So I'm always maintaining that Spanish can help with other subject areas. Brain function, vocabulary acquisition skills, etc. But I was talking to my sophomore class today about persuasive writing on the state test. I gave them the following advice.
1.) Your first sentence stakes out your position. None of this, "I see the merits of both sides" stuff. Stake out a position. Even if it's one you don't believe. Also, don't begin your first sentence with "I think...".
2.) Your next block of writing (sentence, paragraph, essay section, whatever) says why that's your position. Up to here, you've written about 70% of your essay. You still have a way to go.
3.) Your next block of writing says, "This is what the people who disagree with me think. This is why they're wrong."
If you boil this down into five sentences, novice-mid level writers could write position papers in Spanish. I don't know why it's never occurred to me.