Writing a Persuasive Essay Where to begin?



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Writing a Persuasive Essay

Where to begin?

  • When you are given a prompt, what do you do before you begin to write the essay?

Where to begin?

  • Understand the prompt
  • Create pro/con chart to decide on position
  • Write your thesis
  • Decide on evidence
  • Create an outline
    • Introduction: A, B, C
    • Write a thesis (a position that you will argue using evidence)
    • Decide on reasons and the evidence you will use to support each reason
    • Counterargument: What and where?
    • Conclusion Strategy
  • Write the essay!

Writing a Persuasive Thesis

  • A persuasive thesis statement should have two parts:
  • A suggestion/ evidence
  • recommendation +
  • (What people (Why people should “should” do) do this)

Persuasive Thesis: Suggestion/Recommendation

  • The suggestion or recommendation is more than praise or whining which is often the point of an opinion.
  • “I hate eight o’clock classes!”
  • Instead, suggest what should be changed (The recommendation is what you are convincing people to do, so do not use “I think”):
  • “Schools should begin their first period classes later in the morning…”

Persuasive Thesis: Evidence

  • After writing your suggestion, include evidence to prove your point.
  • “Schools should begin their first period classes later in the morning…”
  • Because?
  • “…in order to increase student attendance and academic performance.”

Persuasive Thesis: Finished

  • Can you identify the two parts of the thesis below?
  • Even though some people believe it's a right to carry firearms, handguns should be outlawed because it's too easy for criminals to get handguns and too many innocent people are dying from accidental shootings.
  • http://www.ozline.com/electraguide/example.php

Persuasive Essay Outline

  • Introduction
  • Counterargument
  • Reason #1
    • + specific evidence to support reason #1
  • Reason #2
    • + specific evidence to support reason #2
  • Reason #3
    • + specific evidence to support reason #3
  • Conclusion

Counterargument

  • Your essay should focus on your main point – the thesis– and your evidence.
  • To counter-argue is to consider a possible argument against your thesis.
  • A good persuasive essay will openly consider alternatives and then, through logic and evidence, prove why those alternatives are faulty or incorrect.

Counterargument

  • Two stages
    • 1. The Counterargument
    • How and why might someone disagree with you? Words/phrases that signal the counterargument include: It might seem that . . . or It’s true that . . . or Admittedly . . .
    • 2. The Response to the Counterargument
      • How would argue against someone who disagrees with you? Refute it with a but, yet, however, nevertheless, or still . . . followed by your carefully-thought rebuttal.

Where does the counterargument belong?

  • The counterargument – and the response to the counterargument -- will be in its own paragraph just after the introduction.
  • The counterargument can also be placed:
  • In the intro, before you state your thesis
  • Within a paragraph that relates to the counterargument
  • In its own paragraph just before the conclusion

Writing a Counterargument

  • A complete counterargument should have two parts:
  • Counterargument + Response to Counterargument
  • (How and why might (How would you
  • someone disagree argue against the with you? ) person who disagrees with you?)

Writing a Counterargument

  • The sentence introducing the counterargument will be structured like this:
  • Although ___(counterargument)___, __(response to counterargument)___.

Example

  • Although some might argue that vending machines in schools are filled with snacks that are unhealthy and should be removed, the schools could stock the machines with snacks that are healthy. Instead of removing snack options, the schools could instead provide nutrient-packed food that would help students maintain energy and develop healthy eating habits.

Example

  • Although some might argue that vending machines in schools are filled with snacks that are unhealthy and should be removed, the schools could stock the machines with snacks that are healthy. Instead of removing snack options, the schools could instead provide nutrient-packed food that would help students maintain energy and develop healthy eating habits.

Review: What we’ve learned

  • The introduction
    • Attention-getter
    • Background information about the issue
    • Clear claim/thesis
    • Strategies: description, open-ended question, figurative language, anecdote, quotation
  • The conclusion
    • Strategies: anecdote, echo/full-circle, instruction, pointed question, prediction

Checklist for Persuasive Essay Writing

  • Understand the issue: What is the issue?
  • Create a pro/con chart for both sides
  • Choose your side and write your claim
  • Come up with evidence for each reason on your chart (do this for the side you chose in your claim, either the pro or con side)
  • Write an outline for your introduction: A, B, and C
  • Decide where you will discuss and respond to a counter argument- in the introduction, in a body paragraph, or in a separate body paragraph?
  • Decide your conclusion strategy
  • Write your essay using your outline!

Where to begin?

  • Understand the prompt
  • Create pro/con chart to decide on position
  • Write your claim
  • Decide on evidence
  • Create an outline
    • Introduction: A, B, C
    • Write a claim (a position that you will argue using evidence)
    • Decide on reasons and the evidence you will use to support each reason
    • Counterargument: What and where?
    • Conclusion Strategy
  • Write the essay!

Let’s Practice!

  • Some of the teachers at your school have decided to change from a ten-point grade scale (100 to 90 is an A, 89 to 80 is a B, etc.) to a seven-point grade scale (100 to 93 is an A, 92 to 85 is a B, etc.). The teachers are trying to encourage students to put more effort into their classes by raising the requirements. However, others feel that this change would be greatly discouraging to students who are already having trouble in school and lower achievement rates. In your opinion, should the grading scale be changed to a seven-point grade scale?
  • In your essay, take a position on this question. You may write about either one of the two points of view given, or you may present a different point of view on this question. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.


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