Writing Persuasive Essays

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					                                Writing Persuasive Essays


                   In persuasive or argumentative writing, we try to
                   convince others to agree with our facts, share our
                values, accept our argument and conclusions, and adopt
                                  our way of thinking.

Elements toward building a good persuasive essay include:
    Establishing facts to support an argument
    Clarifying relevant values for your audience (perspective)
    Prioritizing, editing, and/or sequencing the facts and values in importance to
     build the argument
    Forming and restating conclusions
    “Persuading” your audience that your conclusions are based upon the agreed-
     upon facts and shared values
    Having the confidence to communicate your “persuasion” in writing

Here are some strategies to complete a persuasive writing assignment:

   1.   Thoroughly believe in the topic you have chosen to write about
   2.   While you are reading and researching, determine FACTS.
   3.   Carefully list the source of the facts for reliability and later reference.
   4.   List out facts; consider their importance: prioritize, edit, sequence, discard, etc.
   5.   Ask yourself, “What’s missing from my argument?”
   6.   Determine the “hot buttons” of the issue. List possible emotions and emotional
        reactions and recognize them for later use.

Persuasive essays are built with facts which illustrate conclusions. This means you
need to know what you are talking about. You cannot be lazy with your facts, or you
will not succeed in convincing anyone.

Persuasive Essay Checklist:

    Start writing a draft. At this point do not concern yourself with grammar,
     vocabulary, or punctuation
    Write your first paragraph
         o Introduce the topic (underline in red)
         o Inform the reader of your point of view (underline in green)
         o “Hook” the reader to continue with the rest of the paper (highlight in
             yellow)
         o Focus on three main points to develop (put a check above each main point
             to be developed)
    Establish a flow from paragraph to paragraph ( Draw a blue squiggle under each
     transition word)
    Quote sources to establish authority (We want expert verification for your point of
     view)
    Stay focused on your point of view throughout the essay (go back and make sure
     each paragraph relates to one of the main points referred to in your introduction)
    Write out your conclusion
        o Summarize your paper then conclude your argument
        o Refer to the first paragraph/opening statement as well as the main points
                  Does the conclusion restate the main idea?
                  Reflect the succession and importance of the arguments
                  Logically conclude their development
        o Include a final statement that actively encourages the reader to adopt your
             point of view
    Edit/rewrite the first paragraph making sure that it clearly relates to the body of
     your paper
    Keep your voice active (circle all “being” verbs such as is, am, are, was, were,
     …Then replace with active verbs)
    Avoid the “you” pronoun. Go back through your paper and highlight the word
     you or your. Revise your sentences to eliminate that pronoun as a subject word.
    Take a day off or two to “marinate” your ideas
    Re-read your paper (aloud) with a fresh mind and a sharp pencil
        o Ask yourself: Does this make sense? Am I convinced? Will this
             convince a reader? Will they understand my values and agree with my
             facts?
        o Edit, correct, and re-write as necessary
        o Check spelling and grammar
        o Have a friend read it and respond to your argument. Were they
             convinced?
        o Revise if necessary
        o Turn in the paper
        o Celebrate a job well done with the confidence that you have done your
             best.

                      MORE HANDY HINTS:

The four parts of an introduction:
           1. Introduces the topic
           2. States why the topic is important
           3. Acknowledges that there is a difference of opinion about this topic
           4. Describes how the assignment will be structured and clearly states the
               writer’s main premise.

There are three parts to a conclusion in a persuasive essay:
           1. Restates the main premise
           2. Presents one or two general sentences which accurately summarize the
               arguments which support the main idea
           3. Provides a final specific call for action
                                                 Name: ____________________________
                                                 Date: ___________ Period: _________



                   Persuasive Essay – Rubric

CONTENT

Your introduction “hooks” the reader and clearly states the point of view or action you
are recommending. Your topic is limited, well-defined, and debatable. Within the
introductory paragraph, you state the three best reasons that you have to support your
position. These reasons become the topics of each of the three supporting paragraphs.
Each topic sentence is introduced in the beginning of the paragraph, and the sentences
that follow closely relate to the topic and the sentence that came before it. Each
paragraph addresses one topic and includes specific evidence, examples, and statistics to
support your argument. You have used transition words and phrases to establish a flow
from paragraph to paragraph. Your conclusion clearly redefines the topic and restates
the most compelling evidence found in your essay. You do not introduce new material
or ideas in your conclusion.


28     30     32      34     36      38     40      42     44     46      48     50

Fail   D-     D       D+     C-      C      B-      B      B+     A-      A      A



MECHANICS

Your paper is easy to read because you avoid run-on sentences, sentence fragments
and awkward phrasing. Your paper is written in an active voice (we chose) vs. a
passive voice (he has been chosen). You are careful to avoid vague pronouns, and you
have made sure that you have not overused the personal pronoun, you, as the subject of
your sentences. Spelling errors have been kept to a minimum as have capitalization
problems. You have maintained consistent verb tense throughout your paper. Your
essay includes a variety of sentence types including simple, compound, and complex
sentences. Commas are used correctly as are quotation marks. Sources used in writing
this paper have been correctly cited.

28     30     32      34     36      38     40      42     44     46      48     50

Fail   D-     D       D+     C-      C      B-      B      B+     A-      A      A
             PEER RESPONSE/SELF-RESPONSE FORM
                                    Persuasive Essay



Author’s Name __________________________________
Peer Editor _____________________________________
Date(s) Reviewed ________________ ______________

1. The persuasive essay should have a total of five paragraphs (minimum):
    The introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion
    One of the paragraphs anticipates objections to your opinion that an opponent
       might raise. The paragraph must convincingly answer these objections.
    Each paragraph begins with the first line indented
    How many paragraphs does your essay have? ________
    Do you need to fix anything about the paragraphs in this essay? ______


2. Read through your paper again. Check your:
     Spelling
     Grammar
     Punctuation
     Fix anything that is wrong.

3. Use a highlighter or colored pencils as follows:
    Use the directions in your packet to mark your introductory paragraph.
    In the body of your essay, underline each topic sentence in one color. (The color I
       used was ________.)
    Place a  above all concrete details (examples). Make sure that you are not
       marking the same details more than once.
    Circle and connect repeated key words. Revise.

4. Fill in the following information about each paragraph:

       Introduction __________words _________ sentences

      The introduction should have about 40+ words and 3-5 sentences
      It should begin with a hook to catch the reader’s attention
      The point of view should be clearly stated
      Three main points that will be introduced should be stated
      Do you need to fix anything? __________

5. Body paragraph #1     _____________ words _________ sentences

    This paragraph should have 6 – 10 sentences.
    It should begin with a topic sentence starting with…
    …a transitional phrase
    Place a over each concrete detail that supports the topic sentence in this
     paragraph
    Does your paragraph have a concluding sentence for that subtopic?
    Do you need to fix anything? ____________


6. Body paragraph #2      _____________ words _________ sentences


    This paragraph should have 6 – 10 sentences.
    It should begin with a topic sentence starting with…
    …a transitional phrase
    Place a over each concrete detail that supports the topic sentence in this
     paragraph. You should have 3 – 4 sentences which are concrete details
    Does your paragraph have a concluding sentence for that subtopic?
    Do you need to fix anything? ____________


7. Body paragraph #3      _____________ words _________ sentences


    This paragraph should have 6 – 10 sentences.
    It should begin with a topic sentence starting with…
    …a transitional phrase
    This paragraph should address the arguments that could be made against your
     point of view and provide a convincing response to those arguments
    Place a over each concrete detail that supports the topic sentence in this
     paragraph. You should have 3 – 4 sentences which are concrete details
    Does your paragraph have a concluding sentence for that subtopic?
    Do you need to fix anything? ____________


8. Now go back to the introduction and copy your thesis (point of view) here:

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________


    Did you prove your point in this essay? How? If not, how can you revise your
     paper to prove your point more convincingly?