Understanding persuasive writing is a key skill for students - whether they're reading it or writing it. But where, in the real world, are they likely to come across it?
The most common place we see persuasive writing is in advertising. Sometimes it's the short text of a television advertisement, telling us how much better our lives will be if we buy a particular product. Other times it might be the lengthier 'advertorials' - ads disguised as article - in newspapers or magazines.
Most advertisements focus on one side of the story only. They often don't acknowledge similar products and they only talk up the positives. They have a very strong agenda - to convince customers to buy their product.
Like advertising, political speeches are selling something. However, instead of selling a product, they're selling a politician or political party or a policy they want people to approve of. Political speeches might acknowledge different points of view, but they will usually work to explain why their point of view is the best. Some political speeches will be followed by questions or a press conference - politicians end up constantly speaking in persuasive language.
Traditionally opinion pieces were published in a paper form. In the past they might be as published leaflets or as letters to the editor. Newspapers often devoted particular spaces to commentary writers who would use their writing to express certain points of view.
These days, a lot of opinion writing happens on blogs. Everyone is able to share their opinions through the internet, and a lot of people use that to create persuasive arguments about things they're passionate about - like politics, educational theory, best sports team or why someone should read a particular book.
Looking at persuasive writing with your students? Challenge them to find different pieces of persuasive writing in their world. How do the authors persuade the audience? What skills can they use in their own writing?
Want to bring more persuasive arguments into the classroom? Pick up the Persuasive Argument bundle at the Galarious Goods shop. Or, prepare for Christmas with the Australian Christmas Persuasive Writing Pack.