Similarly, responses structured around mnemonics like DAFOREST or variants can feel artificial and constrained.
Years ago, I taught writing to argue and persuade with a strong focus on encouraging students to shoehorn as many persuasive devices as they could into their writing, as the example below, with the obligatory Comic Sans, illustrates.
I wanted to establish some maxims for good persuasive writing without imposing a rigid framework or a list of success criteria.
The task in the exam is linked to the topic or theme of the reading sources, which act as stimulus material.
To replicate this, we watched several You Tube clips which in which viewpoints and opinions about education were expressed, from Sir Ken Robinson to Katherine Birbalsingh on .
In our ensuing class discussions, many students, although certainly not all, unsurprisingly veered toward a fairly ‘progressive’ stance on how education should be conceptualised.There’s clearly nothing spectacularly new about this topic as stimulus for persuasive writing, but, like the question they’ll tackle in an exam context, it draws from a sphere that students can well be expected to already know something about.I wanted to teach my students the process of planning, drafting and editing their writing, initially over the course of a few lessons, but with the intention that gradually, they could plan, write and edit effectively within the time constraints of the exam.Of particular note as being often out of place were the ubiquitous statistics and spurious surveys, alongside the fake experts and fictitious anecdotes, none of which were very The student from whose work I’ve included many of the examples in this blog post initially wrote over two thousand words.The piece digressed at length about the merits of the education system in Finland, and in doing so, really lost sight of the central thesis.The examiners are clear that a sustained argument should be led by the deeper structures of the argument itself, rather simply signposted by persuasive devices.‘…there were still signs of familiar mnemonics to remind students to cover the whole range of linguistic devices, regardless of how appropriate they were to the task.Comparative subordinating conjuntions such as ‘however’ can allow a student to rebuff a counter-argument, as can the preposition ‘despite’.A student could use conjunctions such as ‘because’ and ‘since’ to demonstrate reasoning.A copy of the resources I’ve used, which include some material written by my own students, which you can use as a ‘here’s one I made earlier’ and which you can adapt as you see fit, can be found here.‘There was significant evidence of more planning taking place and, in most cases, this led to a stronger and more coherent sense of a whole argument, which is likely to encourage students towards the clarity necessary to be awarded a mark in Level 3 or above Students can expect a statement at the start of the question setting out a clear audience, purpose and form; what AQA have called ‘an enabling, provocative…controversial statement that prompts students to write a response offering their own… controversial statement’ that I chose was ‘education is no longer fit for purpose.’ After we had watched and read the stimulus material I described above, I fielded a classroom discussion in which I encouraged everyone to develop an individual response to the statement and to gather ideas in the form of a mindmap.