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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Workshop Wednesday {Opinion Writing}

Workshop Wednesday at Ideas by Jivey is back to a weekly linkup!  Yay!!
 This week's topic is OPINION WRITING.

When I saw this topic, I immediately thought of sharing some ideas about opinion writing in general and how it is different from persuasive writing.  They have a lot in common but the CCSS is clear that there is a distinction between the two.  I am still wrapping my head around the CCSS and at a workshop at the end of the year last year, we investigated the topic of opinion writing as it is stated in the 4th grade CCSS.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1a Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1b Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1c Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instancein order toin addition).
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1d Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

Opinion writing is clearly based on "text evidence" and this corresponds to one of the shifts in ELA.  I found this t-chart online that gives a great overview of persuasive writing vs. opinion/argument writing.

Persuasive Writing   Vs.
Claim based on Opinion

Claim (Opinion, Position, Hypothesis, Thesis Statement, Theory)
Not Always Substantiated Claim
(e.g., Propaganda, Advertisements)
Substantiated Claim (Based on Relevant & Sufficient Evidence)
“Pathos”—Appeal to Audience Emotion, Desires, Needs

Some “Pathos” but emphasis is on
“Logos”—Appeal to logical reasoning and evidence (e.g., Facts, Examples, Historical and Legal Precedents)
“Ethos”—Appeal to writer’s or speaker’s character, credentials, trustworthiness“Ethos”—Appeal to writer’s or speaker’s credibility (more so than character); credibility is established through knowledge of subject matter and merits of reasons and factual evidence
Persuasive texts may make an “argument,” but they don’t always include elements of a formal argumentInclude the following elements of Argument:

Warrants (Statements about How Evidence Supports Claims)
Backing (Support for Warrants)
May not take opposing views into accountCounterclaim (Opposing Argument)
Rebuttals (Respond to and Try to Refute)
Heart of Critical Thinking

Since I have been taking the plunge into using more and more mentor texts in my classroom, (thanks mostly to Collaboration Cuties mentor text weekly linky and Jivey's mentor sentences-read more here), I was browsing TpT and found this pack on opinion writing using mentor texts by Free to Teach that I added to my wish list.  The best part is that I already own two of the mentor texts!

I am looking forward to reading the great ideas linked up for opinion writing this week!  
Do you teach the differences between persuasive and opinion writing in 4th grade?  
I would love to hear your thoughts!


  1. That chart really lays it out nicely (at least for me!). We don't really teach opinion writing, but after seeing your chart, I'm so glad I had my students research before we wrote today!!! :O)
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. Our district labeled our standards persuasive writing, but we are using CCSS so it's opinion writing. I like the idea of having to use facts to back up your opinion. Thanks for sharing.

    Third Grade Galore

  3. Great ideas Holly! I like to teach them the difference between persuasive and opinion. We are focusing more on the opinion but I still explain the difference to them. You are welcome to link up to my new linky...
    Every Day is Like Sunday Linky
    Rockin Resources

  4. I am so glad that you posted this. When I was thinking of my post I was confused about persuasive vs. opinion writing. I am glad you did the work to figure out the difference (even if we don't use Common Core this is still a good reference). Will have to check out that resource - thanks again for doing all the leg work for me!!