The Persuasive Essay

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The persuasive essay: structure and strategies

The persuasive essay: structure and strategies

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  • 1. The Persuasive Essay Parallels (Brent Davies, 2009)
  • 2. The Persuasive Essay In a persuasive essay, the writer attempts to persuade readers that his or her opinion on a controversial issue is the right one. The writer presents one side of the issue and supports his or her opinion with arguments backed up by statistics, examples and expert opinions. In short essays (500 words), five paragraphs is the standard format.
  • 3. Structuring the Argumentative Essay
  • 4. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph
  • 5. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph Begin with a “grabber” -- a technique used to grab the reader’s attention. Effective grabber techniques include:
  • 6. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph Begin with a “grabber” -- a technique used to grab the reader’s attention. Effective grabber techniques include: 1. Quotations
  • 7. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph Begin with a “grabber” -- a technique used to grab the reader’s attention. Effective grabber techniques include: 1. Quotations Sue Rodriguez asked, “... whose body is this? Who owns my life?”
  • 8. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph Begin with a “grabber” -- a technique used to grab the reader’s attention. Effective grabber techniques include: 1. Quotations Sue Rodriguez asked, “... whose body is this? Who owns my life?” 2. Definitions
  • 9. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph Begin with a “grabber” -- a technique used to grab the reader’s attention. Effective grabber techniques include: 1. Quotations Sue Rodriguez asked, “... whose body is this? Who owns my life?” 2. Definitions “Euthanasia” is the act of killing someone to relieve pain and suffering.
  • 10. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph Begin with a “grabber” -- a technique used to grab the reader’s attention. Effective grabber techniques include: 1. Quotations Sue Rodriguez asked, “... whose body is this? Who owns my life?” 2. Definitions “Euthanasia” is the act of killing someone to relieve pain and suffering. 3. Facts
  • 11. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph Begin with a “grabber” -- a technique used to grab the reader’s attention. Effective grabber techniques include: 1. Quotations Sue Rodriguez asked, “... whose body is this? Who owns my life?” 2. Definitions “Euthanasia” is the act of killing someone to relieve pain and suffering. 3. Facts “On February 12, 1994, Sue Rodriguez defied Canadian law and, with the help of an unidentified physician, ended her life.
  • 12. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph:
  • 13. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph: The introduction ends with a thesis statement, an affirmative sentence that expresses the writer’s opinion about the subject of the essay.
  • 14. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Introductory Paragraph: The introduction ends with a thesis statement, an affirmative sentence that expresses the writer’s opinion about the subject of the essay. Euthanasia should not be legalized.
  • 15. Structuring the Argumentative Essay
  • 16. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs
  • 17. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs The second, third and fourth paragraphs make up the body of the essay.
  • 18. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs The second, third and fourth paragraphs make up the body of the essay. In each of these paragraphs, the first sentence begins with a transition term. (First, Second, Third, To continue, To finish) followed by an argument in support of the thesis statement. The first sentence,also called the topic sentence, must be backed up with some form of evidence.
  • 19. Body Paragraphs: Three types of evidence
  • 20. Body Paragraphs: Three types of evidence 1. Statistics
  • 21. Body Paragraphs: Three types of evidence 1. Statistics Facts: Euthanasia became legal in the Netherlands on April 1, 2002. Figures: Approximately 85 percent of Dutch people support active euthanasia.
  • 22. Body Paragraphs: Three types of evidence 2. Expert Opinion
  • 23. Body Paragraphs: Three types of evidence 2. Expert Opinion Quote: Sue Rodriguez once asked, “I want to ask you gentlemen, if I cannot give consent to my own death, then whose body is it? Who owns my life? Paraphrase: Sue Rodriguez asked the court to tell her who owned her body and life.
  • 24. Body Paragraphs: Three types of evidence 3. Example
  • 25. Body Paragraphs: Three types of evidence 3. Example The story of Sue Rodriguez, a young woman diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), demonstrates the need to legalize assisted suicide.
  • 26. Body Paragraphs: Three types of evidence 3. Example The story of Sue Rodriguez, a young woman diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), demonstrates the need to legalize assisted suicide. Ideally, at least two types of evidence are used in the body essay.
  • 27. Structuring the Argumentative Essay
  • 28. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Conclusion
  • 29. Structuring the Argumentative Essay Conclusion The fifth paragraph is called the conclusion. The conclusion begins with a transition term (In summary, To conclude) and a summary in which the thesis and the three arguments are restated. The essay ends with a “clincher”--a technique used to encourage the reader to think about the essay.
  • 30. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques
  • 31. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques 1. Connecting with the introduction
  • 32. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques 1. Connecting with the introduction An example of connecting with the grabber would be: The response to both of Sue Rodriguez’s questions is the same: She does!
  • 33. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques
  • 34. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques 2. Asking a Rhetorical Question
  • 35. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques 2. Asking a Rhetorical Question Should euthanasia be legalized? Without a doubt!
  • 36. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques
  • 37. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques 3. Offering a Suggestion
  • 38. Conclusion Three types of “clincher” techniques 3. Offering a Suggestion Euthanasia should be a choice in the same way that abortion is a choice--and for the same reason: the body belongs to the individual, not the state.
  • 39. Persuasive Strategies
  • 40. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay:
  • 41. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay: 1. Don’t use any first- or second-person pronouns(I, you, we, my, your, our, etc.)
  • 42. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay: 1. Don’t use any first- or second-person pronouns(I, you, we, my, your, our, etc.) By only using the third-person singular or plural (he, she, it, they, etc.), the essay appears impersonal and therefore rational.
  • 43. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay:
  • 44. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay: 2. Don’t use any contractions (he’s, they’re, we're,etc.)unless your teacher indicates otherwise.
  • 45. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay: 2. Don’t use any contractions (he’s, they’re, we're,etc.)unless your teacher indicates otherwise. Using a formal style will lend credibility to your essay.
  • 46. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay:
  • 47. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay: 3. Place the weakest argument in the second paragraph of the body (paragraph 3)
  • 48. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay: 3. Place the weakest argument in the second paragraph of the body (paragraph 3) By placing your weakest argument in the middle of the two paragraphs, the stronger of the two arguments hides the weakness of the argument. In other words, you begin and end strong.
  • 49. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay:
  • 50. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay: 4. In the introduction, present the opposing viewpoint first, and then refute it in your thesis statement.
  • 51. Persuasive Strategies Four basic strategies to use when writing a persuasive essay: 4. In the introduction, present the opposing viewpoint first, and then refute it in your thesis statement. By presenting the opposing position and then refuting it, you appear open-minded; you indicate that you have considered both sides of the issue, opting for the better of the two.
  • 52. Language Structures and Transition Terms
  • 53. Language Structures and Transition Terms Some useful language structures to present and then refute and opinion are:
  • 54. Language Structures and Transition Terms Some useful language structures to present and then refute and opinion are: • While proponents claim that..., it would appear the opposite is true.
  • 55. Language Structures and Transition Terms Some useful language structures to present and then refute and opinion are: • While proponents claim that..., it would appear the opposite is true. • Some have asserted that ...; nevertheless, ...
  • 56. Language Structures and Transition Terms Some useful language structures to present and then refute and opinion are: • While proponents claim that..., it would appear the opposite is true. • Some have asserted that ...; nevertheless, ... • It could be argued that ...; however, ...
  • 57. Language Structures and Transition Terms Some useful language structures to present and then refute and opinion are: • While proponents claim that..., it would appear the opposite is true. • Some have asserted that ...; nevertheless, ... • It could be argued that ...; however, ... Notice the words nevertheless and however. They are transition words and, like the terms first, second, and third, they help the reader follow your train of thought