Reading Workshop: Persuasive Essay

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1 NAME CLASS DATE SCORE for CHAPTER 7 page 228 Reading Workshop: Persuasive Essay DIRECTIONS Read the following passage, and answer the questions in the right-hand column. Springfield Youth Need a Skatepark The youth of Springfield are getting a mixed message. They can buy skateboards and safety equipment in many local stores. Yet, once they skate in public, they are fined and ticketed because of a 1. What word in the first paragraph indicates that the writer is expressing an opinion? city ordinance that bans skateboarding on streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. Skateboarders report that they have no other places to skate. The city should create a public skatepark to provide a safe place for this sport. Interest in skateboarding shows no sign of diminishing. A petition requesting a public skatepark has been signed by over five hundred young skateboarders who wish to continue to skate 2. Which statements in the second paragraph can be proved? without breaking the law. Furthermore, the age range of skateboarders is increasing as more and more of them are staying with the sport past the age of sixteen. American Sports Data estimates that there are two million skateboarders who say they skate every day. Other surveys show that skateboarding is the third largest sport for youth between six and eighteen years of age. Skateboarding has many benefits. First, it is physically challenging. It teaches balance, coordination, and muscle control. Mastering tricks like a heelslip or lipslide requires concentration, practice, and skill. Second, executing these feats gives skaters self-confidence. Third, the sport often attracts young people who are not interested in team sports and would not take the time to exercise. Springfield needs to encourage its youths to develop physically and emotionally. The city should support physically challenging activities for all Springfield youth. 3. In the third paragraph, what example does the writer use to show that skateboarding teaches balance and coordination? Chapter Tests 35

2 NAME CLASS DATE for CHAPTER 7 page 228 continued Some people argue that skateboarding is dangerous and should not be supported by the city. Skateboarding is much less dangerous than many sports for which the city already provides public land. For instance, 3.6 percent of hockey players, 2.78 percent of football 4. What facts does the writer use to support the statement that skateboarding is less dangerous than other sports? players, 2.57 percent of basketball players, and 1.42 percent of soccer players visit the emergency room for sports-related injuries. Yet, only.49 percent of skateboarders have similar serious injuries. Springfield must give its skateboarders a safe place to skate. Skateboarding is a popular and challenging sport, and a skatepark is a safe, legal alternative to public streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. Young citizens of the city have demonstrated their interest in a park 5. What opinions does the writer express in the last paragraph? by signing a petition and sending it to the city council. Now, the city council should show that it values skateboarders health and safety by looking for locations for a skatepark. 36 ELEMENTS OF LANGUAGE Introductory Course

3 NAME CLASS DATE for CHAPTER 7 page 228 continued DIRECTIONS Use the ideas and information in the passage you have just read to complete the graphic organizer. Identifying Reasons and Evidence WRITER S OPINION REASON #1 REASON #3 over 500 skateboarders signed petition REASON #2 skateboarding is beneficial Chapter Tests 37

4 NAME CLASS DATE for CHAPTER 7 page 237 Writing Workshop: Persuasive Letter REVISING GUIDELINES DIRECTIONS Use the following guidelines to help you revise and correct the letter on the next page. THE INTRODUCTION SHOULD grab the reader s attention include a clear opinion statement THE BODY SHOULD give at least two reasons to support the opinion contain one paragraph for each reason give at least one piece of evidence (a fact or example) to support each of the reasons explain each fact and example THE CONCLUSION SHOULD summarize reasons that support the opinion include a specific and reasonable call to action REMEMBER TO avoid long sentences made up of strings of ideas connected by and,but, or so punctuate possessives correctly 38 ELEMENTS OF LANGUAGE Introductory Course

5 NAME CLASS DATE SCORE for CHAPTER 7 page 237 Writing Workshop: Revising and Proofreading DIRECTIONS The following persuasive letter was written in response to this prompt: Write a persuasive letter to your school board about a current topic. The letter contains problems in content, style, and mechanics. Choose from the statements in the Databank on the next page to help you with the revisions. Use the space between the lines to revise the paper and correct the errors. If you cannot fit some of your revisions between the lines, rewrite the revised sections on a separate piece of paper. Dear School Board: My name is David Munn, and I am a sixth-grade student at Hamilton Middle School. I am writing about the proposal for school a. Problem with opinion statement uniforms that the school board is considering. I object to the proposal to require student uniforms. Making school uniforms mandatory will take away the responsibility my parents gave me. The second reason I am against the proposal is that uniforms will not improve students grades and schoolwork. Although some people argue that students would be less distracted in class if there were school uniforms, that is not true. In my classes, I have noticed that some students always pay attention, but there are other students who are easily distracted, so I think those students would be b. Problem with evidence c. Problem with possessive form d. Problem with sentence length distracted whether or not the school required uniforms. Chapter Tests 39

6 NAME CLASS DATE for CHAPTER 7 page 237 continued School uniforms keep students from expressing who they are and do not help students make better grades. e. Problem with call to action Sincerely, David Munn David Munn DATABANK When I was a small child, my parents picked out my clothes for school. As I grew older, my parents trusted me to make this decision. The school board wants us to dress alike. 40 ELEMENTS OF LANGUAGE Introductory Course

7 Chapter Tests Writing Workshop p. 33 Scoring Guide for The Fear of Spiders SCORING TOTAL POINTS: 100 Here are suggested weights for test items. a. 35 points c. 15 points b. 20 points d. 30 points a. Problem: The introduction does not include a main idea statement that identifies the topic and the major points. Solution: Include a main idea statement at the end of the introductory paragraph. Example: It is reasonable to be afraid of some spiders, but it is unreasonable to be afraid of all spiders. b. Problem: A vague noun is used. Solution: Replace the vague noun with a more precise one. Example: Professor Savory, a biologist, found that most of his students were afraid of large or black spiders or spiders with long legs. c. Problem: The source is not correctly capitalized. Solution: Capitalize the important words in the title. Example: The Book of the Spider d. Problem: The conclusion does not restate the report s main idea. Solution: Replace the concluding sentence with sentences that state the main idea. Example: People should not be afraid of all spiders. Even though they look scary and make creepy movements, most spiders cannot cause serious harm to humans. Chapter 7 Reading Workshop p. 35 Springfield Youth Need a Skatepark SCORING TOTAL POINTS: 100 Here are suggested weights for test items. Reading Passage Graphic Organizer 65 points (13 per item) 35 points (5 per item) 1. The word should indicates that the writer is expressing an opinion. 2. The statements that can be proved are the number of skateboarders (five hundred) who signed the petition; the age range (past the age of sixteen) of skateboarders; the estimated number of skateboarders according to American Sports Data (two million); and the rank of the sport s popularity (third largest with people between six and eighteen years of age). 3. The writer uses the example of mastering tricks like a heelslip and a lipslide to show that skateboarding teaches balance and coordination. 4. To support the statement that skateboarding is less dangerous than other sports, the writer uses facts about the number of injuries in other sports compared to those in skateboarding. 5. The writer expresses the opinions that Springfield must give skateboarders a safe place to skate and that the city must look for locations for a skatepark. 10 ELEMENTS OF LANGUAGE Introductory Course

8 PART 1: COMMUNICATIONS p. 37 Identifying Reasons and Evidence WRITER S OPINION Springfield should create a public skatepark. REASON #1 there is continuing interest in skateboarding REASON #3 not a dangerous sport over 500 skateboarders signed petition percentage of skateboarders who get hurt is small and is less than in other sports teaches balance, coordination, and muscle control skateboarding is beneficial REASON #2 gives skateboarders self-confidence attracts people who are not interested in team sports Test Answer Keys 11

9 Chapter Test s Writing Wo rk s h o p p. 3 9 S co ring Guide for Pe r s u a s i ve Le t te r SCORING TOTAL POINTS: 100 H e re are suggested weights for test items. a. 30 points b. 25 points c. 10 points d. 20 points e. 15 points a. P r o b l e m : The introduction lacks a clear opinion statement and is not attention g e t t i n g. S o l u t i o n : Add an opinion statement and grab the readers attention. E x a m p l e : Attention grabber: Do you ever get tired of wearing the same old clothes? We would, too. My name... Move the first sentence of the second paragraph to the beginning of the letter. This sentence is the opinion statement. b. P r o b l e m : The letter does not include evidence to support the re a s o n. S o l u t i o n : Use information from the D a t a b a n k to add evidence for the re a s o n. E x a m p l e : When I was a small child, my p a rents picked out my clothes for school. As I grew older, my parents trusted me to make this decision. Making school uniforms mandatory will take away the responsibility my parents gave me. c. P r o b l e m : The possessive form of a plural noun is not punctuated corre c t l y. S o l u t i o n : Add an apostrophe to the appropriate plural noun. E x a m p l e : The second reason I am against the proposal is that uniforms will not i m p rove students grades and schoolwork. d. P r o b l e m : The sentence is long and stringy. S o l u t i o n : B reak the long sentence into two shorter sentences. E x a m p l e : In my classes, I have noticed that some students always pay attention, but t h e re are other students who are easily distracted. I think those students would be distracted whether or not the school re q u i red uniforms. e. P r o b l e m : The conclusion lacks a specific and reasonable call to action. S o l u t i o n : Add a call to action to the end of the paragraph. E x a m p l e : I ask the school board not to pass the proposal for mandatory school u n i f o r m s. 1 2 ELEMENTS OF LANGUAGE Introductory Course

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