5th Grade - Writing Persuasive Letters And Compositions

Writing persuasive letters and compositions
Write persuasive letters or compositions: State a clear position in support of a proposal. Support a position with relevant evidence. Follow a simple organizational pattern. Address reader concerns.
Be able to write a persuasive letter or essay based on a clearly stated opinion, supported with carefully selected details, organized in a logical way, and including answers to counterarguments.

Sample Problems


Of the common organizational structures (chronological order, logical order, cause and effect, and classification scheme), which is usually used to organize persuasive writing? (logical order)


What is the purpose of a persuasive letter? (to convince your reader to agree with your position)


What are some examples of persuasion you encounter in every day life? (newspaper editorials, political speeches, commercials, advertisements, billboards)


True or False: You should include any details or piece of evidence that comes to mind since the more you have, the stronger your writing will be. (false)


True or False: Asking rhetorical questions is a persuasive technique. (true)

Learning Tips



Persuasive writing–something intended to convince readers or change their minds.

Reader concerns- issues that occur to readers when they think about your topic; you need to mention those objections and how your solution overcomes them.


Persuasion Nation

You might be surprised at how many people and businesses are trying to convince you to do things every day. When you watch commercials, read a magazine, look at the ads in the newspaper, or read the billboards outside the car window, you see persuasion all around you. When you try to get your parents to let you do something, you are using it yourself.

Look for and find at least five persuasive pieces, such as a letter to the editor, a movie or book review, a commercial, or an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper. Then fill in the chart.

Title of Persuasive Piece

Where did you find it?

Who is trying to persuade you?

What do they want you to do?

Do you agree with them? Did they convince you?






Make It Real

Persuasive writing is a powerful tool for influencing others, getting what you want, and problem-solving. It teachers you to think about how to get their readers’ attention and be convincing and clear. Learning to write persuasively is a valuable, life-long skill.

The strongest persuasion comes when you believe in a cause. Try to write for a real purpose and real audience when you can.

Think of something you feel strongly about. What is the opposition to it? Who can you write a letter to in order to have an impact? Maybe you want to write a persuasive letter to the principal or school board to have something changed at school. Maybe you can write your congressperson concerning an issue you believe in. Pick something dear to your heart and write a letter about it. Then send it!


Persuasion Scrapbook

Create a scrapbook that showcases examples of persuasive texts including advertisements, commercials, speeches, etc. Analyze your samples like so:

  • Identify the effective persuasive techniques used in your samples (for a grocery store ad, you might note the strategies employed by stores to persuade shoppers to visit their store: sales, slogans, special incentives, etc.)

  • Give the sample a “grade” (A, B, C, F) based on its effectiveness.

  • Highlight specific examples of words or phrases that you think you could use in your own persuasive writing.

  • Make sure you can identify the supporting evidence given.


Fact vs. Opinion

It’s important to recognize the difference between facts and opinions. Persuasive writing usually contains both. Choose a persuasive text and highlight all the facts in one color and the opinions in another. Did the author try to make his opinion sound like a fact? What clues lets you know something is an opinion? Where can you go to verify facts?

Extra Help Problems


True or False: In a persuasive letter, you need to leave out weak or unrelated details. (true)


True or False: In order to learn about the context, structure, and organization of persuasive writing, it’s a good idea to read a variety of persuasive texts. (true)


True or False: For a persuasive composition, you need to state a clear position either in support of or against a proposal. (true)


True or False: To persuade, you should offer your opinion forcefully but without domineering. (true)


True or False: Effective persuasive text supports more than one position about an issue. (false)


True or False: Unlike a time-sequence structure in a personal narrative, persuasive text is organized to support a position with relevant evidence and answers to readers’ concerns. (true)


True or False: When we attempt to persuade others, we need to provide sufficient evidence to support our arguments. (true)


True or False: Strong evidence to persuade includes both facts and opinions. (true)


True or False: Facts can be proven to be true whereas an opinion can be supported but cannot be proven to be true in any absolute sense. (true)


True or False: You will write a more persuasive letter if you feel strongly about your position and topic. (true)


True or False: A persuasive letter should include all the elements of a letter, such as date, salutation, body, closing, and signature. (true)


True or False: A piece of persuasive writing usually ends by summarizing the most important details of the argument and stating once again what the reader is to believe or do. (true)


True or False: In your persuasive writing, you should explain what the consequences will be if the things you are listing aren't done. (true)


True or False: In your persuasive writing, you should include reasons from your perspective and from someone who thinks the opposite of you. (true- and then you counter the oppositions’ point of view)


True or False: When you are deciding which examples and details to include in persuasive writing, you should go with the most accurate and strongly supportive. (true)


An essay starting with the first line “All kids wish for…” will most likely be which kind of writing (narrative, informational, or persuasive)? (persuasive)


An essay starting with the first line “Do you want your daughter to be happy?” will most likely be which kind of writing (narrative, informational, or persuasive)? (persuasive)


An essay starting with the first line “You should have the best.” will most likely be which kind of writing (narrative, informational, or persuasive)? (persuasive)


True or False: To make your persuasive writing stronger, it’s helpful to study the techniques writers of commercials, editorials, and other real-life examples use to sway our opinion. (true)


True or False: In persuasive writing, you should choose to write on the first subject that pops into your head. (false)


True or False: In persuasive writing, word choice is important. (true)


True or False: In persuasive writing, you need to make sure you don’t have holes in your logic or counterarguments that you have not addressed. (true)


True or False: To be the most persuasive, you should not even mention any objections that those who disagree with you might bring up. (false)


True or False: In persuasive writing, you should have at least two strong reasons to support your opinion. (true)


True or False: In persuasive writing, it’s okay to rely only on your own opinions and experiences. (false)


True or False: In persuasive writing, you should make the reader guess what your opinion about the subject is. (false)


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