Persuasive Writing: A Speech about Consent | Facing History & Ourselves
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Persuasive Writing: A Speech about Consent

Students write a persuasive speech for sixth-form students on the importance of consent, having reviewed persuasive devices, generated claims and content, and read a model paragraph.


This resource is intended for educators in the United Kingdom.

At a Glance

assessment copy


English — UK
  • Democracy & Civic Engagement
  • Human & Civil Rights


About this GCSE supplement

This optional GCSE supplement gives students the opportunity to link the content of An Inspector Calls to modern society and the topic of consent, whilst at the same time preparing students for the English Language GCSE. It can help students make connections across texts and works to develop their persuasive writing skills. 

This GCSE supplement is not a lesson and does not need to be taught as such. It is structured in such a way as to ensure that the various steps necessary for writing an effective persuasive letter are outlined in an appropriate order:  

  1. Engage with a stimulus (this step was completed in Lesson 16: Eric’s Decisions and Consent)
  2. Develop claims and content
  3. Read a model
  4. Plan and write the speech
  5. Respond to feedback and redraft

You may decide that your class do not need to follow all of the steps, or that you want your class to do some of the steps in class and others at home. Engage with the supplement in the way that works for your class, adapting it to their needs as you see fit. 

This GCSE supplement builds on the work done in  Lesson 16: Eric’s Decisions and Consent, in which students were introduced to the topic of consent by discussing Eric’s behaviour in relation to Eva Smith, by watching and discussing the video Tea and Consent, and by reading and discussing Chanel Miller’s Stanford Sexual Assault Victim Statement. In this supplement, students are asked to write a speech regarding the importance of consent to be delivered to the students of a sixth-form college at the start of the academic year.

  • Clear and Coherent Writing (Lit-AO4, Lang-AO5/AO6)
  • Knowledge of Subject Terminology (Lit-AO2, Lang-AO2)
  • Writing for Impact (form, audience, purpose) (Lang-AO5)

Students generate ideas for their persuasive speech, in which they must write for impact, considering the form, audience and purpose. Before starting their speech, students have the opportunity to review subject terminology linked to persuasive literary devices, if needed. The model and planning aid helps students write clearly and coherently: they are given inspiration for sentence starters and see how to structure their piece. Finally, if teachers are using Marking Criteria Codes to provide feedback and give students the opportunity to engage with this feedback and redraft their work, then students will make great progress as writers: they can improve the structure and content of their writing, whilst also enhancing their spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.

Learn more about this unit’s Alignment with GCSE Specification.

This GCSE Supplement includes:

  • 4 steps
  • 3 teaching strategies
  • 4 handouts

Preparing to Teach

A Note to Teachers

Before teaching this GCSE supplement, please review the following information to help guide your preparation process.

In this supplement, students are asked to write a speech regarding the importance of consent to be delivered to the students of a sixth-form college at the start of the academic year. The fact that this speech is targeted at sixth-formers makes the writing personally relevant for the students as they will be of a similar age, and may well enter a sixth-form college after their GCSEs. If your school has a sixth form, it might be worth enquiring about whether or not one of your students can deliver their speech or if one speech can be sent out in a school newsletter. It is vital that students understand consent as it will enable them to have healthy relationships throughout the course of their life. If your students’ speeches are going to be used outside of the classroom, you will need to mark them and then give students an opportunity to redraft their work. Redrafting is a powerful way for students to develop as writers.

We recommend that teachers use Marking Criteria Codes when reviewing students’ written work to help them develop the structure and content of their writing, and their written English. These marking criteria codes enable teachers to nurture their students as effective writers by giving them in-depth feedback, which requires proactive student engagement.

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Suggested Activities and Steps

This step was completed Lesson 16: Eric’s Decisions and Consent when students engaged with Eric’s implied assault of Eva in An Inspector Calls, and when students read Chanel Miller’s sexual assault victim statement.  

  • Inform students that they will be preparing to write a persuasive speech regarding the importance of consent to be delivered to the students of a sixth-form college at the start of the academic year. If it is useful for your students to recap their knowledge of persuasive writing techniques, give them the Persuasive Techniques Word Match handout.
  • As a class, brainstorm all the reasons why consent is important and write up the ideas on the board. If your students need help, encourage them to consider the impact that not seeking consent can have on the victims and perpetrators, and the impact that seeking consent can have on people in a relationship.
  • Next, explain to students that to write an effective speech, they need to ensure that all of the claims that they use are well developed and link to the statement: All young people need to understand the importance of consent. They should support this argument by thinking of relevant claims, and thinking about how they can develop these claims with supporting ideas. 
  • To help them with this process, give your students the Persuasive Writing Planning Chart – Claim Development handout and project the example on the board or model your own, explicitly outlining your thinking.
Persuasive Writing Planning Chart

Claim one

Not seeking consent can lead to sexual assault, with dire consequences for victims.
Supporting Idea Victims can lose confidence in who they are and how they live. 
Persuasive Device

Descriptive Language: It is clear that assault carves deep scars into the minds of victims, haunting them.

Rhetorical question: How do you think it must feel to suddenly be scared about going outside?

Supporting Idea Victims can have their lives disrupted by painful and expensive court cases.
Persuasive Device

Emotive Appeal: Imagine what it must be like to stand in front of a room and relive a nightmare over and over as you are mercilessly questioned. 

Statistic: Experienced lawyers can charge more than £200 per hour. in the UK! 1

This table is best viewed on a desktop computer. If viewing on a mobile device, it's recommended to do so in landscape position.

  • Encourage your students to use ideas from Lesson 16: Eric’s Decisions and Consent, but also explain to them that when they are filling in their chart, they can be creative with their ideas, providing their ideas are realistic and relevant to the central argument of the speech.  
  • If helpful, you can give your students the following claims or brainstorm potential claims as a class on the board:
    • Acting without consent can destroy a victim’s life.
    • Consent is a fundamental human right. 
    • Not seeking consent can impact the lives of those who are accused of assault.
    • Consent is very simple to seek.
    • Consent shows respect.
  • 1Solicitors' Guideline Hourly Rates, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, 2010
  • Once your students have completed one or two claim rows on the Persuasive Writing Planning Chart – Claim Development, hand out the Persuasive Writing Model Paragraph
  • Either read out the paragraph to the class or choose one of the Read Aloud strategies. 
  • Then, give students ten minutes to read the paragraph independently and annotate its content. You may wish to give them the following questions to focus their annotation: 
    • Circle or underline persuasive writing techniques
    • Circle or underline the author’s claim
    • Circle or underline the evidence the author uses to support their claim
    • What do you notice about the supporting ideas? How many are there?
    • How does the writer link their ideas together? 
    • Put a question mark by ideas you don’t understand or find puzzling
  • Give the students ten minutes to discuss their annotations with a partner using the Think, Pair, Share strategy and then invite some students to share their ideas or any queries they have with the class. 
  • Invite students to revisit their Persuasive Writing Planning Chart – Claim Development and add any additional ideas that have come to mind since reading the letter example.
  • Finally, give students the Persuasive Speech Planning Aid handout and ask students to use it to write a speech on the importance of consent to be delivered to the students of a sixth-form college at the start of an academic year. Remind them that they should take their intended audience into account when considering how to structure and convey their argument. 
  • To help them with the planning process, you may wish to project this structure on the board: 
    • Opening paragraph: outline why you are writing – refer to the topic statement
    • Paragraph one: claim one + two supporting ideas (each with two persuasive devices)
    • Paragraph two: claim two + two supporting ideas (each with two persuasive devices)
    • Paragraph three: claim three + two supporting ideas (each with two persuasive devices)
    • Closing paragraph: summary of message and call to action
  • When students submit their speeches, consider using the Marking Criteria Codes teaching strategy to give in-depth feedback and to boost student engagement with marking.
  • Then, give students an opportunity to redraft their work, taking on board the suggested improvements. It can be powerful for students to engage in real-world writing tasks, so consider having students share their speeches with a wider audience, for example at a school assembly or in a sixth-form college class. Students could even create an ‘Importance of Consent’ display board in a school corridor or classroom and include printed copies of their speeches, or submit their speeches for publication in a school newsletter or newspaper.

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