How to Write a Persuasive Speech in the Sixth Grade

Practicing in front of others can give you useful feedback to improve your speech.
... Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Giving a speech can be scary to people of all ages, but giving a persuasive speech is not much different from participating in an argument. The goal of a persuasive speech is to sway the audience toward your viewpoint by giving reasons and details for your opinion. With organization and practice, anyone can write a strong persuasive speech.

1 Topic

Pick a topic that fits the guidelines of what your teacher has assigned. Sixth grade persuasive topics might include issues such as curfews, year-round schooling, littering, bullying, school uniforms, gangs, sex education, arts in schools, animal rights and violent video games. The topic should be an issue that affects people and about which people can have different opinions. You should pick a topic that you find interesting and about which you have something to say.

2 Main Point

Once you've picked a topic, you need to decide where you stand on the issue. You can argue for it or against it, or you can propose a solution. Clearly state your main point at the start of your speech. It should also be debatable and not a fact; this means others should be able to disagree with your statement. For example, if the topic is violent video games, you can argue that violent video games should be banned because they lead to real violence in society; an opposing position to this claim could be that video games, no matter how violent, should not be censored because this would limit people's freedoms. It helps if the main point is something you really believe, because that makes it easier to come up with reasons to support it.

3 Structure

The speech should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. The introduction should provide background and state what you are trying to persuade the audience about. The body should give reasons, details and examples that support your point. For example, if your main point is that school uniforms are a bad idea for students, you can explain that uniforms restrict the students' right to self-expression and that making girls wear skirts while boys can wear pants is not fair to girls. Finally, the conclusion of your speech should restate your major points.

4 Practice

Don't wait until the last minute to write your speech. Write it early enough that you will have sufficient time to rehearse and revise it. Practicing the speech can give you a sense of time so you know how to pace yourself in your delivery. Also, practicing the speech by reading it aloud several times increases your familiarity with it, which can reduce stress about forgetting or stumbling. Practice in front of people to get comfortable with speaking in front of an audience and to get helpful feedback to make the speech more clear and interesting.

Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.