The Persuasive Letter
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
- Use appropriate editing marks when editing a persuasive business letter.
- Become familiar with a business letter format.
- Understand the content necessary for persuasion in a business letter.
- Overhead projector
- Transparency markers
- Business Letter Format (PDF)
- Business Letter Exercise (PDF)
- Business Letter Exercise Answer Sheet (PDF)
- Editing Marks Reproducible (PDF) from Helping Students Revise Their Writing: Practical Strategies, Models, and Mini-Lessons That MotivateStudents to Become Better Writers
Set Up and Prepare
- Make transparencies for the Business Letter Format, Business Letter Exercise, and Editing Marks PDFs.
- Copy the Business Letter Exercise and Editing Marks PDFs for each student.
- Print the Business Letter Exercise Answer Sheet for your reference.
Step 1: Explain to students that they will be writing their own persuasive business letter within the next day or so. Prior to doing that, they need to learn about them. Using the transparency, show them the Business Letter Format. Review all the components and content of the letter. Answer any questions and tell them that this is a model of what they're going to be writing in the days to come. Keep the "argument" for Lesson 3 a secret to create anticipation!
Step 2: Distribute the Business Letter Exercise and the Editing Marks sheets to your students. Review the instructions and answer any questions. Using the Editing Marks transparency, show them how to mark the errors they will find in the Business Letter.
Step 3: Then, place the Business Letter Format transparency back on the overhead projector for student reference and allow students ample time to complete the Business Letter Exercise.
Step 4: When they're finished, ask volunteers to carefully edit the Business Letter aloud, one error at a time. Make these corrections on the overhead using your Answer Sheet as your guide. Instruct students to do the same on their sheet if they missed any corrections. Ask them to keep their completed Business Letter Exercise to reference for their future writing project.
Supporting All Learners
This assignment is structured and detailed enough for students to follow. If needed, work individually with students who need more guided practice.
Students can work on the Online Activity Writing with Writers. Use this independent lesson to support the persuasive writing assignment. Students will learn how to "persuade kids" to vote for them.
1. Complete the Business Letter Exercise.
EvaluationDid students understand how to use the Editing Marks or did they need more instruction? Was there enough instruction on the content necessary for a persuasive business letter?
Monitor students while they're editing the Business Letter Exercise. Notice who is correctly editing and who needs assistance. If necessary, give the students another blank Business Letter Exercise to use as a quiz.