Persuasive Writing Activities

Instructor: Adam Nystrom

Adam owns a Master's degree in Professional and Digital Media Writing. During his time as a graduate assistant, he developed lesson plans for upper-level English courses.

Persuasive writing can be fun, even if trying to convince someone of a new viewpoint can be difficult. This article will show you some fun activities to share with your students to get them excited and motivated to write.

Use The Persuasion Map

Persuasive essays have requirements common to all essays, no matter what type: A thesis, followed by paragraphs with supporting evidence. To help your students understand this format, try a simple visual tool. Draw a map that consists of a thesis that branches into three main idea 'boxes'. Each of those ideas should then break off into three new boxes where supporting evidence can be provided. Once these are all filled, all boxes with supporting evidence can be traced to one conclusion. More essay writing tips and tricks are covered in the essay writing chapter on

Cooking With Insects

To demonstrate how to bring opposing views to your side of the argument, try this activity with your students: Have them convince you what a great idea it would be to make a meal out of bugs. Once they get past the absurdity of such an idea, you can provide basic information for them to work with, such as:

  • Insects are high in vitamins and low in fat
  • Many cultures around the world already eat insects every day
  • Once you try them, bugs taste really good

Before they know it, they could have a compelling reason why we should eat scorpions as appetizers instead of mozzarella sticks! Students can use these ideas in the same way they would support an argument more familiar to them.

Facts and Opinions

In order for your students to write persuasively, they need to understand the fundamental difference between facts and opinions. To start this activity, they can list their favorite things, such as sports, foods, animals and games. They can follow this up with one fact and one opinion about each. After they give their examples, explain how you can do the same in persuasive writing to strengthen an argument. For more on the importance of facts and factual support in persuasive writing, check out our chapter on writing arguments geared towards middle school students.

More Writing Tools From

We offer many writing resources you can use to supplement your curriculum, no matter what grade level you teach. Here are some examples:

Both you and your students can utilize the practice quizzes inside the courses to track how well they are progressing as writers, and the video lessons are a nice alternative to simple textbook learning.

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