in the lab.DAY ONE: tr Click onto the lnternet (Safari, Fire Fox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) El Access the search engine database EBSCOhost using these steps: 1. Type in in your search toolbar 2. When site opens, use Matthews as your user lD and mustangs as your password tr Look for published arlicles that SUPPORT your opinion on your topic with .sable information (make sure articles are from a reliable source) tr When you find an arlicle that is usable, follow these steps: 1. copy the web address from the bar at the top of the screen 2. open up Microsoft Word and paste the web address into a blank document 3. type a sentence or two underneath this address giving a brief summary of the article 4. save this document to your user lD as "persuasive articles" 5. find at least 5-10 usable articles to add to this document (do NOT print today) ,AY TWO: tr Log onto the computer using your user lD tr Open up your "persuasive articles" document tr Click on each article and skim over them tr Find at least two good articles from this list that youd be able to use in your essay tr Print the articles and save them in your binder Part Two: Typing Ghecklist for Final CopyWe will be in the lab two days for you to type your final copies. Use the following checklist to guide you. tr Use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman tr Head your paper in the upper right corner: Name Date Class period tr Center your title under the heading (capitalize important words-do not underline, quote, bold, make larger...) tr Double-space your essay: 1. format 2. paragraph 3. line spacing (double) tr Type your essay as one document (intro, body, conclusion-no extra spaces!) tr Type your works cited on a separate sheet of paper (use correct format!) tr SPELL CHECK AND PROOFREAD! tr Staple in this order: essay, works cited page, rubric
  8. 8. Name Period 8th Grade Persuasive Essay SunreyDirections: Write 3 yes/no questions related to your issue. Sunrey atIeast 20 students. Answer the guestions that follow. ResultsWlrat were the results of each question in fraction form? (Example, 7 /10replied "yes")QI:Q2=Q3:Now convert each fraction to a Yo and rnrrite it here in sentence form (forexample, T)yo of students agree that...).Qr:Q2=93:
  9. 9. ReflectionTfllhat did you learn from this suwey?List 3-5 pieces of information Tg* this survey that you will use in yourpersuasive essay that you could include to support your opinion (thesecould be a fraction, a percentage, a quote, etc.). a 8
  10. 10. Writing the llnerir fentenceThe thesis sentence helps the I reader to oroanize histhoughts so that he will under-stand the information he is aboutto receive. A thesis sentence islike a topic sentence except thatit introduces an essav rather thana paragraph. ryiI f sually,the thesis sentence has [.f two parts-the topic and a )tmention of each of the mainpoints you plan to cover aboutthat topic. Study the followingexamples to see how a thesissentence is written. ftl ExafnPle I Theiir fentence; We need woter f or everydoy living-for dninking ond bothing, foi growing f cad ond foi- recreaiion ond tronsportotion. Main Pointr of Ersayt i. We need woter for drinking ond bothino II. We nezd wote?- for growing f ood. ilI. We nezd water f or recreation ond tronsoortotion. |-rsl ExafnPle L ?r.a I herfr )enTen(e: Knowing a f oreign languoge con help you to build your vocabu- lary, to leorn how other people live ond to rnoke friends with people from other countries. Main Poinlr of Erray; I. Knowing o foreign longuoge con help you to build your vocobulory. II. Knowing o foreign longuoge con help you to leorn how other peopla live, IIII. Knowing aforeignlanguagz con help you to moke friends with people from other counfries. I
  11. 11. Name Practice Writinq lherir $entencer I rrite a thesis sen- hf tence for each of the following groups of main ideas.c. Some people ride the ferry to work every morning. Many people travel to work by train. Most people drive their cars to work.2. Mountain rescue teams use dogs to locate survivors in the snow. Fire fighters use dogs to detect smoke, Police officers use dogs to detect illegal drugs.otlo Weavers display their artistic abilities in the blankets they make. Automobile painters often add colorful murals to the bodies of cars. Chain saw sculotors show their work in roadside qalleries,// tVo Most people watch at least one news program on TV every day. At least half of the population subscribes to a daily newspaper. Some people get their news on-line.f-{i,/o Many ltalian foods are made using wheat pasta, Several Mexican foods are made using corn products. German people often use rye flour in their foods. 10
  12. 12. 8th Grade Thesis Sentence BuilderThe thesis sentence helps the writer organize his or her essay by introducing the topic and tilJmain points that they will present to the reader. You must write one for this project.Use the following steps to help you build your thesis sentence:1. Write down your topic:Ex: Ever,v Anterican should recycle2. List 3-4 overall reasons or main points that will support your topic:(ORGANIZATION NOTE: Place one of your stronger reasons first, put your weakest in therniddle, and finish with your strongest). b c. (d.)Ex: a. keeps in the already overflowing landfills b. costs sisnificantly less to recycle items than to generate them from scratch c. protects our hectlth and environment by removing harmful substances and pollution3. Combine steps l-2to write your thesis sentence:Ex: Recycling is et)er? Americans duty as it keeps spacefree in the already overflowing landfills, costssignificantly less to recycle tlmn it does to generate them.from scratch, and protects our health andenvironment by removing harnful substances and pollutiott. ll
  13. 13. 8th Grade Persuasive Ess Directions: Complete the following organizer I position. Then, write down 2-3 specific primary and secondary supports with details. Thesis Sentence: Reason #l Reason #2 Reason #3 Primary & Secondary Primary & Secondary Primary & Secondary Support (2-3) Support (2-3) Support (2-3)t I I a a o a a o a o o2 2 a a a a a a O a a3 3 3 o a a a a a o a a CaIl to .F,ction 12
  14. 14. Drafting Your Persuasive Writing 8th GradeIntroduction:l. Attention-Getter o Does it set the purpose and engage the reader? r Is a sophisticated strategy used? NO: "I will tell you..." or "In this paper,.." or "Have you ever...?"2. Provide Background o Does it give a general preview? o Does it provide any necessary explanation of the topic?3. Thesis/Position Statement o Does it clearly state the topic of the essay?Ways to Write an Attention-getter: connect with the reader and be creative!l. State an intriguing or startling fact. A surprising or unusual fact makes your readers curious.They cant wait to read on. Example: In a national suwey, it was found that one million teenagers between the ages oftwelve and seventeen have taken pertormance-enhancing drugs. This could include the athletesamong the student body at Matthews Middle SchooL.2. Provide a description. Describe a scenario that relates to your topic. Example: Imagine having to rash through crowded hallways, across the school to your locker,only to have to go back tie same way, in four minutes. Thjs is what many Matthews Middle Schoolstudents face everyday.3. Include an important quote. A quote from an expert on the issue, or someone who feelsstrongly about the issue will give yottr paper authority. Example: According to s/eep specialst Miranda Smith, "Teenagers today wake up tired andare unable to focus on school because they are not getting the proper amount of sleep." MatthewsMiddle Schocl shculC start school later so that students come to school awake and ready ta learn.4. Use figrrrative language. Using similes, metaphors, hyperboie, or alliteration can be arreffective attention-grabbing technique. Example; I walked into school with my head in the clouds because I stayed up so latefinishing the many hours of homework assigned yesterday at school. Matthews Middle Schoolsfudenfs work diligently each day during school, therefore, they should not have homework at night.5. Incorporate a definition into your writing. Define an important element discussed in youressay. Example: Health can be defined as ones physical and mental well-being. If students atMatthews Middle School continue to eat these unhealthy lunches, both their mental and physical well-being will be jeopardized. Therefore, studenfs need to be sewed healthier Lunches that surpasshealth requirements and meet all basic food group requirements. 6. Drarnatize the controversy. Appeal to peoples emotions. Example: A majority of Matthews Middle School studenfs have hours upon hours ofhomework every night. DO NOT BEGrN YOUR ESSAY WITH A QUESTTON! 4q
  15. 15. Body Paragraphs o Include 3-5 total body paragraphs (5-8 sentences each) o Follow the same order of ideas as your preview . Use 3td person pronouns (NO "I", "me", "you", "rve", etc, . .) o Refer to your prewrite/outline to help you organize your essay. o Use transitions:l"t Body Paragraph Middle Body Paragraph(s) Final Body paragraphTo begin, Also, Most significantly,To start with, In addition, Most importantly, Body Paragraph Form:It Body Paragraph:Sentence one: topic sentenceEx. Recycling keeps space free in the already overflowing landfills.Sentences two-seven: facts/supporting detailsSentence eight: wrap up this topicAll other body paragraphs:Sentence one: Topic sentence with a transitionEx. Not only does recycling free up land space, it also cosfs slgnificantly /ess ffian generatingjfemsfrom scratch.Sentences two-seven: facts/supporting detailsSentence eight: wrap up this topic Obiection Body Paragraph (Note: this section is not always included in the essay.) . Briefly state the main opposing argument to your topic. . Explain how your reason and support outweigh the opposition. Conclusions:*The conclusion is the last part of your composition. In it, you srun up your ideas and tie up anyloose ends. It should include these essential components in 4-5 sentences: . Revisit your position. o Sum up the main support for your position. o Discuss a final call to action. Example: Support the anti-drug campaign and work to keep Matthews Middhe School free from drugs. . Close with a strong final thought. l+
  16. 16. Supporting Your Persuasive Main Ideas/Reasons (Body Paragraphs)Specific support is stronger than vague support!Vague: The cafeteria food is bad,Better: The cafeteria food is unhealthv.More specific: The cafeteria food is dripping with glrease.2d Order Support: Fatty food like the food senred in the cafeteria is bad for kids diets and canmake them ovenreight.More 2"d Order Support: The cafeteria food is dripping with grease. By the time you get to theend of the lunchline, the grease from the pizza and fries has pooled on your tray.2"d Order Support withDEPTH: This type of diet can lead to heart disease, obesity and diabetes.In fact, recent studies indicate up to a quarter of all young people in the U.S. are at risk ofdeveloping diabetes. The cost of treating these diseases is much greater than the cost of senringbetter food to the student of Matthews Middle SchoolPut it all together: (TOPIC SENTENCE) The cafeteria food is unhealthy. (EXPAND ON TOPIC SENTENCE)Fatty food like the food senred in the cafeteria is bad for kids diets and can make themoverweight. The cafeteria food is dripping with grease. By the time you get to the end of theIunchiine, the grease from the pizza and fries has pooied on your tray. (USE FACTS TO SUPPORTTOPIC SENTENCE) This type of diet can lead to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In fact,recent studies indicate up to a quarter of ali yoing people in the U.S. are at risk of developingdiabetes. (CONCLUDING SENTENCE)The cost of treating these diseases is much greater than+La etJDLLrt(; aarl l/l -^-i-- !^^++^- ^f D(:rvl.rrV eeItcr lL|(Ju 4- 4!--^- DLutJtitr.r vr^---- a^^.! tu Lrrc -r-l--+ -f rvrcrllrrgwS Itilll^ ivitclciig d-L--r -CI-tOOi,Directions: Specific reasons can strengthen your persuasive writing. Look at the vague reasonsbelow. Replace each one with a more specific respcnse.1. MMS students should have more school dances because I iike them.2. MMS students should have recess because its fun.3. study hall is a waste of students time because everyone thinks so.4. The school day should begin later in the day because I said so.5. There should be more extracurricular activities at MMS because students need them. 47
  17. 17. Objection Paragraph 8th Grade Langnrage Arts Gathering Objections: Answering the question "Why not?" will help you gather possible objections. If you understand the objections readers may have, you can defend against them. This will make your position even stronger. These objections will have to be defended in the essay using solid evidence. Directions: Write down your position in the first box. Then write down three objections that people may have against your topic. Topic/Position: Obiection #l:Next, choose your strongest objection. This is the one you will use in your essay. (Hint: Choose oneyouIl be able to defend best.)Olricr:fion:- -)- ------Now, defend this objection with reasons you disagree with it. (Hint: Explain how your reasons arestronger or more important.) o a a 16
  18. 18. Name Period 8th Grade Persuasive Essay Works Gited Rough Draft This is where you will list all sources you cited in the text of your paper. Title your page: Works Cited Arrange your entries alphabetically, using the first word in the entry to guide you,af ln each entry, every line after the first is indented 5 spaces (tab key), &. Single space within each entry, but double space between them.o Alphabetize the entries. Do not number your entries! Use the CoolTool CitationMaker, Rec s4Success, under "Writing Tools" for helpDirections: EVERYIIME you include research in your paper, you must tell the reader whereyour information comes from. This information is listed on a WORKS CITED page. Using theexamples below, draft your works cited entries. BE SURE TO INCLUDE ALL MARKS OFPUNCTUATION! MLA WORKS CITED FORMATTING GUIDE EBSCOHOST (MAGAZ|NE)Author. "Title of Aiticle." Title of Magazine Date: Page(s). Name of Database, EBSCOhost. Date of Access <http ://search.epnet.c om />.Example:Heyman, j.D., ancijohnny Dodd. "New Arm, Same Spirit." Peopie 23 Feb. 2OQ4:58+. MasterFiLE Premier. EBSCOhost. 8 May 2004 <>. EBSCOHOST (JOURNAL)Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume number (Year): Page(s). Name of Database. EBSeOhost. Date of Access <http:/lsearch.epnet.coml>.Example:Nelson, Roxanne. "Smoking Outside Still Causes Second-Hand Smoke Exposure to Children." Lancet 359 (2002):1675. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. 8 Mav 2004 <http://sea rch. epnet. c om/>. WEBSITEAuthors name (if available). Name of Site. Date of Posting/Revision. Name of institution /organization affiliated with the site (sometimes found in copyright statements). Date you accessed the site.Example:Benson, David. Ankle Replacement Prosthetics. L6 Nov. 2007. University of Maryland.6 Feb. 2008 <http ://www.a n kl e rep lacem>. SURVE} Ivlaithews Middle Schooi studenis were suryeyed by(number) (your name, first then last) on the date of about the topic of (date of survey) (your topic) 17