Unlocking the Secrets of the Persuasive Essay Hints on How to Write Your Essay Ms. B and Mr. Rush
What Really Matters… Your audience likes to be interested in and even entertained by what you have written! Be well organized with all the necessary parts in their proper place, using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. You must be sure that your essay is easy to understand; that it is clear and coherent. The thing you want to avoid most is being confusing!
From the beginning… INTRODUCTION (Part 1) 3 Jobs of an Introduction: 1: Grab Reader’s Attention 2: Narrow the Focus of Your Paper 3: State the THESIS
From the beginning… INTRODUCTION (Part 1) The most important sentence is the first sentence of the introduction, the hook, where you “grab” the reader’s attention. You can ask provide a surprising statistic or strong quote, or ask a question! Let’s say your topic is “Should the Death Penalty be abolished?” Your hook could be “Right now, in America, 37% of the convicts on death row are innocent and will be unjustly executed for no good reason!”
More about the Introduction… (Part 2) After you have given your hook, you need to provide background information about your topic. Stop and Think: How can I narrow the subject of my essay and give the reader necessary information to understand my opinion? Background information connects your hook to the thesis!
Final Part of the Introduction…The THESIS After you write a hook and background information, it’s time to say what you think in the Thesis Statement and give three reasons to support your point: “I believe that the death penalty should be abolished because many innocent will be unjustly executed, it is against the Bible’s commandment ‘thou shalt not kill’ and it is forbidden by the US Constitution as a cruel and unusual punishment.”
Final Part of the Introduction…The THESIS Think of it as a math problem: SUBJECT ++ JUDGMENT/OPINION ++ BLUEPRINT (Reasons 1, 2, and 3) == THESIS STATEMENT!
Let’s Practice writing a Thesis Statement using a sample prompt: Studies show that fast food restaurants are linked to obesity, high blood pressure, and other ill effects. Should the United States ban all fast food restaurants? FIRST, What is the subject? NEXT, What is the judgment/opinion? FINALLY, Choose a position (Pro or Con) and 3 arguments to support that position
Let’s Practice writing a Thesis Statement using a sample prompt: Let’s choose the PRO argument to the prompt… FIRST, What is the position statement? Agree that fast food should be banned NEXT, What 3 arguments SUPPORT that position? 1. Fast food promotes laziness and inactivity 2. Fast food contains harmful chemicals 3. Locally owned businesses lose money
Let’s Practice writing a Thesis Statement using a sample prompt: Let’s do the MATH and put our thesis statement together… Subject: Fast Food restaurants Judgment/Opinion: should be banned in the United States because… Reason 1 : they promote laziness and inactivity, Reason 2 : contain harmful chemicals and Reason 3: locally owned businesses lose money.
Now You Try With a Partner… Write a thesis statement for the CON position using the following 3 Arguments: Busy people need food quickly Processed foods sold at supermarkets are also harmful and Local businesses should learn new ways to market their food. HINT: USE THE MATH FORMULA! ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________
Now, the Body Paragraphs… The purpose of your body paragraphs are to connect to the thesis and introduce the reasons for your argument in the blueprint. The first sentence of your body paragraph is called the Topic Sentence. A Transition Word + Reason = Topic Sentence HINT: Use the 3F rule for Transitions in Topic Sentences – First, Further, and Finally You don’t have to use these specific transition words; they are just examples!
Now, the Body Paragraphs The Format for Writing a Body Paragraph is: 1. Topic Sentence 2. Provide an Example/Quote to support the Reason 3. Analyze the Example/Quote to prove the Reason. **There are three reasons in your thesis, so you will be writing three different body paragraphs with three different topic sentences!
Let’s Practice Writing Topic Sentences using the PRO argument from the Fast Food prompt… Write the Topic Sentence for body paragraph 1 using Reason 1: ________________________________ _____________________________________________ __________________________________________ Write the Topic Sentence for body paragraph 2 using Reason 2: ________________________________ _____________________________________________ __________________________________________ Write the Topic Sentence for body paragraph 3 using Reason 3: ________________________________ _____________________________________________ __________________________________________
Finally: Conclusion. Your conclusion needs to make the person reading it remember what you wrote. The Conclusion should be a “mirror image” of your introduction: restate the thesis FIRST, then include your “Call to Action” or “Take Away.” A Call to Action asks your reader to act A Take Away makes the reader smile or think The “Call to Action” or “Take Away” is the last line of your essay and is the second most important line after the lead-in because this is where you leave the reader with your final thought.
Your conclusion continued… Your conclusion could be: “The death penalty has no place in modern America. It is a throwback to older barbaric times The death penalty causes many innocent people to be unjustly killed, it is against the law of God given in the Bible, and it is rejected by the “cruel and unusual punishment” amendment of the US Constitution. I strongly urge everyone to write to their Congressman and demand that the death penalty be abolished once and for all.
Now remember: A Good Essay: Is interesting. Is well organized. Uses proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Has all the elements in the right place. Has a powerful “hook” lead-in sentence. Has a well-defined thesis statement (your judgment/ opinion) which takes a definite side. Has three different reasons to support the main opinion of the thesis. Has three well-elaborated specific reason paragraphs. Saves the best, strongest reason for last. Concludes by “mirroring” the introduction by repeating the thesis and the 3 supporting reasons and leaves the reader with a strong “Call to Action or Takeaway” to remember.