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Essay Writing. Persuasive Essay Purpose - makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence The claim could be an opinion, a.

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Presentation on theme: "Essay Writing. Persuasive Essay Purpose - makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence The claim could be an opinion, a."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essay Writing

2 Persuasive Essay Purpose - makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. Goal - to convince the intended audience that the claim is true based on the specific evidence provided

3 Breaking It Down, Step-by-Step I. Read and Dissect the Prompt II. Brainstorm III. Create Thesis Statement IV. Layout/Outline Essay Structure V. Write Rough Draft including 1. Introduction 2. Body Paragraphs 3. Conclusion VI. Revise and Edit VII. Produce Final Copy

4 I. Read and Dissect the Prompt ● Carefully read the complete prompt Writing Situation: Your local school board is seeking ideas to improve your school. These ideas will be discussed during meetings with students, teachers, parents, administrators, and other interested parties. The changes proposed by students will be seriously considered since students are the reason for the schools’ existence. Choose one change which would improve the school for all students. Directions for Writing: Write a persuasive essay explaining why your suggested change will be an improvement for your school. Give reasons to support your suggestion.

5 I. Read and Dissect the Prompt ● Now, read the prompt again underlining important points. ● Synthesize what is being asked of the writer. What is the conflict? Who is the audience? Writing Situation: Your local school board is seeking ideas to improve your school. These ideas will be discussed during meetings with students, teachers, parents, administrators, and other interested parties. The changes proposed by students will be seriously considered since students are the reason for the schools’ existence. Choose one change which would improve the school for all students. Directions for Writing: Write a persuasive essay explaining why your suggested change will be an improvement for your school. Give reasons to support your suggestion.

6 Writing Situation: Your school district has proposed saving money by eliminating extra-curricular sports (football, basketball and baseball) from the high school program. Think about the possible effects of cutting sports from the school program. Decide whether you are for or against this proposal. Directions for Writing: Write an essay in which you persuade the reader whether extra-curricular sports should be cut or maintained in the school. Defend your position with specific reasons supported by several detailed examples. Practice – I. Read and Dissect the Prompt

7 Writing Situation: Your school district has proposed saving money by eliminating extra-curricular sports (football, basketball and baseball) from the high school program. Think about the possible effects of cutting sports from the school program. Decide whether you are for or against this proposal. Directions for Writing: Write an essay in which you persuade the reader whether extra-curricular sports should be cut or maintained in the school. Defend your position with specific reasons supported by several detailed examples.

8 II. Brainstorm ● Recognize any side of the argument to identify the side you can BEST argue. Don’t rule out any ideas at this point! ● As you think of supporting ideas for each side, write those ideas down, so you may easily sift through them to formulate the position you want to argue. Improvements for School Allow students to use cell phones at lunch and between classes Build an indoor water park on the campus Give a two- hour break in the school day

9 Writing Situation: Your school district has proposed saving money by eliminating extra- curricular sports (football, basketball and baseball) from the high school program. Think about the possible effects of cutting sports from the school program. Decide whether you are for or against this proposal. Directions for Writing: Write an essay in which you persuade the reader whether extra- curricular sports should be cut or maintained in the school. Defend your position with specific reasons supported by several detailed examples. Reasons to Cut Sports Reasons Not to Cut Sports II. Brainstorm

10 III. Create Thesis Statement Based on your audience and the strength of your evidence, choose your position and develop your thesis statement. The thesis statement – is the most important sentence in the entire essay as it serves as a map of the entire essay The thesis statement - must be specific must be a single sentence must be a statement must outline all content discussed in the body of the essay must be supported by specific evidence in body of the essay must have parallel structure

11 III. Create Thesis Statement The thesis statement – is presented at the end of the introduction and is restated at the beginning of the conclusion. Your ideas may change as you write the rough draft; if so, revise the thesis statement to reflect exactly what is discussed in the essay.

12 School Improvement Brainstorm Chosen Position: Give a two-hour break during the school day Reasons why the school should give a two-hour break… rest/tak e mental break participate in extra-curricular activities eat lunch off campus attend study hall Help out at home Work off campus Socialize with friends

13 Choose one change which would improve the school for all students. Directions for Writing: Write a persuasive essay explaining why your suggested change will be an improvement for your school. Give reasons to support your suggestion. III. Create Thesis Statement Thesis Statement - The school board should add a two-hour break during the school day to allow time for rest, extracurricular activities, and additional academic support.

14 Writing Situation: Your school district has proposed saving money by eliminating extra-curricular sports (football, basketball and baseball) from the high school program. Think about the possible effects of cutting sports from the school program. Decide whether you are for or against this proposal. Directions for Writing: Write an essay in which you persuade the reader whether extra-curricular sports should be cut or maintained in the school. Defend your position with specific reasons supported by several detailed examples. Reasons to Cut Sports Reasons Not to Cut Sports T III. Create Thesis Statement

15 Body Paragraph 1 IV. Layout/Outline Essay Structure Your thesis statement outlines the structure/content of your essay. Look - The school should add a two-hour break in the school day to allow time for rest, extracurricular activities, and additional academic support. Body Paragraph 2 Body Paragraph 3

16 Then, add a counter-argument as the final body paragraph. A counter-argument is an opposing point of view (argument against a position- in this case, against your position). In persuasive writing, the counter-argument is an argument against the thesis statement which is refuted (proven wrong).IV. Layout/Outline Essay Structure

17 Why include a counter-argument? It proves to the reader the writer is objective (has considered both sides of the argument), and as a result, the writer is credible (trust-worthy). By including AND refuting a counter- argument, you strengthen your position outlined in the thesis statement.

18 IV. Layout/Outline Essay Structure The school should add a two-hour break in the school day to allow time for rest, extra-curricular activities, and additional academic support. Counter-argument Body Paragraph 1 Body Paragraph 2 Body Paragraph 4 Body Paragraph 3

19 Introduction with Thesis Statement: The school should add a two-hour break in the school day to allow time for rest, extra-curricular activities, and additional academic support. Body Paragraph One Topic Sentence: A two-hour break would provide students the opportunity to rest prior to the second half of the school day. Body Paragraph Two Topic Sentence: Students could participate in extra-curricular activities if the school added a two-hour break during the school day. Body Paragraph Three Topic Sentence: During a two-hour break in the school day, all students would have time to receive academic assistance. Conclusion with a Restated Thesis Statement : Access to academic assistance, opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities, and time for rest would benefit all students if a two-hour break was added to the school day. Body Paragraph Four Topic Sentence: While adding a two-hour break will extend mandatory school hours, students would become better prepared overall, and they would have fewer school-related commitments outside of regular hours.

20 V. Write the Rough Draft - Introduction The introduction = minimum of four sentences Begins with a hook/lead to grab the reader’s attention. Provides one or two sentences transitioning to the thesis statement, the map of the complete essay Clearly states the thesis statement, the “map” of the essay Transitions to the first body paragraph

21 V. Write the Rough Draft - Introduction With heavy pressure on school systems to produce better results with fewer resources, school systems crave innovative ideas for school improvement. These mold-bending ideas should seek to meet the demands of our students, teachers, and parents alike. The school board should add a two-hour break during the school day to allow students time for rest, extracurricular activities, and additional academic support. Building a break into the mandatory school day would allow students an improved opportunity for overall success and happiness through opportunities such as physical or mental rejuvenation.

22 V. Write the Rough Draft - Introduction With heavy pressure on school systems to produce better results with fewer resources, school systems crave innovative ideas for school improvement. These mold-bending ideas should seek to meet the demands of our students, teachers, and parents alike. The school board should add a two-hour break during the school day to allow students time for rest, extracurricular activities, and additional academic support. Building a break into the mandatory school day would allow students improved likelihood for overall success and happiness through opportunities such as physical or mental rejuvenation.

23 V. Write the Rough Draft – Body Paragraphs ● The number of body paragraphs depends upon the number of ideas presented in the thesis statement plus the counter argument paragraph if a persuasive essay. ● Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence which establishes the subject/topic of the paragraph. ● The paragraph continues with specific, detailed evidence supporting your topic sentence.

24 V. Write the Rough Draft – Body Paragraphs ● The body paragraph ends with a concluding transitional sentence which cleanly concludes the body paragraph and introduces the following paragraph. ● Never include less than six sentences in a body paragraph. Never include less than two-body paragraphs in an essay.

25 V. Write the Rough Draft – Body Paragraphs – Body Paragraph #1 A two-hour break would provide students the opportunity to rest prior to the second half of the school day. Most students complain that they get tired in class, and the teachers of those students complain that their students lose focus and/or sleep in class. Parents, in addition, worry about their students’ well-being. The answer to this problem parallels acts taken by schools in other countries. We need a window of opportunity for students to take a physical nap or at least a mental break from their studies. Many high school students work late hours or provide assistance with household chores such as tending to younger siblings. In other cases, students are drained by extra-curricular activities, such as drama rehearsal and football practice, to the extent a mid- day rest is needed. For those students who do not desire to sleep, video games, music, books, and exercise could provide a refreshing mental break. Not all students can endure a full school day without rest; a two-hour break will aid in student focus and overall achievement in that tired students may rest while others may choose to involve themselves in extra-curricular programs.

26 A two-hour break would provide students the opportunity to rest prior to the second half of the school day. Most students complain that they get tired in class, and the teachers of those students complain that their students lose focus and/or sleep in class. Parents, in addition, worry about their students’ well-being. The answer to this problem parallels acts taken by schools in other countries. We need a window of opportunity for students to take a physical nap or at least a mental break from their studies. Many high school students work late hours or provide assistance with household chores such as tending to younger siblings. In other cases, students are drained by extra-curricular activities, such as drama rehearsal and football practice, to the extent a mid- day rest is needed. For those students who do not desire to sleep, video games, music, books, and exercise could provide a refreshing mental break. Not all students can endure a full school day without rest; a two-hour break will aid in student focus and overall achievement in that tired students may rest while others may choose to involve themselves in extra-curricular programs.

27 V. Write the Rough Draft – Body Paragraphs The counter-argument is the final body paragraph. It follows the same format as other body paragraphs: topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding transition sentence. Generally, the counter-argument is less lengthy than other body paragraphs; tear down the opposition and move to the conclusion.

28 V. Write the Rough Draft – Body Paragraphs (counter-argument) While adding a two-hour break will extend mandatory school hours, students would become better prepared overall, and they would have fewer school-related commitments outside of regular hours. Undoubtedly, some people will argue that it is not acceptable to lengthen the school day; however, since most students at our school participate in at least one extra-curricular and/or regularly attend study hall, the average time spent on campus actually will not increase. Students will simply tend to most of their school-related activities during regular hours while benefiting from a bit of rest. For those students who have a job, they could enroll in work-based learning in order to depart early so their work hours do not extend later into the evening. A two-hour break will lead to happier students with fewer commitments after hours despite the extension of the school day.

29 V. Write the Rough Draft – Body Paragraphs While adding a two-hour break will extend mandatory school hours, students would become better prepared overall, and they would have fewer school-related commitments outside of regular hours. Undoubtedly, some people will argue that it is not acceptable to lengthen the school day; however, since most students at our school participate in at least one extra-curricular and/or regularly attend study hall, the average time spent on campus actually will not increase. Students will simply tend to most of their school-related activities during regular hours while benefiting from a bit of rest. For those students who have a job, they could enroll in work-based learning in order to depart early so their work hours do not extend later into the evening. A two-hour break will lead to happier students with fewer commitments after hours despite the extension of the school day.

30 V. Write Rough Draft - Conclusion The conclusion = minimum of four sentences Begins with a restatement of the thesis statement. One may reword the thesis or flip the thesis; do not paste the thesis from introduction to conclusion. Provide two or three sentences reminding the reader of the main arguments in the essay (look at each topic sentence to review the main points). Close with a “call to action.” In other words, if the reader has been convinced by the arguments presented, tell him/her how to respond.

31 V. Write Rough Draft - Conclusion What NOT to do in the conclusion: DO NOT mention the counter-argument again DO NOT introduce new arguments, evidence, or details DO NOT apologize for doing a poor job of presenting the material DO NOT qualify or blunt the impact of the arguments in the body DO NOT say, “This essay was about,” “I hope you agree with me,” “Hopefully, you are convinced,” or anything similar

32 V. Write Rough Draft - Conclusion In order to allow students time for rest, extra-curricular activities, and additional academic support, the school board should approve the addition of a two-hour break during the high school day. Without any drastic actions taken, our school will continue down its current path of lackluster achievement, but this one simple change could lead to positive growth. Students could enter into afternoon classes well-rested and focused. They also could have improved access to extra-curricular activities as well as academic study halls and tutoring. This innovative move will help to ensure happiness and success for all students, and thus their parents and teachers alike. It is imperative that all community members in support of the addition of a two-hour break in the daily high school schedule voice their opinion to school board members via or telephone prior to the April board meeting. The students are depending upon the community; please, act in their best interest.

33 V. Write Rough Draft - Conclusion In order to allow students time for rest, extra-curricular activities, and additional academic support, the school board should approve the addition of a two-hour break during the high school day. Without any drastic actions taken, our school will continue down its current path of lackluster achievement, but this one simple change could lead to positive growth. Students could enter into afternoon classes well-rested and focused. They also could have improved access to extra-curricular activities as well as academic study halls and tutoring. This innovative move will help to ensure happiness and success for all students, and thus their parents and teachers alike. It is imperative that all community members in support of the addition of a two-hour break in the daily high school schedule voice their opinion to school board members via or telephone prior to the April board meeting. The students are depending upon the community; please, act in their best interest.

34 VI. Revise and Edit- The goal is to improve your paper in content (ideas) and mechanics (grammar, spelling, etc.) Do you have an introduction, 2+ body paragraphs, a counter- argument if applicable, and a conclusion? Does each paragraph have the proper structure (i.e., lead, topic sentence, concluding transition sentence, supporting sentences)? Is there a clearly stated thesis statement? ● Does every point support your thesis, or have you gone off topic? No matter how much you like a point or a sentence, if it is off the topic, cut it. Have you provided adequate supporting details (count your sentences and make sure you meet minimum requirements)?

35 VI. Revise and Edit ● Does one generalization follow naturally from the previous one and lead naturally to the next one? Will the connection be clear to the reader? Fill in any jumps between thoughts. ● Have you made clear how the details are connected to a generalization? If not, connect them. ● Have you organized your material so that all your discussion of a single point is in one place in your essay, or does the same idea get discussed in more than one place in the essay? Combine all discussion of one generalization in one place, and cut any repetition. ● Is anything in your essay repetitious? Check the way you begin your sentences; do you use the same words or phrases to begin your sentences? Use varied sentence structure in general. Do not overuse any phrases, quotes, statistics, large words, etc. ● Is the grammar, punctuation, and spelling correct? ● Did you avoid first person references – you, I, we?

36 VII. Produce Final Copy ● If typed, use Times New Roman, size12 font, double spaced, and print in black ink on white paper, single sided If hand-written, write legibly (cursive is preferred), use black or blue ink, double spaced on white paper, single sided Indent each paragraph and observe margins of the paper Entitle your essay ● Do not leave an extra empty line between paragraphs ● Do not use “colorful writing” – text lingo, hearts to dot i’s, smiley faces, your athletic number beside your name, etc.


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