Persuasive WritingDEVELOPING CONTENT IN THE BODY PARAGRAPHS
What goes in my body paragraphs Effective body paragraphs in a persuasive essay follow a precise structure. A topic sentence that makes a claim to support the thesis A fact or example that supports the claim of the topic sentence An explanation of how the fact/example supports the claim Another fact or example to support the topic sentence OR further extension of the first fact/example. An explanation of the second fact’s connection to the claim OR a final statement or enrichment of the first fact/example A transition sentence to smooth the way for the next claim
Sticking with our cell phone example, let’s look at a good paragraph. Topic sentence that makes a claimAllowing a child to have a cell phone will help the childto learn to be responsible. Today’s mobile devices are Fact that supportssomewhat delicate and can be expensive. Children will the claim andhave to exercise responsibility to take care of their explanation of thephone and be sure not to damage it. Additionally, most connection.phone plans supply a limited amount of usage. Usersmust responsibly monitor their time spent talking, Fact that supportstexting, and web browsing in order to avoid overage the claim and explanation of thecharges. As children grow accustomed to the demands connection.of having a cell phone, this newly learned responsibilitymay even bleed over into other areas of his life. Transition sentence to smooth the way for the next claim
Don’t confuse claims with facts Claims Facts Present an arguable Are TRUE position Are verifiable Reflect a conclusion you have made Are not disputable Shouldn’t be confused with opinions or preferences. “Vanilla ice cream tastes better than chocolate” is an opinion. You can neither argue nor prove it.
So, should I use facts or examples? Facts Examples Provide a strong Create “real world” support that is connections for your indisputable reader Offer credibility to the Allow the reader to see argument and author himself in your argument USE BOTH!
Suggestions for facts and examples General knowledge Cell phones can be somewhat expensive and delicate Personal experience My cell phone, like many others, was expensive and is easily damaged. Historical or literary reference The first mobile phones were about 10 inches in length, weighed a little over a pound, and came in a large, foam-filled, protective bag. As the mobile phone industry has evolved, phones have become smaller, and more delicate. Statistical knowledge 25% of Americans lose or damage their cell phones each year
Don’t Forget!As you plan your bodyparagraphs, don’t forget thepersuasive techniques andrhetorical categories. Youmay want to review thosetechniques from theprevious unit.
Once you have a handle on the classic body paragraph, you may want to turn up the heat on the opposition with a COUNTER-ARGUMENTIn a counter-argument, you will present an argument that opposes your thesis.Ideally, this argument is the most powerful argument against your position.Once you have established the opposing view point, it is your job to discreditthe argument. This technique is so powerful because it shows that you, thewriter, are an objective thinker who has obviously considered both sides of theissue and come to a more than reasonable conclusion.The most important aspect of the counter-argument is the destruction of it.Make sure that you choose an argument that you can discredit effectively, oryou will weaken your own argument, and thus, your essay.
Counter-argument structure• Present opposing view point• Clarify the opposing argument• Offer rebuttal• Explain rebuttal• Further explanation of rebuttal (as needed)• Reassert your position and transition
Make sure you are not negativeAvoid Avoid attacking your opponentCounter- Insulting the opponent’sargument intelligence does NOT discreditPitfalls his argument Make sure your rebuttal is solid Explain your rebuttal completely End the paragraph with a reassertion of your position on the issue
Counter-argument exampleThere are those who believe young people should not have cell phones becausethe children will waste their time engrossed in the device. My opponent mightsay that the time spent with the cell phone detracts from family time and schoolwork time. This argument, however, serves to highlight a benefit of cell phoneuse among young people. Parents who wish to reap the benefits of the cellphone will find numerous teachable moments related to time management. Atfirst, the parent should be the responsible party, modeling the behavior thechild should exhibit and monitoring the child’s time with the phone. As thechild becomes more familiar with responsible cell phone habits, he will begin tomonitor his own usage and will limit himself to a reasonable amount of timewith the device. As with any educational tool, it is the responsibility of the adultto make sure the tool helps the child to learn the intended lessons. The cellphone is most definitely an invaluable educational tool when used as such.
Your turn: Write the body of your essay Already have a draft? Haven’t started yet? Make sure you have at least three Review your prewriting to body paragraphs. Review each paragraph to be sure determine the order of your you have: arguments. a clear topic sentence that relates a Compose at least three body specific claim that supports your thesis offered facts to support your claims paragraphs that utilize ethos, explained the significance of the facts pathos, and logos arguments provided a transition sentence and follow effective structure. Review your arguments to make Add a counter-argument if you sure you have used a variety of feel comfortable doing so. rhetorical techniques (ethos, pathos, logos) Add a counter-argument if you feel comfortable doing so.