Why is Persuasive Writing in Years 7-10 Important in the English Curriculum?
Persuasive Writing is part of the English curriculum for Years 7-10 and forms the basis for writing and analysing topics that students will go on to perfect in Years 11-12 as AOS2 Analysing and Presenting Argument. An important aspect of good writing is to follow a process that will lead to understanding your topic, identifying the important points in your main contention and stating your opinion clearly and assertively in body paragraphs.
The best structure for an essay is a straight forward one:
- Introduction = to introduce the issue / state the main contention / introduce supporting reasons that will be covered in the essay
- Body paragraphs = each paragraph should use the TEEL structure and start with the most important reason in your supporting reasons and follow with next reason in the next body paragraph (at least 3-4 good body paragraphs)
- Rebuttal = choose one of the most important reasons that are the opposite view point to your main contention and point out the errors in the argument
- Conclusion = sums up your argument and refers your reader back to the topic covered in your main contention. Do not bring up new evidence or develop an opinion contrary to your main contention otherwise you might contradict yourself.
TEEL – What is it?
Teachers stress all throughout Years 7-10 the correct structure for an essay is to use TEEL for your body paragraphs which enables students to have a clear focus in their essay writing.
T = Topic sentence
E = Evidence/Examples (quotes)
E = Explanation
L = Link
So lets look at a Sample Persuasive Essay Topic and the Process needed to complete the essay.
Write a persuasive essay on this topic: Do you think secondary school students should work part-time?
- Research your information = Many secondary school students work part-time after school. Studies have shown that students can work up to 10 hours a week without affecting their school work. However, if they exceed these hours their school work may suffer.
- The questions are =? Does combining school and part-time work affect school work and post-school outcomes?
- Brainstorm your ideas using the fish-bone diagram, think of facts, consequences and solutions, decide on your main contention
- List points for and against to make sense of which side the arguments fall
- Identify appropriate examples grouping them in common themes, think about what is logical evidence
- Decide which is the most persuasive order to present your topic sentences, start with the most important reason
- Summarise your contention, write your introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.
Have a look at my Draft Plan for answering the persuasive topic:
|What is the issue?||Much debate has been raised by parents and teachers questioning whether combining school and part-time work affects secondary students’ school work and post-school outcomes.|
|Defining key terms||Studies from the National Centre for Vocational Education have shown that students can work up to 10 hours a week without affecting their school work. However, if they exceed these hours their school work may suffer.|
|Main Contention||Each student who chooses to work part-time has a unique set of circumstances and reasons for wanting to work. Some students need to work part-time to help support their family. Provided that the part-time work hours are not excessive, students can benefit from their working experience. However, it is important to balance school commitments and part-time work so that working does not affect future post-school outcomes.|
|Supporting Reasons||Research from the National Centre for Vocational Education has shown that students can work up to 10 hours a week without affecting their school work. Working part-time helps students to achieve personal goals and can offer a break from school work. Part-time work gives students greater financial independence to earn their own money to pay for their clothes and other items that they would have asked their parents to provide. More importantly, part-time work can allow students real world experience dealing with people, customers, their boss, time management and financial responsibility which gives them confidence in future. Working part-time also enables students to decide what type of job they want to do as a future career further motivating them to get better grades at school in order to gain a high ATAR for a university degree.|
|Rebuttal||The Bureau of Labour Statistics in the US suggests that students who held a job in high school spent 49 minutes less on their homework than on the days they worked. The research showed that if students spent 30 minutes more on homework, say studying maths, they could increase their maths ability by 2 grades higher. Students who work more than 10 hours per week part-time can lead to students falling asleep in class because of long work shifts the night before. The result is that students cannot keep up with school assignments on time and then their grades inevitably suffer. The affect of working more than 10 hours part-time can lead to students falling so far behind their school commitments that they consider dropping out of school. The result of this action is that their post-school future is in jeopardy.|
|Summing up sentences||It is imperative that secondary school students should carefully consider their options before taking on part-time work. It should be noted that not all students’ circumstances are the same. However, it is important to balance school commitments and part-time work so that working does not affect future post-school outcomes. Moreover, provided the hours are not excessive, students can benefit from their part-time working experience.|