By Constance Foland | April 26, 2011 at 08:20 AM EDT | No Comments
Using "signal words" or phrases in an essay can help make the essay more persuasive.
In your modeling, ask students which sounds more persuasive:
"I did all my chores. I want to go to my friend's house now." OR "Since I completed all of my homework an hour before dinner, I would like to spend time at my friend's house." Teacher should note that, in the second statement, using the word 'since' clarifies why the student is making the request. The teacher explains that certain words help guide the reader along. Signal words cue the reader to pay attention to a particular statement and can influence the reader's thinking.
For practice students can look for signal words/phrases in exemplar essays or letters. The class can then brainstorm and chart signal words and their purposes.
Here are some.
Signal Word/Phrase Purpose
Since... to help the reader draw a conclusion
However, to present a counter argument
In addition, to introduce more examples
The real question is... to frame the issue
Studies show... to give the reader proof