Examples Of Persuasive Essays For Esl Students

Student Objectives

Session 1: The Game of Persuasion

Session 2: Analysis of an Argument

Session 3: Persuasive Writing

Session 4: Presenting the Persuasive Writing

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • Work in cooperative groups to brainstorm ideas and organize them into a cohesive argument to be presented to the class

  • Gain knowledge of the different strategies that are used in effective persuasive writing

  • Use a graphic organizer to help them begin organizing their ideas into written form

  • Apply what they have learned to write a persuasive piece that expresses their stance and reasoning in a clear, logical sequence

  • Develop oral presentation skills by presenting their persuasive writing pieces to the class

  • Analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques

back to top

 

Session 1: The Game of Persuasion

1.Post the chart you created where students can see it (see Preparation, Step 3). Distribute sticky notes, and ask students to write their names on the notes. Call students up to the chart to place their notes in the column that expresses their opinion.

2.After everyone has had a chance to put their name on the chart, look at the results and discuss how people have different views about various topics and are entitled to their opinions. Give students a chance to share the reasons behind their choices.

3.Once students have shared, explain that sometimes when you believe in something, you want others to believe in it also and you might try to get them to change their minds. Ask students the following question: “Does anyone know the word for trying to convince someone to change his or her mind about something?” Elicit from students the word persuade.

4.Explain to students that they are going to play a game that will help them understand how persuasive arguments work.

5.Follow these rules of the game:

  • Have students get into their groups.

  • Explain that sometimes when you play games the winner gets a reward and that at the end of this game the winning team will get the reward you have chosen (see Preparation, Step 1).

  • Have each team choose a recorder, or designate a recorder for each team yourself. The recorder's job is to write down the team's arguments.

  • Tell students that they must work together as a team for 15 to 20 minutes to come up with the best reason why the class should award their group the prize. Their reasons can be serious or playful.

  • Use a signal to let them know when to begin and when time is up.

  • Have students present their arguments. Students can either present as a group or choose one person to be their speaker.

  • Have the judge decide on a winning group or ask students to vote for a group other than themselves that had a convincing argument.

Note: While students are working, there should be little interference from you. This is a time for students to discover what they already know about persuasive arguments. Use the Observations and Notes handout as you listen in to groups and make notes about their arguments. This will help you see what students know and also provide examples to point out during Session 2 (see Step 4).


Home/School Connection: Distribute Persuasion Is All Around You. Students are to find an example of a persuasive piece from the newspaper, television, radio, magazine, or billboards around town and be ready to report back to class during Session 2. Provide a selection of magazines or newspapers with advertisements for students who may not have materials at home. For English-language learners (ELLs), it may be helpful to show examples of advertisements and articles in newspapers and magazines.

back to top

 

Session 2: Analysis of an Argument

1.Begin by asking students to share their homework. You can have them share as a class, in their groups from the previous session, or in partners.

2.After students have shared, explain that they are going to get a chance to examine the arguments that they made during Session 1 to find out what strategies they already know how to use.

3.Pass out the Persuasive Strategy Definitions to each student. Tell students that you are going to explain each definition through a PowerPoint presentation.

4.Read through each slide in the Persuasive Strategy PowerPoint Presentation. Discuss the meaning and how students used those strategies in their arguments during Session 1. Use your observations and notes to help students make connections between their arguments and the persuasive strategies. It is likely your students used many of the strategies, and did not know it. For example, imagine the reward for the winning team was 10 extra minutes of recess. Here is one possible argument:

“Our classmate Sarah finally got her cast taken off. She hasn’t been able to play outside for two months. For 60 days she’s had to go sit in the nurse’s office while we all played outside. Don’t you think it would be the greatest feeling for Sarah to have 10 extra minutes of recess the first week of getting her cast off?”

This group is trying to appeal to the other students’ emotions. This is an example of pathos.

5.As you discuss the examples from the previous session, have students write them in the box next to each definition on the Persuasive Strategy Definitions sheet to help them remember each meaning.


Home/School Connection: Ask students to revisit their persuasive piece from Persuasion Is All Around You. This time they will use Check the Strategies to look for the persuasive strategies that the creator of the piece incorporated. Check for understanding with your ELLs and any special needs students. It may be helpful for them to talk through their persuasive piece with you or a peer before taking it home for homework. Arrange a time for any student who may not have the opportunity to complete assignments outside of school to work with you, a volunteer, or another adult at school on the assignment.

back to top

 

Session 3: Persuasive Writing

1.Divide the class into groups of two or three students. Have each group member talk about the persuasive strategies they found in their piece.

2.After each group has had time to share with each other, go through each persuasive strategy and ask students to share any examples they found in their persuasive pieces with the whole class.

3.Explain to students that in this session they will be playing the game they played during Session 1 again; only this time they will be working with a partner to write their argument and there will be a different prize awarded to the winning team.

4.Share the Persuasive Writing Assessment with students and read through each category. Explain that you will be using this rubric to help evaluate their essays. Reassure students that if they have questions or if part of the rubric is unclear, you will help them during their conference.

5.Have students get together with the partners you have selected (see Preparation, Step 1).

6.Get students started on their persuasive writing by introducing them to the interactive Persuasion Map. This online graphic organizer is a prewriting exercise that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay.

  • Have partners enter their names and topics on the opening screen.

  • The goal or thesis is the claim or stance that they are taking on the issue.

  • Students should then brainstorm three reasons to support their claim, and facts and examples to support each reason.
Challenge students to use the persuasive strategies discussed during Session 2 in their writing. Remind students to print their maps before exiting as they cannot save their work online.

7.Have students begin writing their persuasive essays, using their printed Persuasion Maps as a guide. To maintain the spirit of the game, allow students to write their essays with their partner. Partners can either write each paragraph together taking turns being the scribe or each can take responsibility for different paragraphs in the essay. If partners decide to work on different parts of the essay, monitor them closely and help them to write transition sentences from one paragraph to the next. It may take students two sessions to complete their writing.

8.Meet with partners as they are working on their essays. During conferences you can:

  • Ask students to show you the persuasive strategies they are using

  • Guide students to use a variety of persuasive strategies

  • Make sure students are using their Persuasion Map as a guide

  • Check their supporting facts and examples for accuracy

  • Help groups write an interesting beginning and ending

  • Encourage partners to read their paragraphs to and provide feedback for each other

  • Edit for grammar and mechanics

back to top

 

Session 4: Presenting the Persuasive Writing

1.During this session, partners will present their written argument to the class. Before students present, hand out the Check the Strategy sheet. This checklist is the same one they used for homework after Session 2. Direct students to mark off the strategies they hear in each presentation.

2.Use the Observations and Notes sheet to record your observations.

3.After each set of partners presents, ask the audience to share any persuasive strategies they heard in the argument.

4.After all partners have presented, have students vote for the argument other than their own that they felt was most convincing.

5.Tally the votes and award the prize to the winning team. To end this session, ask students to discuss something new they have learned about persuasive arguments and something they want to work on to become better at persuasive arguments.

back to top

 

EXTENSIONS

  • Endangered Species: Persuasive Writing offers a way to integrate science with persuasive writing. Have students pretend that they are reporters and have to convince people to think the way they do. Have them pick issues related to endangered species, use the Persuasion Map as a prewriting exercise, and write essays trying to convince others of their points of view. In addition, the lesson “Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues” can be adapted for your students as part of this exercise.

  • Have students write persuasive arguments for a special class event, such as an educational field trip or an in-class educational movie. Reward the class by arranging for the class event suggested in one of the essays.

back to top

 

STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

  • Compare your Observations and Notes from Session 4 and Session 1 to see if students understand the persuasive strategies, use any new persuasive strategies, seem to be overusing a strategy, or need more practice refining the use of a strategy. Offer them guidance and practice as needed.

  • Collect both homework assignments and the Check the Strategy sheets and assess how well students understand the different elements of persuasive writing and how they are applied.

  • Collect students’ Persuasion Maps and use them and your discussions during conferences to see how well students understand how to use the persuasive strategies and are able to plan their essays. You want to look also at how well they are able to make changes from the map to their finished essays.

  • Use the Persuasive Writing Assessment to evaluate the essays students wrote during Session 3.

back to top

Are you asking yourself why you should read this blog post?

Are you asking, “What’s in it for me?”

What if I promised that by reading this you’ll learn more about how to write an effective persuasive essay?

What if I promised that by reading this you’ll learn 40 persuasive essay topics to help you get started writing your persuasive essay—and that you’ll even learn some tips about how to choose a persuasive essay topic?

If you’re still reading, then I’ve achieved my goal. I’ve written a persuasive opening. And if you’re assigned to write a persuasive essay, you should definitely keep reading.

The Persuasive Essay Defined

The goal of a persuasive essay is to convince readers.

When writing the essay, you’ll first need to state your own opinion, then develop evidence to support that opinion.

These reasons and examples (evidence) should convince readers to believe your argument.

I know this quick definition gives you the basics, but you should know more about persuasive writing before you attempt to write your own essay.

It may seem tempting to skip past the additional information and go directly to the list of persuasive essay topics. But don’t do it.

Take the time now to read more about persuasive writing. (It’s all about persuasion. Are you clicking the links below yet?)

I’ll trust that I’ve persuaded you to read all three of the above articles. And now that you know how to write a persuasive essay, here are 40 persuasive essay topics to help you get started.

40 Persuasive Essay Topics to Help You Get Started

1. Does Facebook (or other forms of social media) create isolation?

Facebook lets people stay connected and meet new friends, yet some argue people spend so much time on social media that they lose contact with real life and may even become addicted.

2. Should guns be permitted on college campuses?

With recent school massacres permeating the news, people feel as though they should be able to protect themselves by carrying guns in all public spaces. Others, however, feel as though allowing guns on campuses will only increase crime and the death toll.

3. Do kids benefit if everyone on the team receives a trophy?

If everyone on the team receives a trophy (even for participation), kids may feel like part of the team and feel as though their efforts matter. Others believe handing out trophies to all kids on the team simply makes them feel entitled.

4. Is society too dependent on technology?

Technology creates great opportunities, yet some feel people can no longer function without a smartphone by their sides at all times.

5. Should all high school students be required to complete parenting classes?

Parents often believe sexuality, family planning, and parenting should be taught at home. But many don’t believe parents sufficiently educate their children about these topics and feel the school should provide teens with training for adulthood and require parenting classes.

6. Does the school day start too early?

While some simply say kids should go to bed earlier in order to be alert during the school day, others argue teens require more sleep and need to sleep later to function properly.

7. Should the minimum wage be increased?

Many business owners argue that raising the minimum wage would only cause hardship and cause them to raise their prices. But many workers argue raising the minimum wage is necessary to help low-income workers dig out of poverty.

8. Should elementary schools teach handwriting?

If no one knows how to write or read cursive handwriting, the form of communication will be lost, some believe. Others, however, believe handwriting is antiquated, and kids would be better served learning keyboarding.

9. Should childhood vaccinations be mandatory?

Though vaccinations can prevent a number of childhood illnesses, some believe mandatory vaccination violates individual rights and can actually do more harm than good.

10. Are security cameras an invasion of privacy?

Security cameras are in place to protect both businesses and the general public. But some argue cameras have gone too far and actually invade privacy because people are constantly under surveillance.

11. Should citizens be allowed to keep exotic pets?

People feel they should be allowed to keep exotic pets as they are capable of caring for the animals. They feel it is their right to keep such pets. However, others feel keeping such pets creates a danger to other people and is harmful to the animals.

12. Should a relaxed dress code be allowed in the workplace?

Some argue that a more relaxed dress code has created more relaxed and less productive workers. Others argue the more relaxed dress code creates a more casual, friendly, and creative workplace.

13. Is it ethical to sentence juveniles as adults?

The old cliche is, “If you do the crime, you should do the time.” But many believe it isn’t ethical to charge a juvenile as an adult as a child’s brain isn’t yet fully developed.

14. Should corporations be allowed to advertise in schools?

Some think schools should embrace corporate advertising as budgets are very limited. But others believe kids shouldn’t be bombarded with corporate persuasion. Instead, they think kids should focus on learning.

15. Should public transportation be free for all residents of a city?

While some say free public transportation would help the environment and reduce traffic, others think free public transportation is too expensive. They argue that the government can’t afford to pay for it.

16. Is professional football too dangerous for players?

Because of recent discoveries about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), many believe football is too dangerous and that rules need to change. Those on the other side of the argument believe football players know the risks and thus should be allowed to play.

17. Should minors be allowed to get tattoos (if they have parental permission)?

Some feel parents should be allowed to give permission for their minor children to get tattoos as they are making the decision for their own children. On the other hand, because tattoos are essentially permanent, some feel only adults should be able to get tattoos.

18. Should fracking be banned?

Some people argue fracking is an effective way to extract natural gas, but others argue it is too dangerous and is harmful to the environment.

19. Should a college education be free for everyone?

Some people believe education is a right and will make society, on the whole, a better place for everyone. But others feel there is no true way to offer a free college education as colleges would still need to be funded (likely through tax dollars).

20. Should the US assist developing countries with immunization efforts?

Immunizations have been critical to eradicating diseases such as polio and measles in the United States, so some argue that it’s important to distribute immunizations to developing countries where people are still dying from these types of diseases. Others may argue that this type of effort would be too costly or ineffective.

21. Does corporal punishment help children?

If you’ve ever been spanked by your parents, I’m sure you weren’t in favor of corporal punishment. But does it actually help discipline children, or does it promote violence?

22. Does the welfare system need to be revised?

There are many people who clearly need the additional assistance welfare services provide. There are others, however, who take advantage of the system. Because of this, many feel the program should be revised to create alternate or stricter requirements.

23. Is learning a skilled trade more valuable than earning a college degree?

Many companies state they have numerous job openings but cannot find skilled employees. Given the current economy, some feel that it may be more advantageous for people to learn a trade.

24. Should cigarettes be illegal?

Given the trend of legalizing marijuana, it seems that it would be impossible to ban cigarettes, but some believe that cigarettes should be illegal because of the health risks they pose.

25. Should organ donors be financially compensated?

While some feel that people should donate their organs on a strictly volunteer basis, others argue that donations would increase if people were financially compensated.

26. Do laws promote racial discrimination?

Justice is supposed to be blind, though many argue that laws are designed to discriminate against minorities.

27. Do dual-parent households benefit children more than single-parent households?

A dual-parent household may have an advantage of a higher household income and the benefit of one parent who may able to spend more time with children. But many argue that a high income alone doesn’t make a happy home and that quality time spent with children is far more important than simply being present.

28. Is it acceptable for parents to lie to their children?

Most people would probably agree that the small lies parents tell their children in order to protect them or motivate them are harmless (and perhaps even helpful). But others feel that, if parents lie, they are only teaching their children to lie.

29. Are teens unfairly stereotyped?

Teens are often stereotyped as lazy and entitled. Specific groups of teens, such as skaters, are often seen as criminals and addicts. Are these classifications true, or are they unfair stereotypes?

30. Is reality television actually real?

Reality TV is supposed to follow the lives of real people. But are the shows scripted or staged to create more drama?

31. Does illegal immigration harm the U.S. economy?

While some feel that even illegal immigrants contribute to the economy through spending their wages in local economies, others feel that they don’t pay their fair share of taxes, which harms the economy.

32. Should high schools distribute birth control?

Though some claim that the distribution of birth control encourages sexual behavior, others claim that it actually protects teens who are already sexually active.

33. Does elective cosmetic surgery harm self-esteem?

Elective cosmetic surgery can make people feel confident and happier with their personal appearances, but for some people, such surgeries do not address underlying psychological issues. Thus, the surgeries leave people unhappy and striving for unattainable perfection.

34. Should people who teach in low-income areas be allowed to have their student loans forgiven?

Teachers who work in low-income areas are often eligible to have their student loans forgiven after a number of years of service. However, some argue that this practice should not continue. They argue that everyone should be eligible for loan forgiveness and that it shouldn’t only be select professions that are eligible.

35. Should classic literature be taught in high school or college?

Many argue that the classics are important to our history and that they are works of art. Others feel the writings are outdated and generally irrelevant to modern society.

36. Should colleges and universities do more to help incoming freshman transition to college life?

Though most colleges offer orientation programs, many students feel that the college itself does not do enough to prepare them for the realities of college life.

37. Has the No Child Left Behind Act helped students?

The No Child Left Behind Act was designed to help all students succeed, but many people believe that it has been an unsuccessful program.

38. Should team names deemed to be offensive be banned?

Some feel that team names such as “Redskins” or “Chiefs” are racially insensitive and are racial slurs. However, others argue that these names are steeped in tradition and should not be banned.

39. Should fast-food restaurants be blamed for obesity among Americans?

Most people already know that many fast-food meals are high in calories and are often not as healthy as other options. Thus, these restaurants are to blame for increased obesity rates. Others argue that it’s the individual’s responsibility to consume these foods in moderation and that society cannot blame fast-food restaurants for obesity rates.

40. Do modern gender roles harm women?

Though women are generally no longer expected to be stay-at-home moms, many argue that gender roles today continue to harm women. Some argue that media continues to sexualize women and thus perpetuates the classic gender roles of males being dominant over females.

Dos and Don’ts of Choosing Persuasive Essay Topics

After reading this list, I’m sure at least a few topics appeal to you. But how do you know which one of these great ideas to choose for your own paper?  Here are a few tips.

Do choose a topic that:

  • You care about. It’s easier to write about something that interests you.
  • Other people care about too. Why would you write about a topic that no one cares about?
  • You are willing to examine from multiple viewpoints. Looking at both sides of the issue shows that you’re educated about your topic.
  • You can research effectively in the allotted time. If  you can’t find enough evidence to support your viewpoint, you might need to switch topics.

Don’t choose a topic that:

  • You don’t care about. If you don’t care about the topic, it will be difficult to persuade others.
  • You are extremely passionate about. While passion is important, if you’re so passionate about the topic that you aren’t willing to learn new information or see additional viewpoints, it will be difficult to write an effective paper.
  • Can’t be researched effectively. In other words, don’t try to research a topic like the meaning of the universe or why people usually wear matching socks.

In Summary

In this blog post, you’ve learned how to write a persuasive essay, examined a variety of persuasive essay topics, and learned the dos and don’ts of selecting and narrowing a topic.

So what are you waiting for? Start researching, and start writing!

What? None of these topics are working for you? Try this list of 15 topics or these additional 15 topics.

Need a few pointers to get started with research? Check out 5 Best Resources to Help With Writing a Research Paper and How to Write a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Looking for even more help? I recommend reading this study guide about persuasive and argumentative essays.

Want to make sure you’re writing is convincing? Why not have one of our Kibin editors review your paper?

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

0 thoughts on “Examples Of Persuasive Essays For Esl Students

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *