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Crescendo to the Strongest Persuasive Reason
april 16, 2017
Persuasive writing requires students to provide reasons to back up their opinion/thesis. Those reasons belong in the middle of the writing and follow an intentional order.
In the past, you may have encouraged writers to start with their best reason first. But with this rule, the reasons that follow weaken and fizzle by the end. A more persuasive approach would be to leave the reader pondering your final and best reason.
One way to convey this idea to students is with the Persuasive Planner. Show students how to fold the graphic organizer to allow them to focus on the meat of the piece—the middle. Explain how to rank the reasons, determining which one is the number one best reason. Which one will resonate with the audience best? That one should be saved for the end of the body.
After identifying the weakest reason, show students how to bury it in the middle slot of the 2, 3, 1 order. This organization allows students to build and crescendo to the best reason, the clincher. It provides a strong ending and a perfect transition into the conclusion.