Persuasive Writing
speeches and letters
What is persuasive writing?
Persuasive Writing requires students to write a letter or speech in
order to persuade a given audience to accept or reject a hypothetical
This complex assignment tests your skills in choosing relevant data,
synthesizing information, organizing effectively, and adjusting tone
and diction to fit a specific purpose, audience, and situation.
Business Letter
The first paragraph comes immediately to the
point, stating exactly why the writer is writing.
The first paragraph comes immediately to the
point, introducing the speaker and stating
his reason for speaking.
The tone of the letter is formal and polite, but
neither flattering nor apologetic.
Remembering to whom your letter is
addressed will help you find an appropriate
The body paragraphs contain sufficient
information so that your purpose in writing the
letter is clearly understood, and your request
well received.
Keep a clear image of your audience in your
mind as you write.
The last paragraph defines the specific purpose
of the letter so there can be no confusion as
to how the recipient should reply.
The tone of the speech must be appropriate to
address your audience. If you are too
casual, your audience may find you
disrespectful; if you are too formal, your
audience may find you boring.
Since your audience is obliged to listen
through your presentation, keep their
attention by using many concrete details
to help them visualize the abstract
arguments you are placing before them.
The last paragraph defines the specific
purpose of your speech so there can be no
confusion as to what action you wish to see
 The
Prosper High School Advisory Group is considering a proposal that
would allow the use of genetically modified foods in the school cafeteria.
Students are considering various opinions on the subject in preparation
for presenting their position to the Advisory Group.
 You
are a student from Prosper High School. You have considered
information and opinions from a variety of sources. You have considered
at length the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal, and have
reached a decision. You now need to write a persuasive speech that
clearly explains:
 your decision on the use of genetically modified foods
 the reasons why you believe your decision is in the best interests of
students at Prosper High School
 Write
a speech that will persuade the Prosper High School
Advisory Group to either ACCEPT or REJECT the proposal to
allow the use of genetically modified foods in the school cafeteria.
 In
preparing your speech, BE SURE TO
 consider your purpose and audience
 study the following information and use it to write a persuasive speech
 use an appropriate tone
 Remember that you must clearly and directly choose to either
accept or reject the proposal.
Definition of Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods that have been altered
through genetic engineering techniques. These techniques allow
scientists to "cut and paste" DNA from one organism to another in
order to create a new hybrid. For example, a certain gene can be
inserted into tomatoes in order to maintain their freshness and colour.
A different gene can be inserted into corn and soybean plants to give
them resistance to a certain herbicide. A farmer can then control
weeds in the corn and soybean crops by spraying with that herbicide.
A statement from Monsanto,
one of the world's leading biotechnology firms
"We all share the same planet-and the same needs. In agriculture,
many of our needs have an ally in biotechnology and the promising
advances it offers for our future. Healthier, more abundant food. Less
expensive crops. Reduced reliance on pesticides and fossil fuels. A
cleaner environment. With these advances, we prosper; without them,
we cannot thrive. "As we stand on the edge of a new millennium, we
dream of a tomorrow without hunger. To achieve that dream, we must
welcome the science that promises hope. We know advances in
biotechnology must be tested and safe, but they should not be unduly
delayed. Biotechnology is one of tomorrow's tools in our hands
Statements from Genetically Engineered Food:
A Self-Defence Guide for Consumers
GE foods are not being adequately safety-tested for possible
damage to our health . . .
Mounting scientific evidence indicates that genetically engineered
foods and crops may present serious hazards for our health and
environment . . .
The.. .British Medical Association.. .has called for a moratorium on
all genetically engineered foods because they may not be safe . . .
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) once created and released
into the environment, are permanent. They can never be recalled
back into the laboratory, nor can they be contained within a restricted
pasture, farmland, watershed, marine environment, or geographical
Opinions About GM Foods
"The social benefits of genetic engineering are considerable: treating
human and animal diseases; increasing food production from crops and
animals; increasing the nutritional value of foods; extending the shelf life
of food products. . . and helping to provide a cleaner environment. "
- George G. Khatchatourians, Department of Applied Microbiology, University of
"If left to me, I certainly would not eat it. We are putting new things into
food which would not have been eaten before. The effects on the
immune system are not easily predictable and I challenge anyone who
will say that the effects are predictable."
- Dr. Arpad Pusztai, Research Scientist
Opinions About GM Foods - continued
"The risks of modem genetic engineering have been studied by technical
experts at the National Academy of Sciences and World Bank. They
concluded that we can predict the environmental effects by reviewing past
experiences with those plants and animals produced through selective
breeding. None of these products of selective breeding have harmed either
the environment or biodiversity."
- Jimmy Carter, Former U.S. President
"The fact that we do not really know what the long-term consequences of
genetic engineering will be, and are not prepared to move slowly and take
the time to find out, means that a grand experiment is taking place and the
outcome is anyone's guess. The Bt potato, Roundup Ready canola, or
Liberty-link soybean might be harmless, or they might breed a disaster. We
won't know until it is too late."
- Brewster Kneen, Author of Farmageddon: Food and the Culture of