Lead could be a general statement about the topic



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The Persuasive Essay

Prompt: Write an essay stating your position on



whether or not high school students should volunteer within their community.


THE INTRODUCTION: Lead + CLEARLY STATED POSITION

A. The LEAD could be a general statement about the topic, like this:



Looking around the world today, it is clear that there are so many people who need help. Of course, it is difficult for most high school students to travel around the world to volunteer, but it is easy for them to volunteer in their hometown. Therefore, high school students should volunteer within their community because of the benefits for everyone.

B. The LEAD could also be a quotation, but there must be a clear transition (connection) from the quote to the position statement. The second sentence in the following example + the transition therefore connect the quote and the position.


The Dalia Lama wisely said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” His words reveal that volunteering benefits not only the people who receive help but also the people who volunteer. Therefore, high school students should volunteer within their community because of the positive effects for everyone.

C. The LEAD could be a specific example:


Picture an elderly woman who no longer has the strength to do yard work, but she also doesn’t have the money to pay someone else to take care of it. This woman and others like her would benefit if someone helped them; therefore, high school students should volunteer within their community because it benefits everyone.

D. The LEAD could also be a startling statement:


It’s hard to imagine, but in most nursing homes, the majority of residents have no family or friends who come to visit. People like these would appreciate a friendly face and some simple conversation from a young person. Therefore, high school students should volunteer within their community because it benefits everyone.

E. The LEAD could be background information:


Many people know about the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, but there are many other opportunities to do good in one’s hometown. Because of the benefits to the local area and to the young person, high school students should volunteer within their community.

F. The LEAD could be description:


The vacant lot next to my church has become an eyesore because of the tall weeds, discarded soda cups, plastic grocery bags, and blowing trash. The city can’t afford to clean up lots like these all over town, so we need another solution. To benefit the city and themselves, high school students should volunteer within their local communities.


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AFTER the lead, YOU MUST CLEARLY STATE YOUR POSITION

AT THE END OF THE INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH.

The following introduction is EXPOSITORY, not persuasive,

because the essay will explain about volunteering instead of trying to persuade students to volunteer.

An expository essay will be given a score of 1 because your essay must be persuasive.
Expository introduction: Have you ever thought about that park down the street or the flowerbeds in downtown being cleaned up? Most cities have volunteer programs so that students can not only help clean up the town but also get volunteer hours for their school.

ADDING A CLEAR POSITION TO THE END OF THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH CHANGES THE ESSAY FROM EXPOSITORY TO PERSUASIVE. The position sentence should also have an IDEA of the reasons you will discuss in the body paragraphs.


Here is an example of a CLEAR POSITION with an idea of the reasons:
Therefore, high school students should volunteer within their community because it gives back to the place where they grew up and it is part of being a good person.
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FIRST BODY PARAGRAPH: One reason + specific evidence
Here is a paragraph with a reason and a good example of specific evidence:
To begin with, if students volunteered, they could soon realize that they can make a big impact in someone’s life. For example, Tara was in a wheelchair, but there was no ramp to help her get in and out of her house. Instead, one of her family members struggled to get her wheelchair up and down the front steps. Girls in her class volunteered to help build a ramp to her front door. When Tara saw the ramp, she was so grateful that she got tears in her eyes. It was then that the girls realized how much they had impacted Tara’s life.

The following evidence could be improved with more specific details:

Also, teenagers will become more comfortable doing activities they don’t usually take part in. For example, I have stepped out of my comfort zone while volunteering, and I met new friends, made myself known in my community, and opened myself up to many opportunities.


...while volunteering at the Rockwall nursing home. There I met Mrs. Sanford, a resident, and we became friends as we shared our experiences. I made myself known in the community, and I also learned about the special needs of elderly people. Now I’m thinking about working in the nursing care business someday.
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THE SECOND BODY PARAGRAPH
THE COUNTERARGUMENT PARAGRAPH:


  • State a specific reason from the opposing viewpoint, followed by your counterargument against the opponent’s viewpoint.




  • Then provide specific evidence to support your reason.



THIS COUNTERARGUMENT PARAGRAPH HAS THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS:
Some students say that volunteer work has no benefit for them, specific reason from

and they don’t see the need to because the city has workers for those opposing viewpoint

reasons. This is not convincing because volunteering benefits you at the heart. your counterargument

Knowing that you helped trim trees, clean flowerbeds, and clean streets for specific evidence for

those who potentially can’t do it themselves will make you feel more positive your reason.

about yourself. Setting a good example and knowing you helped somebody

is better than watching Dexter or playing Clash of the Clans.
**********IF YOU CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE THE COUNTERARGUMENT PARAGRAPH,

LEAVE OUT THE OPPOSING VIEWPOINT.
SIMPLY STATE A SECOND REASON AND SUPPORT IT WITH SPECIFIC EVIDENCE.

Begin the first sentence with an appropriate transition. (Next, Second, Moreover, In addition,)

For example, simply begin the second body paragraph with a transition and reason like this:


Moreover, volunteering benefits you at the heart.
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THE CONCLUSION begins with an appropriate transition and a restatement of your position and ends with closing remarks, such as a call to action, personal reaction to the situation, or a look to the future.
A call to action is an effective end to a persuasive paragraph:

So put down that video game and instead find a place to volunteer. You’ll be surprised at how good it will make you feel.

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