Common Sense

TOP PICKS | 17 TOOLS

Resources for Persuasive and Argumentative Essay Writing

You could make the argument that all writing is persuasive. That's why it's so important for students to understand the building blocks of a well-grounded and well-argued persuasive essay. This list collects some helpful resources for building these argumentative and persuasive writing skills. Each of these tools can help students learn to develop a claim, substantiate it with evidence, acknowledge opposing claims, and utilize relevant, logical reasoning to develop a sound and coherent argument. What's more, these skills pay dividends beyond academic writing. By practicing persuasive writing, students also build a solid foundation in the kind of critical thinking and reading necessary for them to be well-informed citizens.

Continue reading

Top Picks

RELATED

PrintPrint list

ThinkCERCA

Well-structured lessons encourage deep analysis, thoughtful writing

Bottom line: This is a ready-to-go, research-backed resource that focuses intently on CCSS-aligned and AP-level critical reading and writing skills.

Writable

Smart writing platform places focus on feedback and revision

Bottom line: While there's some room for improvement, this tool is rock-solid pedagogically and can be the engine of your classroom's writing process.

Quandary

Slick ethics game teaches students to make tough decisions

Bottom line: This versatile game that can teach ethics, argumentation, and civics is light on interactivity but will come alive through discussion.

Community in Crisis

Game shows real-world uses for literacy and decision-making skills

Bottom line: A clever, real-world, and civic-minded context to learn and practice ELA skills.

Vital Signs

ELA game set in a medical clinic shows the value of literacy skills

Bottom line: Great ELA lessons that realistically integrate literacy skills into the simulated day-to-day of a medical clinic.

Argument Wars

Courtroom sim covers ethics, the Constitution, and the art of argument

Bottom line: Social Studies and Civics teachers will find no argument with the game's value; it's a fun, free way to dig into major court cases with lots of extension opportunities.

Drafting Board

Students get persuasive skills with delightful civics-based essay tool

Bottom line: It's a fantastically detailed tool that helps kids through every step of persuasive essay writing.

NoodleTools

Expansive research tool uniquely melds learning and productivity

Bottom line: While the complex, old-school design isn't ideal, NoodleTools gives students specific assistance where they need it the most -- with citations, paraphrasing, elaboration, and organization.

ProCon.org

Comprehensive, nonpartisan resource navigates controversial issues

Bottom line: The balanced pro/con format makes this a go-to source for online research on controversial issues.

Room for Debate

Experts examine, dissect, and discuss critical issues

Bottom line: A helpful site for exploring multiple perspectives on key current events and hot topics.

StudySync

Superb ELA resource has comprehensive coverage, tons of supports

Bottom line: StudySync offers a complete core literacy program for secondary schools, making it easy to recommend, especially for teachers new to digital platforms.

Kialo

A troll-free zone for student discussion and debate

Bottom line: This is a valuable platform for students to learn about social and political issues while practicing digital citizenship and argumentation.

The Learning Network

Process current events through engaging NYT-style lens

Bottom line: From a trusted news organization with its finger on the pulse of the world, this free resource can be a reliable source of activities and ideas for current event discussions.

The Sports Network 2

Make news and build ELA skills with this cable sports show sim

Bottom line: It's a great blend of important cross-disciplinary critical reading skills and a fun newsroom context that'll show students how learning translates to working life.

Weava

Chrome extension helps organize web-based research

Bottom line: For Chrome users and mostly digital classrooms, this is a fairly intuitive tool that'll help students wrangle their research.

YourCommonwealth

Engage with passionate international perspectives from youth

Bottom line: Offers a rich variety of news and opinion stories on global issues, and its young writers will get U.S. students hooked on civic engagement.

iSideWith

Easy-to-use political quiz provides instant results, provokes debate

Bottom line: A great tool to help students determine and compare political views; especially useful during the election cycle.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

See related resources