Helping your children gain proper writing skills is crucial for success in their education as well as their success in their future careers. One form of writing which your child will likely use throughout their life is persuasive writing. Persuasive writing will teach your child how to effectively form an argument, discuss their opinion, and present the supporting facts behind it.
What Are the Building Blocks of Persuasive Writing?
When teaching your child persuasive writing, there are some basic building blocks that they will need to form a successful argument. Make sure that they:
- Use vocabulary that will help persuade a reader.
- Choose a clear position on the topic that they are writing.
- Understand the audience that they are addressing.
- Layout their evidence. A good persuasive argument will have researched evidence backing it up.
How to Help Your Child Start a Persuasive Writing Piece
Getting started can be the most difficult part of any type of writing, but that opening sentence is important to grab the reader's attention and get the idea of your piece across. Start by having them identify the main point of their paper and which position they choose to take. With this information, they can then craft their first couple of sentences. The opening paragraph should end with a statement that they are about to prove why their position is better.
After the opening paragraph is completed, they will be able to get to the meat of the piece which will include the body paragraphs focusing on the evidence and support, followed by one or two paragraphs stating the and negating the opposing view, and finally, a concluding paragraph summing up the evidence and restating the position. When your child is working on the piece, have them tackle one section at a time, so they can focus on the details and complete their thoughts before moving to the next section.
How Persuasive Writing Different
Unlike narrative and descriptive writing, persuasive writing is not to tell a story, but instead to sway the reader to see why your opinion or position is best. Persuasive writing has a goal not to entertain but to convince the reader, and will require more direct and straight forward language that helps to guide the reader's opinion. Additionally, the persuasive piece will have some form of evidentiary information behind the statements it makes.
How to Know if Your Piece is Persuasive Writing
To be considered persuasive writing, a piece will need to have a few basic components including:
- A well-defined, clear, and concise thesis stated in the first paragraph that provides the opinion being supported.
- An introduction that captures the attention of the reader and communicates the importance of the topic.
- Strong evidential support to prove the stated argument. This section can include facts statistics, quotes, or opinions from experts. These are usually listed in order from least important to most important.
- A strong conclusion that restates the thesis and chosen position.
When helping your child with their piece, encourage your child to make focused word choices and learn to vary sentence structure to help their piece be more convincing. Don't rush them, and resist the temptation to take over. It may take your child longer to get their ideas in a cohesive thought, but this is an important part of the writing process that they need to learn.