美国学校里，老师也教人如何去“说服”他人，让人刻意去朝某一方面去想。与蓄意操纵思维的“宣传”（propaganda) 不同，“说服”策略(persuasion techniques)是中性概念。学生学习如何说服他人，达成自己正当、正义的目标。这些策略可用在演讲、公关、营销等诸多工作之中。学生也可通过这样的学习，辨别他人的“忽悠”，培育批判性思维的能力。从女儿的作业上，我看到了这些“说服技巧”（她所用的例子是劝说学生吃学校的“营养午餐”）：
“市侩”（snob appeal)： 这个技巧，是让受众感觉自己优于他人。现在广告中常出现的“你应该享有…”（You deserve…)之类说辞，就是为了让对方感觉自己是个人物，应该享有这样那样，其实大部分受众不过是些不甘平凡的平常人物，但是这种话他们听了受用。“你应该享有健康，吃健康的学校午餐吧！”
“忠诚”（appeal to loyalty): 这个技巧，是想调动受众对于某个群体的忠诚，而达成特定的目的。网上这种例子很多，比如“是中国人就转”、“是X省人就顶”。或者我们回到营养午餐的例子：“支持你的学校，吃学校营养午餐吧。”这是调集学生对于学校的支持和忠诚。
As a sixth grader, I strive to get great grades. I work hard to succeed in academics, and I concentrate on learning how to sing, play piano, and play violin. However, we all need a break once in a while. Many middle school kids entertain themselves by playing on a smartphone or surfing the Internet. But how am I to entertain myself if I don’t have anything to entertain myself with in the first place? If I had an iPhone, it would help to entertain myself, to find advice for things, and learn how to do things. I also play many musical instruments, and it helps a lot to listen to how others play a hard song. I have an extremely old iPod touch (specifically, the 2nd generation) and it can hardly do anything. I own a cell phone, but all it can do is call and take terrible pictures or record shot video clips. I frequently lose track of these ancient devices, and I can’t ever find them. I only lose them due to the fact that they can’t even do anything, so I don’t use them. iPhones have a tracking device so that when you lose one, you can get it to sound loudly.
Recent studies have shown that teenagers between 13 and 17 years old have demonstrated a sudden increase in smartphone adoption. In fact, 58% of the American teenagers own a smartphone, compared to the 36% of the teens saying they owned a smartphone just last year. If so many others own a smartphone, then why can’t I? Furthermore, 20 percent of the third graders have a cell phone while 83 percent of the middle schoolers own a smartphone. Perhaps younger children are attracted to smartphones like magnets. (Dad's comment: Source?)
In middle school, you have many projects and homework that require research. In Spanish last semester, I was required to make a presentation about Nicaragua. Most people can’t just remember what they know about Nicaragua. I was one of those people, so in order to make a presentation, I had to do research. If you are trying to find some extra information while on the go and you don’t have a laptop handy, that might be a problem. However, if you have a smartphone, then poof! There goes your problem! You see, many smartphones can go on the Internet without having wireless connection. iPods like mine can’t do that. They just can’t. It’s like training an old dog to roll down a slide, run 90 meters, then cannon-ball into a freezing pool. It’s impossible. So, I need a newer version. Many times when I try to download an app, it often says that it is not compatible with this iPod or that it requires iOS 3 and up or something. I always have to borrow my parents’ devices, and at this point, it’s sort of embarrassing. I mean, I’m in middle school already, and I depend on my parents for the use of a good electronic device. I can’t exactly mow lawns for the money to buy an iPhone because I’m just not that type of person, and selling things will take forever. (Dad's comments: This isn't very reasonable. If you really want something, you have to earn it.)
I play so many musical instruments, and though I am a sort of violin miracle among my fellow sixth graders because I have been playing for so long, I have quite a bit of room to improve. When my private teacher asks me to learn a new section, there is a 70% chance that I will have no idea how it’s supposed to sound. My only solution is to search up the song on Youtube and see how others play it. I have a great computer at home, and it is very trustworthy, but I can’t exactly stuff a 2 ? foot long non- portable computer in my pocket. If I have an iPhone, I will have lots of memory for me to fill with downloaded songs that I am playing and other things.
iPhones are a combination of a cell phone and an iPod touch or another similar electronic device. If I have an iPhone, I don’t have to take care of two different devices if I can combine them into one awesome device. I mean, being a sixth grader and all, keeping track of two different devices is a huge responsibility, and it is exhausting. It is quite a job, and if I were to get hired to do it, I would be fired in an instant. I wouldn’t be surprised if, when they were seeing what sort of person I was, among all the achievements, there would be a huge article about the “notorious electronic wrecker” and the “terrible girl who seems to have memory loss every five seconds and can’t remember where she put things”. (Dad's comment: I don't like this part. You make it sound fun not to take a responsibility.)
Now, you might argue that I don’t have the responsibility to take care of one, and I will lose it or drop it, but I won’t. You see I have had my trusty old iPod for about two years, and the colorful, partly useless gel case keeps my iPod together. I have lost my iPod several times, but it’s like I said earlier, the main reason is because that I hardly ever use it. It can’t do much, so what is the use of it? The only reason I keep it is to listen to music, draw, and to repeatedly tell my mind that it’s going to be okay, and at least I own an electronic device.
Though iPhones are quite a bit of money, it will be worth it. I will put that future Faith Jr. to use from the instant I touched it. iPods that are so old can’t do anything should be replaced and put in an old electronics retirement center and spend the rest of their seemingly endless lives watching each other. Now, you stubborn parents out there should open your ears and listen to your child’s reasoning, even though half the time they may just be screaming themselves hoarse. Maybe you should consider it. And for you children, spare your poor parents their hearing and politely and calmly reason with them. If you make them deaf, they won’t be able to hear your reasoning.
So, maybe you could be a reasonable parent and not go type-warring me to type me silly and counter argue why you don’t want me to have an iPhone and hear me out, Dad. Sure, I’d play an extra hour of piano or violin for a week, or I would type a good 5 paragraph essay every day for a month. Come on, I’m desperate! I’ll get straight 95% or up for the rest of the school year. But please consider getting me an iPhone. I mean, any reasonable parent would get their child an iPhone straight away for making it to Algebra 1 instead of giving their child a feast at a really good restaurant along with an entire red-snapper. So don’t stick to your strict Asian parent ways, and give a nice but reasonable American parent style teaching a chance.