NAPLAN Persuasive Writing

Key Elements of NAPLAN Persuasive Writing

Key Elements of NAPLAN Persuasive Writing

This is our 3rd part of NAPLAN Test writing blog series which covers persuasive writing. In our 1st blog, we have covered NAPLAN writing in detail whereas 2nd covers Narrative writing in more details.

Persuasive Writing:

NAPLAN Persuasive Writing
NAPLAN Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing is a style of writing where you try to convince or influence the reader on an issue.  Your writing should convince the reader to
support your position or take a certain action. It can include arguments, discussions, expositions, letters to the editor, debates, reviews, and advertisements to support your case. Students are expected to write a continuous text and the text should include an introduction, body, and conclusion.


The introduction should convey the main idea of the text to the reader; it should be able to present the writer’s opinion on the prompt. The reader should be able to develop interest in the story after reading the introduction. Thus, it is important to have a good introduction. You can include a definition or generalization of the topic or the list of main points of the prompt to grab the reader’s


The body of the text should contain the details of your argument. You could present your case in the form of a non-fictional essay that incorporates points supporting your argument. These could include comparing and contrasting the points, listing and describing the points in details, or presenting cause and effects of the points. It is better to follow the structure type with which the writer can confidently express his opinion.


The conclusion of the text should be able to present the writer’s point of view. There should be no new point of views about the topic, but simply a summary of the view point. It has to be well synchronized with the body part of the text.

Students should follow this structural pattern while writing the Persuasive test to achieve good marks. The structural pattern along with the following ten criterions used by the NAPLAN marker or grader to evaluate the Persuasive writing test are enough for the student to get a good result.

Marking criterion Description of narrative writing marking criterion
Audience The writer’s capacity to orient, engage and persuade the reader
Text structure The organisation of the structural components of a persuasive text (introduction, body and conclusion) into an appropriate and effective text structure
Ideas The selection, relevance and elaboration of ideas for a persuasive argument
Persuasive devices The use of a range of persuasive devices to enhance the writer’s position and persuade the reader
Vocabulary The range and precision of contextually appropriate language choices
Cohesion The control of multiple threads and relationships across the text, achieved through the use of grammatical elements (referring words, text connectives, conjunctions) and lexical elements (substitutions, repetitions, word associations)
Paragraphing The segmenting of text into paragraphs that assists the reader to follow the line of argument
Sentence structure The production of grammatically correct, structurally sound and meaningful sentences
Punctuation The use of correct and appropriate punctuation to aid the reading of the text
Spelling The accuracy of spelling and the difficulty of the words used

The maximum points for Audience criteria is 6, Text Structure is 4, Ideas is 5, Persuasive devices is 4, Vocabulary is 5, Cohesion is 4, Paragraphing is 3, Sentence Structure is 6, Punctuation is 5, and Spelling is 6.

Now that we’ve covered the marking criteria, here are some tips that will enable the student to achieve high points in these criterions:

  1. Create an appropriate relationship with reader (e.g. polite, formal, social distance, personal connection)
  2. Reveal values and attitudes.
  3. Persuade through control of tenor.
  4. Appeal to reason, emotions and/ or cultural values.
  5. Subvert expectations (challenge readers’ values).
  6. Acknowledge wider audience.
  7. Ideas may include:
    1. Psychological subjects.
    1. Mature viewpoints.
    1. Elements of popular culture.
    1. Satirical perspectives.
    1. Traditional sub-genre subjects.
  8. Convincing dialogue, introspection and reactions to other characters.
  9. Consistent use of word associations and substitutions that enhance reading.
  10. Deliberately structured to pace and direct the reader’s attention. Single sentence may be used as a dramatic or final comment or for emphasis.
  11. Sentence punctuation includes:
    1. Capital letters to begin sentences.
    1. Full stops to end sentences.
    1. Question marks to end sentences.
    1. Exclamation marks to end sentences.
  12. Noun capitalisation includes:
    1. First names and surnames.
    1. Titles: Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms etc.
    1. Place names: Paris, Italy.
    1. Institution names: Valley High.
    1. Days of week, months of year.
    1. Street names: Ord St.
    1. Book and film titles.
    1. Holidays: Easter, Ramadan.
    1. Historic events: World War II.

Finally, let’s look at a previous NAPLAN Narrative test prompt and how to write its text. The prompt the students were asked to write on was “Should children wear uniforms in school” and here’s the best way to answer it.

First, you should note down the main points:

  • Your viewpoint and state it clearly in the introductory paragraph.
  • Your series of arguments and how you will support each of them. What points you will include to support your point of view?
  • How will you summarize your point of view in the most persuasive way possible.
  • Whether you will add a call to action in your conclusion.

Then you should consider:

  • Give your narrative a title.
  • To write in the present tense.
  • Use words that will persuade the reader.
  • Start a new paragraph for each point that supports your argument.
  • Use a logical sequence with the paragraphs.
  • Finish with a strong conclusion that supports your introduction.
  • Check and edit your writing when you have finished.

NAPLAN writing test isn’t that hard. If a student follows the above guidelines and practices writing on different prompts, he/she can achieve a high score.