The Persuasive Essay Ms. Kamrass English 10

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The Persuasive Essay

Ms. Kamrass

English 10

When was the last time you won an argument?

What techniques, knowledge and specific evidence did you use to make your points?
► A good persuasive essay is a well-structured argument where:

  • your position is clear (thesis)

  • you concede, or agree, that others have some valid points (the concession paragraph)

  • you have valid reasons (body paragraphs)

  • you prove that your reasons are true by using specific and relevant examples (body paragraphs)

  • Your writing style is clear and your essay is organized (introduction, concession, body paragraphs, conclusion).

Purpose of this assignment:

The structure of the persuasive essay is the backbone of well-organized research papers, and many other types of writing: academic, and editorials and columns found in newspapers. In particular – yes – this is training for your upcoming research paper.

Your Task:
Is New Paltz a good place to live?


 Use the writing rubric, and the persuasive essay structure on back for direction

 Make sure that your thesis is complete

 Write topic sentences that focus on a topic; make sure that they are not vague.

 Remember that a concession examines the arguments that are the opposite of your thesis. A good concession will outline these opposing arguments, but should not be stronger than your arguments in the body paragraphs.

 In the body paragraphs that follow your concession (minimum of two body paragraphs): make sure that your reasons and examples support your thesis

 This is a formal essay for your English class – follow grammar, punctuation, and spelling – especially those covered in class.

Structure of the Persuasive Essay

Samples for outline

1st Paragraph - Introduction
  1. Start with a sentence that interests your reader (hook)

  2. Lead to your thesis with general information about the topic (tell the reader what she or he needs to know to understand your thesis, define words if needed, etc.)

  3. Your thesis should be the last sentence of your introduction

    1. Write a complete thesis this time: For example, if you would like to prove that dogs are the best pets, a complete thesis would read like this: Even though many people like cats, dogs make the best pets, because they are protective, playful, and loyal.

2nd Paragraph Concession (this is new for you -- use this paragraph to explore the other side)

  1. Use a transition word such as “Granted” (or the phrase “Some people think that …”) to let your reader know that you are giving examples that supports the opposing viewpoint (do not support your argument) to start your topic sentence

  2. List reasons and examples (general to specific) to support the topic sentence

    1. Reason #1 – Cats are unfriendly.

      1. Example (some evidence) A poll of veterinarians shows that ninety-seven percent have been scratched by a cat, while only ten percent have been bitten by a dog.

    2. Reason #2 _____________________________________________

      1. Example ____________________________________________

    3. Reason #3 ______________________________________________

      1. Example _____________________________________________

3rd Paragraph – First body

  1. Use a transition word (ex.: “However”) to show that your essay is switching to your side of the argument after the concession. Include a general statement that opposes what you have just explained in your concession

  2. Write a second topic sentence that addresses your argument: Dogs are protective.

  3. Write reasons and examples to support your argument

    1. Reason #1 Dogs guard their owners’ homes.

      1. Example/evidence Of the 3,000 arrests for burglary last year, 2,500 were made possible because the dog cornered the perpetrator.

    2. Reason #2 _____________________________________________

      1. Example ____________________________________________

    3. Reason #3 ______________________________________________

      1. Example _____________________________________________

4th Paragraph – second body

  1. Write a general topic sentence that addresses the reasons and examples given in this paragraph

  2. Give reasons and examples

    1. Reason #1_____________________________________________

      1. Example____________________________________________

    2. Reason #2 _____________________________________________

      1. Example ____________________________________________

    3. Reason #3 ______________________________________________

      1. Example _____________________________________________

Last Paragraph - Conclusion

  • Restate your thesis

  • Summarize your main points as proven in each body paragraph

  • If you’ve written good topic sentences, then you’ve already done the work: restate those thoughts here

  • End with a powerful statement (extend it; relate it to other, greater issues)

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