Persuasion and Influence

6. Creating Persuasive Texts: Developing Ideas

Suggested Learning Intentions

  • To develop a clear point of view on a topic of interest

Sample Success Criteria

  • I can use thinking tools to organise my ideas on a topic
  • I can clearly express my point of view

This stage of the sequence moves towards independent construction as students plan a persuasive text.

Explain to students that they will be asked to agree or disagree with a number of statements. Students who agree will move to one side of the room, and students who disagree will move to the opposite side. They will then be invited to explain why they decided for or against each statement.

Display an image about an issue that is of interest and relevant to your students. For example, students, children and adults using phones and computers in a variety of settings.

Suggested statements to generate discussion:

  • Technology is a useful tool to make learning fun and interesting.
  • Children spend too much time on their devices.
  • Adults spend too much time on their devices.
  • Everyone should be allowed to use a device at the dinner table.

Statements that include both fact and opinion could be explored. For example:

  • Cats make fabulous pets.
  • Cats are mammals.
  • Cats kill an enormous number of native animals every year.
  • Councils should pass laws to ban cats from being allowed outside.
  • It is cruel to keep cats locked up inside at night.

Encourage students to provide reasons for their decisions and to support their viewpoints with personal stories or evidence.

Provide opportunities for students with opposing views to explain their thinking. Remind students of the importance of being open minded and listening actively to their peers.

Following this activity, ask students why it might be important to consider all points of view in an argument.

Support students to develop a clear contention or point of view on a topic that will be developed into a persuasive text.

Class Brainstorm

Brainstorm issues that are relevant to your students. These should be issues they feel strongly about and would like to address. They could include something about their personal circumstances, for example, pocket money, uniforms or homework; something in their community, for example their school or neighbourhood; or something at a national or international level, for example, coal mining, deforestation or pollution in the oceans.

Record and display student responses.

Explore issues of personal interest

Provide students with three thought starter questions to further explore issues of personal interest. Ask students to record three ideas under each of these sentence beginnings:

  • I know…
  • I care about …
  • I wish people understood …

Display these questions on poster paper with students writing their responses on sticky notes. Share and display their collective thinking.

Encourage students to elaborate on their sentences to identify a clear point of view.

Mind Mapping

Model how to create a mind map on an issue. Demonstrate how to begin with a main argument, develop supporting statements, how and where to include relevant evidence and to consider counter arguments. Display mind mapping examples if your students are not familiar with the process.

Support students to select an issue and to compose a clear statement outlining their point of view.

Provide materials and sufficient time for students to create their own mind map.

Explore counter arguments

Use the doughnut sharing protocol to deepen student thinking around particular issues and to consider counter arguments. Ask students to quickly discuss issues, suggesting ideas that support or challenge a particular point of view. Assist the students to form two circles, an inner circle and an outer circle. Nominate one circle to support each statement, the other to provide counter arguments. Record examples of the statements developed by students. 

Read statements expressing a clear point of view to the students. Ask guiding questions to encourage robust and respectful discussion exploring different viewpoints. Possible questions:

  • What is your point of view?
  • What is your most powerful argument?
  • What action would you like people to take?
  • What rhetorical question could you ask, in order to reinforce your point of view?

Plus, Minus, Interesting

Introduce the Plus, Minus, Interesting thinking protocol and invite students to consider the points that may support and contradict their argument.

Invite students to share their mind maps and thinking tools. Possible question prompts:

  • How have your ideas developed to support your original argument?
  • Do you think that some of the supporting ideas are stronger than others?
  • How might you organise your ideas?
  • Why might it be important to include counter arguments in a persuasive piece?
  • Can you think of a counter argument to add to a peer’s mind map?

Discuss with students how the mind map or plus, minus interesting chart could be developed to create a logical argument, either as a written, visual or spoken text.

Coalition for the protection of racehorses, 2016. Download a poster. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Dainius, 2015. Removed: Photographer removes phones from his photos to show how terribly addicted we’ve become, Bored Panda. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Lindsay2431, 2016.  Is Too Much Homework bad for kids’ health?, 17 March. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Mind mapping, n.d. 10 Really Cool Mind Mapping Examples. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

State Government of Victoria (Department of Education and Training), 2020. Literacy Teaching Toolkit: Classroom Talk Techniques. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Teaching Channel, 2019. Spark your persuasive writing: 3 simple prompts. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Virtual Library, 2019. Plus, Minus, Interesting. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Waymouth, B., 2017. Plastic: It’s what’s for dinner, Huffington Post,  6 December. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

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