Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaching Grammar and Persuasive Writing

Someone quite wise once said that all writing is persuasive. So perhaps this blog entry is, too.

When I stepped out to write a book on persuasion I thought to myself, “What can I possibly add to the canon?” I mean the Greeks and Romans defined it, and philosophers and rhetoricians have been honing it ever since. Yet because I work with teachers who teach writing, I set out to make my humble contribution to the genre. And I think I accomplished that. Four by Four: Practical Methods for Writing Persuasively (Libraries Unlimited, Forthcoming) offers a distinctly hands-on way built upon four patterns to teach kids how to organize a persuasive paper.

Four by Four follows my Brushing Up on Grammar, (Libraries Unlimited, 2010) co-authored with Edward E. Wilson. Research tells us that grammar—to take—needs to be taught within the writing process. Unfortunately, teaching grammar in that way demands teachers who really know their grammar. If not, grammar taught in isolation gets drilled and therefore killed for most kids. BUG, as I affectionately call the book, helps teachers do what the title says—brush up. In that way perhaps they can add a dash of life to a subject most students dread.

Check out these great books that will help you teach your students to write both persuasively and well. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) honors October 20 as The National Day on Writing www.ncte.org/dayonwriting/about

 Joyce Armstrong Carroll, Ed.D., H.L.D., Co-director Abydos Learning International


Four by Four

Practical Methods for Writing Persuasively
By Joyce Armstrong Carroll, EdD, HLD, and Edward E. Wilson

Geared toward English and social studies teachers as well as school librarians, this book provides a clear and concise way to approach the teaching of persuasive writing—and to develop the skills students need to excel on high stakes tests as well.

An Acts of Teaching Approach 
By Joyce Armstrong Carroll, EdD, HLD, and Edward E. Wilson

Teachers will use this book as a quick but intensive way to brush up on their grammar skills and a guide to hands-on ways to teach grammar concepts. 


  1. These are timely books for teaching a tested writing skill.

  2. Richard W. Gronet, Ph.D.October 24, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    A rational approach to persuasive writing is sorely needed in this day of hyperbole, slander, and shrill arguments that pass for persuasiveness. Persuading with solid analysis, clear declarations, and arguments based on facts not opinions disguised as facts will certainly be a boon to teachers and students bombarded daily by falsely based persuasions.

    A comment on "Brushing Up on Grammar": Here I am writing on a medium that is contributing significantly to the demise of grammar. If for no other reason this book is an important defense in the war against grammar now being fought on all electronic media by poorly trained bloggers, tweeters (? Perhaps twits is more appropriate), emailers, etc.