The mini-research paper
Persuasive Writing The mini-research paper
Position Statement This is your thesis, but in persuasive writing, it represents your position on a controversial topic Should clearly state a plan for solving a problem or a call to action Must include the words “should” or “should not” Absolutely NO “I think that…”– be firm in your beliefs. Ex: Smoking should be banned because it costs too much, hurts innocent people, and harms the smoker him/herself.
Reasons Your position (belief) needs to be supported by three reasons
Each reason should directly relate to the position statement Each reason must be distinct from others If not, the structure of your essay will start to crumble
Reasons Example Smoking should be banned—position Reasons:
It’s bad for the smoker’s health Second-hand smoke harms those who are already choosing not to smoke It is too expensive
HELLO RESEARCH Evidence Each reason must be supported with evidence
Facts, statistics Examples Quotes from experts
Evidence Each piece of evidence must be distinct from others- do not use many statistics to prove only one point. Each piece should directly relate to the reason it is supporting That relation should be explained
Order Order reasons and their evidence from least to most important
You want your reader to remember your strongest argument- place it at the end! Tone: Should be serious and unemotional
Conclusion Should include a restatement of your position statement
Should restate reasons that support position Should then restate call to action
General outline- minimum
I. Introduction Background info (detail) Position statement II. Reason #1 (least important) A. Evidence to support B. Evidence to support C. Evidence to support III. Reason #2 (medium important) IV. Reason #3 (most important) V. Conclusion A. restatement of position B. Summary
Offering a Counterargument
Addressing the claims of the opposition is an important component in building a convincing argument. It demonstrates your credibility as a writer--you have researched multiple sides of the argument and have come to an informed decision. Key Concepts: Concerned with asserting the importance of their own claims, writers sometimes overlook the importance of considering the views of the opposition within their own arguments. Countering oppositional claims demonstrates to the audience that the writer has carefully considered multiple components of the issue and has reached an educated decision. If a writer finds that the opposition cannot be countered effectively, he or she may need to reevaluate his or her own opinions and claims about the argument.
Consider your audience when you offer your counterargument. Conceding to some of your opposition’s concerns can demonstrate respect for their opinions. Remain tactful yet firm. Using rude or deprecating language can cause your audience to reject your position without carefully considering your claims. Key Concepts: This slide suggests the importance of considering the audience in offering a counterargument. If a writer is trying to argue about the dangers of second-hand smoke to a group of smokers, the writer needs to offer his or her opinion in such a way that the opposition can see the rationality of his or her claims. If the writer instead chooses to rant about how much he or she dislikes smokers, it is doubtful that the audience will feel any sympathy with the argued position and will reject the argument. The facilitator may choose to emphasize that tact and audience consideration are very important elements of effective counterarguments.
Concessions A good argument will interweave opposing arguments and counteract them These should be included in applicable reason paragraphs after topic sentence, but before supporting details. The strongest reason should NOT include a concession; you do not want to weaken your strongest point.
Body Paragraph Structure
Transition Topic sentence Concession statement-only on para 1 and 2 Concession rebuttal– only on para 1 and 2 Supporting detail 1 and explanation/ trans Supporting detail 2 and explanation/ trans Supporting detail 3 and explanation Clincher
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