Persuade Me

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Parts of the Persuasive Essay

1. The Introduction

The introduction has a “hook or grabber” to catch the reader’s attention. Some
“grabbers” include:

  •   Opening with an unusual detail: (Manitoba, because of its cold climate, is not thought of as a great place to be a reptile. Actually, it has the largest seasonal congregation of garter snakes in the world!)
  •   Opening with a strong statement: (Cigarettes are the number one cause of lighter sales in Canada!)
  • Opening with a Quotation: (Elbert Hubbard once said , “Truth is stronger than fiction.”)
  • Opening with an Anecdote: An anecdote can provide an amusing and attention-getting opening if it is short and to the point.
  • 5. Opening with a Statistic or Fact: Sometimes a statistic or fact will add emphasis or interest to your topic. It may be wise to include the item’s authoritative source.
  • Opening with a Question. (Have you ever considered how many books we’d read if it were not for television?)
  •   Opening with an Exaggeration or Outrageous Statement. (The whole world watched as the comet flew overhead.)

The introduction should also include a thesis or focus statement.

The Thesis/Hypothesis is your statement of purpose. The thesis/hypothesis should be one
sentence in length. This is the foundation of your essay and it will serve to guide you in
writing the entire paper.
There are three objectives of a thesis statement:

  •   It tells the reader the specific topic of your essay.
  •   It imposes manageable limits on that topic.
  •   It suggests the organization of your paper.

Through the thesis, you should say to the reader:
“I’ve thought about this topic, I know what I believe about it, and I know how to
organize it.”
2. The Body

The writer then provides evidence to support the opinion offered in the thesis
statement in the introduction.

The body should consist of at least three paragraphs.
Each paragraph is based on a solid reason to back your thesis statement. Since
almost all issues have sound arguments on both sides of the question, a good
persuasive writer tries to anticipate opposing viewpoints and provide
counter-arguments along with the main points in the essay.

One of the three
paragraphs should be used to discuss opposing viewpoints and your counterargument.
The following are different ways to support your argument:

  • Facts – A powerful means of convincing, facts can come from your reading, observation, or personal experience.    Note: Do not confuse facts with truths. A “truth” is an idea believed by many people, but it cannot be proven.
  • Statistics – These can provide excellent support. Be sure your statistics come from responsible sources. Always cite your sources.
  • Quotes – Direct quotes from leading experts that support your position are invaluable. Examples – Examples enhance your meaning and make your ideas concrete. They are the proof.

Hints for successful body paragraphs:

  •   Clarify your position in your topic sentence – state your argument or reason that supports your position (thesis), think about what needs to be explained, and then think about how you can elaborate.
  •   Include Concession Statements (address opposing viewpoints!) :

concession: If you’re writing a persuasive piece, you might consider beginning with a
concession–that is, by beginning with an acknowledgement of part of your opponent’s
argument as being valid. Remember that a concession is not a form of weakness. In
fact a concession is a strength as it finds common ground with your opponent and
establishes your ethical appeal: you are a reasonable person willing to listen
to/acknowledge that there are more sides to an issue than yours.
**You can’t ignore compelling opposing evidence. You must address strong
arguments on the other side; if you don’t, it looks like you are not well prepared and
have not looked at the issue you are writing about from all perspectives.**
example: “True, gun control legislation in Canada needs to be tightened to prevent
the United States from becoming as violent as its neighbors to the south. The
proposal that has been submitted, however, does not go far enough. Instead,…[now
writer begins building his side of argument, showing how it is stronger than the
opposing side’s!]

  • Use transitions between sentences to serve as cues for the reader (first, second,

then, however, consequently, therefore, thus, still, nevertheless, notwithstanding,
furthermore, in fact, in contrast, similarly, instead)
3. The Conclusion

A piece of persuasive writing usually ends by summarizing the most important details
of the argument and stating once again what the reader is to believe or do.
1. Restate your thesis or focus statement.
2. Summarize the main points: The conclusion enables your reader to recall the main
points of your position. In order to do this you can paraphrase the main points of your
argument.
3. Write a personal comment or call for action. You can do this:

  •   With a Prediction: This can be used with a narrative or a cause and effect

discussion. The conclusion may suggest or predict what the results may or
may not be in the situation discussed or in similar situations.

  •   With a Question: Closing with a question lets your readers make their own

predictions, draw their own conclusions.

  • With Recommendations: A recommendations closing is one that stresses the actions or remedies that should be taken.
  •   With a Quotation: Since a quotation may summarize, predict, question, or call for action, you may use a quotation within a conclusion for nearly any kind of paper.

As a general guideline, when writing a persuasive essay:

  • Have a firm opinion that you want your reader to accept.
  • Begin with a grabber or hook to get the reader’s attention.
  • Offer evidence to support your opinion.
  • Conclude with a restatement of what you want the reader to do or believe.

Persuasive Essay Outline
Introduction:
A. Get the readers attention by using a “hook.”
B. Give some background information if necessary.
C. Thesis or focus statement.
I. First argument or reason to support your position:
A. Topic sentence explaining your point and reason
B. support with details
C. Elaboration to back your point.
D. Clincher
II. Second argument or reason to support your position:
A. Topic sentence explaining your point and reason
B. support with details
C. Elaboration to back your point.
D. Clincher
III. Third argument or reason to support your position:
A. Topic sentence explaining your point and reason
B. support with details
C. Elaboration to back your point.
D. Clincher
IV. Opposing Viewpoint: (This is optional, however highly
recommended, so that the reader will know you have considered
another point of view and have a rebuttal to it.)
A. Opposing point to your argument.
B. Your rebuttal to the opposing point.
C. Elaboration to back your rebuttal.
Conclusion:
A. Summary of main points or reasons
B. Restate thesis statement.
C. Personal comment or a call to action.

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