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You can never really have enough writing prompts, right? Enjoy!
- Imagine you had a hundred dollars, but you couldn’t keep it. You had to give it away to a person or charity. Who would you give it to? Why?
- Imagine you woke up and saw a dinosaur in your backyard. Should you keep it or give it to a zoo? Why?
- Which is better: to be an only child or to have siblings? Why?
- Most parents don’t let their kids paint anything they want on their bedroom walls. Write a convincing argument to your parents explaining why you should be able to paint your bedroom however you want.
- Do you think a monkey would make a good pet? Explain why or why not.
- Imagine you worked at a football stadium. (examples: quarterback, cheerleader, coach, referee, ticket seller) Describe what you think is the best job and why.
- Describe your favorite season (fall, spring, summer, or winter). Convince the reader that your favorite season is the best.
- Imagine a company is choosing one kids to visit the moon. Explain why you should be chosen for the trip.
- What is the best superpower to have? Why?
- Imagine a scientist has developed a special potion to make people invisible, but he’s not sure he wants to let people use it. Write an argument convincing the scientist why he should or should not let people use the potion.
- Imagine you want to run for school or class president. Why should your classmates they should vote for you?
- What is your favorite room in your home and why?
- What is the best thing parents can do to their children?
- What three things are most important in your life?
- Which quality best describes your life–exciting, organized, dull–and why?
- Which quality do you dislike most about yourself–laziness, selfishness, childishness–and why?
- Which place would you most like to visit–Africa, China, Alaska–why?
- Which holiday has the most meaning for you-Canada Day, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day–and why?
- Which is least important to you–money, power, fame–and why?
- Which is most important to you–being popular, accomplishing things, being organized–and why?
- Which is your favorite Star Wars character (or other movie/book/t.v. show, etc.)? Why?
- Is it important to be honest? Why or why not?
- Is it important to have good manners? Why or why not?
- Is exercise important? Why or why not?
- Why is it wise to save your money?
- Think of the best teacher you ever had. Why were they a good teacher?
- Do you think there is too much fighting on t.v. Why or why not?
- Do you think it is necessary to spend money to have a good time? Why or why not?
- Does it bother you to be around someone who has bad manners?
- Should there be a dress code in places such as school, restaurants, and places of business? Why or why not?
- Families are important because…
- Would you like to be famous? Why (What would you like to be famous for?) or why not?
- What 3 things have a strong influence on your life?
- Where would you prefer to be right now–mountains, desert, beach–and why?
- Should you have to do chores around the house? Why or why not?
- Should you be required to wear a bike helmet? Why or why not?
- Should skateboards be allowed on sidewalks?
- Where do you think we should go on our class fieldtrip this year? Why?
- Should you have to take tests in school?
- Should cell phones be allowed in school?
- Can television (or videogames) influence your behavior? How?
- Should schools be year-round? Why or why not?
- Should junk food be banned from schools? Why or why not?
- Should students be required to learn a second language? Why or why not?
- What is the best time of day?
- If you could have been someone in history, who would you have been?
- If you could only take 3 people with you on a trip around the world, who would you take and why?
- If you could give any gift in the world, what would you give and to whom?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- If you received any sum of money as a gift, what would you do with it?
- If you could do whatever you wanted to right now, what would you do?
- If you were principal of this school, what would you do?
- If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?
- If you were five years older you would…
- If you were lost in the woods and it got dark, what would you do?
- If it were your job to decide what shows can be on t.v., how would you choose?
- If there were no rules, what do you think would happen?
- If you owned a store, what would you do to discourage people from stealing from you?
- If you could participate in an Olympic event, which one would you choose and why?
- If you could break the Guiness Book of Records it would be for?
- If you had to describe yourself as a color, which would you choose?
- If your friend told you of a secret plan to run away from home, what would you do and why?
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- Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.
- Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.
2. Drafting the Persuasive Essay
When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions:
- The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement. For example: “Driving while talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
- The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
- Each body paragraph should cover a separate point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer strong evidence in the form of facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-life examples.
The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing
- Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
- Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
- The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action. The closing sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that implies urgent action is needed, a question that provokes readers to think seriously about the issue, or a recommendation that gives readers specific ideas on what they can do.
3. Revising the Persuasive Essay
In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:
- Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
- Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
- Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
- Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
- Is the sentence structure varied? Is the word choice precise? Do the transitions between sentences and paragraphs help the reader’s understanding?
- Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?
If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.
4. Editing the Persuasive Essay
Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.
5. Publishing the Persuasive Essay
Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.
Time4Writing Teaches Persuasive Essay Writing
Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher. We first introduce essay writing to students at the elementary level, with our Beginning Essay Writing course, where they will have an opportunity to write their first five-paragraph essay. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing essays, including the persuasive essay. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. Time4Writing’s online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s progress with Time4Writing’s online writing courses.