Analysing short written persuasive texts

Help your students to write effective persuasive texts by teaching them to analyse the texts written by others.
If you were to share the following short text, for example, you could ask them to identify where (and why) the writer uses repetition, statistics, examples, modal language, and both positive and negative language:
Where would you rather live – in the city or in the country? I think it’s definitely [modal language] better to live in the country.
For a start, you are free of all that dreadful [negative language] traffic. Traffic not only causes pollution [negative language], but it also causes stress. [negative language] You should [modal language] live in the country if you want a clean [positive language] environment and a relaxed [positive language] lifestyle.
Secondly, you are more likely to know your neighbours if you live in the country. As well as being your friends, neighbours also provide help when you need it. In the city, you are more likely to be lonely [negative language]. You are more likely [repetition] to have to look after yourself if you are in trouble.
Sixty per cent of people [statistics] in a recent survey said that they would much rather live in the country. They love the trees, the fresh air and the open space. [example/positive language]
People who have moved from the city to the country [expert opinion] are usually loudest in their praise of their new home. They don’t regret their decision for one minute.
I’ve never [modal language] lived anywhere else, and I never [modal language and repetition] want to!

Have students use this writing as a model to write a persuasive piece that argues the opposite point of view. Their challenge is to incorporate each of the persuasive devices.


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