In persuasive or argumentative writing, we try to convince others
to agree with our facts, share our values,
accept our argument and conclusions, and adopt our way of thinking.
Elements toward building a good persuasive essay include
* establishing facts
to support an argument
* clarifying relevant values
for your audience (perspective)
* prioritizing, editing, and/or sequencing
the facts and values in importance to build the argument
* forming and stating conclusions
* "persuading" your audience that your conclusions
are based upon the agreed-upon facts and shared values
* having the confidence
to communicate your "persuasion" in writing
Here are some strategies to complete a persuasive writing assignment:
Write out the questions in your own words.
* Think of the questions posed in the assignment
while you are reading and researching. Determine
o any sources that will help you determine their reliability
(as well as for further reference)
o what prejudices
lie in the argument
or values that color the facts or the issue
o what you think of the author's argument
* List out facts; consider their importance:
prioritize, edit, sequence, discard, etc.
Ask yourself "What's missing?"
* What are the "hot buttons" of the issue?
List possible emotions/emotional reactions and recognize them for later use
Start writing a draft!
Start as close as possible to your reading/research
Do not concern yourself with grammar or spelling
* Write your first paragraph
o Introduce the topic
o Inform the reader of your point of view!
o Entice the reader to continue with the rest of the paper!
o Focus on three main points to develop
* Establish flow from paragraph to paragraph
* Keep your voice active
* Quote sources to establish authority
* Stay focused on your point of view throughout the essay
* Focus on logical arguments
* Don't lapse into summary
in the development--wait for the conclusion
o Summarize, then conclude, your argument
o Refer to the first paragraph/opening statement as well as the main points
+ does the conclusion restate the main ideas?
+ reflect the succession and importance of the arguments
+ logically conclude their development?
* Edit/rewrite the first paragraph
to better telegraph your development and conclusion.
* Take a day or two off!
* Re-read your paper
with a fresh mind and a sharp pencil
o Ask yourself:
Does this make sense? Am I convinced?
Will this convince a reader?
Will they understand my values, and agree with my facts?
o Edit, correct, and re-write as necessary
o Check spelling and grammar!
o Have a friend read it and respond to your argument.
Were they convinced?
o Revise if necessary
o Turn in the paper
o Celebrate a job well done,
with the confidence that you have done your best.