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WJEC Writing Exam
Transcript of WJEC Writing Exam
How It will work...
You could be asked to review a number of things. Example questions include:
1.Write a review of a book, film or music album of your choice.
2.Write an entry for a guide book about a place you know well, including details about obvious as well as less obvious sights. You can be both positive and negative.
3.Write a review of a recent television programme you enjoyed.
Examples of Report questions:
1.Your school council has asked you to write a report on ICT facilities in your school. Your report is to be presented to the head teacher.
2.Write a report on the effectiveness of transport facilities in your area.
3.Write a report and recommendations for the local council on facilities/ activities available for teenagers in your area.
4.There is a lot of debate about the use of mobile phones in schools. Write a report for your head teacher about how they should be handled in your school.
Headline or article title:
Keep it short
Make it catchy
Give an idea of what the rest of the article will be about.
Introduction of the article:
Give a brief outline of the subject
Keep this section to a few initial ideas and sentences
Main body of the article:
Try to answer all the reader’s questions like ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’
Make each paragraph relevant to the subject or the title of the article
Add plenty of detail so your reader fully understands you
Answer the important points in this section
Conclusion of the article:
This should always be at the end
Give a summary of the article
Give recommendations/overview linked to introduction.
Examples of leaflet questions:
1.Write a leaflet designed to attract teenagers to a theme park.
2.Write a leaflet persuading students at your school to buy and eat more fruit and vegetables.
3.Write a leaflet telling new Y7 pupils what they need to know about their new school.
4.Write a leaflet for eleven to twelve-year-olds, encouraging them not to start smoking.
PLAN your speech before you write it in the same way you would plan all of the other formats!
Opening statement: Where you highlight your issue.
Developing points: 3 - 5 points (paragraphs) to explain what needs to be done and why it is so important.
Closing statement: Where you make a final appeal to your audience.
Your speech will probably be a persuasive task, so make sure you include persuasive devices such as Rhetorical Question, Rule of Three, Metaphor and Direct Address in your speech.
What will they ask me?
Two questions - 30 Minutes on each (5 mins plan, 20 mins write, 5 mins check)
Year 7 - 1 question. 10 mins plan, 40 mins write, 10 mins check.
Format - either:
Purpose - either:
Plan, Plan, Plan!!!
P - Purpose - Advise / Persuade / Inform / Argue / Explain / Entertain? THINK OF LANGUAGE AND TECHNIQUES.
A - Audience -
Gender? Age? Social Status? Educated? Experienced?
S - Structure - Letter / Report / Article / Speech / Review / Leaflet. How are they set out? THINK OF HOW THEY LOOK ON THE PAGE.
T - Tone - Formal / Informal
Chatty? Sophisticated? Authoritative?
5 - 7 - 5
First 5 - Think of 5 things that you are going to say.
4 positive / 1 negative OR vice-versa depending on which view you are going to take.
E.g. Is fame a good thing?
For arguing/persuading YES -
1) Children look up to you / Role Model
2) Pay / Money
3) Attention - everyone knows your name
4) Influence - can change things
5) (remember - opposite view!) No privacy
E.g. Is fame a good thing?
For arguing/persuading NO -
1) No Privacy
2) Short-lived; fall from fame
3) Fame for no reason - talentless!
4) People judging you / thinking they know you
5) (remember - opposite view!) Money.
THESE WILL BE THE PARAGRAPHS FOR YOUR RESPONSE
YES - YOU DO NEED TO MAKE ONE.
5 - 7 - 5 = The Seven.
7 sophisticated words that you know how to spell!
5 - 7 - 5 = Second Five.
Rule of Three
Fact / Opinion / Opinion as fact
Simile / Metaphor
Assonance / Consonance
Paragraphing for effect
Now number your points in 5 with techniques and words. STICK TO YOUR PLAN!
If you have time, write a 6th paragraph summing up your ideas.
What if I run out of time?
MOVE ON TO THE NEXT QUESTION!
Each question is worth 20 marks.
By the time you are 3/4 paragraphs in to your answer, you will have already picked up a lot of the marks. By finishing it, you might pick up a few more...
BUT if you don't start the next question, the most you can get is 20 out of 40.
Formal or informal?
These are examples of questions for letter writing. Which are formal and which are informal?
1.You have a friend who has decided to run the London Marathon. Write a letter to your friend, giving your opinions.
2.A local hotel owner is advertising for part-time staff. Write a letter applying for the job.
3.Write a letter to the local council, persuading them to support a recycling project of your choice.
4.Your aunt and uncle have won some money on the National Lottery. They send you a cheque for £500. Write a letter of thanks to them, including details of how you intend to spend the money.
Now it's your turn!
Remember - PAST - 5 - 7 - 5.
You only have 5 mins to plan, 20 mins to write and 5 mins to check. THEN MOVE ON!
Rating – Stars
Picture / caption
Hook paragraph – clear opinion
Info - starring, director, run time (make an educated guess!)
Main body (bit) of review
Give your opinion and COMPARE!
Compare the film to something else!
Comparatives: bigger, better, louder, funnier
Compare to others the actors have been in
Compare to others the director has produced
Compare to others of the same genre
Similes / Metaphors (related to the subject of the film if you can)
Alliteration (esp in headlines to grab attention)
Superlatives – magnificent, biggest, best
Using the semantic field of the topic
- E.g. for Finding Nemo = Fish: hook, sea, ocean, shells, wave, tide (tidal), Poseidon's realm, marine
to create puns / word play. E.g. You need to dive into this fun-filled adventure.
Exaggeration / hyperbole – make it sound AMAZING or REALLY, REALLY RUBBISH.
Mostly informal. Try to entertain as well as persuade – make it funny / sarcastic / ironic (sarcasm works best if you are writing a negative review)
Task - 30 Minutes.
Finding Nemo’ has been re-released in cinemas in 3D; write a review for ‘The Sun’ newspaper.
- points to help:
- Released 2003, re-released now in 3D.
Stars Albert Brooks (Marlin), Ellen Degeneres (Dory), Alexander Gould (Nemo).
- Won an Oscar in 2004 – Best Animation Feature.
Reports are formal
Usually 3rd Person
You need an introductory paragraph - an overview of the report's topic
Write as conclusion with some recommendations on how to improve
Needs to be accurate and detailed
Rules for formal Writing:
Make it polite - please/thank you
No slang/chatty (colloquial) language
Use ambitious vocabulary
Use sophisticated connectives - therefore, consequently, however
Address the person you are writing to in full e.g. Mr Smith, not 'bob'
Writing a Film Review:
1) Film title. You could also include a star rating here.
2) Introduction: what you expected from the film
3) Genre: what type of film is it? Does it have a message?
4) Plot: what happens in the film? Does the plot make sense? Is it easy enough to follow? Is it believable?
5) Characters: Who are the main characters and what are they like? Who are the actors playing these parts, and are they good in the parts?
6) What is the camerawork/ animation like? If there are special effects, what are they like? Are there beautiful scenes?
7) Did you enjoy the film? Why/why not? What were its good and bad points?
Write about a scene you particularly enjoyed or remembered. Why was it good/ memorable?
Would you recommend this film? To what sorts of people? Why?
8) Are there any other films you can compare this film to?
Title: This should sum up what the report is about.
Introduction: This should summarise:
What the report is about.
Why you have been asked to write it.
How you went about researching it.
What your report intends to do.
Main Body: This section should contain the findings of your report.
Think about including:
Statistics to back up your points.
Opinions from people involved in what you are writing about.
Any details on what has been done already to solve the problem you are writing about.
Whether whatever has been done already has been effective or not.
This section should include any suggestions you have for how the problem can be solved and should be based on the findings you included in the main body of your report.
These recommendations should:
Be written in a bullet-pointed list.
Be brief and direct.
Solve the problems you wrote about in the main body of your report.
Explain how each recommendation solves these problems.
Conclusion: This section should summarise your report and its findings.
Finish on a positive note. You need to be able to convince your readers that the problems can be solved by the recommendations you have made.
Keep your conclusion brief.
1. Write an article for a travel magazine about a place that you think would be good to visit for a holiday.
2. Write a magazine article, aimed at families, on activities and entertainment in your area.
3. Write an article for your school magazine entitled ‘Sporting opportunities in this school’.
4. Write an article for a teenage magazine entitled ‘Eating in Britain today’.
Your AUDIENCE is really important when writing articles - it will change how sophisticated your language needs to be - e.g. teenagers compared to 'posh' newspaper readers! Read the question carefully to think about whether you need to inform, persuade or advise etc. Use the language techniques associated with that particular purpose.
Don't waste time putting your writing into columns or drawing pictures - it is a WRITING exam, not a media layout one! Paragraphs are needed though, so section your work with them (or subtitles).
What heading will you give your leaflet?
Try to make it: Memorable Direct Interesting Eye-catching
Try to use techniques like: A question A direct statement Alliteration
What picture will you use to support your heading?
Just indicate what the picture will be DO NOT WASTE TIME DRAWING!
What are the main features of what you are advertising/arguing for?
Summarise the main points
Keep it brief and direct
Use descriptive/emotive language
Use positive descriptions and intensifiers
What additional details do your audience need to know?
Use persuasive language
Use factual details
Use other people’s opinions to persuade your audience
Use (suitable) exaggerations to persuade your audience
How can your audience find/get involved with your product?
What images are you going to use throughout your leaflet?
Think about: Your audience, Your product/cause
AGAIN DO NOT DRAW – JUST SAY (WRITE) WHAT WILL BE THERE.
Will be persuade, advise or inform.
Again, don't draw pictures or write in columns. Use headings, sub-headings, bullet points etc - anything that is QUICK!
Examples of questions you might get asked include:
1. Write a speech that will be delivered to your class entitled 'Should mobile phones be allowed in school?'
2. A local business sponsored you to visit a town of your choice. On your return you have been asked to tell them about your trip. Write about what you would say.
3. A local radio station has asked for extended contributions from listeners on lowering the legal drinking age to 16. Write what you would say.
Writing To Argue
Writing to Advise
Writing to Inform
Writing to Explain
Writing to Persuade
"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Martin Luther King - I have a dream...
Winston Churchill’s speech ‘we shall fight them on the beaches’ is one of the defining speeches during the second world war. It uses the technique of repetition to very good effect.
4 June 1940
“I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.
At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation.
The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
Step 1- List of words….
Objects: Parrot Cake Igloo Clown Cheese Salad
People: Jay-z Nick Clegg The Queen
Events: Extreme eating competition Fire Landslide Rehab
Places: Paris Hotel The zoo
Step 2- select at random from the list
Step 3- write an effective intro that addresses the 5ws (Where, When, What, Why, Who) in approximately 50 words or less.
Rapper Jay-z made an interesting addition to his ever growing accolades yesterday, when he became the newest champion of “Le Chompe” the renowned Parisian eating competition in the famed restaurant “Le Troffe.”
Step 4 peer assess- check spelling, punctuation, content, tone etc…
Step 5 continue to write article
Extreme eaters were surprised to see an A-list addition to their competition, when unbeknown to organisers a contestant registered only as “Shawn Carter” (the star’s real name,) transpired to in fact be, infamous rapper-Jay-Z.
Writing to explain: example
Below is an account for a repair firm, explaining the nature of a fault and what needs to be done. Spot the techniques which are specific to writing to explain.
There appears to be a problem with the gas supply to the recently fitted oven in the kitchen.
The gas hobs
These generally work okay when only one or two are used at once, however if you use all four hobs, they tend to spit and crackle, creating a health and safety risk. I have tried several different combinations in an effort to get the cooker to work effectively but every time I try something I end up getting burnt. This actually means that some food ends up being eaten cold, as it is impossible to cook everything simultaneously.
The gas oven
Another problem is the oven itself. It seems as if there isn't enough gas getting through the pipes. When it is first lit, the hissing sound of the gas is quite loud, whereas when it has been on for 15 minutes or more the hissing dies down and it sounds like it is about to go out. You can see the obvious concerns with gas leaking if the flame goes out.
I would appreciate a written report of the problem and would either like the oven fixed or a replacement oven brought in before the end of the week.
Identify the techniques from the above text:
Topics broken down
Evidence to support points
Connectives of comparison
Giving reasons why or how something is the case.
Clear paragraphs (where, when, why, how, who) - different points expanded and linked
Give range of reasons
Easy to read layout
Address the reader
Use simple, present tense
Use facts and examples to support
Telling your reader about the subject.
Easy to read layout
First or third person
Connectives to make it clear and coherent
Mostly facts ( and opinion in personal text)
Rhetorical questions to engage reader
Bullet point summaries may help
Phrases to use:
The most important aspect... Moreover... Sometimes... Despite the view that... On the other hand... Notwithstanding... Firstly... Research shows that... Secondly... The evidence clearly shows that... Thirdly... Another factor to be considered is... However... Opponents declare...but... Nevertheless... On balance...
Some other features:
- formal language
- balanced sentences
- people's opinions
- specific examples of situations
- range and variety of points
- countering opposing points of view
- a neat conclusion
Phrases to use:
Because... The first thing to do is... Another reason... Later on... Although... Ultimately... Nevertheless... Contrary to popular belief... The most important... As a result... Above all else... Consequently... Despite the fact that... Inevitably...
Writing to inform
To inform means to give facts to another person.
If you were informing someone about a job, you should:
Use straightforward language to convey essential information. For example, what is involved in the job?
Give the readers a bit more information. For example, what is interesting about the job and what you enjoy about it?
Remember you are giving information. Imagine that someone asked about your job because they are thinking they might like a similar one.
When writing to inform, make sure language is clear, factual and impersonal. Use short and clear sentences. Break up the writing with diagrams, illustrations, pictures and subheadings.
Writing to inform: example
Read through the following recipe and spot the techniques which are specific to writing to inform.
Chocolate chip cookies recipe
1.Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Chop the chocolate into chunks and put to one side.
2.Heat the butter in a small saucepan gently until it has melted. Meanwhile, put the two types of sugar into a mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter on top of the sugar and beat well with a wooden spoon.
3.Add the egg and the vanilla and beat until well blended.
4.Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl and stir them in, then add the chopped chocolate.
5.Dot heaped pudding spoonfuls of the mixture over the lined baking sheets.
6.Wearing oven gloves, put the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are just turning golden brown.
7.Leave them to harden for a couple of minutes before eating.
Identify the informative features in this recipe
Short, clear sentences
Reader addressed as 'you'
Writing to explain
To explain means to make clear, show the meaning or to account for.
When explaining, you should remember:
who you're writing to
why you're writing to them, eg "being fair is a good quality in a carer because..."
Writing to explain is generally in the third person and in the past or present tense. Use clear and factual language. Give a balanced view with evidence for any points made. Use connectives of comparison, eg whereas, though, while, unless, equally, however.
Writing an argument for GCSE English is different from arguing with a friend. You should write a balanced and rational argument, less passionate or emotional than if you were writing to persuade. You should take opposing views into account in your response.
Write a letter to your Local Education Authority arguing for or against compulsory school uniforms for all pupils.
2) First 5: In writing to argue, you should show balance, which means considering different views. It helps to sketch out a table and think of 3 - 4 points for each side.
Uniform looks smarter than casual clothes
Students don't have to waste time worrying about what to wear each day
If a student is lost or hurt outside school, they can be identified easily
Uniforms create a sense of belonging and pride
Uniform can be expensive and the costs can spiral with students constantly growing
Uniform stifles freedom of expression and breeds uniformity
Uniform can lead to school rivalries when walking home
Uniforms deprive students of their individuality
Rhetorical questions are good for making the reader think eg "Do uniforms really create better citizens?" Keep these to a minimum though.
Emotive language appeals to the readers' emotions. It can help convince them.
Always counter opposing views politely.
An argument concerns an issue about which people, quite reasonably, hold different views. During the process of presenting your argument you should show that you recognise that opposing views exist.
Example letter arguing against school uniforms
Dear Mrs Andrews
I am writing because you chair a committee in charge of the compulsory wearing of school uniforms. I am a student at Brinsley High School, a friendly and successful school where uniforms are not worn.
I believe that there is good evidence that wearing school uniform is now outdated. I fully understand that uniform looks smarter than casual clothes and that this might attract parents on Open Day. However uniforms are expensive and forever need replacing as students grow. This poses a real worry to financially stressed families. This is made worse by the fact that the uniform is only available from an expensive school shop rather than from inexpensive and competitive retailers.
It's true that wearing uniform means students don't spend all morning choosing what to wear or beg parents for clothes that will impress their friends. However there is another side to this argument: uniforms breed uniformity. We are a culturally diverse nation and if we all dress the same, this encourages us to be the same. At Brinsley High, we are encouraged to express our individuality, yet this seems to be in conflict with the message enforced uniform sends to us.
A big argument in favour of uniform is one of safety. We are easily identifiable and this can be very useful if there is an accident. This appeals to parents who are always worried about new dangers facing us. But could it also be that wearing uniform can bring potential problems? Two friends of mine have been bullied while walking home just because their school uniform identified them as being from a "rival" school. Surely, you wouldn't want this to happen to one of your own children?
In conclusion, I can fully understand the motivation for making students wear uniform to look smart, to worry less about wearing the right clothes and also for safety. However, I hope I have shown that there is another case to be made. School uniforms can be a burden to parents with less money and to students identified as being different. They also stifle a sense of freedom and self-expression. I believe this rule is outdated and is in many ways illogical. It needs to change.
A year group at school has decided to hold an event to raise money for the British Red Cross. You have some experience of doing this and need to prepare some information offering advice to the event planners.
You should include:
the type of event that will work well
how to plan the event
what targets to set
how to avoid problems
how to look after the money
REMEMBER - Offer advice - DO NOT persuade or argue!
To the fundraisers in year 10.
We heard you're planning to raise money for the British Red Cross. That's a great idea! We planned a fundraiser when we were in year 10 and thought you might like some advice.
1. An event that works
You need to get as many people as possible to give money, so think about an event that includes the whole school, staff as well, and maybe even the parents.
Last year, we sold sandwiches, pizza and cakes at break time from the school canteen. Lots of people came and bought food, including parents.
You could also think about:
a non-uniform day
collections in assembly
a sponsored event
2. Planning the event
It takes longer than you think to plan an event, so think about doing it next term. If you do a sponsored walk, for example, you'll need to:
organise and distribute sponsorship forms
allow students long enough to collect sponsors
do the walk
allow time for the money to be collected
3. Set a target
How many people do you want to involve? How much money do you want to raise? Probably the answer to both these questions is LOADS, but if you're too ambitious it will be harder to organise.
Try to set an amount of money that you want to raise, keep it realistic, only huge organisations such as Comic Relief can raise millions. Then think about how many people you would need to raise £10, for example, for you to reach your target. If you decide to raise £200, then you need 10 people to make £20 each. Is that too hard, or too easy?
4. How to avoid problems
You'll need a detailed list of what needs to be organised. The easiest thing is to appoint one person to be in charge of each section. You need to make sure that you have regular meetings, so everybody knows what's going on. Setting some deadlines would be a good idea because it makes sure everyone gets on with their job. Maybe you could ask a form tutor to sit in on your meetings so that they don't get too out of control.
The main thing is to be ORGANISED.
5. How to avoid money problems
Once you have raised the money, you won't want to lose it! Last year, we asked one of the administrative staff to be in charge of collecting it. You will have to ask nicely! They will need a list of all the people who collected money so they can be crossed off once they have given it in. The school will write a cheque to your charity once all the money is collected.
Good luck with it. We had really good fun last year when we did our cake sale and raised £200!
Form x, year 11.
Whatever form your writing takes, the examiner will be looking for a good rapport (relationship) with your reader/audience. Use "you" and "we" to make it personal and involve yourself in the problem.
Make it clear that the problem you are advising on is current, real, relevant and worthy of consideration. E.g. 'I worry about my appearance, you worry about your appearance - we all worry about our appearance. Each time we pick up a magazine we are faced with images of perfect faces, perfect bodies, perfect everything. What can we do to regain a sense of perspective, a sense of reality - a sense of self-control?'
Explain the problem to show why it's happening.
If appropriate to your audience, use informal, even chatty, English to create a friendly empathic tone.
Make suggestions that are genuinely achievable and helpful.
Give reasons why the advice is worth taking or what the consequences could be.
Refer to outside sources of reliable advice such as specialists or university research (make this up for the exam - this isn't a test of your knowledge of the subject but of your writing skills).
PERSUASION AND ARGUMENT - what's the difference?
Okay, so you've been asked to write to persuade. But what's the difference between persuading and arguing? Well... not a lot! In fact, you'll be creating two very similar styles of writing. This is because they are both writing that has a similar purpose, that of seeking to influence. But, you've guessed it... there are key differences that the examiner looks for and knowing about these will help push up your marks and help you towards a higher grade!
When you set out to persuade someone, you want them to accept your opinion on an issue: you want to change that person's mind to your way of thinking. To do this, you will - just as with 'writing to argue' - be presenting a form of written argument; but when you are trying to persuade, your argument is expected to be more passionate, even more one-sided than the far more balanced presentation of views typical of "Writing to Argue". This is because persuasion is based on a personal conviction that your way of thinking is the right way.
This does not mean you should ignore your opponent's views - far from it. That's a sure fire way to 'put their back up' if ever there was one! And lose marks! You're looking only for success and high marks. Are you persuaded yet? Read on...
When writing to argue, you're expected to take account of opposing views and find ways to counter and overcome these, mostly through the use of well-reasoned points. This is because when you are asked to argue, you need to show you have recognises that other equally valid views exist on the subject.
This difference means that when you write to persuade, you can afford to be:
more one-sided and personal.
more passionate and emotional.
more reliant on rhetorical language and devices.
Triple (Rule of 3)
Imagery - Metaphor, Simile, Personification.
Opinion as fact
Use what are called discourse markers (i.e. 'argument sign-posts' such as, for a start..., on the other hand..., therefore..., to continue..., as you can see..., however..., but..., to conclude...).
Write a letter to your headteacher in which you try to persuade him or her to invest in an Internet connection for the school.
10 Some Road
Mr F Jones
AN 20 3AN
2nd June 2002
Dear Mr Jones
At home the other evening while I was 'surfing the 'Net' , I came across some information in an article that amazed me. Apparently 95% of schools in this country are now connected to the 'World Wide Web' . Mr Bleer, our prime minister, was quoted in the article. This is what he said, 'I have a vision for schools in this country. And this vision includes helping schools to recognise the importance of this revolutionary form of communication...' . I was so fascinated by the article that I almost forgot the reason I was using the Internet in the first place - to help with my English revision. You see there are so many excellent sites these days - even from 'The Guardian' and the BBC - that help students get higher grades in their GCSEs.
Oh, but I forgot - I haven't introduced myself yet or said why I am writing. I am sorry. My name is John Brown and I am a fifteen-year-old student at your school in Year eleven. I am in Mr. White's tutor group and I wanted to write to you to suggest some reasons why I think our school should be included in this figure of 95% of schools connected to the Internet. You see I am passionate about this new technology - even more passionate, I think, than our prime minister (do you know, I have read that he doesn't even know what HTTP means?). I know that many adults feel ' left out in the cold' by what is happening with all this new technology and some of them think that youngsters such as me have found yet another way to waste a few more hours. But no. I think that I can show you that the Internet can help us both achieve something we need: higher grades for all of the students of Anyschool. And the way we can do this is to make sure our school connects all of its computers to the World Wide Web.
You see, once we are connected to the Web, one of the first benefits would be... ... ... ... [continued...]
JOHN F KENNEDY, American president, inaugural speech
January 20, 1961
'So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring the problems that divide us.
Let both sides join to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tape the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah - to 'undo the heavy burdens ... and let the oppressed go free'.
Now the trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need - not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, 'rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation' - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.
Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, north and south, east and west, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?
In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, and the devotion which we bring to this endeavour will our country and all who serve it - and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow-Americans: ask not what your country will do for you - ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow-citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you but what together we can do for the freedom of man.'
Vary your sentences! Simple, compound & complex.
Paragraph / subtitle - put into sections.
Punctuation - even semi-colons!
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