Persuasive texts for NAPLAN 2

Structuring an argument

To create a persuasive text, students have to present a series of arguments in a logical order.  AS an example, let’s use the sample from the NAPLAN website. Here is a link.

http://www.naplan.edu.au/writing_2011_-_domains.html

Students are given a proposition to consider. It is a statement of opinion or point of view called a THESIS:  Reading books is better than TV

Students have to agree or disagree with the THESIS.  They have to agree that books are better, or disagree and argue that TV is better.  Let’s try agreeing for now. Imagine that we have come up with four arguments in favour of the thesis:

·         most TV shows are not good for you

·         watching too much TV is bad for your health

·         reading books has an educational benefit

·         books are easy to access and free – from library.

Each argument should be presented as a paragraph. There are many ways to teach paragraph structure. Here is one way using the mnemonic (memory device) PEEL. This visual of banana peel can remind you.

 

PEEL

PEEL

P

Point – make your main point in the first sentence. This is the topic sentence.

E

Expand and elaborate – explain what you mean in more detail.

E

Evidence and examples – support your statement with facts, evidence and examples.

L

Link your point back to the thesis statement.

Here is an example: Point – underlined; Expand – in italics; Example/Evidence- in bold; Link to the thesis – final sentence.

Most TV shows watched by young people have little benefit or educational valuePopular TV shows are light entertainment and they do not develop any literacy skills or knowledge about the world that might be helpful for a young person’s future. The most popular TV shows for teenagers are reality shows like The Biggest Loser and Big Brother, or sit-coms like Two and a Half Men. As a result, these TV shows are not as beneficial or valuable as reading books.

In my experience, students can be taught this structure quickly and easily.  While it is not the only persuasive paragraph structure, it is a good one to start with. When students build their argument -writing skills, they can develop and adapt this structure.

In the next blog, there will be more language skills for the persuasive NAPLAN text and I will give you more examples of arguments for and against the thesis.

Trish

 

 

 

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