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What is persuasive writing for elementary students?

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Quick Answer

Persuasive writing is a written form of nonfiction that requires elementary students to develop arguments, summarize the controversy or problem and persuade the reader with an assertive writing tone and careful word choice. Persuasive writing also prompts writers to recognize opposing views and refute them with examples and logical arguments.

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Persuasive writing allows students to share their opinions, formulate support for their reasoning and include research or evidence to support their claims. For example, if an elementary student is writing about whether the school's dress code should change, he can include logical arguments regarding comfort and improved academic success. There are a variety of appeals that students can employ in persuasive writing; for example, elementary students can tap into the ethics of the issue that require change or the emotional reactions of people affected by the problem.

Elementary students can learn to master persuasive writing by engaging in activities designed to improve argumentation skills. Verbal debates and activities aimed to convince others to think critically about a topic or take an action often prepare elementary students for persuasive writing. The act of convincing or arguing can prompt students to analyze, evaluate and explore an issue in-depth while considering opposing viewpoints to refute or rebut within their writing.

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