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Explore Persuasive Commentary


Why persuasive commentary?

Let’s Talk About Election 2020 wants to hear from students about issues that matter to them. But issues we care about can’t be separated from who we are, where we come from and what we value. That’s why we’re asking students to submit a commentary. 

What is a commentary? It’s a lot like an op-ed you’d see in the newspaper, but for a broadcast audience. A commentary asks writers to make a claim or take a stand using both personal experience or opinion and evidence-based analysis. Because it draws on personal experience and accessible language to connect to an audience, persuasive commentary differs from more formal genres of literary or scientific commentary. 

You’re probably already making connections between persuasive commentary and other types of writing. This type of commentary has lots in common with personal narrative, op-ed writing, civically engaged writing and elements of persuasive and argumentative writing. 

As with any writing genre, a writer’s authentic voice is vital. But in persuasive commentary, the writer crafts her story with her own experience and a public audience in mind. It might help to think of persuasive commentary as one perspective in an ongoing conversation about an issue. 

Annotate the infographic, "The Components of Commentary" and the examples of persuasive commentary collected below.

In your annotations, respond to the following questions:

  • How does the writer use both narrative techniques and evidence-based arguments to strengthen her claim? 
  • How did the media elements affect how you experienced the piece? 

© Copyright 2019, Paul Allison.
“NowComment” and “Turning Documents into Conversations” are registered trademarks of Paul Allison. All rights reserved.

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