A Homeschooler’s Guide to The Persuasive Essay

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If you are homeschooling high school, 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
Blog, She Wrote: A Homeschooler's Guide to the Persuasive Essay

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 ClassExcellence 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:

Blog, She Wrote: A Homeschooler's Guide to 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.

Get Your Free Lesson on Navigating The Common App for Homeschoolers

If you are getting your persuasive essay skills polished,

it may be getting close to go time on applications.

The Common App has a few surprises for homeschooling families.

Check out this mini lesson from the eCourse, Homeschooling for College by Design.

Download your checklist to use along the way and get weekly tips on homeschooling for college.

Homeschooling for College by Design

a woman holding a form and watching a video from Homeschooling for College by Design

Need more guidance with the persuasive essay?

Or the personal essay?

Or just preparing for all the college related tasks ahead of you?

Homeschooling for College by Design will hold your hand throughout the college admission process!

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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?

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