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What is persuasive writing?

Persuasive text
Persuasive text is written to make the reader do something. Children are taught this form of non-fiction text in Key Stage 2; we explain the key features of persuasive text and how you can support your child's learning at home.

What is persuasive text?

Persuasive texts are constructed to make the reader do something. They are non-fiction texts.

Persuasive texts can take a number of forms, for example an advert persuading you to buy some chocolate, a poster encouraging people to stop smoking or a travel brochure enticing the reader to go to a particular country. Persuasive text is a form of non-fiction text that is usually taught in Key Stage 2.


Persuasive text often includes:

  • repeated words
  • alliterative words
  • emotional language
  • a strong argument
  • rhetorical questions
  • colourful and eye-catching fonts / capitalised words
  • humour

Persuasive writing in practice

Teachers tend to teach a unit on persuasive texts that is related to a theme children are studying that term. For example, they might be teaching the children about the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece. Children might learn facts about the Games with a view to designing their own poster encouraging people to come.

To familiarise children with the kind of text they want them to eventually produce, the teacher might give the children a range of texts encouraging people to attend various current sporting events. They would look at how the layout of these texts might be persuasive, for example: bright colours, exciting pictures and eye-catching fonts. They would then look at the words and phrases used to persuade people to attend the events. These might include: 'exciting', 'fantastic', 'once in a lifetime', 'limited period only', 'tickets selling fast'. There might be some kind of incentive to buy quickly: 'Book before Friday and get two tickets for the price of one'.

Using their knowledge of the Ancient Greek Olympic Games, they would then plan their own poster, encouraging people to come to the Games. They would need to think about all the features they had studied and decide how they were going to lay out their poster and what they would write on it. They may do some draft writing which they would then edit with the help of their teacher or peers, before producing their neat version.

How are children taught persuasive writing in KS2?

The literacy framework sets out a number of units on persuasive writing in Key Stage 2 that most state school teachers follow.

In Year 3, persuasive writing is linked to information texts, so that a teacher will choose a topic to study and then will show children how to write persuasively about this topic.

In Year 4, the suggested persuasive writing unit is for children to write their own persuasive film review.

In Year 5, children may be taught how to write a letter to a certain person (of choice) to persuade them on an important issue.

In Year 6, persuasive writing is often linked to one of the suggested poetry units.

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