Writing to argue, persuade, advise


 S Structure  P


 A Audience  R Register and Tone  L  F

Language Form

 C Content

 Strong beginning: e.g. punchy statement, anecdote,

rhetorical question
 Well-organised group of 3 or 4 central paragraphs,

each one introduced by a clear topic sentence
 Strong ending  Contrasts: if appropriate, deal with negative points

before proceeding to positive points

 Use connectives (therefore, moreover,

and so we see that, furthermore, however)
 Triplets: groups of three – e.g. “This idea

would be desirable, beneficial and entirely feasible.”
 Rhetorical questions

 Bear in what the question has told you to

do and what you should be achieving in your writing.
 Your purpose should be clear throughout

the writing task: advise, argue, persuade, explain, analyse, review etc

 Make sure your writing addresses the

target audience and is appropriate. Address their concerns.
 Possible audiences: your class,

Headmaster, parents, readers of local paper, MP, younger children, old people etc
 Tone and language must be chosen with

your audience in mind

Register and tone
 Formal or informal?  Verbs in full or shortened verbs (e.g.

can’t or cannot; I’m or I am)?
 Always be polite  Try to ‘see’ the target audience: this

should help you adopt the right tone
 Inject some ‘personality’ and ‘authority’

 Wide-ranging, accurate vocabulary  Variety, precision, should be appropriate

for task
 Connectives, triplets, figurative language

(personification, similes, metaphors, alliteration, repetition)
 Sentence structure: variety of longer

sentences with shorter ones. Control.

 Letter  Speech  Article  Leaflet  Talk  Review  Diary entry

 Plan carefully your 3 or 4 main points  Negative points contrasted with positive

 Examples  Factual information  Anecdotes/personal experience  If appropriate, see other point of view and

deal with it


Fireworks: time for a total ban?
Yes Let’s bring an end to the dangers of fireworks, and impose a total ban on the things once and for all. This newspaper has already highlighted how a new law banning the sale of dangerous fireworks to children is being ignored by some shop owners in Greater Manchester. Even organised displays aren’t safe, as was proved last night, when people, including children, were injured at a display in the West Midlands.

Fireworks: time for a total ban?
No Talk of banning all fireworks is an over-reaction. It is true that people are hurt by them, but nothing can be made completely safe these days, not even crossing the road. For many years fireworks and bonfires have brought lots of enjoyment to generations of people in this country. It is one winter’s night when everybody gets out and about and has fun. Banning fireworks would put a lot of people out of work, for one thing. And you could hardly ban on fireworks without forbidding people to build bonfires. How could such a ban be imposed?

Why nuclear power is not the answer
 One of the biggest mistakes that the present

government could make is to put its faith in the future of electricity created by so-called ' clean' nuclear power. Even twenty years after the event, the name of what was otherwise a small backwater of a town in south-western Russia remains burned onto our minds: Chernobyl. Tens of thousands of people from that town and its surrounding area are reminded daily of the potential of nuclear power. Not the potential to create cheap electricity but the potential to create suffering and illness.

Computer Games
Paragraph 1 Fellow students, how many of you enjoy playing computer games? Many of you I imagine! Many young people – and for that matter, some adults too – own a PlayStation, Xbox… and so on. But just how much time do you – and they – spend twiddling a joystick or tapping away on a controller? How many of you will develop eye strain, a bad back, repetitive strain injury? It isn’t just the physical damage, however; there is damage to the mind as well, and sometimes to society itself.

Computer Games
Paragraph 2 It isn’t all bad, of course. Some computer games are harmless, enjoyable, even educational. But not even the most ardent fan could claim that “Vampire Revenge Bloodbath” (or whatever the latest violenceobsessed game is called) is healthy. We have all seen newspaper stories about the loner, who stabbed an innocent bystander because they “saw it in a film”. The same thing applies to games. The virtual world could fuse with the real one and the dazed and pixeldrugged addict could cause another needless death. The victim is a matter of chance – a stranger, a friend, a member of your own family.

Computer Games
 Paragraph 3

In addition, if a supposedly rational grown-up can be corrupted by violent scenes played on a small screen, what about children? Every day parents are buying games to keep their children occupied. Fine. But do they checked the rating? Not always. Primary children, no older than eight or even less, can be killing virtual enemies for hours on end, making them more inclined to be violent to anyone who crosses their path. Now you are too sensible and mature to be influenced, but children are impressionable. A child is not ready for an 18rated war game – and who wants their child believing it is fun to kill?

Computer Games
 Paragraph 4

It is also worth considering the less extreme effects of computer games. Someone who is sitting on a sofa with a controller in their hands is not exercising anything other than their fingers…

Computer Games
Concluding paragraph Let’s get this into perspective. Half an hour playing a computer game is not going to ruin your life, but surely kicking a football around instead is much healthier. And why not play a board game with your younger sibling? Or even try to talk to your mum? The world of games is a simulation of the real world, a fake, a substitute. Now wouldn’t you prefer the genuine article?


 1. You have to make people believe you are right.   2. Imagine you are trying to change their minds.   3. You need to be positive. If you sound positive and

certain that you are right, people are much more likely to believe you. still back up the points you are making with real, sensible examples. opinion – but still remember those examples.

 4. You can exaggerate to stress key points – but you must

 5. You can also use exaggeration to criticise the opposite  6. Keep your writing polite.

 

7. Keep any negative points impersonal. Do not make personal attacks. Criticise opinions not people. 8. Make your positive points personal. You need to make your readers feel that you are all on the same side. Use personal pronouns: I, we, you whenever you have something really positive to say. 9. You should also use questions to make your points. (‘Is this sort of thing acceptable in our society?’ ‘Can anyone tell me why the motorway builders are ruining our country?’) 10. Improve the style of your answer with ‘groups of three’ to emphasise your points: ‘Britain’s motorways are expensive, overcrowded and dangerous.’

 

Example: Greenpeace leaflet (para 1)

As someone who loves the great outdoors, you doubtless understand our campaigners’ determination to protect the natural world. But determination alone will not defend the environment. For that, we need money too. Greenpeace can only ever be as strong as the men and women who support us, because we depend on donations from individuals. That’s why we’re asking you to join us today.

Greenpeace leaflet (para 2)

Everything we do costs money. Take the action on the front of this leaflet. Before our campaigner could tie himself to the bow of the ship, just metres above the crashing waves, to highlight the threat oil poses to the environment, Greenpeace had to buy the ropes, harness, karabiners, and survival suit. To say nothing of the training he needed to keep himself safe and confident. And before we could do that, we had to raise the funds to pay for it all . . .

Greenpeace leaflet (last para)

Think about it this way. If you want a future where you can continue to do the things you love in the great outdoors, you need to make sure you’ve got a great outdoors to do them in. Giving Greenpeace your support is one way you can do that. And that’s got to be worth £2 a month.

Writing to advise

Writing to advise
 

Dear James, I was delighted to hear about your impending trip to the Far East. I know that it will be a fantastic experience for you and I'm sure you are excited about it! As I travelled to the Far East last year as a backpacker I thought I could offer you some advice on personal safety that you might find useful. Firstly, I would suggest you do not have valuables on show as unfortunately crime has become increasingly prominent in these parts. Secondly, you should avoid areas where there are not many people as ambushing unsuspecting tourists is popular amongst thieves. Finally I would suggest that you do not accept any invitations to local festivals as they are hot spots for crime. I have not chosen to write this letter to alarm you: I simply want to offer you some advice that may be useful.

Tony Blair

Tony Blair
On Tuesday night I gave the order for British forces to take part in military action in Iraq. And tonight, British servicemen and women are engaged from air, land and sea. Their mission: to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.

Napleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte

Soldiers: you are naked and ill-fed! Government owes you much and can give you nothing. The patience and courage you have shown in the midst of this rocky wilderness are admirable; but they gain you no renown; no glory results to you from your endurance. fertile plains of the world…

 It is my design to lead you into the most

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

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.

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