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Writing A Persuasive Essay Fourth Grade


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From Theory to Practice



Persuasive writing is an important skill that can seem intimidating to elementary students. This lesson encourages students to use skills and knowledge they may not realize they already have. A classroom game introduces students to the basic concepts of lobbying for something that is important to them (or that they want) and making persuasive arguments. Students then choose their own persuasive piece to analyze and learn some of the definitions associated with persuasive writing. Once students become aware of the techniques used in oral arguments, they then apply them to independent persuasive writing activities and analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques.

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Persuasion Map: Students can use this online interactive tool to map out an argument for their persuasive essay.

Persuasive Strategy PowerPoint Presentation: This handy PowerPoint presentation helps students master the definition of each strategy used in persuasive writing.
Check the Strategies: Students can apply what they know about persuasive writing strategies by evaluating a persuasive piece and indicating whether the author used that strategy, and–if so–explaining how.

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Petit, A., & Soto, E. (2002). Already experts: Showing students how much they know about writing and reading arguments. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(8), 674–682.

  • Students can discover for themselves how much they already know about constructing persuasive arguments by participating in an exercise that is not intimidating.

  • Progressing from spoken to written arguments will help students become better readers of persuasive texts.

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If you are in the fourth grade and you have been asked to do write a persuasive essay then this may be one of the first times that you have had to write such a style of academic paper. The following provides eight pieces of advice about things it you should know when writing such a paper.

  • Understanding what a persuasive essay is
  • Before you can write a persuasive essay you need to understand what is required of you. Firstly, it is worth being aware that the word ‘persuasive’ can often be replaced with ‘argumentative’, and is in fact the exact same style of academic paper.

    Essentially you are trying to argue or persuade the reader as to a certain viewpoint about an issue that you are discussing.

  • How to structure the essay
  • There are many ways to structure the essay, but commonly you will use a five paragraph structure. As part of this structure you will include an opening paragraph, followed by the body section – which includes three paragraphs – and finally the conclusion.

  • What to include in the introduction
  • In the introduction you’re basically explaining what it is that you attempt to persuade the reader about. Basically, you are introducing the reader to the topic, as well as including a controlling idea that essentially explains which side you will be arguing for.

  • What to include in the body of the essay
  • In the body section you will include various paragraphs – typically three if you’re writing in a five paragraph style – each of which will contain different arguments. You will generally start with the strongest argument, leading down to the weakest one.

  • What to include in the conclusion
  • The conclusion essentially ties all the arguments together and explains why you have chosen to take the stance that you have, based on the evidence that you provided.

  • How to think of topic ideas
  • There are various ways to think of topic ideas, such as brainstorming or even looking at prewritten papers that have been completed by students in the past.

  • Where to carry out research
  • Where you choose to carry out your research depends on the topic you choose to write about. Ideally, if you are using the Internet to find information then you want to ensure that the websites are reputable and can provide verifiable information.

  • What to do once the work has been written
  • Finally, once you’ve finished writing the work, it is essential that you proofread and edit it to eliminate any spelling or grammatical mistakes.