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Teacher Tips and Answers

Reading a Persuasive Paragraph and Essay

Before you write your own essay, you can read a persuasive paragraph and essay that others wrote. As you read, think about how the writers put ideas together and how you might support an opinion in your essay.

Reading a Persuasive Paragraph

A persuasive paragraph has three main parts. The topic sentence states the opinion. The body sentences support the opinion with reasons. The ending sentence restates or emphasizes the opinion.

Sample Paragraph

Listen to "Overcrowded Schools"

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Overcrowded Schools

Topic Sentence:
Overcrowding is one of the biggest problems facing today's schools. To start, crowded hallways lead to tardiness and wasted class time. Students struggle to get from class to class when they have to dodge their way through crowded hallways. And when students are late, teachers lose out on time for teaching. Body Sentences Cafeterias are too crowded, too. Lunch lines are so long that some students have to make the choice between eating or being late for class. Going to class hungry or anxious won't put any student in the right mind to learn. Finally, crowded classrooms make it difficult for teachers to manage teaching and discipline. Meanwhile, students lose out on individual attention when teachers have to deal with so many other students. Ending Sentence Until schools solve the overcrowding problem, students and teachers will continue to suffer.

Respond to the paragraph.

Answer these questions about the paragraph. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. What opinion does the writer develop?

    Overcrowding is one of the biggest problems facing today's schools.

  2. What three reasons does she give to support the opinion?

    Crowded hallways lead to tardiness and wasted time.

    Crowded cafeterias force students to make tough choices. 

    Crowded classrooms overwhelm teachers and limit learning opportunities for students. 

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