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HOW TO COMPOSE A PERSUASIVE ESSAY

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❶Draw up a thesis statement—sometimes called a proposition , a statement of what you propose to prove in your writing—and list your reasons underneath it. It may be possible to write a persuasive essay about the need to feed all the hungry children in the world, but it would not be a particularly interesting essay because no reasonable person would declare that all the hungry children deserve to starve.

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Without a thesis, it is impossible for you to present an effective argument. The thesis sentence should reflect both the position that you will argue and the organizational pattern with which you will present and support your argument. The following are helpful questions for you to consider when formulating a thesis sentence:. Once you have answered these questions, the next step is to synthesize these answers into a single thesis sentence, or, if necessary, two thesis sentences.

You want to convince your reader that the forces of industry did not shape American foreign policy from the late 19th century through , and you plan to do this by showing that there were other factors which were much more influential in shaping American foreign policy. Both of these elements can be synthesized into a thesis sentence:.

Fear of foreign influence in the Western hemisphere, national pride, and contemporary popular ideas concerning both expansion and foreign peoples had significantly more influence on American foreign policy than did the voices of industrialists. This sentence shows the position you will argue and also sets up the organizational pattern of your paper's body.

Because each body paragraph should be a step in your argument, you should be mindful of the overall organization of your body paragraphs. The first step in writing an effective body paragraph is the construction of the first sentence of this paragraph, the topic sentence. Just as the thesis sentence holds together your essay, the topic sentence is the glue binding each individual body paragraph. It is important to keep in mind that the goal of the topic sentence is to advance your paper's argument, not just to describe the content of the paragraph.

The first part in your thesis on page two states that fear of foreign influence in the Western Hemisphere had more influence on American foreign policy than did industry. Thus, you need to elaborate on this point in your body paragraphs. An effective topic sentence for one of these paragraphs could be:. Subsequent body paragraphs might offer further evidence for the idea presented in this body paragraph.

A good way to test the strength of both your topic sentences and your argument as a whole is to construct an outline of your paper using only your paper's thesis statement and topic sentences. However, your conclusion should not simply be a copy of your introduction.

An effective conclusion gives the reader reasons for bothering to read your paper. These are the 3 cornerstones of rhetoric. Pathos is about emotion, ethos is about credibility, and logos is about logic. These 3 components work together to help you develop a strong argument. For example, you could tell an anecdote about a family torn apart by the current situation in Syria to incorporate pathos, make use of logic to argue for allowing Syrian refugees as your logos, and then provide reputable sources to back up your quotes for ethos.

Keep hammering on your thesis. Tell them what you're telling them, tell them it, then tell them what you told them. They'll get the point by the end. Time and time again, the statistics don't lie -- we need to open our doors to help refugees. Quotations reinforce that you aren't the only one making this point.

It tells people that, socially, if they want to fit in, they need to consider your viewpoint. Agitation of the Problem: Before offering solutions, show them how bad things are. Give them a reason to care about your argument. President Assad has not only stolen power, he's gassed and bombed his own citizens. He has defied the Geneva Conventions, long held as a standard of decency and basic human rights, and his people have no choice by to flee.

Be authoritative and firm. You need to sound an expert, and like you should be trustworthy. Cut out small words or wishy-washy phrase to adopt a tone of authority.

It is not worth the risks environmentally or economically. This, I imagine, will be a good thing. Persuasion is about upending commonly held thoughts and forcing the reader to reevaluate. While you never want to be crass or confrontational, you need to poke into the reader's potential concerns.

Is it fair that we actively promote drinking as a legitimate alternative through Campus Socials and a lack of consequences? We all want less crime, stronger families, and fewer dangerous confrontations over drugs. We need to ask ourselves, however, if we're willing to challenge the status quo to get those results.

This policy makes us look stupid. It is not based in fact, and the people that believe it are delusional at best, and villains at worst. Acknowledge, and refute, arguments against you. While the majority of your essay should be kept to your own argument, you'll bullet-proof your case if you can see and disprove the arguments against you.

Save this for the second to last paragraph, in general. If they're going to hurt themselves, that is their right. The only obvious solution is to ban guns. There is no other argument that matters. Read the prompt carefully.

In most cases, you will be given a specific assignment for your persuasive essay. Look for language that gives you a clue as to whether you are writing a purely persuasive or an argumentative essay. If you can, make the time to craft an argument you'll enjoy writing.

Allow yourself enough time to brainstorm, write, and edit. Whenever possible, start early. Examine the rhetorical situation. All writing has a rhetorical situation, which has five basic elements: This is when you look at the facts, definition meaning of the issue or the nature of it , quality the level of seriousness of the issue , and policy plan of action for the issue.

To look at the facts, try asking: What are the known facts? How did this issue begin? What can people do to change the situation? To look at the definition, ask: What is the nature of this issue or problem? What type of problem is this? What category or class would this problem fit into best? To examine the quality, ask: Who is affected by this problem? How serious is it? What might happen if it is not resolved? To examine the policy, ask: Should someone take action?

Who should do something and what should they do? Obviously, your instructor is your primary audience, but consider who else might find your argument convincing.

You might target the school administrators, in which case you could make a case about student productivity and healthy food. Pick a topic that appeals to you.

Because a persuasive essay often relies heavily on emotional appeals, you should choose to write on something about which you have a real opinion. Pick a subject about which you feel strongly and can argue convincingly. Look for a topic that has a lot of depth or complexity. You may feel incredibly passionate about pizza, but it may be difficult to write an interesting essay on it.

A subject that you're interested in but which has a lot of depth — like animal cruelty or government earmarking — will make for better subject material. Consider opposing viewpoints when thinking about your essay. If you think it will be hard to come up with arguments against your topic, your opinion might not be controversial enough to make it into a persuasive essay. On the other hand, if there are too many arguments against your opinion that will be hard to debunk, you might choose a topic that is easier to refute.

Make sure you can remain balanced. A good persuasive essay will consider the counterarguments and find ways to convince readers that the opinion presented in your essay is the preferable one.

Keep your focus manageable. Your essay is likely to be fairly short; it may be 5 paragraphs or several pages, but you need to keep a narrow focus so that you can adequately explore your topic. For example, an essay that attempts to persuade your readers that war is wrong is unlikely to be successful, because that topic is huge.

Choosing a smaller bit of that topic -- for example, that drone strikes are wrong -- will give you more time to delve deeply into your evidence. Come up with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement presents your opinion or argument in clear language. It is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph.

For example, a thesis statement could look like this: It is important for schools to provide fresh, healthy meals to students, even when they cost more. You do need to convey exactly what you will argue. Once you have chosen your topic, do as much preparation as you can before you write your essay. This means you need to examine why you have your opinion and what evidence you find most compelling. Start with your central topic and draw a box around it. Then, arrange other ideas you think of in smaller bubbles around it.

Connect the bubbles to reveal patterns and identify how ideas relate. Generating ideas is the most important step here. Once you have your ideas together, you may discover that some of them need research to support them. If you have a librarian available, consult with him or her! Librarians are an excellent resource to help guide you to credible research. Persuasive essays generally have a very clear format, which helps you present your argument in a clear and compelling way.

Here are the elements of persuasive essays: You should also provide your thesis statement, which is a clear statement of what you will argue or attempt to convince the reader of.

In other essays, you can have as many paragraphs as you need to make your argument. Regardless of their number, each body paragraph needs to focus on one main idea and provide evidence to support it.

Your conclusion is where you tie it all together. It can include an appeal to emotions, reiterate the most compelling evidence, or expand the relevance of your initial idea to a broader context. Connect your focused topic to the broader world. Come up with your hook.

Your hook is a first sentence that draws the reader in. Your hook can be a question or a quotation, a fact or an anecdote, a definition or a humorous sketch. As long as it makes the reader want to continue reading, or sets the stage, you've done your job. It also encourages the reader to continue reading to learn why they should imagine this world. Many people believe that your introduction is the most important part of the essay, because it either grabs or loses the reader's attention.

A good introduction will tell the reader just enough about your essay to draw them in and make them want to continue reading. Then, proceed to move from general ideas to specific ideas until you have built up to your thesis statement. Don't slack on your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is a short summary of what you're arguing for.

It's usually one sentence, and it's near the end of your introductory paragraph. Make your thesis a combination of your most persuasive arguments, or a single powerful argument, for the best effect.

Structure your body paragraphs. At a minimum, write three paragraphs for the body of the essay. Each paragraph should cover a single main point that relates back to a part of your argument. These body paragraphs are where you justify your opinions and lay out your evidence. Remember that if you don't provide evidence, your argument might not be as persuasive. Make your evidence clear and precise. For example, don't just say: They are widely recognized as being incredibly smart.

Multiple studies found that dolphins worked in tandem with humans to catch prey. Very few, if any, species have developed mutually symbiotic relationships with humans. Agreed-upon facts from reliable sources give people something to hold onto. If possible, use facts from different angles to support one argument.

This makes a case against the death penalty working as a deterrent. If the death penalty were indeed a deterrent, why wouldn't we see an increase in murders in states without the death penalty? You want to make sure that your argument feels like it's building, one point upon another, rather than feeling scattered. Use the last sentence of each body paragraph to transition to the next paragraph.

In order to establish flow in your essay, you want there to be a natural transition from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next. Here is one example: Add a rebuttal or counterargument. You might not be required to do this, but it makes your essay stronger. Imagine you have an opponent who's arguing the exact opposite of what you're arguing.

Think of one or two of their strongest arguments and come up with a counterargument to rebut it. However, consider the fact that middle schoolers are growing at an incredible rate.

Their bodies need energy, and their minds may become fatigued if they go for long periods without eating. Write your conclusion at the very end of your essay. As a general rule, it's a good idea to restate each of your main points and end the whole paper with a probing thought.

If it's something your reader won't easily forget, your essay will have a more lasting impression. Why does this argument or opinion mean something to me?


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Aug 25,  · A persuasive essay is an essay used to convince a reader about a particular idea or focus, usually one that you believe in. Your persuasive essay could be based on anything about which you have an opinion or that you can make a clear argument 85%(23).

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Writing a persuasive essay is like being a lawyer arguing a case before a jury. The writer takes a stand on an issue—either “for” or “against”—and builds the strongest possible argument to win over the reader.

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The ending to the persuasive essay can cause complexity. Speaking about exam, the persuasive essay concluding part is written at time when there is not much time left until test end. Students can begin to get nervous, fearing that they will not have time to . Structure and organization are integral components of an effective persuasive essay. No matter how intelligent the ideas, a paper lacking a strong introduction, well-organized body paragraphs and an insightful conclusion is not an effective paper.

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Persuasive Essay Samples Since this is the most common type of essay, it is important to be familiar with its requirements and style. Check out our persuasive essay samples to get acquainted with this popular form of essay. Persuasive writing, also known as the argument essay, utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action.