Writing a Persuasive Essay

In this lesson students research opposing viewpoints on controversial issues and develop their own position papers. Though primarily for English classes, this lesson could be easily adapted for an interdisciplinary unit with social studies or science classes. In this lesson students will research and read articles on both sides of a controversial topic, identify a position on the topic, develop a logical argument defending a position, produce a persuasive essay or position paper with sources cited. The lesson addresses many areas of writing, logic, and language with ideas for remediation and assessment.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3005.1.1
Demonstrate control of Standard English through grammar usage and mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling).
CLE 3005.1.3
Understand and use a variety of sentence structures.
CLE 3005.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different purposes and audiences.
CLE 3005.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well-constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3005.3.4
Revise documents to develop or support ideas more clearly, address potential objections, ensure effective transitions between paragraphs, and correct errors in...
CLE 3005.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and quality of evidence presented.
GLE 0701.8.5
Identify and analyze common literary terms (e.g., personification, conflict, theme).
 
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Learning objectives: 
  • Students will research and read articles on both sides of a controversial topic. Students will identify a position on the topic.
  • Students will develop a logical argument defending a position. Students will produce a persuasive essay or position paper with sources cited.

Helpful Hints

Materials and Technology:

  • Print resources related to appropriate topics
  • Computers with Internet access

References

Contributors: