Essay Writing
Writing Process
Modes of Writing
Writing Process
 Budget your time.
 Understand the prompt.
 Plan your essay.
 Write a beginning, middle, and end.
 Revise and proofread.
 Rewrite clearly.
Budget your time
 Decide how much time you will spend on
planning your essay, writing your rough
draft, revising and proofreading your
rough draft, and writing your final draft.
 All four of these areas deserve equal
time because each step is important.
Understand your prompt
 Read the prompt carefully and make sure you
understand what it is asking you to do.
 Make sure you write the essay to answer your
prompt.
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Narrative – write a story that tells about an event or
a series of events.
Expository – write an explanation of something
giving specific details.
Persuasive – write persuasively giving convincing
reasons for your belief.
Plan your essay
 Before you begin writing, plan your essay.
 First – write down ideas about your topic.
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Make a list of all the information you know by
brainstorming.
Organize the ideas.
 Second – narrow and organize your ideas
before you begin to write your essay.
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Select the idea you know the most about.
Create a web to organize your essay.
 Third – begin writing your essay according to
your plan.
Write a beginning, middle, and
end
 Your essay should have three distinct parts: beginning,
middle, and end.
 Your first paragraph should be the beginning of your
essay.
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Narrative – setting and characters
Expository – thesis statement including all parts of the
essay.
Persuasive – thesis statement including all points of the
essay.
 The last paragraph should sum up or close the essay.
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Narrative – conclude the story.
Expository – explain all points.
Persuasive – give all convincing reasons.
 The paragraphs in between should give the “meat” of
your essay.
Revise and Proofread
 Once you finish your rough draft, DO
NOT STOP!
 Make sure your transitions flow, sentences are
clear and varied, and sentences contain precise
language.
 Ask yourself these questions:
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How can I make this essay better?
Will the reader understand what I am trying to say?
Does this essay flow from one idea to another?
Have I included unnecessary or off topic
sentences?
Have I used correct English?
Rewrite Clearly
 After revising and proofreading, rewrite
your final essay.
 Be sure to include all the corrections you
made on the rough draft.
 Write the final draft clearly so that it can
be easily read.
Modes of Writing
Understanding the Prompt
Narrative
 Narrative writing tells about an event or a story
with the person telling the story being the
narrator.
 A narrative prompt will ask you to tell about an
event or time.
 You should always include setting (time and
place), sequence of events, and chronological
order.
 Key words – “TELL ABOUT A TIME” or “WRITE
A STORY ABOUT”
Think of a time from your early childhood that made a lasting
impression on you and write a story about what happened.
Be sure to include precise details.
 When my sister and I were
growing up, my
grandmother always had
chickens, turkeys, and
guineas in her backyard.
She usually kept them
penned up, but sometimes
she let them out to peck in
the dirt. One day my sister
discovered they were not as
harmless as they looked.
She was reading on
the back steps and not
paying attention to the yard
birds. Suddenly she felt
something land on her head.
As she began screaming…
 I remember making peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches
every day after school when
I was younger. I loved
peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches because they
were tasty and easy to
make. I made my sandwich
when I came home from
school every day.
The first thing I did to
make my peanut butter and
jelly sandwich was to get out
all the ingredients and
utensils that I would need. I
pulled out the peanut
butter…
Understanding the Prompt
Expository
 Expository writing explains or informs by
giving reasons, information,
explanations, or steps in a process.
 Expository writing should clearly explain
the topic.
 Expository should always include a main
idea, sufficient supporting details, and a
conclusion.
 Key words – “EXPLAIN” or “HOW TO”
Think about things you like or dislike about your school
rules. Explain how you feel about some of these rules. Be
sure to give specific examples and/or reasons to explain
your opinion.
 We need school rules
because they are important.
Rules help to keep us safe
and promote responsibility.
They should be designed to
benefit all students and to
help the school be a better
place to learn. However,
some of the rules we have
do not fit into either
category, and they need to
be changed. If I could
change some of the school
rules, I would change the
tardy rule, the book bag
rule, and the fifteen minute
rule.
 On Monday morning last
week, I got to school as
usual and was listening to
the end of my favorite song
on my CD player in my car.
I had only been there a few
minutes when an assistant
principal opened my door to
my car and told me that I
could not sit in the car once
I got to school. I tried to
explain to him that I was just
listening to a CD, but he got
all huffy and told me to get
out of my car and go to the
office.
Understanding the Prompt
Persuasive
 Persuasive writing is designed to persuade.
 The goal for this type of writing is to influence
the actions or thoughts of others by giving
examples, reasons, or opinions.
 To be effective, persuasive writing must provide
a clear position on an issue and then include
logical reasons and/or examples that fully
support that position.
 Key words – “CONVINCE” or “PERSUADE”
You have been dreaming of a car of your own for several years and have
saved most of the money to make your dream come true. Since you will be
a junior in the fall, you would like to start the school year by driving to
school in your new car. Write a letter persuading your parents to help you
buy a car of your own. Be sure to include convincing reasons and specific
examples in the writing.
 Dear Mom and Dad,
I need your help. I
want to buy a car, but I don’t
have enough money of my
own to buy the one I want. I
realize that owning a car
would be a big responsibility
for me, but it is one that I
readily accept. Having more
responsibility will make me a
better person and allow me
to prove that I can handle
important obligations. If you
will help me to buy the car, I
will take full responsibility for
servicing and maintaining it,
buying gas, and paying
required fees involved in
owning a car.
 Dear Mom and Dad,
My friend Johnny just
got a new car, and it is really
cool. The car is a red
Mustang with a new paint
job and new leather
upholstery. The car is not
new, but it is new to Johnny.
He took me for a ride, and it
was fun. The car is also a
convertible. We had the top
down until it started raining,
and we had to stop to put
the top up. One of the
snaps that is supposed to
hold the top came off, and
Johnny got really wet driving
home. I would love to have
a car like this.
Define each as Narrative,
Expository, or Persuasive
N
 ____Think
of an incident when you were proud
of yourself. Tell the story of what happened and
include the details and results.
P
 ____
Some friends are going to the beach for a
week this summer and have invited you. There
will be no adults going, so you need to convince
your parents to allow you to go. Write an essay
giving your reasons to persuade them.
E
 ____
Think about a time when you did
something that you knew was wrong. Explain
the reasons you did it anyway.
Define each as Narrative,
Expository, or Persuasive
E My first day of high school was awful for several reasons.
 _____
I kept getting lost because I did not know the buildings. I was
late to classes and was embarrassed to enter late. I spilled my
food on my new top and had to walk around all day with that
spot. I did not know what to expect, and everything seemed
wrong.
N I heard the sound when I woke that morning. I lay in the
 _____
bed and tried to decide what it was. I had never heard it before,
so I decided to get out of bed and investigate. I went into the
bathroom to take a shower, but when I turned on the water, the
sound got even louder.
P Smoking should be illegal in restaurants and other
 _____
enclosed areas. Because second-hand smoke is more harmful
to those who inhale it than the actual act of smoking is to the
smoker, it should not be allowed, especially in buildings.
Allowing smoking in enclosed areas is the equivalent to signing
the death warrants for those who are forced to inhale the toxic
fumes of others.
Writing On Topic
 It is very important to understand what mode
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you are writing in, but it is just as important to
stay on task or topic.
First, ask yourself what the prompt wants you to
write about.
Second, keep that the focus of your
brainstorming and planning.
Third, write your essay making sure you are
doing what the prompt ask of you.
Finally, revise to make sure you have taken out
any sentences that get off task or topic.
Think of a time from your early childhood that made a lasting
impression on you and write a story about what happened.
Be sure to include precise details.
 I will never forget the
Christmas of 1994 when I
was only eight years old.
My older sister, younger
brother, and I had been
wanting bicycles for months.
We made our wishes for
Christmas clear often. I
even remember our
discussing it during
Thanksgiving dinner;
however, the day after
Thanksgiving something
happened to make us forget
about our material desires
for Christmas.
 Growing up was fun for me
because I came from a large
family with many sisters and
brothers. As the third of
eight children, I was very
proud of my family. A family
as large as ours was
unusual in our fairly small
town. Our unusual last
name added to our being
well-known in our town.
Think about things you like or dislike about your school
rules. Explain how you feel about some of these rules. Be
sure to give specific examples and/or reasons to explain
your opinion.
 At my school, we have
many rules for students to
follow. We have rules telling
us what we can and cannot
do in the classroom. We
have rules telling us what
we can and cannot do in the
halls. We even have rules
telling us what we can and
cannot do outside the
school building on the
school grounds. Of all these
rules, I do not agree with the
rules that tell us what we
can and cannot do in the
halls and on school
grounds.
 Out of all the rules at our
school, the ones that I
dislike the most concern the
dress code. We should be
allowed to dress any way
that we like. The dress
code does not allow us to
dress individually and
express our creativity. I
think most teachers would
agree that creativity is
important and should not be
suppressed. Just think
about what would happen if
students could no longer be
creative.
You have been dreaming of a car of your own for several years and have
saved most of the money to make your dream come true. Since you will be
a junior in the fall, you would like to start the school year by driving to
school in your new car. Write a letter persuading your parents to help you
buy a car of your own. Be sure to include convincing reasons and specific
examples in the writing.
 Dear Mom and Dad,
Since I have been
saving my money for so
long to buy a car, I hope you
will agree to help me. I
don’t have quite enough
saved yet, and I would be
forever in your debt if you
will help me buy the car I
want…I have worked very
hard to save the money, and
I will continue to work to be
able to pay for the upkeep
on my car. I will be very
responsible and buy my own
gas and oil…
 Dear Mom and Dad,
I really want a car. I
have saved my money, but I
don’t have enough. My
friend Susie got her parents
to help her buy a car. Susie
has proven to be a really
careful driver. She obeys all
the traffic signals and is
careful to look both ways
before pulling out into traffic.
She got a job, and I want to
get a job too. A job would
help me buy the things I
want and need so I want
have to be dependent on
you…
Select the correct
essay that stays on
topic
Think of good friends and qualities they have. What are the important
characteristics you look for in a friend? Explain the most important qualities
a friend should have. Remember that you need to give clear reasons for
you choices and use specific details in your response.
 Friends are important to
everyone. A friend is
someone who keeps my
confidences. She would
not repeat things I have
told her to others. When
I am talking to a friend, I
do not worry about what I
am saying. I should be
able to say what I think
and how I feel. I do not
tell others what my
friends tell me, and I do
not want them to share
my feelings to others…
 Friends are special
people, and I pick mine
carefully. A friend does
not have to be perfect,
but there are some
important qualities they
should have. A friend
should be someone who
can listen, someone who
is positive, and someone
who is loyal…
Much has been discussed and written about whether wearing
seatbelts should or should not be required in private vehicles.
Write and essay to persuade occupants of private vehicles that
wearing seatbelts should be mandatory. Remember to give
convincing reasons and specific details to support your opinion.
 Wearing seatbelts should
 Wearing seatbelts should
be required in all private
vehicles because they
keep all the occupants
much safer during an
accident. Wearing
seatbelts keeps the
occupants from being
thrown from the car and
being killed by something
outside the car…
be required, but I cannot
stand them. They do not
fit properly, so they are
grossly uncomfortable.
Seatbelts are constructed
so that they fit too close
to my neck, and they
have rubbed me raw by
the time I get to my
destination.
Understanding the prompt:
Purpose, Audience, and Language
 Purpose – Writing always has a purpose:
to entertain, to inform, to persuade.
 Audience – Who is reading what you are
writing.
 Appropriate Language – Formal
language is the type of language you
use in writing. Conversational English is
not acceptable in written English.
Appropriate Language
 Uses complete sentences
 Uses complex sentence structure and
proper punctuation.
 Uses correct spelling and standard
words.
 Does not usually contain contractions.
 Uses clear, precise words.
Acceptable Standard English
 Another vicious fowl was my grandmother’s
bantam rooster. He was a tiny rooster, but he
had big, sharp spurs on his legs, and part of his
legs were covered with feathers. He did not like
anyone buy my grandmother. He would try to
flog anyone who got separated from
Grandmother while he was loose in the yard.
My sister was terrified of the rooster. When she
went into the yard, she would hang onto the
pocket of my grandmother’s apron. However,
she loved to collect feathers…
Informal Language
 Another bird mean as a snake was my
grandmaw’s bantie rooster. He has big
old spurs on his legs. Part of his legs
was covered with feathers. He didn’t like
noboby but Grandmaw. He’d try to get
everybody while he be loose. My sister
were scared to death of him. When she
had went in the yard she would hang on
grandmaw. One day she was fixin to
pick up a feather…
Correct the following
sentences.
 I won’t go to the bask your homeboy is
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throwing.
I didn’t expect to lay eyes on you when I got
back.
He’s no dummy’ he’s got lots of smarts.
What up?
When he run in front on the car, we had thought
that dog was a goner.
Y’all come to see us.
If I come by McDonald’s, will you hook me up
with chow?
I ain’t going nowhere with you.
Planning an Essay
 Brainstorming using a web.
 Brainstorming using a list.
 Narrowing the details.
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The magic number is three.
Expository – Three good details or examples that
explain your topic.
Narrative – Three main events to form your story.
Persuasive – Three good reasons supported with
examples or data.
Think of a time from your early childhood that made a lasting
impression on you and write a story about what happened.
Be sure to include precise details.
Grandparent’s
house
Christmas
morning
Childhood
memory
Summer
vacation
Going fishing
Think about things you like or dislike about your school
rules. Explain how you feel about some of these rules. Be
sure to give specific examples and/or reasons to explain
your opinion.
Dress Code
Signing out
Early
Lunch
School Rules
Parking
Tardies
You have been dreaming of a car of your own for several years and have
saved most of the money to make your dream come true. Since you will be
a junior in the fall, you would like to start the school year by driving to
school in your new car. Write a letter persuading your parents to help you
buy a car of your own. Be sure to include convincing reasons and specific
examples in the writing.
Writing a Narrative
Introductory Paragraph
 For a narrative essay, you want to give general
information that leads into your story, or you may choose
to use the introductory paragraph to begin your story.
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Leading – I have many pleasant memories of growing
up.
Beginning – One autumn day, I got the idea to play cops
and robbers when I found two really long sticks in the
woods behind my grandparents’ house.
 The next sentences should tell more about the student’s
memory.
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I have many pleasant memories of growing up. Most
center around playing at home with my brother and
sister.
Writing a thesis for your narrative
introductory paragraph.
 The last sentence of your introductory paragraph should
be your thesis statement.
 A thesis statement is the controlling idea for the entire
essay.
 To write a thesis statement, you must first determine the
focus of your essay.
 For a narrative, the thesis should introduce the story that
will follow in the remainder of the essay.

I have many pleasant memories of growing up. Most
center around playing at home with my brother and my
sister. My favorite memory is the time we used the sofa
and chair cushions to build pretend houses.
Read each prompt and decide
which is an appropriate thesis
statement.
 Think about things you regret – what you did or
did not do and how you wish you could redo
them. Pick one incident and write a story about
what happened. Be sure to narrate an event or
series of events and include specific details in
your response.
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I broke an important promise to my best friend
when I did not get up early to go help him.
I wish I had not said what I did and hurt her
feelings.
Most people do things that they wish that they had
not done.
 Think about a time someone helped you
in some way. Write a story about what
happened. Be sure to include specific
details in your response.
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My sister helped me many times when I
was in need.
They all came together in a van to my
house.
My mother helped me make the dress
even though she was sick.
Writing the Body Paragraphs
for a Narrative Essay
 For your narrative essay, it is important that you
narrate an event or a series of events by telling
what happened with a time frame.
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First body paragraph will tell what happened first.
Second body paragraph will tell what happened
second.
Third body paragraph will tell what happened third.
 You may have as many body paragraphs as
you need to tell the story. Just make sure you
are on topic.
 Use specific examples and details of the story.
Writing a Conclusion Paragraph
for a Narrative Essay
 The conclusion should give the reader a sense
of completion.
 For a narrative, a simple conclusion finishes the
story.
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We had so much fun playing in our houses and
using our imagination that we did not want to quit.
When it was time for dinner, our mother made us
put the cushions back where they belonged.
Reluctantly, we obeyed, but we all looked forward
to the next time when we would be able to swipe
the cushions from the sofa and chairs to build more
pretend houses.
Characteristics for a Narrative
Essay
 Must include a beginning, middle, and ending.
 Introduce your characters in the first paragraph.
 Use clear, specific details about one event or
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series of events.
Second Hole Rule - Don’t reveal the big
moment until the second hole of your paper.
Use transition words throughout to move
smoothly between each scene.
Use dialogue.
Use SMILEY FACE TRICKS!!!!
Transition Words for Narrative
Essays
 After, before, since, during, finally, later,
when, until, next, immediately, suddenly,
as soon as, at last, on Tuesday, last
month, yesterday, by afternoon,
meanwhile, afterward, while, at once,
first, second, once.
Smiley Face Tricks
 Magic 3 – Three examples in a series.
 Figurative Language – Similes, metaphors,
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personification.
Specific Details – Sensory descriptions.
Repetition – Words chosen to make a point.
Expanded Moment – Expand the actions or
details.
Humor – Funny details can add spice.
Hyphenated Modifiers – Different way to
describe.
Full Circle Ending – Wrap up the paper using a
phrase from the beginning of the paper.
Your Turn – Write a narrative
essay
 Think about a time when you were
afraid. Using precise details, write a
story about the incident.
Your turn – Write a narrative
essay
 Think about something you desperately
wanted when you were younger. Write a
story telling what you wanted, why you
wanted it, and whether or not you were
fortunate enough to receive it. Include
precise details.
Your turn – Write a narrative
essay
 Think back to a time when you were
younger. Write a story narrating a time
when you were “bad” and were punished
for it. Be sure to include specific details.
Final Draft
 You have written three
narrative essays, and they
have been peer reviewed.
 Select the best one to edit
and revise to turn in for a
test grade.
 Writing checklist
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 Writing Checklist
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Did I stay on topic?
Does my essay tell a
story?
Did I write a thesis
statement?
Did I include characters?
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Did I include specific
details?
Do I have a clear
beginning, middle, and
end.
Did I write the story in
order?
Did I use transition
words?
Did I check for grammar
problems?
Did I use SMILEY FACE
TRICKS?
Did I write clearly?
Writing an Introductory Paragraph
for an Expository Essay
 The first sentence in an
expository essay can be
very general or very specific
including a detail about the
prompt.
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We need school rules
because they are
important. (General)
Our school has too many
rules for students to
follow. (General)
Rules are necessary in a
school setting, and the
dress code is an
important part of the
school rules. (specific to
prompt)
 The next sentences should
give more information the
reader needs to know and
transition into the thesis.

We need school rules
because they are
important. Rules help to
keep us safe and
promote responsibility.
They should be designed
to benefit all students and
to help the school be a
better place to learn.
However, some of the
rules we have do not fit
into either category, and
they need to be changed.
Writing a thesis for your
Expository Essay
 In your expository thesis statement, you should narrow
your ideas to three. (one for each body paragraph)
 Make sure to list your three ideas in the thesis, which
should be the last sentence in your introductory
paragraph.
 We need school rules because they are important.
Rules help to keep us safe and promote
responsibility. They should be designed to benefit
all students and to help the school be a better place
to learn. However, some of the rules we have do
not fit into either category, and they need to be
changed. If I could change some of the rules, I would
change the tardy rule, the book bag rule, and the
fifteen-minute rule.
Read each prompt and decide
which is an appropriate thesis
statement.
 Think of a favorite movie or television program.
Explain which movie or program you liked and
give specific reasons why you enjoyed it. Be
sure to support your reasons with specific
details.
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My favorite television program is Survivor because
I like to watch different types of people interact with
others.
My favorite movie of all time is Crocodile Dundee.
I did not like the movie Spirit because it was
childish, slow, and animated.
 Think about winning a million dollars in a lottery
and what you could do with all that money.
Explain what you would do with a million
dollars. Give one or more examples of what
you would do and support with specific details.
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The second thing would be to buy a large new
house.
A million dollars would make me so happy.
With a million dollars, I would build a new house,
buy a new car, and donate to the animal shelter.
Writing Body Paragraphs for
an Expository Essay
 For every point in your thesis, you should have
a body paragraph.
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First paragraph – tardy rule
Second paragraph – book bag rule
Third paragraph – fifteen minute rule
 Use specific examples and details.
 Stay on topic – use your thesis as your guide.
 Keep a logical order.
 Least important to most important.
 Most important to least important.
 Make sure the order in your thesis is the order you
follow in the body paragraphs.
Writing a Conclusion for an
Expository Essay
 The conclusion ties together what you have
already said.
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Summarize by restating your thesis and main
points. (Do not repeat your thesis word for word)
Explain why the points or events are significant.
 Schools must have rules to function properly, but
the rules need to be fair and impartial to all
involved. The rules for tardiness, book bags, and
missing fifteen minutes of a class do not fit in the
fair and impartial category. They need to be
changed so that only the students who abuse the
rules are the ones who are punished. Everyone
should not be punished for the abuse of a few.
Characteristics for a
Expository Essay
 Clearly identified subjects
 Use a specific organizing structure to provide
logical flow.
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Least important to most important
Most important to least important
 Use specific examples and details to explain
your point.
 Integrate quotations, facts, and statistics into
the text if relevant.
 Show connections among facts and ideas with
transition words.
 Use smiley face tricks
Transition Words for
Expository Essays
 First, second, third, finally, also, in the
same way, likewise, on the other hand,
in the meantime, although, even though,
for this reason, in fact, to emphasize, as
a result, therefore, due to, all in all,
additionally, for example, for instance,
next, in addition, another, besides,
moreover, as well as.
Your Turn – Write a Expository
essay
 Think of good friends and the qualities
they have. What are the important
characteristics you would look for in a
friend? Explain the most important
qualities a friend should have.
Remember that you need to give clear
reasons for your choices and use
specific details in your response.
Your Turn – Write a Expository
essay
Think about the funniest person that you
know. In your essay describe this
person and explain what makes them
you choice as the funniest. Be sure to
support your examples with details
Your Turn – Write a Expository
essay
 Think about a job or chore that you hate
to do. Explain the job or chore and why
you hate it. Be sure to give specific
details.
Final Draft
 You have written three
 Writing Checklist
expository essays, and they
have been peer reviewed.
 Select the best one to edit
and revise to turn in for a
test grade.

 Writing checklist





Did I stay on topic?
Does my essay explain?
Did I write a thesis
statement?
Did I write my ideas in
order of the thesis?





Did I include specific
details?
Do I maintain my point of
view?
Did I use one clear
controlling idea?
Did I use transition
words?
Did I check for grammar
problems?
Did I use SMILEY FACE
TRICKS?
Did I write clearly?
Writing an Introductory Paragraph
for an Persuasive Essay
Writing a thesis for your
Persuasive Essay
Read each prompt and decide
which is an appropriate thesis
statement.
Writing Body Paragraphs for
an Persuasive Essay
Writing a Conclusion for an
Persuasive Essay
Characteristics for a
Persuasive Essay
Transition Words for
Persuasive Essays
Your Turn – Write a
Persuasive essay
Your Turn – Write a
Persuasive essay
Your Turn – Write a
Persuasive essay
Final Draft
 You have written three
 Writing Checklist
persuasive essays, and they
have been peer reviewed.
 Select the best one to edit
and revise to turn in for a
test grade.

 Writing checklist





Did I stay on topic?
Does my essay explain?
Did I write a thesis
statement?
Did I write my ideas in
order of the thesis?





Did I include specific
details?
Do I maintain my point of
view?
Did I use one clear
controlling idea?
Did I use transition
words?
Did I check for grammar
problems?
Did I use SMILEY FACE
TRICKS?
Did I write clearly?
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