What is Persuasive Writing?
Persuasive selections are part of Informational (Expository) genres. If you've been around young children, you know that they learn to persuade adults to do what they want at a very early age. Young children attempt to persuade their parents to allow them to stay up past their bedtime by saying, "I'll be good if you let me stay up and watch this TV program," or negotiate an extra treat by saying, "I'll eat my vegetables if I can have another cookie." Yes, indeed, young children definitely possess the power of persuasion. All we need to do is harness this natural ability. Young authors as well as older, more proficient authors possess the ability to think, organize, write, and present great persuasive arguments.
Using the BEW approach, the persuasive writing genre is defined as a kind of writing that attempts to change someone's mind. The question that the audience will be asking the student author is: Can you convince me to believe in your topic?
The author must know the purpose of a persuasive writing selection to lay the correct foundation for building it. There are two purposes for writing a persuasive writing selection. The first purpose is to influence the audience. The second purpose is to inform your audience.
Many types of writing can be found under the large umbrella of persuasive writing. These include editorials, advertisements and commercials, pamphlets, petitions, political propaganda, and persuasive letters – to name only a few. As you can see, not only is persuasive writing a genre in itself, but it also overlaps with several other genres. Just as in personal narrative writing, there are basic building blocks for this genre that provide the necessary material for your students to complete a persuasive writing selection successfully.
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