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Writing for change (persuasive writing)
Good morning naturalists!
How is your writing going? Here at ONSC, our teacher-naturalists are hard at work writing future ONSC Online posts for you. But why do we do this? We write about these topics because we care about nature, and hope that by sharing our knowledge and activities, you will as well. Today it's your turn to practice this skill through persuasive writing. Persuasive writing is a style of writing designed to convince (or persuade) readers to understand and even agree with the writer’s point of view. Think of different ways that humans affect nature. Some are beneficial to nature, and others are harmful. How would you write about a belief you had so that readers would understand and sympathize with your point of view?
When we write our persuasive article today, we will write it in much the same way as our scientific writing earlier this week, with a title, introduction, body, and conclusion. In addition to that, we will write to do more than tell other people about something. If you want to convince someone to agree with your beliefs, there are a few tools you can use to make the task easier:
Explain WHY: Learn and then include in your paper accurate background information that explains and supports your ideas.
Be AUTHORITIVE: Having accurate background material will give your paper authority, so that readers are more likely to respect and agree with your ideas.
Appeal to EMOTIONS: People’s feelings affect the decisions they make. Help readers see another point of view. Explain how others are affected by your topic. It also helps to consider the feelings of the readers, show that you understand their point of view too. Think back to the story of the Lorax:if the characters had cared more about each other's viewpoints, the story could have ended very differently.
Be TRUSTWORTHY: If you are accurate, honest and straightforward in your writing, readers are more likely to trust you and sympathize with your ideas.
Sometimes adding quotes to make people think can add so the persuasiveness of a piece. What point do you think this quote is trying to make?
To practice this skill, write a letter to a friend or family member about actions they can take to protect the earth. Can you think of a problem faced by plants? Animals? Your local environment? What problem especially concerns you? In your writing, describe the problem. Explain how your readers could help and why they should care. Are there actions people could take to help? Practice using the persuasive writing tools suggested above.
If you prefer, think of an animal or plant species that is being harmed by human actions. Pretend you are that animal or plant, and imagine how it feels. Then write a letter to the human race. Explain how humans are hurting your species and how that makes you, as the animal or plant, feel. Give accurate details. Then describe how humans could help instead of causing harm. What persuasive tools will you use?
Send your letter to ONSC, to a nature magazine or to your local newspaper. Perhaps your letter may encourage others to take action to help. Using these skills, you're continuing to be a nature hero.
One of the things that we like to practice being persuasive about here at ONSC is why it is important to reduce our food waste! Here's this week's Food for Thought segment!
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