Four by Four

  • Title:Four by Four: Practical Methods for Writing Persuasively
  • Author:Joyce Armstrong Carroll, EdD, HLD, and Edward E. Wilson
  • Publication Date:February 2012
  • Grade Level:3-12
  • ISBN:9781598849509
  • Publisher:ABC-Clio

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.

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.

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


  • Focuses on the 21st-century skills needed to pass high stakes tests


Author Bio

In her 54-year career, Joyce Armstrong Carroll, Ed.D., H.L.D., has taught every grade level from primary to graduate school. In the past 36 years, she has trained teachers in the teaching of writing as Co-director of the New Jersey Writing Project, then The New Jersey Writing Project in Texas, now Abydos Learning International. A nationally known consultant, she has authored a national textbook program, numerous books and articles for teachers, and poems. With her husband Edward E. Wilson, Dr. Carroll authored Acts of Teaching: How to Teach Writing, now in its 2nd edition, as well as the award-winning Poetry After Lunch: Poems to Read Aloud. She has recently been awarded the Edmund J. Farrell Lifetime Service Award from TCTELA. Dr. Carroll’s mantra is, “If you teach it, they will learn.”

Edward Wilson is co-director of Abydos Literacy Learning. His published works include Acts of Teaching: How to Teach Writing; Brushing Up on Grammar, and Four by Four: Practical Methods for Writing Persuasively. His latest book is The Critical Writer: Inquiry and the Writing Process. Wilson owns Absey & Co., a small publishing company that specializes in teacher idea books.

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