Persuasive Essay Why?



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Persuasive Essay

Why?

  • Second type of writing for Unit One NAB: you have already done Reflective.
  • You must pass one of these in order to complete Unit One.

Persuasive Essay.

  • The persuasive essay is an essay about a topic regarding which the writer feels very strongly.
  • The writer does not try to be fair, or balanced: he or she will try to convince their reader that they should agree with the writer’s point of view.
  • Many of the passages you will read for Close Reading will be examples of persuasive writing.
  • Read the exemplar ”Should Euthanasia be Legalised in Britain.”

Choosing a Topic.

  • The best essays will come from writing about something you genuinely care about: if you aren’t really interested in your subject, it will show in your essay and weaken the strength of your arguments.
  • You must be specific in your choice of topic. For example, consider the following as possible topics:
    • M.P’s Expenses
    • Homelessness
    • War
    • Climate Change.
    • Have a minute’s thinking time and then be prepared to comment on how suitable or otherwise these are as topics for an essay.
  • Take the same topics, think about what you have read or heard recently in the news, and try to come up with a specific topic linked to each of the headings.
    • The FIFA presidency election
    • Student Tuition Fees.
    • The rating of music videos
    • The right to privacy.

Watch the clip on I player

  • By reading newspapers and watching or listening to news programmes, you can discover the controversial issues in the news. By choosing something current, you can make your research a bit easier (IF you are read newspapers!!!!)
  • However,
  • You may also wish to write about something that is local to your area or personal to you or to your family’s circumstances.

How to Plan.

  • Once you have decided on your topic, write the specific title in the middle of a sheet of paper.
  • Around it, write down all of the arguments that support your view. Write down everything you can. You can reject some ideas later.
  • Choose a different colour of pen and write down some of the arguments those who disagree with you might use.
  • Name:
  • Teacher:
  • Once you have decided on your topic, write the specific title in the middle of a sheet of paper.
  • Around it, write down all of the arguments that support your view. Write down everything you can. You can reject some ideas later.
  • Choose a different colour of pen and write down some of the arguments those who disagree with you might use.

Selecting

  • Look carefully at all your ideas and choose three or four of the arguments that most strongly support your view.
  • Write them down as headings on a piece of paper. Leave space between each heading.
  • Now under each one, write down anything you already know that gives evidence for that point.
  • Then write down anything that you don’t know but you would like to find out because it might strengthen your argument.
  • This will help you direct your research later on.

Opposing Arguments

  • In a persuasive essay, you will spend most of your time giving your own view.
  • However, it is important to acknowledge that there are views which oppose your own. You must do this to meet the criteria for a pass.
  • You don’t have to spend a long time on these opinions but you should write about them so as you can go onto explain why you disagree.
    • Write down the most common arguments against your point of view.
  • We’ll talk about this later in structure.

Research

  • Having thought about what you already know and what you need to find out to develop your argument, you can be more focused in your research and can save time.
  • You might find out something you hadn’t thought of in your reading. That’s fine, you can choose to include it.

Sources of Information

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Internet
  • Pressure Group Publications
  • Essential Articles.

Taking Notes

  • Don’t copy whole sections down: you may end up regurgitating the whole thing in your essay, perhaps without even understanding it.
  • Put everything into your own words, in note form, to make sure you understand the point being made. There is no point writing something down that you don’t understand.
  • Do not print from the Internet. Put ideas into your own words, in note form.
  • Write down the name of the paper, website, leaflet you are using, as you must include a bibliography at the end of your essay.

Rules for Using Sources

  • Don’t quote
  • Don’t mention individuals if you can generalise from them.
  • Don’t go into detailed figures for no reason.
  • Acknowledge sources in a bibliography.

Structure of Essay

  • Intro - Clear introduction explaining the topic and stating your view clearly.
  • A paragraph acknowledging the opposing arguments.
  • Argument One supporting your view
  • Argument Three supporting your view
  • Conclusion, summing up ideas and restating your opinion.

Structure of a paragraph

  • Same as always!
  • Topic/ Linking Sentence, stating what rest of paragraph is going to be about.
  • Evidence backing up the point made in the topic sentence. You may use linking words here to connect pieces of evidence.
  • A sentence which sums up the idea that you have been discussing.

Style and Tone

  • As this is a persuasive piece, you may use many of the techniques you have been studying in your close reading work.
    • Rhetorical questions
    • Anecdote
    • Humour
    • Exaggeration
    • Direct address to the reader.
    • Irony/sarcasm.
    • Sentence structure. (Short, blunt statements. Command sentences. Balanced sentences. Repetition.)
    • Emotive language.
    • Linking Sentences ( not optional!)
    • Use of statistics.
    • Evidence of reaearch.

However…

  • Do not be overly abusive or sarcastic: it may make you sound foolish and can certainly put people off agreeing with you.
  • There are those, of whom I am not one, who believe that genetics is the great hope of mankind. All disease will be cured, all people will be fed in the Utopia of Science…
  • A few deluded idiots and thoughtless slaves of the of the multinational gene companies hold the ridiculous “opinion” that genetic engineering is a wonderful idea…

Exemplar

  • Read Tommy Sheridan’s piece, “Making a Hash of the Drug Laws. “


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