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Persuasion Essay

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Persuasion Essay

To dream is heaven-like, but to act is heaven itself.


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What Is a Persuasive Essay?

  • A persuasive essay presents the writer’s position on a certain issue, usually a controversial one. The purpose of the persuasive essay is to convince the reader that the writer’s opinion on the issue is valid whereas the opponent’s opinion is not.


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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

  • In order to be successful, a persuasive essay should use evidence and logic. If the writer neglects either evidence or logic, then he will fail to win the reader over to his or her side. The following are three ways to argue and persuade:

  • 1. Use emotional appeal— Touch the heart of the audience.

  • 2. Use rational appeal— a. Use logical reasoning, and let the facts speak; b. Point out what’s wrong with opponents’ opinion.

  • 3. Use ethical appeal— Be fair; no personal attacks.


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Emotional appeal—Touch the heart of the audience

  • Homeless people should be sheltered and attended with health programs. Many homeless people are on the streets because of mental illness or other health conditions that prevent them from joining the work force. Our government should fund programs that provide these people with a decent home environment and medical treatment. Without these programs, we are going to see homeless people daily lingering on street corners, with hungry faces and shabby clothing, shivering in cold rain or dehydrated by the burning sun.


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Rational appeal—Use logical reasoning, use facts

  • We should not legalize drugs because drugs are dangerous to our health. If we legalize drugs, the easy access would encourage more people to take drugs, and as a result, we would have more people with health problems. As it stands now, an estimated 30 million Americans have used cocaine, and some 5 million use it regularly. Because of the increase in cocaine abuse, greater numbers of emergency-room visits, cocaine-related heart problems, and sudden deaths have been reported. If we make drugs legal, we won’t be surprised to hear that more strokes, heart attacks, and sudden cardiac deaths occur in the near future.


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Rational appeal—Point out what’s wrong with opponents’opinion

  • There are people who believe that school uniforms should not be adopted. They believe uniforms will decrease diversity and prevent students from expressing their personalities. This argument is not accurate because it neglects other aspects of diversity and other ways of expressing personalities.

  • Diversity is not only defined by one’s dress, but it is also by one’s ethnicity and religious belief. As long as the school allows difference in ethnicity and religion, diversity will not be blocked out. As for personality, students can show their personalities by the way they socialize with fellow students and by how they express their ideas in the classroom. What is more important

  • is the students’ education, and school uniforms will help students concentrate on the education they need.


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Ethical appeal—Be fair: no personal attacks

  • Martin Luther King addressing his opponents in his “Letter from Birmingham

  • Jail”:

  • If I have said anything in this letter that overstate the truth and indicates

  • an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything

  • that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me

  • to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.

  • I hope this letter finds you strong in faith. I also hope that circumstances

  • will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist

  • or a civil-rights leader, but as fellow clergyman and Christian brother. Let us

  • all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the

  • deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating

  • beauty.


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Avoid Fallacies

  • The following are logical fallacies we need to avoid when writing a persuasive

  • essay.

    Either-or Thinking: Either-or thinking is when someone views a

  • particular reality in only one extreme or another.

  • However, sometimes a reality can have various

  • views, gray area or it could have neither extreme.

  • Fallacy: Unless all school districts require uniforms, students

  • will not perform well academically.

  • Better: In many cases, requiring students to wear uniforms

  • can impact students’ academic performance positively.

  • Fallacy: Requiring students to wear uniforms will make all

  • students angry.

  • Better: Implementing a uniform policy can possibly anger

  • many students.


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Continuation of fallacies

  • Attacking the Person This occurs when the writer attacks the opponent as

  • a person instead of refuting the argument. A writer

  • has attacked the person if what was said hurts the

  • feelings or reputation of the person.

  • Fallacy: Letty Lopez, the school superintendent, dresses

  • provocatively; therefore, she can’t effectively preside

  • over the meeting regarding the uniform issue.

  • Better: Letty Lopez, although known to dress provocatively,

  • can unbiasly preside over the meeting

  • regarding the uniform issue.

  • Fallacy: Letty Lopez dresses inappropriately for work;

  • therefore, she must not be an effective

  • superintendent.

  • Better: Letty Lopez can not be an effective superintendent

  • if she doesn’t have leadership skills or interpersonal

  • skills.


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Hasty Conclusion: This occurs when a writer selects one conclusion out of two or more possible ones without goodreasons for doing so

.

Fallacy: Uniforms should be required for public school

children because the fashion industry is corrupting

our youth.

Better: If schools require uniforms, our students would not

dress in ways that are distractive.

Fallacy: The fashion industry advertises and promotes sexy

dresses, which results in teenage pregnancy.

Better: The fashion industry advertises and promotes sexy

dresses, which is not recommendable in our

schools


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Arguing Off Point: This occurs when writers engage in tactics designed to avoid the key issue

  • .

  • Fallacy: Abortion should not be allowed because Church

  • people are against abortion. They, as well as

  • physicians, are out there to save lives, not to destroy

  • them.

  • Better: Abortion should not be allowed because medical

  • research proves that human life is formed from the

  • very beginning of the conception; performing

  • abortion is like murdering a human life.

  • Fallacy: Men should not be given custody rights because

  • they fool around with women.

  • Better: Men should not be given custody rights because

  • many of them are not skilled in taking care of

  • children’s needs.


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Faulty Analogy: This occurs when the writer suggests that thingswhich are alike in one respect are also alike in otherrespects, when, in fact, they are not. Although insome cases two things may be similar in certainrespects, there may be areas in which they are notthe same.

  • Fallacy: The Chinese students do well in school because of

  • the adoption of uniforms; therefore, American

  • schools should also require uniforms.

  • Better: One factor determining the success of students in

  • China has been the adoption of school uniforms;

  • therefore, if Americans adopt uniforms, they might

  • improve student success as well.

  • Fallacy: Requiring uniforms in California has helped reduce

  • the school violence; therefore, Texas school district

  • should require school uniforms too.

  • Better: Since school uniforms have had positive impact on

  • students’ academic performance and social behavior

  • in California, Texas should pilot school uniforms in

  • some school districts to see how effective the school

  • uniforms can be.


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Introduction

A. Lead-in:

1). Introduce the topic (one or two sentences).

2). Introduce the controversial issue: “Should ?”

B. Transition:

1). Present proponents’ opinion: “Some people think that we should

because (one key reason).”

2). Present opponents’ opinion: “Other people think that we shouldn’t

because (one key reason).”

C. Thesis Statement:

1). State your opinion:

“I believe because , , and

.

2). State three reasons.


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Body

  • Body Paragraph 1

  • 1. Topic Sentence: (Restate your position and restate 1st reason)

  • 2. Explanation: (why and how) / Examples (who/what/how/when/

  • where) / Statistics

  • 3. Closing Remarks: relating the examples to the topic sentence

  • Body Paragraph 2

  • 1. Topic Sentence: (Restate your position and restate 2nd reason)

  • 2. Explanation: (why and how) / Examples (who/what/how/when/

  • where) / Statistics

  • 3. Closing Remarks: relating the examples to the topic sentence

  • Body Paragraph 3

  • 1. Topic Sentence: (Restate your position and restate 3rd reason)

  • 2. Explanation: (why and how) / Examples (who/what/how/when/

  • where) / Statistics

  • 3. Closing Remarks: relating the examples to the topic sentence


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Conclusion

  • 1. Restate the thesis statement;

  • 2. Point out a solution or call for action, giving the reader a sense of ending.


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