Writing persuasively - Erie Community College

Erie Community College
Title III
English Writing Assignment
Interdisciplinary Course Materials
English 023 Developmental Writing
Writing persuasively
Project Description: This project can be linked with a developmental reading lesson
about infertility created by the same author or used in isolation. This is a
persuasive writing project about persuading your spouse to undergo infertility
treatments if you were faced with that medical diagnosis.
Sherrie Lilleck (North Campus English Department)
Curriculum Expert: Thomas J. Franco (North Campus Biology Department)
Semester Created:
Spring 2009
A. Essential Question: How would you persuade your spouse to undergo rigorous
infertility treatments if you both were faced with an infertility diagnosis?
B. Introduction: Talk about and review the reading lesson or part one on infertility
of the project, the SQ3R if the instructor wishes to link the two projects together.
If the instructor wishes to use this project in isolation then he or she should start
with a shocking debatable statement such as “Being a parent is similar to owning
a dog.” Does everyone agree with that statement? Why or why not? This is part
of our project on how to write persuasively. We are going to pretend that you are
diagnosed with infertility and you desperately want to have a baby, but you need
to persuade your spouse to feel the same way so that he or she will agree to
undergo fertility treatments. Eventually this will be done in the form of a written
C. Basic Directions: In order to persuade someone to do something that you have
decided is a good idea you must be prepared, organized and be able to
communicate effectively using persuasive language. We will complete this
project by making sure that we follow each step of the writing process. The first
step of the writing process is to read actively. (If the instructor is linking this with
the reading assignment then this part has already been done if not then implement
the following directions.) We need to research and read actively different
treatment plans available for infertility. We will, if we have not already (by using
part one of this project) familiarize ourselves with different causes of infertility.
(See document titled causes for infertility sheet 1.) Then we will, if we have not
already (by again using part on of this project) familiarize ourselves with the
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different treatment plans that are available for curing infertility. (See document
titled treatments for infertility sheet 2). You will have to complete the rest of the
first step of the writing process, reading actively, for homework. Tonight’s
homework assignment is to research and find two articles. One will be on the
different causes of infertility and one on the different treatment options for
infertility and to read them both actively by annotating the text. We’re doing this
so that we can be more powerful and knowledgeable when trying to persuade.
We will move on to the second step of the writing process in class that is to
understand the assignment. So we will now go over the rubrics and goals of this
assignment. You will bring in the research you found and report the findings in
the form of a debate for the next class. This debate will be worth 25 points of
your final grade for this project. Pass out and go over the debate day rubric (see
rubric section). The second part of understanding the assignment is to know what
is expected of you for the written part of this project. (Pass out EN023 rubric and
go over.) Any questions on the second step of the writing process that is to
understand the assignment? We will now move on to the third step of the writing
process, choose a topic. The general topic has already been chosen for you, it is
to persuade your spouse to undergo infertility treatments. The part of this topic
that you need to choose is based on your life and what’s important to you about
having children. We are going to help us choose this part of the topic by doing a
focused free write. We will take the next ten minutes to brainstorm and
completely think about why having a child is important. Take out a blank sheet of
paper and start now. I would like for you to circle the top three most persuasive
reasons for having a child. We will have a debate that includes your top three
reasons for having a child and the two researched articles that you’ve been
assignment for homework. (This would probably be the end of the first class day.
The first half of the next class day would be the debate. The instructor can walk
around with the rubrics to evaluate each student. After the debate is over continue
following along with the writing process. ) The third step of the writing process is
to write a thesis statement. Use the experience from the debate to make sure your
top three most persuasive points are included in your thesis statement. If you
found that during the debate some of your points are not as persuasive as you’d
like then go back to your free write and find a different one. We already know
what goes into a basic thesis statement. The difference of writing a persuasive
thesis statement is to be sure to take a clear stance. Our clear stance is simple and
that is that no matter what the cost or trouble having a child would be worth it due
to your top three reasons. I will show you and example persuasive thesis
statement for you to model yours after. We will now take the time to write our
own thesis statements. I would like to check them when you are done. The fourth
step of the writing process is to choose an organizational method. I would like for
us to use the classification style graphic organizer. I will show you where to put
your thesis statement and your top three reasons for having a child. You will then
need to complete the graphic organizer by brainstorming some ideas on what your
supporting details will be that go with each of the three reasons. Take few
minutes to fill in that information. I’ll show you what I mean (Instructor should
model an example.) The fifth step of the writing process is to draft. You can start
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this in class, but you will finish this part for homework. (The instructor should go
over all the basic essay structures and how they should be applied for this
project.) When you are at home and you have finished drafting then you can
begin the sixth step of the writing process that is to revise. When revising please
keep a copy of the rubric nearby and use it as a checklist. Please bring in a typed
essay that will serve as the seventh step of the writing process that is a final copy.
It should contain an opening paragraph, three middle paragraphs and one closing
paragraph to be graded.
D. Things to Learn or Consider Before Starting the Project:
 Annotating the text.
 SQ3R if linking with the reading part of the project.
 The elements of a focused free write.
 The basic elements of a thesis statement.
 A basic understanding of a classification style graphic organizer.
E. Project Assignment:
Can start with a reading lesson on infertility.
If not using the reading lesson start with the documents titled causes for
infertility sheet one and treatments for infertility sheet two.
Reviewing and Modeling the Writing Process:
Review all sections of the writing process.
Model most sections of the writing process.
Survey of the Field:
Students need to bring in two articles about infertility one that examines
the causes and one that examines the treatments to become knowledgeable
on the topic. This will already be done if the instructor is using the
reading lesson on infertility.
Guided Work:
Students will be guided during the writing process throughout steps one
through five.
Independent Work:
Students will work independently through steps seven and eight of the
writing process.
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E. Student Resources:
 Document titled causes for infertility sheet 1
 Document titled treatments for infertility sheet 2
 www.infertile.com
 www.medicinenet.com
 www.americanpregnancy.com
 Reading lesson on infertility.
G. Teacher Resources:
a. www.infertile.com
b. www.medicinenet.com
c. www.americanpregnancy.com
d. SQ3R explanation on how to teach it at www.collegeboard.com.
H. Grading Rubrics:
Debate Day Rules:
1. Participate.
2. Be respectful to others opinions.
3. Disagree, in order to help strengthen the other group’s argument.
4. Strengthen your point by referring to your research.
Debate Day Rubric:
Passing: Student is an active participant in the debate. Student is well prepared with
research that is appropriate, on topic and uses the research to reinforce his or her point.
Student is respectful to others opinions and follows rules. Student is able to analyze the
opposite groups argument and can formulate a disagreement.
Intermediate: Student somewhat participates. Student has on topic research, but does
not refer to it. Student does not analyze sufficiently in order to disagree and somewhat
follows the rules.
Does not Meet Requirements: Student does not participate, or doesn’t participate due
to absence. Student is not prepared with research. Student does not follow any of the
Written Piece Rubric:
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Command of
Critical Thinking and Writing Abilities
Awareness and Usage of Essay
Paper Number:_____________________________________
Mark your ratings according to how fully you agree with the statement describing the essay.
4: Agree
0: Disagree
Essay’s rhetorical
accomplishment meets
audience expectations.
Thesis statement is
identifiable and effective.
Idea development meets
audience expectations.
Conclusion is a logical,
interesting, extension of
Essay reflects a full,
complex, understanding of
the main consideration
implied by prompt.
Essay’s examination of
relevant points meets
audience expectations.
Paragraphing & other
organization are effective for
essay’s argument.
Amount of outside
information or support
referenced (examples, etc)
by essay meets or exceeds
audience expectations.
Essay uses language well
suited to audience and to
the main consideration
implied by prompt.
Writing reflects ease and
versatility in usage of
language and sentence
Raw Score (sum of scores from all 10 rows):
Evaluation Score (see key):
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Raw score of 30 or above: 4
Raw score of 20 – 29: 3
Raw score of 10 – 19: 2
Raw score of 0 – 9: 1