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WE 203 Writing Persuasive Letters

Teacher Tips and Answers


Page 203

Writing Persuasive Letters

© Thoughtful Learning 2024

What do you know that needs to be fixed? Is there a drafty window in your classroom? Is there a drippy faucet in the restroom? Does the park need new backboards and nets on the basketball court?

Of course, all of these things can be fixed. It’s just a matter of having the right tools. It also requires convincing others to help. Sometimes a persuasive letter is just the right tool to get things done!

What’s Ahead

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Parts of a Business Letter

Read about the following six parts of a basic business letter. Then see these parts in action in the business letter on page 204.

1. Heading 🟪 The heading includes the sender’s address and the date. Begin an inch from the top of the page at the left margin.

2. Inside Address 🟪 The inside address includes the name and address of the person or organization you are writing to. Place it at the left margin, four to seven spaces below the heading. If the person has a special title, such as park ranger, include it after the person’s name. (Use a comma first.)
  Mr. Martin Jones, Principal

3. Salutation 🟪 The salutation (greeting) should begin on the second line below the inside address. Place a colon at the end of the salutation. If you know the person’s name, write it:
  Dear Principal Jones:
If you don’t know the name, use clear, fair language:
  Dear Principal:
  Dear Sir or Madam:
  Dear Mitchell School:

4. Body 🟪 The body is the main part of the letter. Begin this part two lines below the salutation. Do not indent. Double-space between paragraphs.

5. Closing 🟪 Write the closing at the left margin, two lines below the body. Use Sincerely for a business letter closing. Always place a comma after the closing.

6. Signature 🟪 End your letter by writing your signature beneath the closing. If you are using a computer, skip four lines and type your full name. Then write your signature above it.

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Sample Persuasive Letter

Writing a persuasive letter is very much like writing a persuasive essay, but it follows the business-letter format. Densel Clemens worked with his classmates to create this persuasive letter for other students.

1. Heading 146 S. Kendrick

Burlington, WI 53100

April 19, 2024


2. Inside Address Dyer Elementary School

146 S. Kendrick

Burlington, WI 53100


3. Salutation Dear Fourth and Fifth Graders:


4. Body We’ve all enjoyed field trips to the School Forest, some a little too much. When our class went out this week to tap maple trees to make maple syrup, we found a lot of trash on the trails. There was also vandalism in the picnic shelter, and some of the picnic tables need repair.

That’s why Mrs. Dawson’s fifth-grade class is sponsoring a Spring Clean at the School Forest on Saturday, May 4, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. We all want a clean forest, and so we need students and parents to come to 4369 Highway J to help clean.

The day will be fun out in the woods, and we have many different ways that you can help:

  • Picking up litter along the trails

  • Painting parts of the picnic shelter

  • Repairing picnic tables

  • Fixing a fallen section of fence

  • Refilling the bird feeders

  • Planting flowers

  • Raking leaves

Imagine how much nicer the School Forest will be to visit in the future!

Please take this letter home to your family and show it to them. Ask if they will come with you to the School Forest for our cleanup day. Ask any handy family members to bring along their tools to help fix up the tables and fence. Also, encourage your friends to come, too. It’ll be fun to hang out with friends as we help.

Remember, the School Forest belongs to all of us, and we all need to take care of it. That way, we can enjoy it for many more field trips.

Come join us for Spring Clean at the School Forest, 4369 Highway J, from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 4!


5. Closing Sincerely,


6. Signature Densel Clemens

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Writing a Persuasive Letter

Prewriting Planning Your Letter

Select a Topic 🟪 When you decide to write a persuasive letter, you will probably have a topic or issue in mind. It will most likely be an issue that you have a strong opinion about.

Topic: If you need to choose a topic, you will want to focus on a specific issue or problem—one that is important to you and those around you.

  • We need to work together to clean up the School Forest.

  • Our school should allow us to take more field trips.

  • We should choose a mascot for our school.

Audience: Once you’ve chosen a specific problem or issue to write about, you need to decide who will read your letter. You need to choose a person or group who can help solve the problem.

  • Other students in your school and their families

  • The school principal or school board

  • A teacher or member of the community

  • A parent or a parent group

Argument: All issues or problems have two sides. Otherwise, there would be no argument. You need to think about the arguments, opinions, and reasons on both sides of the issue. That way your opinion will be an “informed” opinion, and it will be more likely to convince people.

  • Consider all the reasons your opinion is the right one.

  • Consider some of the reasons people would disagree with you.

  • Choose the reasons and details that together make up the best argument.

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Prewriting Gathering and Organizing Details

List Your Details 🟪 List all of the details you think you might want to use in your letter. (You don’t have to use all of the details in your list.)

—The trails of the School Forest have a lot of litter.

—Part of the fence is falling and needs to be fixed.

—We need to paint over vandalism in the picnic shelter.

—Some picnic benches need to be repaired.

Writing Developing the First Draft

Beginning 🟪 Introduce the topic in the first part of the letter and then let the reader know why you’re writing. You can do this by telling a story, asking a question, or sharing background information.

Middle 🟪 The middle part of your letter should summarize the issue or problem and offer solutions. Each paragraph in your letter should cover one part of the problem, one of the solutions, or one of the benefits. Use transition words to tie your paragraphs together.

Ending 🟪 At the end of your letter, you will want to repeat your main point and tell your readers what they can do to help.

Revising and Editing

When you’ve finished your first draft, revise it using the following questions. (Use the checklist on page 66 to help you edit your letter.)

_____ Does my beginning clearly introduce the topic?

_____Does the middle of my letter explain the problem or situation and include solutions?

_____Does my letter move smoothly from start to finish?

_____Does my voice sound polite and sincere?

_____Do I follow the business-letter format?

_____Does my ending offer next steps?

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