Four by Four
Practical Methods for Writing Persuasively
by Joyce Armstrong Carroll, EdD, HLD, and Edward E. Wilson
February 2012, 76pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59884-950-9
$30, £24, 27€, A42
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-951-6
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Today’s students need to be able to do much more than score well on multiple choice tests—they need to have the ability to demonstrate their knowledge and comprehension by writing persuasive essays. Now that high stakes testing has underscored the importance of being able to write powerful prose, teachers nationwide are focusing on this specific objective as part of their curricula.

Geared toward English and social studies teachers as well as school librarians, this book provides a clear and concise way to approach the teaching of persuasive writing—and to develop the skills students need to excel on high stakes tests as well.

In Four by Four: Practical Methods for Writing Persuasively, well-known authors and teachers of writing Joyce Armstrong Carroll and Edward E. Wilson provide a practical guide to teaching students how to write persuasively. Organized in four chapters, each containing four sections, the text opens with a history of rhetoric that serves as a logical preface to the persuasive writing basics, guides, and patterns presented in the remainder of the book.

It covers topics such as the Carroll/Wilson Inquiry Schemata as a data collection technique for persuasive writing, planning and organizing a persuasive paper, strategies for efficient editing, and writing the conclusion. Appropriate for educators who work with fourth-grade through college-level students in English and social studies, this guidebook spotlights the research process, a 21st-century skill that teachers should teach collaboratively with their school librarians.


  • Card graphics that make following the model easy to follow
  • Appendices providing mnemonics, registers of language, sample persuasive theses, and the major fallacies students use in their writing
Joyce Armstrong Carroll, EdD, HLD, is codirector of Abydos Learning International, formerly the New Jersey Writing Project in Texas (NJWPT), with Edward E. Wilson. She has taught every grade level in her 52 years of teaching. She was professor of English and writing at McMurry University, and has served as president of the Texas Council of Teacher of English Language Arts, on the National Council of Teachers of English's Commission on Composition, and as Chair of NCTE's Standing Committee Against Censorship. Carroll has written over 16 books for teachers, such as Acts of Teaching: How to Teach Writing; Dr. JAC'S Guide to Writing with Depth; Authentic Strategies for High-Stakes Tests; and Brushing Up on Grammar as well as hundreds of journal articles.

Edward E. Wilson is codirector of Abydos Learning International, formerly the New Jersey Writing Project in Texas (NJWPT), with Joyce Armstrong Carroll. A member of NCTE, TCTELA, CREST, and ASCD, as well as a poet, Wilson has taught on the elementary, secondary, and junior college levels. He coedited Poetry After Lunch with Carroll and also coauthored Acts of Teaching: How to Teach Writing; Brushing Up on Grammar; and Writing and Grammar Series 6–12 with her. Wilson is also the owner of Absey & Co., a publisher specializing in the genres of fiction, poetry, and language arts.


"The writing is very clear and ably supported by numerous models and lesson plans. Those who do not teach but are interested in persuasive writing can apply the concepts to themselves, so while aimed at teachers, others can gain considerable clarity about and learn new methods for applying persuasive writing. . . . This work is recommended for English teachers of English where persuasive writing is on the curriculum."—Australian Library Journal, February 1, 2013

"Although very brief, this guide offers an interesting overview and creative suggestions for the teaching and learning of persuasive writing."—ARBA, January 1, 2013
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