Macbeth Persuasive Essay: Brainstorming

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 12866

"Brainstorming" does not imply that you have water on the brain; it means thinking hard and letting your ideas about a topic flow in your mind and on paper. This is a very vital step in good writing!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What defines a leader? A simple question with profound implications for your essay!

If you answered the question above, then you are already starting the brainstorming and prewriting for your essay!

In this series, Macbeth Persuasive Essay, you will be writing a multi-page persuasive essay incorporating research to make an argument for the most important trait a leader must have. However, before you start drafting the paper or even thinking about the structure of the essay, you'll do some groundwork in research and prewriting to develop your ideas and supporting evidence and organize your information.

Your Macbeth persuasive essay must include the following components:

  • four to five typed or handwritten pages
  • at least three arguments why your selected trait is the most important for a successful leader
  • at least one counterclaim about another trait that someone else might consider to be the most important for a leader to possess
  • at least one rebuttal of the counterclaim
  • introduction and conclusion paragraphs
  • at least one example from Macbeth for every argument and the rebuttal
  • a total of five to seven additional outside sources used in the essay where appropriate
  • MLA citations for all of the outside sources and Macbeth

  1. To start, you must first have some ideas of the traits that a leader must have.
  2. Before considering any other texts or even thinking about the play, consider the traits you think a leader should have.
  3. In a prewrite, come up with as many qualities as you can that you think a leader should have.
  4. First, perform a free write where you list or write down as many phrases about leadership qualities as you can in five or ten minutes.
  5. After you have completed your free write, review it.
    • Are there any traits that stand out on the list?
  1. Choose the two or three of strongest leadership qualities you have on the list, then perform a second free write.
  2. In this free write, spend five minutes on EACH leadership quality and explain why you think this leadership quality is important. Don't worry about grammar or sentences; this is only exploratory writing.
  3. When you have finished the second free write, review your responses.
    • Which one is the strongest or most convincing for you?
  1. Choose the leadership quality that appears to be the most compelling for you now that you have generated some reasons to support it. This quality will become the basis of your answer in your essay.
  2. However, don't throw out the other free writes! Keep them just in case you change your mind about which quality you want to use.

While there is an order to writing, it isn't always a linear process, which means that sometimes you have to go back and change an idea or topic, or find new evidence as you progress through the creation of an essay.

Once you have chosen the leadership quality that is the most convincing to you, move on to the Got It? section, where you will start to develop evidence from the primary text that you will be using for your argument: Macbeth.

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