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Teacher Tips and Answers

Prewriting for Persuasive Essays

Prewriting is your first step in writing a persuasive essay. These prewriting activities will help you select a topic to write about, develop an opinion statement, and gather and organize your reasons and details before you begin a first draft.

Prewriting to Select a Topic

For your own persuasive essay, you need to select a debatable school issue that you feel strongly about. A debatable issue has differing opinions. For example, few people would debate the need for education, but many would debate the idea of extending the school year.

Brainstorm topics.

Complete the sentence starters to consider issues about school life that you have strong feelings about. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

One thing I'd like to change about our school is . . .

(Answers will vary.)

One problem I see often at our school is . . .

(Answers will vary.)

One way we could make school better for all students is . . .

(Answers will vary.)

One cause, sport, or activity I wish our school would take part in is . . .

(Answers will vary.)

Select a topic.

Share your topic ideas with one or two classmates to find out which ones they like. Also ask yourself which topics you feel most strongly about. Put a star (*) next to the topic for your persuasive essay.

Prewriting to Develop an Opinion

To write a convincing persuasive essay, you need to feel strongly about your topic. These activities will help you develop your opinion of the topic.

List your thoughts.

Answer the questions below to consider what you know and want to know about your topic. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

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