Persuasion = Stating and Arguing Claims Well


  • Diane Lapp,

  • Douglas Fisher


Inside a ninth-grade classroom, we witness one teacher's very intentional instructional attempts that resulted in her students being able to convey well-crafted reasoning and text-supported evidence to mount persuasive arguments. Through personal examples and Internet resources, the teacher concretized pathos, logos, and ethos. The teacher and students together analyzed various documents, including literary and political speeches, for persuasive techniques that manipulated their thinking. As a result, students understood the pitfalls of manipulation while becoming quite sophisticated at mounting evidence-supported claims and counterclaims to present their arguments. Through their writing of ads, students demonstrated their grasp of logical argumentation and also the power of anticipating the knowledge, questions, and concerns of an intended audience as a way to impress a position.