A persuasive text is any text where the main purpose is to present a point of view and seeks to persuade a reader. Persuasive text types include, for example, arguments, expositions, discussions, and letters to the editor, debates, reviews and advertisements.
A NAPLAN persuasive writing test requires students to write a continuous text. A continuous persuasive text has the structural components of an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Each structural component serves a function.
The purpose of the introduction is to introduce the reader to the main idea of the text. It should provide some context associated with the topic and present the writer's opinion on the topic. It should capture the interest of the reader and say why the topic is important. The style of the introduction may change according to the style of the writing and the opinion being presented and might include, for example, a definition of the topic, generalisations about the topic, a list of the main points of argument or a short anecdote.
The body of the persuasive text should develop the intentions stated in the introduction and may make use of the structures typical of non-fictional essays. For example, listing and describing parts, comparing and contrasting, and showing cause and effect are some ways students can present their opinions.
The conclusion should bring closure to the text and the writer's point of view in a way that reinforces the writer's position on the topic. A conclusion should do more than simply repeat what has already been said. Conclusions may summarise the writer's position, reflect on the topic and draw conclusions by synthesising ideas presented in the body. The conclusion should not present new information.
Please note: Anecdote can be a very powerful way of presenting an opinion, and may be used to develop an argument. However, for the purpose of the persuasive writing test, it is not appropriate to write a story or narrative in response to the test topic.
For further information about text structure, please refer to pages 84-85 in the Persuasive writing marking guide.