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Writing Workshop Writing a Persuasive Essay Feature Menu Assignment Prewriting Choose an Issue Write an Opinion Statement Consider Your Purpose and Audience Gather Support for Your Position Plan Your Draft Practice and Apply
Writing a Persuasive Essay Assignment: Write a persuasive essay on a topic about which you have a strong opinion. Do you ever hear yourself saying, “I don’t think that’s right” or “I agree” or “I’d like to see that change”? You probably express your opinion on one issue or another almost every day. Which issues do you care about the most? To share your views and convince others to agree with you, try writing a persuasive essay. [End of Section]
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Choose an Issue What situations make you and other people angry, sad, or enthusiastic? What issues do you feel strongly about? • Talk with friends and family members. • Look in the editorial section of your local newspaper. • Think about what’s going on in your community and in your school.
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Choose an Issue You’ve probably come up with a number of good ideas. Now, choose one issue for your essay topic. Make sure it meets the following criteria: 1. You have strong views about the issue. 2. You can gather enough evidence about it to defend your position. 3. Other people find the issue interesting or have strong feelings about it. Essay Length [End of Section]
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Write an Opinion Statement Where do you stand on your issue? Share your perspective, or point of view, by drafting an opinion statement. Clearly state both the issue and your position, or opinion, on it. Issue Position The number of homeless pets can be greatly reduced through spay-neuter programs. Clear Opinion Statements [End of Section]
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Consider Your Purpose and Audience Purpose In a persuasive essay your purpose is to convince readers to share your opinion or to take the action you suggest.
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Consider Your Purpose and Audience To persuade your audience, you must first understand them. Ask yourself What will make my audience care about this issue? Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Think about ways in which this issue affects their lives.
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Consider Your Purpose and Audience What concerns might my audience have? Consider how the issue looks from their point of view, or bias. Some readers may already have opinions about your topic. Take any objections, or counterclaims, into account.
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Consider Your Purpose and Audience What will my audience expect from my essay? Readers will expect you to provide the information they need in order to make an informed decision. Provide background information if necessary. [End of Section]
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Gather Support for Your Position Give at least three strong reasons to support your opinion statement (thesis). Your reasons may include rhetorical devices: • logical appeals—speak to readers’ common sense and logic • emotional appeals—speak to emotions such as fear, love, and pride • ethical appeals—address readers’ sense of right and wrong Making Appeals
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Gather Support for Your Position Make a chart with your opinion statement and at least three reasons to support it. Opinion Statement: Spay-neuter programs are the best way to reduce the number of homeless pets. Reasons 1. Spaying and neutering attack the problem at its source. (logical appeal) 2. The suffering and death of thousands of animals each year could easily be prevented. (emotional appeal) 3. Humans domesticated cats and dogs, and it is our responsibility to care for them properly. (ethical appeal)
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Gather Support for Your Position Provide at least two pieces of evidence to support each of your reasons. Make sure your evidence is relevant, or clearly related to your issue. Evidence for Persuasive Appeals Analogies Comparisons that show similarities between otherwise unrelated facts or ideas Neglecting to spay and neuter our pets is as irresponsible as leaving a fire unattended. Citing Sources
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Gather Support for Your Position Evidence for Persuasive Appeals Anecdotes Personal examples or stories that illustrate a point When my friend’s cat had kittens, his parents tried very hard to find homes for them all, but two of the kittens had to go to the shelter. Case studies Examples from scientific research Researchers studied one town that implemented a spayneuter program. They noted a one-third reduction in the number of homeless pets over just five years.
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Gather Support for Your Position Evidence for Persuasive Appeals Commonly accepted beliefs Ideas that most people share Most people would like to see the problem of pet overpopulation solved. Examples Specific instances or illustrations of a general idea For example, a spayed female dog will never get uterine or ovarian cancer and is also far less likely to develop breast cancer.
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Gather Support for Your Position Evidence for Persuasive Appeals Expert opinions Statements made by recognized authorities on a subject According to Joshua Manning of the Prevent-a-Litter Foundation, “Widespread spay-neuter programs are the only way to bring pet overpopulation under control. ” Facts Statements that can be proved true; facts often take the form of statistics, or numerical information One female cat and her young can conceivably produce up to 420, 000 kittens in just seven years. [End of Section]
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Plan Your Draft Organize your essay so that it moves smoothly and logically from one idea to the next. Readers tend to remember ideas presented at the beginning and end of an essay. Try putting your two strongest reasons in the first and final body paragraphs of your paper. Body Paragraph 1 second-strongest reason Body Paragraph 2 another good reason Body Paragraph 3 strongest reason [End of Section]
Writing a Persuasive Essay Prewriting: Practice and Apply Choose an issue for your persuasive essay, write an opinion statement, and gather and organize reasons and evidence to support your opinion. [End of Section]