In argumentative essayswe try to convince othersto agree with our facts,share our values,accept our argument andconclusions, and adopt ourway of thinking.
Elements toward building agood persuasive essay include1. establishing factsto support an argument2. clarifying relevant valuesfor your audience (perspective)3. prioritizing, editing, and/or sequencingthe facts and values in importance to build theargument4. forming and stating conclusions5. "persuading" your audience that your conclusionsare based upon the agreed-upon facts and shared values6. having the confidenceto communicate your "persuasion" in writing
Here are some strategies tocomplete a persuasive writingassignment:1. Write out the questions in your own words.2. Think of the questions posed in the assignmentwhile you are reading and researching.3. Determine facts4. any sources that will help you determine their reliability(as well as for further reference)5. what prejudices lie in the argumentor values that color the facts or the issue6. what you think of the authors argument7. List out facts; consider their importance:prioritize, edit, sequence, discard, etc.8. Ask yourself "Whats missing?"
Making a claimWhat is an argument?= the “claim”, or “main idea”, or “thesis statement”IMPORTANT: a CLAIM must be backed up with evidencethat supports the idea.It is time to stake out a position and prove why it is agood position for a thinking person to hold.
Is it as EASY as PIE…or is it as easy as Pi?Claims can be as simple as: “Protons are positively charged andelectrons are negatively charged,”with evidence such as, “In this experiment, protons and electrons actedin such and such a way.”Claims can also be as complex as : “The end of the South Africansystem of apartheid was inevitable,” using reasoning and evidencesuch as, “Every successful revolution in the modern era has come aboutafter the government in power has given and then removed smallconcessions to the uprising group.”In either case, the rest of your paper will detail the reasoning andevidence that have led you to believe that your position is best.
What is my purpose?For example, the purpose of this power point is to helpyou become a better writer, and we are arguing that animportant step in the process of writing effectivearguments is understanding the concept ofargumentation.If your papers do not have a main point,they cannot be arguing for anything.
Why does this matter?Consider this: your instructors probably know a lotmore than you do about your subject matter. Why, then,would you want to provide them with material theyalready know? Instructors are usually looking for twothings:1) Proof that you understand the material2) A demonstration of your ability to use or apply thematerial in ways that go beyond what you have reador heard.
Possible Essay Topics1) Eliminate all school dances and assemblies at MHS.2) MHS to go from traditional to year-round school.3) MHS will shorten the school week to four days aweek, but each day would be longer.4) MHS should require school uniforms.Any other topic MUST be approved by your teacher.
Your assignment0 Choose one of the topics from the last slide.0 Write an argumentative essay.0 Argue BOTH sides of the same argument.0 Two pages devoted to proving the argument labeled“PRO” at the top of the paper0 Two pages devoted to disproving your argumentlabeled “CON” at the top of the paper
HOT BUTTONSList possibleemotions/emotionalreactions and recognizethem for later use
First Draftto be handwrittenStart as close as possible to your reading/researchDo not concern yourself with grammar or spelling (yet)Write your first paragraph0 Introduce the topic0 Inform the reader of your point of view!0 Entice the reader to continue with the rest of the paper!0 Focus on three main points to develop
Establish flow from paragraphto paragraph0 Keep your voice active (see Active/Passive voice PWPT)0 Quote sourcesto establish authority0 Stay focusedon your point of view throughout the essay0 Focus on logical arguments0 Use interesting transitional words0 Dont lapse into summaryin the development--wait for the conclusion
Conclusion0 Summarize, then conclude, your argumentRefer to the first paragraph/opening statement aswell as the main points0 does the conclusion restate the main ideas?0 reflect the succession and importance of the arguments0 logically conclude their development
Edit/rewrite the firstparagraphto better explain your development and conclusion.DAY 2- Friday
EDITING and FINAL DRAFTDay 3 – Monday Re-read your paperwith a fresh mind and a sharp pencil Ask yourself:Am I convinced?Will this convince a reader?Will they understand my values, and agree with my facts? Peer Edit Does this paper contain any faulty logic? Identify the faultylogic and suggest ways to correct it . Check spelling and grammar! The peer should respond to your argument.Were they convinced? Revise if necessary. Turn in the paper Celebrate a job well done,with the confidence that you have done your best.
How to respond to criticismConsider criticism as a test of developing yourpowers of persuasion.Try not to take it personally.0 If your facts are criticized,double check them, and then cite your sources.0 If your values are criticized,sometimes we need agree "to disagree". Remember: your success in persuading others assumesthat the other person is open to being persuaded!0 Fear: If you are not used to communicating,especially in writing, you may need to overcome fear on several levels. Writing, unlikeunrecorded speech, is a permanent record for all to see, and the "context" is not as important asin speech where context "colors" the words. For example: your readers do not see you, only yourwords. They do not know what you look like, where you live, who you are.0 Persuasion also has another dimension:it is built with facts, which illustrate conclusions. Of course, this means you need to know whatyou are talking about, and cannot be lazy with your facts, or you will not succeed in convincinganyone. This shows another level of fear: Fear of making a mistake that will make yourargument or persuasion meaningless. Since you are writing, and the words are on paper for allto see (or on a web site!), you need to work to make sure your facts are in order.
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