The difference between argument and persuasion is that arguments appeal to your brain, your sense of reason and logic. Persuasion manipulates your emotions, appeals to your heart, changes how you feel.
Argument =☺ Persuasion = ♥
Examples: Speech, debate, opinion piece in newspaper/magazine.
You may need to understand the following words when discussing how a writer has constructed their argument.
Statement / Proposition /Assumption /Opinion /Anecdote /Evidence /Subjective /Objective /Logical /Convincing /Reinforce /Merit /Bias /Agenda /Deductive & Inductive reasoning
Comprehensions – sample question
“In your opinion, has the writer created a strong argument in this passage?”
Look for the following features / techniques:
Supported by facts/statistics or specific examples
Evidence of research
Draws on personal experience (but doesn’t rely on it exclusively)
Refutes counter arguments
Linking phrases used to build up a series of ideas
Repetition of key phrases
Question B – sample questions
Write an opinion piece, for inclusion in a series of newspaper articles entitled “Must-see Attractions for Tourists” in which you identify one place or public building in Ireland that, in your opinion, tourists should visit and explain your choice.
You have been asked to give a talk to your class entitled “Television and radio in the lives of young people today”. Write the text of the talk you would deliver in which you consider the role of television and radio in the lives of young people today.
Write a letter (dated June 2010), intended to be read by future generations, in which you express your hopes for planet Earth in the year 2050.
Write the text for a short radio talk where you explain the importance of books in your life and in today’s world.
Imagine your art teacher is compiling a photographic exhibition to reflect the lives of young people today. She has asked students to suggest images they would like included. Write a letter to your art teacher proposing five images that you believe should be included and give reasons for your decision in each case.
Write a letter to Jon Savage responding to this extract from his book and giving your own views on today’s teenage culture.
Students in your school have been invited to contribute articles to the school website on issues relevant to young people. This week’s issue is “We are what we wear”. Write an article for the website expressing your views on the topic.
Imagine your local radio station is producing a series of programmes entitled “Changing Times” in which teenagers are asked to give their views on the changes they welcome in the world around them. You have been invited to contribute. Write out the text of the presentation you would make.
Imagine you have a friend in another country which is considering the introduction of a ban on smoking in public places. Write a letter to your friend advising him/her either to support or not to support the proposed ban.
In giving your advice you may wish to draw on the recent experience of the smoking ban in Ireland.
Write a letter to a photographic magazine in which you propose one of the four images for the award “Best War Photograph of the Year.
Choose one of the visual images in this text and, in a letter to Carl Sandburg, write your response to its inclusion in the exhibition of photographs entitled The Family of Man.
You have been asked to give a short talk on radio or television about a fundamental human right that you would like to see supported more strongly. Write out the text of the talk you would give.
Write a short article about a project or activity in your local community which you admire or condemn.
Sample Essay Titles
Write a speech in which you argue for or against the motion “We live in an un-heroic age”.
Write a feature article for a popular magazine in which you discuss the competing attractions of both urban and rural lifestyles.
Write a feature article for a newspaper or magazine on the role played by memory and the past in our lives.
Write a lighthearted and entertaining article, intended for publication in a magazine aimed at young people, in response to the phrase “…all the time in the world”.
Write an article for a serious newspaper or magazine on the twin issues of discrimination and tolerance.
Write an article for a popular magazine in which you outline your views about the impact of technology on the lives of young people.
Write a personal essay about your understanding of freedom and why you think it is important.
You have been elected by your classmates to deliver a speech at your school’s graduation ceremony. Write the text of the speech you would give, encouraging your audience to be optimistic about the future.
Write a newspaper article on some of today’s respected public figures, exploring the qualities that make them worthy of respect.
Write an article (serious and/or light-hearted) for a school magazine about your experience of education over the last number of years.
Write a speech in which you argue for or against the necessity to protect national culture and identity.
Write the text of a talk, serious or humorous, to be given to your peers, entitled: “How I intend to change the world!”
Write a personal essay in which you discuss your views on a recent event or series of events in the world.
Write an article for a newspaper or magazine, outlining your vision of a better future.
Write an article for publication in a serious newspaper or journal in which you draw attention to the plight of a person or group of people whom society has rejected.
Write a speech (serious or light-hearted) in which you address your classmates or peer group on the importance of work in our lives.
Write a newspaper article in which you outline your views in a serious or light-hearted manner on the part played by story telling or gossip in everyday life.
Write a serious article for or against the importance of laws in our society.
Write a personal essay in which you explore your sense of what it means to be Irish.
Write a letter to Martin Mansergh in which you outline your response to his view of young Irish people.