Macbeth Persuasive Essay: Drafting

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 12868

Even the best writers don't produce their best work on the first try. Writers need to get their thoughts together and rework them as necessary. This is the purpose of the rough draft you will compose!



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

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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You have to write an essay? Boy, that's rough! But not as rough as the rough draft, which isn't really that rough to write, and it makes writing the essay less rough. This will make sense when you read on!

  • You've probably written rough drafts in the past, but have you ever paused to think about why it's important to write a rough draft?

A rough draft helps you organize your thoughts in an essay format. It also gives you a chance to review those thoughts to see if they make sense and are written in a logical order from the beginning to the end of the essay. A rough draft is even more critical when incorporating multiple sources, because the writer must balance his or her own words with supporting evidence from one or more sources.

In the previous two lessons, found under Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar, you worked on developing the background evidence and gathering your research to write your essay on the most important trait that a successful leader should have. In this lesson, you will start to put this information together as an essay. In the previous lesson, you researched information for the argument, counterclaim, and rebuttal, so in this lesson you will learn how to structure a persuasive essay using all of these components.

Think about the last time you tried to persuade a person to believe your opinion or do something you wanted him or her to do. For example, you might have tried to persuade a parent to let you stay out late or persuade a friend to go see the movie you wanted to watch.

  • How did you try to persuade the other person?
  • What words did you use?
  • What type of tone did your voice have?
  • What type of reasons did you give the other person to attempt to win him or her over to your side?

All of these components that we use in verbal persuasion are used in written persuasion as well. For this persuasive essay, you are going to use a traditional persuasive structure. This structure is as follows:

  • introduction with thesis statement (claim about the most important trait a successful leader should have)
  • body paragraphs presenting your reasons for why a leader needs to possess your chosen trait (a minimum of one body paragraph per reason)
  • at least one paragraph explaining the counterclaim (the opposing viewpoint of one trait that other people would say is the most important for a successful leader)
  • at least one paragraph of rebuttal (disproving the opposing viewpoint with your own evidence)
  • conclusion

To see these components explained, watch the following video. Take notes on any writing tips the video provides that you find helpful for your own writing. Watch Parts of an Argument Essay (Jennifer Reid) for an explanation of traditional persuasive essay organization:

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Now that you have watched the video, consider the following questions:

  • What are the benefits of organizing your paper in the traditional persuasive format?
  • Can you think of any other way to organize a persuasive essay?
  • What might be some benefits and drawbacks of using a different type of organization for a persuasive essay?

Write down your answers in your notes, then move on to the Got It? section to practice identifying the parts of a persuasive essay.

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