Check out this discussion thread on English Companion Ning which includes Carol S’s distinction, as well as a list of quality resources to teach this key kind of writing and meet Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.
Reply by Carol S
Argue = change what the readers THINK
Persuade = change what the readers DOYou can argue that a film is insipid, that the president’s economic plan will improve our nation, that smoking ought to be allowed in bars, that teenagers are obnoxious twits. They might change their thinking after reading your paper.You can try to persuade people to shop at Macy’s, vote for this candidate, travel to Maui, shave their heads. Your goal is to get them to do something.
Thanks, everyone for your great suggestions. Help spread the word to others who may be struggling with this distinction as they work to design lessons to meet Common Core Standards for ELA.
For those following this thread…I hope you’re including public speaking in your lessons about argumentation and persuasion. Our students also need to know how to articulate their arguments verbally, and to be critical listeners as well. You can add simple pre-writing activities that include SPAR (spontaneous arguments) on some of the topics your students are considering for their writing. Hearing opposing arguments can help them see (hear) reasons others hold different views on topics the students think have only one credible side. See Link with an introduction to SPAR. Feel free to adapt to fit your situation.