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Teacher Tips and Answers

Prewriting for Promotion Essays

Prewriting is your first step in writing an essay to promote your cause. 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

The topic of your persuasive essay should be a worthy cause. For example, suppose the school band needs more instruments. In this case, a worthy cause would be to figure out how to get more instruments for the band.

Brainstorm topics.

Under each category in the chart, jot down worthy causes that you feel strongly about. A sample topic appears under each category. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

Animals

Environment

Community

Sports

School

Poaching

 
 
 
 
 

Clean water

 
 
 
 
 

Community theater

 
 
 
 
 

New equipment

 
 
 
 
 

Band instruments

 
 
 
 
 

Animals

Poaching

Environment

Clean water

Community

Community theater

Sports

New equipment

School

Band instruments

Select a cause.

Consider your possible choices of causes to promote. Ask yourself: How strongly do I feel about each cause? Why do I support it? Would my reasons persuade other people to support the cause, too? Then choose a cause to write about.

The cause I will write about is . . .

(Answers will vary.)

Prewriting to Research Your Topic

You can begin researching your cause by exploring your thoughts and feelings about it. You should also think of convincing reasons to persuade others to support the cause.

Explore your topic.

Answer the following questions about the cause you would like to promote. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. Why is the cause important to me?

    (Answers will vary.)

  2. How will supporting the cause make a difference?

    (Answers will vary.)

  3. What do I already know about it?

    (Answers will vary.)

  4. What reasons can I give others to support the cause? (List three reasons.)

    (Answers will vary.)

    (Answers will vary.)

    (Answers will vary.)

  5. What else do I need to find out?

    (Answers will vary.)

  6. Where can I find out more about my topic? (List three places.)

    (Answers will vary.)

    (Answers will vary.)

    (Answers will vary.)

Conduct research.

Find out more about your topic, exploring the three resources you listed above as well as any other useful sources that you can find. Take notes on the information you discover and the place that you find the information.

Prewriting to Create an Opinion Statement

Your promotion essay should clearly state your opinion. Remember that an opinion is different from a fact. Facts can be proved true or false.

Students need instruments to be able to play in band.

(This fact is obvious since bands consist of students playing instruments.)

Parents and friends should contribute unused instruments to our band program.

(This opinion can't be proven directly but can be supported with convincing reasons.)

Sort out opinions and facts.

Read each sentence and identify it by writing "Opinion" or "Fact" in the space that follows it. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. Giant pandas are an endangered species.

    Fact

  2. More animals need endangered species protection.

    Opinion

  3. Some school cafeterias serve breakfast as well as lunch.

    Fact

  4. All school cafeterias should serve breakfast as well as lunch.

    Opinion

  5. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the best screen adaptations of any novel.

    Opinion

  6. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is set in Middle-Earth.

    Fact

Create an opinion statement.

Review the formula for creating an effective opinion statement. Then write an opinion statement for the cause that you want to promote. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

Topic

+

Opinion

=

Opinion Statement

Band instruments

 

Donate unused (but usable) ones

 

Parents and community members with unused but usable band instruments should donate them to the school band program.

  1. What is your topic?

    (Answers will vary.)

  2. What is your opinion about the topic?

    (Answers will vary.)

  3. Create an opinion statement that names your topic and provides your opinion.

    (Answers will vary.)

Prewriting to Outline Your Argument

After you write your opinion statement, you should list reasons that support it. Each major reason can be the focus of a body paragraph in your essay. Together, the opinion statement and reasons form an outline for your first draft.

Opinion Statement

Parents and community members with unused but usable band instruments should donate them to the school band program.

Reason 1

More students want to play in band than can afford to rent or buy instruments.

Reason 2

Instruments do no one any good sitting in closets gathering dust.

Reason 3

Band teaches focus, teamwork, listening, and math as well as music.

Reason 4

Donating used instruments is much better than running fund-raisers to buy new instruments.

Outline your argument.

Write your opinion statement and then list supporting reasons in the order that seems best to you (most to least important, least to most, or logical). Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. Opinion Statement

    (Answers will vary.)

  2. Reason 1

    (Answers will vary.)

  3. Reason 2

    (Answers will vary.)

  4. Reason 3

    (Answers will vary.)

  5. Reason 4

    (Answers will vary.)

This lesson is a part of the Promoting a Cause unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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