Posted by: jockmackenzie | January 28, 2010

Persuasive Writing – Part 5

The Five Senses


F =Facts and Statistics

R =Reasons

E =Examples

Q =Quotes

O =Opinions

E =Experiences

S = Senses

Information noted in blue type comes from my book Essay Writing: Teaching the Basics from the Ground Up.

*** Please see Parts 1,2,3  & 4 for background information.

In this final blog entry about persuasive writing, we find a fifth student, Tyler, who has decided to persuade his classmates that fighting should be allowed in hockey.

He began with Mr. Mackenzie’s FREQOES list and gathered information in each category:

Facts & Statistics:

From a Sports Illustrated site (, he found this – League statistics cited by Campbell show that 108 (22 percent) of the first 500 fights this season occurred immediately after the faceoff. He also said there was a 20 percent drop in fights during the last five minutes of the game after the NHL gave an automatic five-minute major penalty for those fights.


Tyler asked his neighbor who billeted two WHL players and was given these as reasons that fighting should be allowed:

– fighting has been a part of hockey for years and years

– players who fight get penalized. Hockey is a rough, physical sport and tempers are sure to flare. If things get out of hand, penalties will be given.


Enforcers for NHL teams – Zenon Konopka (Tampa Bay Lightning), Brian McGrattan (Calgary Flames), Zack Sortini (Edmonton Oilers), Boris Valabik (Atlanta Thrashers), Donald Brashear (New York Rangers), Bob Probert (Chicago Blackhawks)


Tyler collected quotes from NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman (“I think most of our fans enjoy that aspect of the game,” said Bettman.) and from Tyler’s favorite player, Jarome Iginla (“I think it helps police the game,” said Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla. “You’re a lot more responsible for what you do out there as far as dirty hits, stickwork and stuff. If you know that fighting’s there or the threat of it, you have to back up what you’re doing.).


Employing what he considered one of his best moves, Tyler asked the school principal, Mrs. Tilquemoast, for her opinion. Mrs. T. was known for her good nature and rather lenient discipline. To his surprise, Mrs. T. commented, “I suppose hockey wouldn’t be hockey without some fighting. Too much is too much but I don’t think it should be banned altogether. There has to be some way to let off steam.”


Tyler noted his personal experience as player. His recalled this event:

Just this last weekend, we were playing a team from Rocky Mountain House. They had a few chippy players who were throwing elbows, butt ending, and spearing. We have a big kid on our team who we call Big Al; he’s over 6 feet tall and he’s tough-looking. When our coach sent him on the ice, he just had to make a few verbal threats to the other team and the chippy play stopped. He didn’t actually fight but they knew he would.

And this brought Tyler to Mr. Mackenzie’s last suggestion – Sense(s). He’d heard several classmates groan about this one. They didn’t understand how sight and sound and so on could develop an idea or support an argument. Even the examples hadn’t helped. But Tyler totally got it.

Mr. Mackenzie had said you that sometimes you need to create a scene for the reader, like a 3D scene plus – and the plus was as many of the senses as possible. Put the reader into a real-life situation they’ve been in before; create it and put them in it as if they are really there. Tyler could do that for most people by creating an actual hockey game scenario.

First he reconsidered the notes:


Using sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Information in the body of the essay from the body of a person – i.e. visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile. or tastebudial – can assist in developing your ideas. Consider these examples from an essay about the process of self-discovery:

Visual: At summer camp, we slept in real teepees. Our section had five huge canvas cones with wooden floors and rusty old camp cots.

Auditory: We awoke each morning to the raucous cries of birds.

Olfactory: The sweet smell of the trees mixed with the lingering aroma of wood smoke.

Tactile: My horse nuzzled me with his soft, velvety upper lip, and then rasped the remaining oats from the palm I had gingerly extended.

Taste: Freshly picked, wild raspberries have a flavor and moistness that cannot be matched.

And then Tyler created this scene:

To understand why it’s important to leave fighting in hockey, you have to imagine you are at a hockey game. Most of you have been to the Centrium to watch the Rebels play so I’m going to take you to a game. Imagine this:

It’s the beginning of the first period and the Rebels are playing the Calgary Hitmen. Hitmen – interesting team name, eh? The smooth, creamy taste of the half chocolate, half vanilla ice cream twist lingers in your mouth; popcorn is reserved for the second period. The lights have just come up after the spinning Rebel symbols zoomed around the ice and spun above the face-off circles; the sounds of O Canada are still reverberating throughout the arena. There’s tension in the air because the Hitmen are arch rivals.

You’re sitting opposite the team benches and you stare across – good guys in their white jerseys, the bad guys, appropriately, in black. Team mascot, Wooly Bully, won’t be needed much because the fans are already cheering. The ref drops the puck and the game is on. You’re close enough to the ice surface to feel a cool breeze and to hear the razor sharp blades cutting the ice, even the schlick, schlick, schlick as star forward Landon Ferraro stick handles expertly right in front of you. Ferraro stops abruptly at the blue line and time seems to stop. Ferraro neither advances nor moves to either side; his stick is poised above the puck.

All of a sudden, Bronsky of the Hitmen, enters your line of vision. He’s just come off the bench and he smashes into Ferraro’s back with a vicious cross-check. The thud is sickening; Ferraro flies forward, landing hard. Pujilistik, enforcer for the Rebels, appears in seconds, grabs Bronsky and spins him around.

The fight is on. Quite evenly matched, the two tough guys exchange blows until Bronsky slips, Pujilistik lands on top of him, and the linesmen pile on. You notice you’re standing like many others around you. Both teams are also on their feet, banging their sticks on the sides of their respective boards. The sound man is playing Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Ferraro is up and seems okay.

Tyler smiles to himself and thinks, “Yeah, that oughta do it. My classmates should feel as if they were actually there. Then I’ll explain how so much of that scene would be different if fighting weren’t allowed.

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