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If you have a middle or high schooler, chances are you’ve come across the requirement for a persuasive essay. What’s the big deal about writing one? Why is it a good idea to teach your student to write a good one? Here are some tips for you in A Homeschooler’s Guide to The Persuasive Essay.
What is a Persuasive Essay?
A persuasive essay tries to convince others to agree with our facts, share our values, and accept our arguments and conclusions.
When Do We Use The Persuasive Essay?
Students might wonder when the time is right for a convincing argument. These are common occasions for just that:
- Editorial comments- ranging from letters to law makers to convincing your boss to try a new method in the workplace. We try and win arguments all the time!
- Speech writing
- College Entrance Exams– like the SAT require an essay with a solid argument
Ways We Engage with The Persuasive Essay in Our Homeschool
In our homeschool we use strong persuasive essays in a variety of ways. It’s a long practiced skill at our house and the results are effective.
- Permission– to be allowed to do something new or buy something they want or to do something they love. They know the best way to Dan is to offer a well written argument explaining their cause.
- Speech Writing– Ethan chose to do a speech for 4-H public presentations this year. His speech is titled, “Video Games: Harmful or Helpful?” and is about violence in video games. It has served him quite well and he qualified for the state competition which is tomorrow.
- High School Literature Class– Excellence in Literature often will ask the student to form an opinion on a literary topic from a book or to compare elements of a book and explain their decision.
Resources for Teaching The Persuasive Essay
So, how do you go about preparing your students to write a persuasive argument. The trick is to be compelling while being concise. Your student needs valid arguments and a logical organization of the facts. Here are a few ideas for practicing the persuasive essay:
- Topic Lists– It’s helpful to have many prompts or topics in mind that a student could use, but the best essays often arise out of a subject that is near and dear to your student’s heart. Relevance makes the task easier. Choose a topic a week and have your student write. Practice makes perfect- especially when preparing for exams.
- College Board Site– The company that creates the SAT offers help for students preparing for the exam. Note that the class of 2016 (Ethan’s class) is the last to take the current form of the SAT which includes the mandatory essay. This year’s freshman will have the option of taking the essay portion, but it won’t be mandatory.
- Essay Rockstar– Fortuigence offers a course in Mastering The Persuasive Essay. Your student can take a four week class with a mentor who will give personal feedback as they work through the essay on a topic of their choice. Ethan’s persuasive essay for this course was on the value of reading aloud in making readers.
Right now Essay Rockstar classes are 20% off through May 26, 2014 so it’s a great time to sign on. Use the code 461-0-6668488. The time limit for the class is open ended and students work at their own pace so if you register now you can start it any time.
Being able to write a strong, well organized and concise persuasive argument is a life skill every person should have. How are you preparing your students for an effective written argument?by