Learning to Write a Formal Persuasive Opinion Letter

  • Author: Marie Anne Thériault, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Themes: Youth Engagement
  • Division: Grades 6-8
  • Available in: English, French

This Learning Module assumes students have already had a few classes to research an issue related to their chosen topic. For example, my own students researched the possible economic, social, and environmental impacts of the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Strathcona County, Alberta
to Burnaby, British Columbia. Students will use their research to inform and substantiate their letters. They will learn the elements involved in writing a formal letter of opinion, and, by the end of the lesson, they will begin writing the first draft of a letter. Students will begin by watching a Prezi (created by LEARN, see link provided which follows) that explains how to write a formal letter of opinion. Students will go over each step in the writing process to make sure that they understand the importance of opinion letters and how to best write one. Templates will be provided to each student to use as a guide.

Once students understand what a formal opinion letter looks like, they will each start a first draft of their individual letter. The teacher will circulate around the class, answering questions and making sure students understand what was taught. Each student will be asked to formulate two to three persuasive arguments to include in their letter. After completing a first draft, each student will be paired to peer-edit each other’s letters, offer suggestions, and help each other in the writing process.