'I Can Be Persuaded' photo (c) 2010, Martha Soukup - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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.

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.

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

Playing to Win: Using Sports to Develop Evidence-Based Arguments is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Reader Idea: A New Research and Argument-Writing Approach Helps Students Break Out of the Echo Chamber is from The NY Times Learning Network.


The NY Times Learning Network has unveiled an argumentative writing unit.

Thanks to Sandy Millin, I learned about Comics for Inclusive English Language Learning. It’s an amazing site with high-interest comics with audio support provided to the text.  They are leveled based on English proficiency. It’s a great place for Intermediates to get reading material. But it’s much more than that…. After each comic, readers learn the structures for writing essays through an image-based quiz system.It’s really pretty ingenious.

As always, feedback is welcome.

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