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Persuasive Essay. Teacher Training Measurement, Inc. October 12, 2009. Support/ Topic Sentences. Conclusion.

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Persuasive essay

Persuasive Essay

Teacher Training Measurement, Inc.

October 12, 2009

Persuasive essay

Support/ Topic Sentences


Your conclusion paragraph should reiterate your best points, and it should go beyond your thesis. Strong endings include: a call to action, a final surprising fact, a prediction of future events, or a synthesizing of previous argument. Be sure to begin with a transition.

Persuasive essay

Transition Sets for Body Paragraphs

(From Step Up to Writing)

Transition Words to Introduce Conclusions

(from Study Guides and Strategies –

*Avoid using “In conclusion”. It is overused and has become trite.

Anticipating the opposition
Anticipating the Opposition

Writers of an argumentative essay must consider what others will say to refute their argument. (That’s why it’s called an argumentative essay!) This is the source of energy for this kind of paper. Raising the objections of your opposition and then—carefully, kindly, perhaps even wittily-- showing how your way of seeing things better reveals you, the author, as a thoughtful, reasonable, thorough individual. Don’t cheat by raising only the weak or silly arguments that your opponents might raise; your paper becomes strong by taking on the strength of the opposition. ..Also, never belittle or threaten your opposition in any way. What is the point of defeating someone who isn’t as strong or even stronger than you are? Respect for the opposition goes beyond sportsmanship; giving the enemy its due makes your argument all the stronger.

…In considering your opposition’s argument(s), it’s a good idea to prepare a chart that graphically represents your main points and the points that your opposition might try to make against you. Making up a chart of points and counter-points will enable you to see weak elements in your own and in your opposition’s arguments.

--Composition Patterns: Developing an Argument.


  • “The end must connect with the opening. What has been promised must have been delivered. Read the opening over to see what closing it implies.”

  • Only rarely in effective writing is the closing a formal summary in which the writer repeats . . .what has already been said.”

    Donald Murray

    *The following examples are from Nancy Atwell from Lessons That Change Writers, 2002.

Admonition or instruction
Admonition or Instruction

  • Colby:

    • If we succeed in leveling out the capitalistic imperfections, our whole society will be rewarded. Fight back.


    • If you are a teacher who has students who don’t like to read, give them access to good books and time to read and talk about them. Don’t assign books, and never give prizes for reading.


  • Anne:

    • Girls today can help achieve these important goals by taking a positive attittude toward their body image and being in control of their bodies, taking on leadership roles in the classroom and beyond, becoming active in the fight against sexism by objecting when they hear or are the subjects of sexist remarks or behavior, and setting higher education and career goals. Most importantly, girls can promote feminism by being who they want to be, not who the culture tells them they must be. Feminism is a philosophy that’s not extreme, but fair. I hope that by opening a dialogue with my peers I can broaden their ways of thinking about the other half of the human race.


  • Erin:

    • I believe to ensure that an atomic bomb will never be dropped again there is only one solution: education. Children need to be educated about the effects of nuclear and atomic weapons, and we need to be taught about what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The children of today will be the adults of tomorrow, and maybe, if we know enough about nuclear warfare and the missile treaties the U.S. needs to make and keep with other countries, we can prevent if from ever happening again.

Strong punched statement
Strong, Punched Statement

  • Jack:

    • And, finally, insist on and tell the truth about cigarettes: what they do to your body and your life, and how addictive smoking is.


  • Marcia:

    • So remember: if your kid comes home with a banned classic like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or Lord of the Flies, consider yourself lucky that your child got to read at least one great novel before someone decides that he or she should be denied the right to read.

Pointed question
Pointed Question

  • Emily:

    • There aren’t many ways to make going to Hoyts cheaper, but to cut the cost, movie-goers can stick to matinees and resist buying anything to eat or drink. Waiting for a film to be released on video and renting videos are also cheaper. If everyone started taking small steps like these, monopolies like Hoyts would start losing their power and begin to rethink their prices. And maybe families could enjoy a Saturday night together at the movies. Wouldn’t that be a welcome change?

Persuasive essay

  • Jed:

    • Bottom line, beef is not as bad as some people claim. Eaten smartly, it’s actually good for you. So go grocery shopping with confidence, buy and eat that lean steak, and be healthier for it.

Write your essay
Write your essay . . .

  • Write your essay in Word

Self revision

  • Underline your thesis statement. Does your thesis statement introduce your main argument?

  • Put a check mark (√)next to each topic sentence. Does each topic introduce argument that supports the thesis?

  • Number the supporting details in each paragraph. Do these details strongly support the topic sentence for each paragraph?

  • Circle each transition. Does the transition need a comma (only if it is an introductory word or phrase)?

  • Put a star by the part of the conclusion that emphasizes the importance of your argument or has a call to action.

  • Correct spelling punctuation and usage errors.

  • Write your final copy