Five Paragraph Persuasive Essay Grade 7/8 Language Arts
What is a persuasive essay? • An essay which tries to convince a reader to believe what you believe about a certain topic. • You must take a stand and pick a side • Don’t sit on the fence!
DO! • Divide into 5 paragraphs • Have a thesis statement in your introduction • Come up with 3 main points to support your argument—these will be your 3 body paragraphs • Have a conclusion that contains a clincher statement • Come up with a catchy title
DON’T! • Begin with “hello my name is___ and I’m going to write about____” • Take out the word I (instead of I think we shouldn’t wear uniforms say “Uniforms shouldn’t be required” • Be wishy washy. Pick a side. • Forget to support your opinions with facts and examples
Stages of Writing • Prewriting (brainstorming) • Rough draft • Revising/editing • Self Edit • Peer Edit • Teacher Approval • Final draft *All stages are mandatory and must be completed before the assignment will be marked
5 Paragraphs • Introduction (1 paragraph) • Body (3 paragraphs) • Conclusion (1 paragraph)
General Ideas Introduction • Specific Ideas • Thesis 1 Paragraph
Paragraph 1 • First Supporting Point, Evidence & Transition Body • Paragraph 2 • Second Supporting Point, Evidence & Transition • Paragraph 3 • Third Supporting Point, Evidence & Transition 3 Paragraphs
Thesis Conclusion • Specific • General 1 Paragraph
Introduction Body Conclusion
Remember Your Audience • Your topic will determine who your intended audience is. • Keep this audience in mind as you write. (You don’t have to address them by name.) • Present your arguments in a way that will impress this audience. • Name calling and angry tirades won’t work.
Introduction • A good introduction consists of three parts
Step 1: The Hook • Start with a hook! The first sentence in your essay should capture the attention of your reader. • Your attention-getter must relate to the topic in some way. • Ways to capture attention: • Startling situation or statistic • Intriguing question • Powerful description
Example of a Good Hook • Example: • Imagine opening your closet to find something to wear to school, and all you can find are khaki pants and white shirts. Does that sound like a nightmare? Well, for some school students in Alberta, it is a reality.
Some Ways NOT to Begin • I am going to tell you about… • Once upon a time… • This is an essay about… • The assignment says I have to write about… • Fire! Now that I have your attention… (Attention-getter has to relate to thesis.) • My first main idea is… • Hello…
Step 2: Thesis Statement • Thesis = a complete sentence that gives your opinion regarding the issue and what you think should be done. • A good thesis is short and clear. • The thesis is what the rest of your paper will prove. • Example: • In Alberta’s schools, students should not be forced to wear uniforms.
Step 2: Thesis Statement • After stating your thesis, briefly and clearly mention your three main arguments (these are your sub-topics). • There should be no question about what you will prove in your essay. • Example: • Uniforms take away a student’s sense of individuality, they do not allow for self-expression, and they absolutely do not save families any money.
Strong Thesis • In Alberta’s schools, students should not be forced to wear uniforms.Uniforms take away a student’s sense of individuality, they do not allow for self-expression, and they do not save families any money. What makes this good?!
Introduction: Finished Product • Imagine opening your closet to find something to wear to school, and all you can find are khaki pants and white shirts. Does that sound like a nightmare? Well, for some school students in Alberta, it is a reality. In Alberta schools, students should not be forced to wear uniforms.Uniforms take away a student’s sense of individuality, they do not allow for self-expression, and they do not save families any money.
Step 2: Thesis Statement • After reading your introduction, your reader should know what your three main supporting points will be in the body paragraphs.
Thesis statements are not questions. • Question: How could we still tolerate racism in Canada today? • Thesis: Even though Canadians claim to be enlightened about racism, racist language and behaviors still prevail in our country.
Thesis statements are not commands. • Command: Note the differences between cooks and chefs. • Thesis: Although meals prepared by either cooks or chefs can be equally delicious, chefs differ from cooks in education, professional commitment, and artistry
A thesis statement is an arguable idea • Fact: When I was six, my parents took me on a trip to Alaska where I experienced my first tragedy. • Thesis: Witnessing the death can be a horrific experience, but it can make people to appreciate the small things in life, to value relationships, and to trust in God.
Thesis statements are not merely observations of the obvious. • Obvious: Litter creates pollution of the environment. • Thesis: Recycling programs, though expensive at first, are ultimately an efficient, cost effective, and environmentally sound means of reducing waste in our environment.
Thesis statements are not announcements of the author's purpose or assignment • Announcement: This essay will explain my reasons for supporting capital punishment for first-degree murderers • Thesis: First-degree murderers should receive capital punishment because there are too many repeat offenders, because rehabilitation programs have proved ineffective, and because murder is too heinous a crime to be punished by anything less than death.
Thesis statements are not unarguable personal opinions. • Opinion: I like chocolate. • Thesis: Even though chocolate tantalizes the taste buds, it causes weight gain, clogs arteries, and contains caffeine.
Thesis statements often focus the essay and guide its direction. • Unfocused: Martin Luther King, Jr. is a role model for everyone to follow. • Focused: Because of his determination, his courage to follow his beliefs, and his unwavering sense of justice, Martin Luther King, Jr. is a symbol of American freedom.
Fix the Thesis! With your group, rewrite the statements to make them proper thesis statements. **Make sure your thesis has a clear stance on the topic AND includes THREE sub points
Let’s try one together! • Vague thesis statement: Watching the news on TV is good for a few reasons. • Revised thesis statement:
Here’s Your Essay Question… • Do you think technology is hurting kids? Consider what you read in the articles as well as your own experiences. • Pick a side • Technology is hurting kids • Technology is not hurting kids • Write a thesis statement applying what you have learned
Your Essay Question: • As we read highlight or underline important points or arguments being made
Find your three main arguments • Look back in the articles and find evidence that supports your argument(s)
Takes a position Write your thesis Technology is harmful to children because ______________ , ________________ , and ________________ . Technology is not harmful to children because ______________ , ________________ , and ________________ . 3 sub-points (support)
Topic Sentence • 1 • Evidence Each body paragraph has four parts: • 2 • Opposition/Rebuttal • 3 • Transition Sentence • 4
Topic Sentence • Begin the second paragraph with a topic sentence that clearly states your first main point. • Topic sentences help to keep the reader focused on the point of your paragraph. • Example: • First of all, students should not wear uniforms because they take away a student’s sense of individuality.
Evidence • Support your topic sentence with specific (not general) examples and details. • Include explanations about how your examples support the topic sentence.
Opposition/Rebuttal • Address the opposing argument: Explain why it is wrong or why your idea is better.
Example • Imagine this: thirty students sit in desks in a small classroom. Each student wears tan pants and a white shirt. They sit with their school books and papers in front of them. They all look exactly alike. Does this seem right? Of course not! We are all individuals! We are unique in many different ways. Why try to make all students look alike? This idea is supported by testimony from a 17-year-old student forced to wear uniforms. Her story was reported in National Catholic Reporter of March, 2002, and she said, "Everyone hated it. It completely killed any sense of individuality any one of us had. Everyone looked the same. It was sad to watch". Clearly, students with experience in wearing uniforms feel that they take away a sense of individuality.
Transition • Either at the end of the second paragraph or the beginning of the third paragraph, include a transition sentence. • Example: • Not only do uniforms take away individuality, they also prevent students from expressing themselves.
First,… Furthermore,… Another… Besides… Although… Consequently,… Additionally,… Next,... In addition to… Instead of… Rather than… Similarly,… Therefore… On the other hand,… However, Finally,... Common Transition Words
Third ParagraphTopic Sentence • The topic sentence that clearly states your second main point should either be at the very beginning of the paragraph or immediately after your transition statement. • Example: • Teenagers are at an age where they are trying to establish their identity.
Third ParagraphSpecific Supporting Examples • Support your topic sentence with specific (not general) examples and details. • Include explanations about how your examples support the topic sentence. • Address the opposing argument: Explain why it is wrong or why your idea is better.
Example • Is it fair to prevent students from exploring self-expression by making them wear uniforms? By taking away a student’s right to choose what to wear, we also take away the opportunity to express oneself. For example, if a young woman is very interested in becoming a fashion designer, she may begin to take home economics classes and train herself to make clothes and create patterns. She would definitely want to wear her own creations to school; this would allow her to show off her achievements and gauge her peers’ responses to her newly created clothes. However, if she were a student who was forced to wear uniforms, she would not be able to express herself in this manner.
Transition • Either at the end of the third paragraph or the beginning of the fourth paragraph, include a transition sentence. • Example: • To take that right away from Canada’s youth is an injustice.
Fourth ParagraphTopic Sentence • The topic sentence that clearly states your third main point should either be at the very beginning of the paragraph or immediately after your transition statement. • Example: • Finally, some schools tell parents that uniforms are a good idea because they save families money. This is not necessarily true.