Intro to Lit and Comp
21 May 2014
What is Persuasive
Persuasive writing promotes critical thinking because it
forces you to take a stand and defend your position on a topic. For this assignment you will develop a
persuasive essay on a topic that matters to you. Keep in mind that the purpose of a persuasive
essay is not just to share information.
You want to convince someone else to (1) do as you suggest and (2) adopt
your opinion. An effective persuasive
essay does the following:
the writer’s opinion, or point of view, about the topic
convincing support for the writer’s opinion
convincing evidence that denounces any opposing arguments
appeals to the reader’s emotions
- Choose a topic that matters to you. The topic you choose for a persuasive
essay should be one that concerns you or affects your life. It might be a topic of national
interest, such as the war in Iraq or the mortgage
crisis. Or it might be a topic of
local interest like school uniforms or curfew. Be sure to choose a topic that is worth
arguing about. There’s no point,
for example, in arguing that roses are prettier than daisies. That’s a matter of personal taste. Choose a topic that your audience will
also feel strongly about.
- Be mindful of your tone. Usually a persuasive essay is serious
and logical, with a formal tone.
It’s true that humorous tone can be effective in some types of
persuasive writing. But you have to
be careful not to go too far with it.
If your essay sounds casual or silly, or too emotional, your
audience will probably not take your opinion seriously and will not be
persuaded. Remember that your
audience has to believe you in order to be convinced.
- Support your opinion using logical
appeals. Logical appeals
include logical reasons (why your audience should believe you) and
evidence (proof that explains your reasons). Reasons tell why an opinion should be
accepted and evidence provides proof that your reasons are sound and well-founded. Examples of evidence include facts and
statistics, or expert opinions.
Framework for a
- Introduction: Your introduction
will include an attention grabber, background information on your topic,
and a statement of opinion (thesis statement)
- First Body Paragraph: This
paragraph will include the first reason why your audience should adopt
your opinion. You may want to begin
with your strongest reason or save your best evidence for the last
paragraph—it is up to you! You must
explain your reason and provide evidence to support it. Supporting evidence may include facts,
statistics, or a quote from an expert.
- Second Body Paragraph: This
paragraph will include the second reason why your audience should adopt
your opinion. Again, do not forget
to include an explanation as well as evidence to support your reason.
- Third Body Paragraph: This
paragraph will include the third reason why your audience should adopt
your opinion. If you did not
already state it in your first paragraph, you will want to mention your
strongest reason and give your best evidence here. Again, you must provide an explanation
and plenty of factual evidence for support.
- Fourth Body Paragraph: This paragraph will include the opposing argument and your rebuttal. It is imperative that you provide ample evidence in your rebuttal! Do not let your reader leave this paragraph until he/she is sure that the opposing argument is invalid!
- Conclusion: Your conclusion should
restate your opinion, briefly summarize your reasoning, and offer a call
for action (why should your audience do now that they have adopted your
opinion? Vote? Sign a petition? Volunteer?
paper must have an introduction, conclusion, and thesis statement
paper must be typed and double-spaced using 12pt Times New Roman font
paper must have a heading and title in MLA format
paper must include evidence to support your argument and evidence that
denounces an opposing argument
paper must include a works cited page for any outside research