First, you need a topic…



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  • THE
  • Essay
  • "Persuasive"

First, you need a topic…

  • You will be a given a “prompt” to write about.
  • Sometimes you will be given a choice of prompts.
  • You will also be told how much time
  • you have and how long your essay
  • needs to be.
  • What do I need to write
  • about?

Next, what will you do with your topic?

  • You need to think it over and decide:
  • Purpose: Why am I writing this? This is a “persuasive” essay, so you are writing it to get somebody to think like you do.
  • Audience: Who am I writing this for? You are writing for an English writing instructor in class or the SOL test grade. So use formal writing.
  • Format: What structure should my essay have? You are usually writing the standard 5 paragraph persuasive essay.
  • Hmmmm…

Now, you have to plan your essay

  • Prewriting: What ideas do I have? Now you have to come up with some ideas by brainstorming, clustering, or free writing. First, you think them up and then put them on paper.
  • Organizing: What order do I put my ideas in? You can put your ideas in spatial order like top to bottom, or chronological order as in a time line, or in order of importance with the most important idea last so the reader is left with your strongest idea.
  • Checkmate!

What is the structural design of my essay?

  • The design of the 5 paragraph essay is quite simple:
  • The Introduction with a strong lead-in, both sides of the issue, your thesis statement telling your side of the issue and the reasons that support your thesis.
  • Your well-elaborated first reason with specific examples.
  • Your well-elaborated second reason with specific examples.
  • Your well-elaborated third reason with specific examples.
  • The Conclusion where you restate your thesis and your 3 reasons with a strong, decisive closing statement.
  • Be a writing architect!

Now you are ready to write!

  • First draft: Since this is the first time you are writing, it does not have to be perfect.The main thing you want to do is get your ideas on paper in the proper essay format. You can do the fine tuning in the…
  • Revision: Now the real writing starts. Steven King says you don’t start writing until you start revising. Look over your essay for errors, and also for what you can say better than before!
  • “I am beyond
  • writer’s cramp.”

And keep writing…then submit it!

  • Final Draft: This is where it all comes together when you get your essay to be as “good as it gets.” But, before you hand it in, proofread it one last time to be sure it’s just the way you want it to be, then submit it.
  • “There, I’m done!”

Adapted from Texas TASP information on persuasive essays.



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