Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Online Resources For Helping Students Learn To Write Persuasive Essays


'I Can Be Persuaded' photo (c) 2010, Martha Soukup - license:

We’re just beginning our Persuasive Essay unit in Intermediate English, and I thought I’d identify some relevant sites. I’ll also be converting list into a more student-accessible post on our Intermediate English class blog.

The Best Video Clips & Full-Length Movies For Helping To Teach Persuasive Techniques (Help Me Find More)

Other “The Best…” lists that we use during unit include:

The Best Sites To Learn About Street Gangs

The Best Sites For ELL’s To Learn About The Dangers Of Smoking

The Best Sites To Learn About Advertising

Here are my choices for The Best Online Resources For Helping Students Learn To Write Persuasive Essays:

Here’s a Fact and Opinion game.

Try another Fact and Opinion Game.

PBS’ Arthur has a simple Facts and Opinions game.

It’s A Fact! is an online activity from Scholastic.

Making Connections is another exercise from Scholastic.

Argument is an activity from the BBC. Here’s one, too. Other activities connected to it are:


The BBC has another activity called Argue, Persuade, and Advise. Revise is a connected exercise.

Persuasion Map is from Read Write Think, but it can only be printed-out, not saved.

“Seeing The Forest Through The Trees” is a post I wrote about teaching the Persuasive Essay that teachers might find useful.

Important Research For Writing Persuasive Essays

A study finds that both experts and non-experts can be more persuasive when they express uncertainty.

Writing for Justice • Persuasion from the Inside Out is an article by elementary school teacher Mark Hansen. It appears in Rethinking Schools.

He lays-out in detail a process he used to help his students write a persuasive essay. I’m not sure how many teachers would do everything he did, but he a lot of good ideas. Even though it describes them in the context of an elementary school classroom, I think several of his ideas could be adapted in other settings.

I will be using a simple “I Wish We Could Change” organizer organizer he created. When I teach my persuasive essay unit, it’s always a bit tricky to guide students towards a topic that holds their interest and would make the world a better place. simple sheet would help that along nicely, I think.

BONUS: Cut Through the “Stickiness” of Prior Beliefs is a somewhat interesting article that contains an terrific chart/infographic reflecting some recent research.

“The 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language”

Skills Practice | Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Skills Practice | Persuading an Audience Using Logos, Pathos and Ethos is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Persuasive Writing Anchor Charts for Struggling Writers {Lots of Pictures} is from Teaching To Inspire.

Teaching Propaganda Using Political Ads is from Middleweb.

How to change someone’s mind, according to science is from The Washington Post.

Help Student Writers Find the Best Evidence is from Middleweb.

Reader Idea | An Argument-Writing Unit: Crafting Student Editorials is from The New York Times Learning Network.

iCivics Steps Up Its Game Big Time With Free Virtual Classrooms & Primary Source Interactive

“Drafting Board” Is A Good Interactive For Teaching Argument

Tools to Teach Writers to Distinguish Evidence is from Middleweb.

401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing is from The New York Times Learning Network.

What If We Taught Argument in Every Class? is from Cult of Pedagogy.

ELL Students ‘are no Strangers to the art of Argumentation’ is a series in my latest Education Week Teacher column.

10 Ways to Teach Argument-Writing With The New York Times is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Argument Essay with Opposing Arguments and Rebuttals is from English Advantage.

This Is A Fascinating & Useful Study: Charts Are More Convincing Than Text

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you found post useful, you might want to explore the other 350 “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Larry, I don’t know if you’ve checked out Scholastic’s site for teachers, but in case you haven’t, we’ve got thousands of free resources for teachers and their students, primarily k-8.
    you blog looks good and I look forward to exploring it.

  2. Dear Larry,

    Great list, as usual! I was precisely looking for resources to help my students improve their writing skills and have found some very useful ones here.

    I feel deeply indebted to you for all the help I get out of your posts so I’d like to contribute something in return. Below is the link to a site I’ve been using to practise essay writing. I guess you probably know it already, but well, just in case, here it is:

    Thanks again,
    Mary Di Mónaco

  3. Pingback: Ten treasures for Tuesday « Reading Power

  4. Hi..
    its my lucky day to find your sites..

  5. I created this for a Master’s project and intend to expand the number of lessons available. I welcome feedback from any teacher who wants to try using it. It is a video based tutorial in outlining a persuasive paper. Please offer constructive feedback at Thanks-

  6. Hi Larry, seems like your link to the “Cut Through the Stickiness…” article is not working. It just redirects back to your web page with a “not found” msg.

    Thank you!

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  8. You have helped many students by giving them a list of online resources that can help them learn how to write an essay. I also want to help them by letting them know that there are many more online resources that provide the whole essay-writing service. Here is the one i know:

  9. Larry you are doing a huge favor to us, students, by providing such extensive list of helpful resources. I used to use this essay writing service: , but the online essay generator you have provided is working great for me too. Huge thanks to you.

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