Optional counter arguments respond to reader concerns and objections
The conclusion restates the thesis (comes back to the point)
Lead / Hook Grab the Reader’s Attention
Anecdote (narrative vignette)
I walked proudly through the hallways of AMS, my new blue mohawk glistening magnificently in the florescent lighting of the hallway, but then I saw Mr. Caruthers. I felt the wax in my hair start to melt.
Do schools have the right to tell kids how to dress?
For the past 300 years in this country, schools have been crushing the artistic freedom of students with oppressive dress codes!
At Centerville Middle School, a controversy is brewing. Walk down the hallways, and amidst a tranquil sea of khaki pants and navy blue polo shirts, the blades of a fuchsia mohawk cut through the peaceful learning environment.
Timeless. Tasteful. Tried and true. The traditional school uniform is the foundation of a true learning environment.
“Give me liberty or give me death.”
Thesis and Forecast
A thesis statement is always one sentence that states your assertion (belief) about a topic. A thesis statement usually includes a forecast (brief preview of your arguments).
(I believe) ____________________ because of argument 1, argument 2, and argument 3.
Text Structure of a Persuasive Essay
Which of the following is a good thesis statement?
I believe we must stop wasting food now!
The problem of food waste can easily be solved by implementing three simple steps: reduce, reuse, recycle.
If you aren’t reducing, reusing, and recycling, you should.
I believe wasting food is a huge problem. We need to reduce our food waste. For example, make a shopping list before you go to the store, and only buy things you truly need. You shouldn’t buy a gallon of milk if you are only going to drink a quart of it during the week. Who cares if the gallon size is on sale?
Logical Appeal (Logos)—Does the author’s proposal make sense?
Ethical Appeal (Ethos)– Is the author’s proposal the right thing to do?
Emotional Appeal (Pathos)—Will accepting the author’s proposal make me feel better?
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
When writing persuasively, always remember the interaction between the writer and the reader. The writer is trying to persuade a reader who may be enthusiastic or resistant or simply disinterested. Persuasive writing must be well organized, but it must also hook the reader, and then keep him or her engaged with creative and authentic word choice.