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35 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Speeches, Essays, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of 60 interesting ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • Persuasive Essays

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Strike and the Union, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It


The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Girl kicking a sign that says "Can't be brave". Text reads "Unstoppable #likeagirl"

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Source: New York Daily News

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife to Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Source: The New York Times

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top examples.

The American Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (100+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

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Editorials vs. Persuasive Essays

It seems as if the persuasive editorials are basically persuasive essays except for a few main differences. Editorials, it seems, can't just rely on impersonal research. Editorial authors still need to interview people from both sides of an issue just as they would need to for any other news article. Editorials are also much shorter and, therefore, more concise than persuasive essays would be. Also, while one still needs to be careful that all facts are accurate and nothing is misrepresented in a persuasive essay, one has to be even more careful about this with an editorial. Otherwise, people will get offended. The entire paper could look bad rather than just the one author.

Other Thoughts on Editorials

Posted on October 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Permalink

Comments (4)

I like how you compared an editorial to a persuasive essay. Greta also talked about editorials in relation to academic essays. Link: http://blogs.setonhill.edu/GretaCarroll/2009/10/be_careful_what_you_wish_for.html Overall, the editorial will prefer, like, or not prefer, disagree, on almost everything. The only difference that I can initially see is that an essay will usually contain a works cited or specific information from other sources. In this case, you would want to quote people and choose specific writing techniques.

Posted by Derek Tickle | October 12, 2009 2:52 PM

Posted on October 12, 2009 14:52

While it's possible to write an editorial that doesn't involve new interviews, any editorial should be written about a current event, and should therefore be a reaction to the passage of a law, a speech a politician gave, a specific court decision, specific actions by local law enforcement officers, etc.

So there is always an element of news in an editorial, unlike a general "Advertisers should stop creating ads that damage women's self-esteem" STW paper topic.

Posted by Dennis G. Jerz | October 12, 2009 4:19 PM

Posted on October 12, 2009 16:19

I thought they were similar as well, especially when it comes to supporting the argument. I also like your point about editorials being more concise. To add to this, editorials seem less repetitive than an essay would be. Dr. Jerz makes a good point as well-- that editorials still incorporate the news. I almost forgot about that because I was too focused on how an editorial is written.

Posted by Kaitlin Monier | October 13, 2009 4:54 PM

Posted on October 13, 2009 16:54

My AP English class is currently working on their editorials, and we plan to submit them to our local newspaper. It also helps to review the founders of the editorial format, including Byron, Wollstonecraft, and Macaulay. Their language is not only concise, but it is poignantly descriptive in that it "makes you feel what they are so ferverent about" (student quote).

Posted by Ms. Melissa Hill | December 9, 2009 12:41 PM

Posted on December 9, 2009 12:41

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How to Write an Editorial That’s Persuasive AF

Got a strong opinion on something?

Wish you could convince the world to think like you do? To show them why you’re right and everyone else is crazy?

Then you, my friend, should learn how to write an editorial.

An editorial expresses your opinion about any current topic or issue, aiming to persuade readers to see the world from your perspective. The cool thing about editorials is that—unlike other types of formal writing—you can be biased and let your true colors sparkle.

Now, that’s not to say you don’t need evidence. To form a compelling argument, you have to include proof to back up your bold claims. Without it, readers will tear your argument to shreds.

Today I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how to put together a bulletproof editorial. (I’ll even write one right alongside you!)

But before we start, let’s fill in this worksheet to help organize our thoughts. This will as we build out an editorial structure that flows logically.

Essential Parts of an Editorial

Editorial topic:

Intended audience:

Purpose of your editorial:

Topic sentence:

Supporting details (facts, opinions, analogies/examples, statistic data, etc.):

Opposing viewpoints:

Weaknesses of opposing viewpoints:


Alrighty! Now that we have our data together...here’s how to write an editorial in five easy steps.  

1. Choose Your Topic Carefully

Let’s face it—some opinions are more interesting than others. The whole reason you’re writing an editorial is to persuade other people of your point of view. To do that, they have to actually care about the topic.

Editorials commonly discuss current hot topics in the media—new laws, health scares, elections, global warming, etc. But really, your editorial can be about any topic, old or new, as long as there are two or more opposing viewpoints.

The more divided the viewpoints, the better.

You also want to make sure to laser in on one specific issue. Trying to tackle a broad range of ideas never works. It’ll water down your arguments and confuse readers.

Lastly, before setting your topic in stone, make sure you’ll have enough ammo to support your opinion. Poke around Google, books, magazines, and newspapers looking for evidence that support your claims.


Step 1: Choose a topic with two or more opposing viewpoints.

2. Introduce Your Topic

Start your editorial off by giving a brief background on your topic. Explain the history of the issue, who it affects, and why people should care.

Avoid slowing the reader down with fluff and useless info. Keep it fast-paced and relevant to the debate.

The goal is to suck the reader in, build their interest, and make them feel connected to the topic.

If they get bored, you lose.

To persuade them, you need to capture their attention long enough to lay out your entire argument.


Step 2: Introduce your topic. Suck the reader in.

3. Boldly Declare Your Opinion

You’d be surprised how many people try to write an opinionated editorial but are too “nice” to state their actual opinion.

BE A MAN (or an assertive woman) AND TAKE A STAND.

You can’t write a lukewarm editorial. You have to choose a side and stick to that side.

If you don’t take a stance, it’s not an editorial—it’s an expository essay.

To state your opinion, think back to those thesis statements you wrote in College English 101.

This is the same idea, just with a more informal journalistic tone. ( No buzzwords ). 


Step 3: Take a stand.

4. Build Your Argument

While expressing your point of view is important, it’s just the first step. An editorial is meant to persuade . And to persuade , you need to support your viewpoint with compelling arguments.

These arguments need to have flow . Blasting out a bunch of random facts isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to string each of these arguments together into a rational train of thought, addressing any objections that might come up along the way.


Step 4: Set up a logical string of arguments.

5. Reinforce Your Argument with Analogies

One way to strengthen your editorial’s persuasive assault is to use analogies and examples.

Sometimes, by comparing your topic to a similar idea, things will “click” in the reader’s mind.

For example, if you’re writing an editorial that supports government secret surveillance, you can look for similar cases showing its benefits in other countries.

Analogies aren’t the only way to beef up your argument. You should also try to sprinkle in a healthy mix of statistics, relatable stories, quotes, and other forms of evidence.


Step 5: Add in analogies and other forms of proof to back up your claims.

6. Acknowledge and Destroy Opposing Arguments

Hotly debated topics always have solid arguments to both sides (if they didn’t, there would be no debate).

If you ignore the other side’s perspective, you’re leaving gaping holes in your argument.

Imagine a reader with an opposing viewpoint reading your editorial. No matter how well you structure your editorial, they are always going to be thinking, “Yeah, but…[insert other side of argument].”

If they finish your editorial and still have a “Yeah but”, then you didn’t do your job. They’re not convinced.

To take care of those “Yeah buts” you first need to acknowledge them...then you need to respectfully DEMOLISH them. This is no easy feat. To put their objections to death, try to incorporate both rational AND emotional reasoning.

And whatever you do—don’t be rude.

Insults aren’t persuasive.


Step 6: Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and politely demolish them.

7. Provide Possible Solutions

So at this point, your reader should be thinking, “Alright alright, I’m pickin up what you’re putting down. But now what?”

Well, now they need closure. You need to offer a solution to the problem.

Let’s say your editorial slams the government for their pathetic attempts to curb domestic violence in your state. Well, after criticizing the suckiness of their solution, you better be ready to offer some better ideas!


Step 7: Finish her off by offering a new solution or way of looking at the issue.

Now, all there’s left to do is proofread your editorial. Go through the editorial checklist below to make sure you haven’t missed anything. It’s also a good idea to have a friend try to “poke holes” in your argument—a second set of eyeballs never hurts!

How to Write an Editorial Checklist

▢ Did I choose a topic people care about? ▢ Does my introduction build interest? ▢ Do I clearly state my opinion? ▢ Do I give logical arguments, data, analogies, and other evidence to support my opinion? ▢ Do I acknowledge and destroy opposing arguments? ▢ Do I end with a thoughtful solution?  

And there you have it! I rock-solid editorial!

Hope this convinces you to wash yourself before bed helps you write an awesome editorial!

Sincerely, Mitch Glass


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editorial persuasive essay

Writing an Editorial

Another Tutorial by: Alan Weintraut Annandale High School Annandale, VA 22312 [email protected]

CHARACTERISTICS OF EDITORIAL WRITING An editorial is an article that presents the newspaper's opinion on an issue. It reflects the majority vote of the editorial board, the governing body of the newspaper made up of editors and business managers. It is usually unsigned. Much in the same manner of a lawyer, editorial writers build on an argument and try to persuade readers to think the same way they do. Editorials are meant to influence public opinion, promote critical thinking, and sometimes cause people to take action on an issue. In essence, an editorial is an opinionated news story.

Editorials have: 1. Introduction, body and conclusion like other news stories 2. An objective explanation of the issue, especially complex issues 3. A timely news angle 4. Opinions from the opposing viewpoint that refute directly the same issues the writer addresses 5. The opinions of the writer delivered in a professional manner. Good editorials engage issues, not personalities and refrain from name-calling or other petty tactics of persuasion. 6. Alternative solutions to the problem or issue being criticized. Anyone can gripe about a problem, but a good editorial should take a pro-active approach to making the situation better by using constructive criticism and giving solutions. 7. A solid and concise conclusion that powerfully summarizes the writer's opinion. Give it some punch.

Four Types of Editorials Will: 1. Explain or interpret : Editors often use these editorials to explain the way the newspaper covered a sensitive or controversial subject. School newspapers may explain new school rules or a particular student-body effort like a food drive. 2. Criticize: These editorials constructively criticize actions, decisions or situations while providing solutions to the problem identified. Immediate purpose is to get readers to see the problem, not the solution. 3. Persuade: Editorials of persuasion aim to immediately see the solution, not the problem. From the first paragraph, readers will be encouraged to take a specific, positive action. Political endorsements are good examples of editorials of persuasion. 4. Praise: These editorials commend people and organizations for something done well. They are not as common as the other three.

Writing an Editorial 1. Pick a significant topic that has a current news angle and would interest readers. 2. Collect information and facts; include objective reporting; do research 3. State your opinion briefly in the fashion of a thesis statement 4. Explain the issue objectively as a reporter would and tell why this situation is important 5. Give opposing viewpoint first with its quotations and facts 6. Refute (reject) the other side and develop your case using facts, details, figures, quotations. Pick apart the other side's logic. 7. Concede a point of the opposition — they must have some good points you can acknowledge that would make you look rational. 8. Repeat key phrases to reinforce an idea into the reader's minds. 9. Give a realistic solution(s) to the problem that goes beyond common knowledge. Encourage critical thinking and pro-active reaction. 10. Wrap it up in a concluding punch that restates your opening remark (thesis statement). 11. Keep it to 500 words; make every work count; never use "I"

A Sample Structure I. Lead with an Objective Explanation of the Issue/Controversy. Include the five W's and the H. (Members of Congress, in effort to reduce the budget, are looking to cut funding from public television. Hearings were held …)

  • Pull in facts and quotations from the sources which are relevant.
  • Additional research may be necessary.

II. Present Your Opposition First. As the writer you disagree with these viewpoints. Identify the people (specifically who oppose you. (Republicans feel that these cuts are necessary; other cable stations can pick them; only the rich watch public television.)

  • Use facts and quotations to state objectively their opinions.
  • Give a strong position of the opposition. You gain nothing in refuting a weak position.

III. Directly Refute The Opposition's Beliefs.

You can begin your article with transition. (Republicans believe public televison is a "sandbox for the rich." However, statistics show most people who watch public television make less than $40,000 per year.)

  • Pull in other facts and quotations from people who support your position.
  • Concede a valid point of the opposition which will make you appear rational, one who has considered all the options (fiscal times are tough, and we can cut some of the funding for the arts; however, …).

IV. Give Other, Original Reasons/Analogies

In defense of your position, give reasons from strong to strongest order. (Taking money away from public television is robbing children of their education …)

  • Use a literary or cultural allusion that lends to your credibility and perceived intelligence (We should render unto Caesar that which belongs to him …)

V. Conclude With Some Punch.

Give solutions to the problem or challenge the reader to be informed. (Congress should look to where real wastes exist — perhaps in defense and entitlements — to find ways to save money. Digging into public television's pocket hurts us all.)

  • A quotation can be effective, especially if from a respected source
  • A rhetorical question can be an effective concluder as well (If the government doesn't defend the interests of children, who will?)

Go to the library or any computer lab and complete the “webquest” located at



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On Opinion and Persuasive Writing: Teaching English through Editorials

Profile image of NAEEM AFZAL

Learning a language becomes easier when it is interpreted through certain contexts, of which, the sociocultural ones are the most important. Sociocultural interests, norms, customs and values are represented by the language as forms of " persuasive social acts ". Media discourses can be cited as one example in this regard where language is an inevitable means of communicating opinions, making one's voice heard. Persuasive use makes media discourse interesting to explore in the classroom given the specificities in editorial writing. This paper brings forth a comparative analysis of editorial contents from two newspaper editorials published in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The analysis draws attention to rhetorical strategies and persuasive type of language used by the editors which can be sourced to help in the teaching and learning of English in the classroom.

Related Papers

Discourse and Rhetoric: A Study of Pakistani English Newspapers' Editorials

farzana khan

This particular study aims at exploring the use of rhetorical devices from the editorials of Pakistani English newspapers. For this purpose, data was collected from three Pakistani English newspapers The News, Dawn, and The Nation. Using purposive sampling technique, 36 editorials were selected; 12 editorials from each newspaper, which were published on the coverage of Panama Leaks from April 2016 to December 2016. In order to find out the answers of research questions, mixed method approach was applied. Findings revealed that the editorial writers have employed eight rhetorical devices namely Parallelism, Antithesis, Simile, Metonymy, Hyperbole, Metaphor, Neologism and Rhetorical question commonly in their individual discourse to persuade the readers, while Oxymoron and Allusion were rarely used. Results of Chi-Square revealed statistically significant frequency differences in the use of rhetorical devices. The total frequency of Rhetorical devices was found higher in Dawn as compared to The News and The Nation. Metonymy was found most frequently used rhetorical device in three newspapers. Hyperbole was second and rhetorical question was third frequently used rhetorical device in three newspapers. From the perspective of pedagogy, the results of current study can provide English foreign language teachers and students with the knowledge about the use of rhetoric in the genre of newspapers' editorials. Therefore, editorials can be used as a source for writing persuasive and argumentative essays. This study would be helpful for general masses to make them aware that how the use of rhetoric in newspaper's discourse manipulate them according to the desired ideologies of Newspapers. This Research would also be valuable for the future researchers, especially for those who are interested in exploring the newspaper discourse, with particular focus on the genre of Editorial, as they can further explore the use of rhetoric in comparison to foreign newspapers' editorials.

editorial persuasive essay

Sahar Zarza

In positioning the stance of the editorials that play a pivotal role in articulating the official position of the newspaper, the editor needs to have the craft of writing in a credible manner. It is important then that persuasive linguistic elements such as hedges and boosters are utilized in the editorials. Hence, this study aims to adopt a content analysis to investigate the use of hedges and boosters in 240 randomized editorials of The New York Times (NYT: n=120) and New Straits Times (NST: n=120). The results reveal that generally editors use more hedges than boosters. Moreover, interestingly, it was found that NYT editorials tend to use more boosters while the NST editorials exhibit a tendency to hedge more. One possible reason could be the political climate of the time. America being the epitome of democracy provides freedom of speech and this is reflected in the ownerships of newspapers. Unlike Malaysia, owners of NYT newspapers are public individuals and not the government. ...

Tooba Mardani

Thematization is considered the mental act or process of selecting particular topics as themes in discourse or words as themes in sentences. This paper examines thematization strategies in English opinion articles written by American and Iranian journalists. To this end, two of the leading newspapers in the United States and Iran, The New York Times and Tehran Times, have been chosen. Based on the qualitative and quantitative analysis of textual features and marked and unmarked themes of 12 opinion articles (6 from each newspaper), this study aims to find out how these two groups of professional writers organize their themes, into marked and unmarked ones and what effects these organizations have on the audiences. The findings revealed that textual features were present in both sets of data. The occurrences of marked and unmarked themes were not significantly different. The findings revealed that thematization patterns can help the understanding of the texts. The results also showed...

Moses Samuel

Dedi Turmudi

How do opinion, discussion, and argumentative convince readers? How does each of them look different from each other seen from the generic structure, and language use? This conceptual paper is exploring how three selected genres in academic writing differ from each other. By reviewing journals of related topic of recently published, the writer convinces that opinion genre is less strong in persuading readers, and argumentative is very strong in assuring readers, whereas discussion is neutral in affecting readers The implication is that each genre has its own place to make readers satisfied and each of which indicates the level of ego and sophisticated countering back the statement called rebuttal and arguments and example. By reading this article readers will detect the tone of each genre and to what extent does each genre reach the readers' mind. The implication is that any teacher or lecturer is best recommended to present this model, particularly in EFL context.

International Journal of Linguistics

Hafiz Bilal

Zbornik za jezike i književnosti Filozofskog fakulteta u Novom Sadu

Zorica Trajkova

Humanities & social sciences communications

Mutasim Al-Deaibes

New Media and Mass Communication

Ansa Sattar


Hem Raj Kafle

kamal hasan

ben nyongesa

Ben Wekesa Nyongesa

Abdelrahman A B D A L L A Salih


International Journal of English Literature and Culture, 3(3), 76-84

Olusegun O. Jegede

moslem fatollahi

Journal of English for Academic Purposes

Barry Thatcher

Journal of Pragmatics

Sabrine Yousfi

Top Nattawaj

Su-Hie Ting

Alireza Bonyadi

IJoLE: International Journal of Language Education

Safnil Arsyad

bendaoud nadif

Journal of Linguistics and Literature

University of Chitral Journal of Linguistics and Literature

chan swee heng

amir sabzevari

Psychology and Education Journal


Iranian Journal of Research in English Language Teaching

International Journal of Language and Literature

Ahmed Mohammed Bedu Ph.D

Francisco P . Dumanig

Humaira Raslie

World Journal of English Language, 8(2), 21-30

-Palarch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 18(4)

Aurangzaib Akbar

Isabel Alonso , Antonello Maddalena

Al-Dad Journal

Umar Farouq

Khansa AL-Qudaimi

Emma Dafouz

International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development

Jafar Zamanian

Government College University, Faisalabad

Dr. Urooj Alvi

International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction

Tom Van Hout

Res Rhetorica journal , carmen marimon-llorca

Ali Raza , Muhammad Ahmad


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