Persuasive Writing Websites

For Secondary Teachers & Students

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Persuasive Writing—General

The Power of Persuasive Writing
Persuasive WebQuest, information for teachers. The Power of Persuasive Writing is a three week communication skills and interdisciplinary middle school Internet project. This project has been designed for a sixth grade English class, but it can be adapted and used as a project in any upper elementary, middle school, or high school class. Lesson plans for 11th & 12th grade units included. The flexibility of this project should allow teachers to focus on certain issues. This can shorten or lengthen the scope and sequence of the lesson(s).

Great Persuasive Prompts
Great prompts! The persuasive topics in 1998 National Assessment of Educational Progress writing assessment asked students to write letters to friends, newspaper editors, or prospective employers, to refute arguments, or to take sides in a debate. Many of the persuasive topics asked students to write in response to information provided with the assessment, such as newspaper articles, charts, photographs, and reported dialogues. The writing assessment prompts presented students with a variety of tasks, such as writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper, etc. 

Persuasive Writing Lesson Plan
Lesson plan! Students will write a persuasive paragraph and/or essay with a main idea, supporting points, arguments refuting their opponents and a strong conclusion. Students will formulate an opinion and learn to support it by participating in kinesthetic activities that require them to share thoughts with like-minded students and face off against opponents. Grades 5-10.

Persuasive Writing Organizer 
Persuasive Writing Organizer. Should students be allowed to participate in dangerous ventures on school outings? Why or why not? In order to persuade others to agree with your opinion, you need reasons to support your argument. Use the following Persuasive Writing organizer to help you think through your argument before you begin writing. Great for intermediate grades! 

PowerPoint Presentation for Persuasive Writing
This is another Website with a PowerPoint presentation for teachers to show their students. It is short, sweet and to the point, which is great for all of our visual learners! 

Persuasive Writing Prompts
Prompts for these categories: persuasive-descriptive, persuasive-classification, how to, classification, and description. This site is geared for high intermediate through high school. 

Persuasive Writing Prompts
This is a list of prompts for a persuasive piece. Choose one of the following types of persuasive speeches and prepare a presentation for the class. 

Writing Persuasively On-Line
By using this site you can write a persuasive paper online! You can choose the level of the writer and how much help you will be needing. This is great for all writers! 

Persuasive Writing Prompt with Lesson Plan
Lesson plan. Students will write an editorial defending or challenging the protagonist's decision in a story. Anticipatory Set: Should Goldilocks have trespassed in the bears' home? Should Little Red Riding Hood have talked to the wolf in the forest? Grades 4-8.

Persuasive Writing Prompts
This a list of writing prompts. Great for middle school to high school. Developed by Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Check into “Teacher Resources” for great ideas for writing (all genres) and additional lesson planning resources. Encarta Lesson Plans by subject also available here.

Persuasive Writing Teaching Resources
Created by K. Prody & J. O’Connor of Helena High School, using Montana Standards for Writing & ACT writing standards. This page provides lesson ideas, descriptions of persuasive writing elements, persuasive writing prompts, and links to numerous other persuasive writing sites.

Persuasive Writing—Essays

Critical Essays—Sample Criteria for Writing About Literature
Dartmouth College Writing Resource page, standards for written essays in English 24. Though this page outlines specific requirements for literary criticisms in a specific English course at Dartmouth college, the professor provides a good overview of literary criticism components. Good opportunity for 11th & 12th graders to see what may be in store for them in college.

This site houses the guts for an editorial rubric. It is a list of characteristics for editorials. You will probably want to put into your own chart form using Excel or other spreadsheet/chart program.

Film Reviews
This commercial web site outlines a fairly detailed set of film review components. Good information, though the site is embedded with advertisements & the auto-spam is very annoying. Many glossary definitions are incomplete. Good site for use in high school; information provided is particularly relevant for journalism.

Writing Film Reviews
Dartmouth College website. Excellent information on the film review. Guidelines are straightforward, though very detailed about the various genre of film review writing. Glossary with complete definitions of film terms provided.

Writing Music Reviews
This commercial web site ( outlines a basic set of music review characteristics.

Book Reviews—Very Basic
From Creative Writing for Teens website. Specific formula for book review/book report.

Persuasive Essay Writing & On-Line Feedback
This web site takes users through the actual steps of writing a basic essay. Users develop an idea and write their own short essay, consisting of an introduction, a two- to three-paragraph body, and a conclusion. The web site provides questions that help to guide users step by step through pre-writing, writing, organizing, editing, rewriting, and publishing. Completed essays may be transferred to a word processing program, HTML editor, or e-mail application.

Personal Essays/Commentaries—Writer’s Resource Center
Click on this URL to view guidelines for creating a Personal essay. Return to the Writer’s Resource Center HOME page for additional resources, writing process & genre guidelines, writing book reviews & discussion of the writing business. Many sample writings available.

Personal Essays/Commentaries—Guidelines
This site is a link to Northwestern University, providing tips on how to write a personal essay for admission to college.

WASL Essay Article & Model
Bellingham Herald article from February 12, 2001 that models the 5-paragraph persuasive essay format & provides commentary on what is needed to get a 3 on the WASL writing persuasive writing exercise. This might make a good anchor paper for a “3”.

Lincoln-Douglas Style Debates
Complete step-by-step instructions for creating a Lincoln-Douglas debate. Includes description of Lincoln-Douglas debate components, timing for each round & complete lesson plan instructions. Grades 6-12. Links with Social Studies content. 

Debate Lesson Ideas: Terrorism & 9/11
In the days immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks, PBS pulled together resources to help educators teach students about peace, tolerance, war, patriotism, geography, and other related issues. Although time has passed, educators can continue to use these valuable resources to teach lessons on these important subjects.

Persuasive Writing—Letters

Persuasive Letter-Writing Guidelines
This website provides strategies for creating persuasive letters. Text arranged in outline form; letter samples provided.

Persuasive Letter-Writing (Business) Guidelines
Another website providing guidelines for creating persuasive letters. Guidelines in text form; letter samples provided. Topics include how to get to the “bottom line” of the persuasive request, & how to create direct mail. Letter samples provided for general persuasive letters & direct mail. Site tends to have business writing orientation.

How to Write Letters to the Editor
A no-frills set of guidelines for how to write a letter to the editor. Numbered list of steps, helpful facts/characteristics about letters to the editor.

How to Write Cover Letters
Link to On-Line Writing Lab (OWL) at Perdue University. How-to instructions for writing cover letters organized in FAQ format. Click on the question (e.g. What should I include in my opening?), & get a brief description of that letter element.

Teaching Persuasive Letter Writing
A lesson plan for teaching persuasive letter writing. High School level.

More How-to’s for Persuasive Letter Writing
Good links for writing letters provided here. Connect with sites that provide letter writing tips, organization pattern suggestions, sample formats & a letter-writing wizard.

Letters of Complaint—Guidelines
This website provides good guidelines for creating a letter of complaint. Business orientation. Lots of Complaint letter samples with annotations.