Writing Persuasive Essay Lesson Plan

quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale"/How would your students describe the differences between the news sections of a newspaper and the opinion section? Bring in a few print copies of a newspaper, whether The Times or a local or school paper, and have your students work in small groups to contrast a news page with an opinion page and see what they discover. We’re interested in everything, if it’s opinionated and we believe our readers will find it worth reading.

Though this piece, “And Now a Word From Op-Ed,” is from 2004, it still provides a useful and quick overview of The Times’s Opinion section, even if the section then was mostly a print product. We are especially interested in finding points of view that are different from those expressed in Times editorials.

One teacher, Charles Costello, wrote up the details of his yearlong “Follow a Columnist” project for us.

If you would like to try it with The Times, here are the current Op-Ed columnists: Michelle Alexander Charles M.

Finally, if you’d like a recommendation for a specific Op-Ed that will richly reward student analysis of these elements, Kabby Hong, a teacher at Verona Area High School in Wisconsin, who will be our guest on our “Write to Change the World” webinar, recommends Nicholas Kristof’s column “If Americans Love Moms, Why Do We Let Them Die? Use the archives of Room for Debate, which featured succinct arguments on interesting topics from a number of points of view, to introduce students to perspectives on everything from complex geopolitical or theological topics to whether people are giving Too Much Information in today’s Facebook world.

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(From “Multiple Weapons Found in Las Vegas Gunman’s Hotel Room”) mean?

The video above, “What Aristotle and Joshua Bell Can Teach Us About Persuasion,” can help.

After students have read one or both of these overviews, invite them to explore the Times’s Opinion section, noting what they find and raising questions as they go.

You might ask:• What pieces look most interesting to you? • What subsections are featured in the links across the top of the section (“Columnists”; “Series”; “Editorials”; “Op-Ed”; “Letters”; etc.) and what do you find in each? • How do you think the editors of this section decide what to publish?

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