What a title! Right?
How does that POST TITLE make you feel?
⇛A little defensive?
⇛A bit too personal?
⇛Eager to protest?
And, how does it make me sound - as the writer?
As the month is coming to a close, we are wrapping up our ARGUMENTATIVE WRITING COURSE.
My students are amazing. Perhaps I am biased. I'm okay with that accusation.
Indeed, though, their essays are quite impressive. And this generation gives me great hope for our global well being. These are bright, hard-working, eager-to-learn children.
This month we practiced strengthening our more formal, academic voices.
That meant leaving the personal pronouns out of things. Sounds relatively easy, right?
Not so much.
However, it is easy enough for us to teach our children how to make a few subtle and simple changes. These suggestions can take any child's writing to a whole new level.
Let me share an example.
This talented and bright student decided to take on the topic of young children and their cellphone use. She claims that the negative impacts of cellphone use outweigh the good. She has some excellent evidence to support her claim.
And, yet, it is not as convincing as it could be. Why?
Well, it sounds too personal and informal. Taking the time to teach this young writer a few simple strategies made all the difference.
What you are about to read is her closing paragraph. She did a fantastic job of restating her thesis. She threw in the opposing viewpoint. As well, she has a clear call to action. That is ALL wonderful! And, yet, we made it even better by ditching those personal pronouns.
I really hope that you are reconsidering a cellphone for your child for the sake of development, friendship, and learning. Yes, there are a few okay reasons, but you can see unpleasant reasons outweigh the good ones. You should think twice before making this expensive investment.
It is time to reconsider purchasing cellphones for young children. A child's development, social skills, and learning are all negatively affected. There are benefits linked to cellphone use, but for children, those are outweighed by the many unpleasant ones. Think twice before making such an expensive investment for any young child.
Are you able to hear AND feel the difference between these two paragraphs?
The first paragraph feels more informal, directly personal - even accusatory!
The second paragraph invites the reader to agree with the writer and join the team.
In an argumentative writing piece the goal is to bring the reader to our side of the argument. If we put our reader on the defense, we may lose that opportunity.
So, how might you take this writing tip and place it in your lesson plans this week?
Need some ideas?
Write On! That is exactly what I offer.
VISIT US at WRITEONWEBB.COM and join our ever-growing, fun-loving community of young writers.
Author: Melissa Webb
CA Credentialed Teacher