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The Persuasive Essay Process. Respond to prompts Brainstorm Construct Outline Thesis statement – last sentence of first paragraph 2 body paragraphs – First supports your argument, Second deconstructs the opposing argument
A thesis statement in a persuasive essay is more limited than it is in a research or explanatory essay. A persuasive thesis statement always takes a side on a problem or question.
Therefore, the thesis statement can only be one of two things:
It can be in favor of the issue
It can be opposed to the issue
Students should wear uniforms to school.
Students should not wear uniforms to school.
The school day should be longer
The school day should remain the same.
Some people feel however, that the length of the school day has a direct impact on student performance. Those who have argued in favor of lengthening the school day say that in other countries, students are in school for longer and that they perform better than U.S. students. 1Although there is a concern about U.S. students on the global level, lengthening the school day will not solve the problem. 2If studies were centered on learning to think rather than on memorizing facts, students could spend less time in school and more time learning to apply their skills.
The bottom “bread” of your sandwich should be the thickest of all. It ties your example to your topic statement and to your thesis. In order to analyze your example in depth you need to use at least 2 points of analysis – one for each of the topics you are comparing.
Prompts to consider using in the analysis section:
This shows that ___________________________
This demonstrates that _____________________
This reveals that __________________________
This is because ___________________________
This proves that ___________________________
Both Isabel and Percy’s initiation periods give the reader hints about the heroes that they will later become. Percy is initiated through his battles with Mrs. Dodds and the Minotaur, both of which 3reveal that although he has no training, he has a warrior’s spirit and will not give up. Like Percy, Isabel shows her potential on the dock after landing in New York when she takes the blame for Ruth and endures a harsh slap from Madam. 2This demonstrates that although it is not fully developed, isabel’s inner lion is present and waiting to emerge. Both of these hero’s have an inner courage that draws the reader in.
In your outline: Use 2 points of analysis – one for Isabel and one for Percy for each of your avenue examples.
Not So Good: The school day should remain the same because students already learn enough.
Better: The length of the school day does not need to be extended. The six hours each day that students are in school gives them plenty of time to focus on each subject area and learn what they need.
Even Better: The length of the school day does not need to be extended. As it is, students spend six hours a day focused on learning and skill development, as well as an hour or two in the evening doing homework. 1This gives them enough time to absorb and process what they need. 2If they spent more time, the process could reverse and they would become too tired to take in any new knowledge.
Saying it Rationally
Most students would not respond well to an extended school day. They would feel cheated out of their after school activities, many of which are as important to them as what they learn in school.
Most students would not be happy about an extended school day. Many young people spend a great deal of time after school closes for the day pursing activities that excite and interest them. These after school activities are often the only arenas in which some students can feel that they are successful, that they are worth something and that they are appreciated. Denying students the opportunity to participate in those activities would be do deny them a chance to express and celebrate their own uniqueness.
Notice that the second example is much more powerfully persuasive because it touches on topics that most people have experience with: personal success, self worth, uniqueness.
You can use comparison to support your point of view.
Example from: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
By Robert Persig
You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other.1In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it, you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. 2You're a passive observer, and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. 1On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. 2You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on. It's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.
In your writing journal: Try on one detailed paragraph contrasting your point of view with another. Be sure to include points of analysis.
A Good Lead in a Literary Essay Should:
A Good Lead in an Expository Essay Should:
(And Dropping Unnecessary Adverbs!)
San Francisco has a very nice historic district.
San Francisco’s historic district is very charming.
In San Francisco’s historic district, visitors can experience the exciting days of the Gold Rush and the many quaint and charming buildings of the city’s colorful past.
Notice that as you spice up your verbs, your sentences can also become more complex and interesting!
Not So Good: San Francisco is the best city to visit. It is the best city to visit because it has many interesting tourist attractions. It is also the best city to visit because it has lots of great food.
Better: San Francisco is clearly the best travel destination. It has many interesting tourist attractions and lots of great food.
Agreement – Subjects and verbs.
Tense – Check each verb – are they all in the same tense?
Variety – Are you using the same verbs over and over again?
Person – Does it switch anywhere from you to I, from I to they, from you to they or he/she? Have you taken “I” out of it, as in “I think”…
Word Variety – Are you using the same word over and over again?
Sentence Structure – Are your sentences varied and not all the same?
Spelling – Check for words the spell checker won’t pick up and incorrect duplicates ie. Aloud/Allowed
Capitalization – Beginning of sentences, and proper nouns
Sentences – Check for run-ons and fragments.