Persuasion and Influence

7. Creating Persuasive Texts: From Talking to Writing

Suggested Learning Intentions

  • To examine how spoken texts differ from written texts
  • To use noun groups and conjunctions to write clearly

Sample Success Criteria

  • I can use formal language to present a point of view
  • I can use nouns, noun groups and conjunctions to improve my writing
  • I can use vocabulary to improve the meaning of a text
  • Stimulus material
  • Access to digital texts
  • Recording devices such as an iPad

This stage of the sequence focuses on the joint construction of a persuasive text.

Provide students with an example of a formal speech and an informal discussion. For example, Kids Need Recess, and Cat Ban. Cat Ban is a Behind the News report, where students are invited to express their point of view on the topic at the end of the article.

Promote a discussion examining the different language styles in the two examples. Possible question prompts could include:

  • When and where might you use formal language to persuade?
  • Why might it be important to learn to write or speak in a formal style?
  • What are some of the differences between how the children expressed their point of view?
  • Did you notice any differences in the language they were using? Can you provide examples?

Provide a short transcript from Cat Ban. For example:

“Not all cats go for … like native animals and I think that what they are planning to do is cool. I reckon they should … like let them stay inside at night and let them roam around in the morning.”

Identify any informal or unclear language, for example: they, like, reckon, cool.

Identify the nouns in the transcript and model how to develop noun groups and phrases. For example:

  • all cats, all domestic cats; friendly domestic cats
  • native animals, small native mammals, native birds, our endangered natives birds and small mammals
  • they, the council, the City Council of Canberra.

During a shared writing activity, invite students to suggest how to adapt the transcript and write it as a formal statement, providing the reader with details and expressing a clear point of view. For example, the informal text above could be re-written as:

“The recent plans by the City Council of Canberra to restrict our friendly domestic felines from roaming free has some merit. Keeping domestic cats inside at night will ensure both the loved pets and the native birds and small mammals are safe. However, it is unnecessary to lock friendly cats up both day and night. Not every domestic cat hunts and kills native animals and all cats should be able to enjoy the sunshine and roam freely around the garden during the day.”

Encourage students to select an issue that is of interest to them and to briefly write down a contention or point of view about the topic.

Explain that they are to record themselves speaking for one minute on their chosen topic, presenting their argument with supporting facts and opinions.

Provide time for the students to transcribe their conversations and to change the text from informal to formal, adding language features typical of persuasive texts. This activity could be undertaken in collaborative pairs.

Enable students to successfully change their informal spoken text to a formal written text by assisting them to transcribe their informal dialogue and offering guidance during writing conferences. Another option may be for students to rewrite a shorter transcript using a formal language style.

Extend students by suggesting they create a written text, and a short speech using formal language. Students could then record themselves presenting the speech.

Organise students into collaborative groups for peer feedback. Students could examine the written work and/or listen to each other present their formal speeches. Suggest that partners use the traffic lights protocol (searchable online) to provide positive feedback and identify parts of the text that could be improved.

Share a de-identified student sample with the class. Highlight where improvements have been made and model how to further improve student writing.

ABC, 2014. Behind the News, Cat Ban. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Tedx Talks, 2014. Simon Link, Kids need recess. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

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