Persuasion and Influence

8. Creating Persuasive Texts: Modelled, Shared and Independent Writing

Suggested Learning Intentions

  • To present a point of view using persuasive text features
  • To support an argument with logical reasons and evidence

Sample Success Criteria

  • I can present a point of view clearly
  • I can support my point of view with reason and evidence
  • I can use persuasive techniques to strengthen my point of view
  • Paper for collaborative writing task
  • Access to online resources
  • Research materials
  • Publishing materials

This stage of the sequence focuses on the independent construction of texts, enabling students to create their own persuasive text whilst building skill through engagement in mini-lessons.

Demonstrate the thinking involved when planning a persuasive text.  Select a familiar topic that is of interest to the students and a planning model. For example, a persuasion map or an open mind map (searchable online). Think aloud as you plan and discuss the thinking behind your choices. For example: 'An argument is strengthened by evidence, so I will include evidence in my plan.'

Remind students that the number of paragraphs is determined by the number of key points supporting the general argument.

Provide all students with a copy of the plan.

Invite students to form collaborative pairs and to develop a section of the plan into a written format. Encourage them to consider how they might present the text, for example as a speech, cautionary tale, advertisement, poster, letter or essay. Discuss how images could be used to support the argument. The RAFT framework could be used to support student thinking and planning.

Share student work and provide teacher and peer feedback. Provide explicit feedback on editing and revising the text to include modal verbs, evaluative language, rhetorical questions and evidence to support the arguments.

Explain to students that they will be planning, drafting and publishing a persuasive text on a topic of their choice. Allow time for brainstorming and provide possible options for students.

Encourage students to consider:

  • Their general topic and argument. What do they know about the topic, what do they need to find out? How will they source that information?
  • Who is the intended audience? Is the contention dealing with a family, school, community, state or national issue? Will the age group of the audience influence the way the point of view is presented?
  • What format will they use to present the persuasive text? It could be a letter, a speech, a poster, an illustrated narrative or artwork. Encourage students to collect mentor texts that provide examples of persuasive formats, techniques and devices.
  • The planning method they will use to organise their ideas.

Discuss assessment considerations with the students. Collaborate to make a list of the key features of successful persuasive texts. You may choose to co-construct an assessment rubric with your students.

While students work independently to plan, draft and publish their persuasive texts, provide explicit teaching and individual feedback using the writing workshop model.

Possible mini lessons:

  • Writing introductions: Read introductions that include a factual account or an emotive story. Model writing a persuasive introduction using a similar style, then ask students to use the same techniques. Display the writing and ask students to add a coloured dot to the introduction they liked the best. Ask the students to explain their choices and discuss the effectiveness of the persuasive techniques that were used.
  • Structuring a paragraph: Explicitly analyse well-structured paragraphs. You could introduce or revise the TEEL model (Topic, Elaborate, Evidence, Link). Co-construct a paragraph using one of the student’s plans as a starting point.
  • Using emotive language: Ask students to determine if words suggest positive (happy, delightful, comfortable, majestic, gentle, healthy) or negative emotions (appalling, disgusting, barbaric, dangerous, expensive, boring). This could be done with a thumbs up, thumbs down activity or a word sort. 
  • Display examples of texts where the author has used evaluative language. Highlight the evaluative language. Invite the students to use an example of emotive language from the text, for example, 'slaughtered' or 'cruel', and construct a vocabulary cline, exploring how language can be used to suggest gradations in meaning. For example, pleasant, helpful, friendly, unhelpful, unfriendly, cruel, wicked, evil.
  • Modality: Model changing the impact of a statement by substituting low modality words and phrases with high modality words and phrases. Invite students to write statements using high modality and to review their own writing to include high modality words and phrases. 
  • Using personal pronouns to create a connection with the reader: Model using personal pronouns to engage and include the reader. For example, we, you, us and our. Find examples of writing where the author has used personal pronouns. Ask students to write statements and rhetorical questions using personal pronouns.
  • Exaggeration: Identify the exaggeration used in the opening of this speech, ‘Say NO to second hand smoke.
  • Repetition: Find texts where key words or phrases have been repeated to help the key themes and arguments stick in the mind of the reader. Extend your student’s understanding of this persuasive strategy by providing a copy of Martin Luther King’s speech and ask them to find repeated phrases in his speech, particularly his use of the phrase, ‘one hundred years ago’, and ‘I have a dream’.
  • Rhetorical questions: Find examples of rhetorical questions to discuss with the students. Ask students to write sentences beginning with a rhetorical question such as:

How would you feel if …

Do you really think …

Is it really worth …

What would happen if …

What would the world be like if …

Students could work in small, collaborative teams to think of as many questions as possible within a few minutes.

  • Counter argument/rebuttal: Model how to structure a paragraph that deals with a counter argument. Provide a statement expressing a clear point of view and invite students to brainstorm points for and against the statement. Record student suggestions on the board. Model writing a paragraph including a rebuttal. Provide a scaffolded paragraph for students to use as a model for their own writing. For example, “While some people may believe that …, this would not be practical because …”
  • Using evidence or expert opinion to support a point of view: Display examples of writing where the author has clearly used evidence or a quote from an expert to logically support a point of view. Model how to write a paragraph using evidence to support the main argument.
  • Writing conclusions: Ask students to find strong examples of concluding paragraphs that end the text in an interesting and convincing way. Invite students to read a chosen conclusion to the class and explain why they found that text convincing. Provide examples of conclusions that include a brief story, a question, a challenge or an inspirational quote. Provide opportunities for the students to collaborate with a partner to write concluding paragraphs experimenting with some of the techniques examined.

As students are working on their independent persuasive tasks, provide individual feedback and support during student-teacher conferences. Additional instruction and support could be provided to students with similar needs during a guided writing group.

Promote a collaborative approach to writing by providing many opportunities for students to:

  • share their writing on a daily basis and engage in group discussion about the writing process
  • comment on each other’s strengths
  • identify areas of the draft they had difficulty understanding or that they feel could be improved.

Invite students to share their drafts and work in progress. Assess student work against any agreed assessment rubrics or checklists. Allow opportunities for students to revise and improve their work.

Use feedback protocols throughout the writing sessions to identify student learning needs and focus areas for teaching. For example, the 3-2-1 protocol would provide an opportunity for students to communicate their successes and questions.

Encourage students to complete a self-reflection when they have completed their published piece. The reflection could include some of the following sentence stems:

  • Things I have learnt about persuasion …
  • Things I have found challenging …
  • Things I am proud of …
  • I used to … but now I …
  • One thing I will remember to do in the future is …
  • One thing I really want to learn is ...

Best Speech Topics, n.d. Persuasive Speech Example: Say No to second hand smoke. [Online] 
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[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Education World, n.d. Goal: ending child labour. [Online] 
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[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Ham, A., 2014. Gone Feral: The cats devouring our wildlife’, Sydney Morning Herald, September 12. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Kwong, J., 2018. Martin Luther King Junior’s ‘I have a dream’ speech full text and video, Newsweek, April 4. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

Ministry of Education, Te Kete Ipurangi, n.d. Clines. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

State Government of Victoria (Department of Education and Training), 2019. Literacy Teaching Toolkit, TEEL. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

The Teacher Toolkit, n.d. 3-2-1. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 15 March 2022].

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