Read Chapter 8: Writing to Convince
Write a Persuasive Essay.
From your course textbook, write a persuasive essay based on the Writing for Life assignment at the bottom of page 202 (Scenario 1). For this essay, you are to choose a problem at your school (Florida National University) that you feel needs to be addressed (for example, parking). Within your essay, you are to provide two sources within your work that supports your stance on the problem you have identified.
You must choose the essay option I have provided for this assignment . If you submit an essay that does not respond to one of the prompts, your essay will not be accepted as an appropriate response to this writing assignment; instead, you will be asked to write another essay that does respond to the prompt you were assigned.
Please note: The required word length for the final draft of this essay is 500-750 words.
Research Requirement : As you read the chapter readings, note how the authors use researched material to support their arguments. To successfully complete your persuasive essay assignment, you must incorporate at least two sources (either credible online sources or library resources) within your work to support and advance your claims . DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA. Any Persuasive Essay Final Draft that does not incorporate research from at least two “outside” sources (sources other than your course textbook) will receive a failing grade . Use the knowledge you gained from completing last week’s research and citation exercises to help you develop your essay.
Be sure to reference your Lectures – Week Six folder for helpful information on writing argumentation.
Argument and Persuasion: Chapter Twelve Outline
I. What is Argument and Persuasion?
A. Arguments are assertions designed to convince readers to accept an idea,
adopt a solution, or change their way of thinking. Writers use reason and facts to support their arguments and disprove or dispute opposing arguments or opinions (Connelly 531).
1. When writing an argumentative essay, the student writer should always suspect that his/her audience (the reader) holds an opposing viewpoint; this way, the student writer shapes his/her argument with the ideas of the opposition in mind. Knowing opposing viewpoints to an argument can help student writers anticipate and develop refuting claims. When the writer of an argumentative essay anticipates the arguments of their opposition, they become more credible to their audience. The reader of an argumentative essay that possess both original supporting points and defensive points of refutation will find the author of the essay more credible because he/she is well-prepared and well-researched on his/her topic.
2. In anticipating your opposition, consider questions like the following:
a. How strong is the opposition?
b. What arguments might it use against my proposition?
c. How can I refute these arguments?
d. Will I have to concede any points?
e. Which of my arguments might the opposition try to discredit?
f. How closely does my reader identify with the opposition?
g. Can I see any weak links in the opposition’s thinking?
B. Persuasion uses emotional, logical, and ethical appeals to convince readers to accept the validity of an argument. Writers traditionally use three basic appeals to convince readers to accept their ideas or take action: logic; emotion; and ethics.
1. Logic supports a point of view or proposed action through reasoned
arguments and presentation of evidence.
a. Examples of logical appeals include test results, statistics,
expert testimony, eyewitness testimony, and surveys.
2. Emotion uses images, sensations, or shock appeals to lead people to
react in a desired manner.
a. Emotional appeals respond to the following human needs and
desires: Creativity; Achievement; Independence; Conformity; Endurance; and Fear (reference pages 532-33 of your course textbook for definitions of these terms).
3. Ethics use shared values to influence people. Like emotional appeals,
ethical appeals reflect deeply held convictions rather than personal motivations.
a. The following is a list of the values we tap into when making ethical appeals: Religion; Patriotism; Standards of Good; Humanitarianism (reference page 533 of your course textbook for explanations of these terms).
II. Some Thoughts on Your Argumentative Essay:
The major point of an argumentative essay (thesis statement) must be adequately supported by strong minor supporting claims. Each of the minor supporting claims a student author includes in his/her argumentative essay’s body should be validated using persuasive appeals. The student author should try to incorporate all or most types of appeals within his/her argument, as a successful argumentative essay is one that is well-formed and thorough.
For this essay, I would suggest that you create an outline of your argument before you begin to write. Structure the body of your essay so that each paragraph illustrates one supporting minor claim that responds to one kind of appeal. For example, you may use emotion to create your first supporting minor claim, logic to form your second, and ethics to form your third. The kind of evidence you choose to support your argument will only be effective if it works to advance your claim. Since the required length of your final essay for this assignment is only 500 words, be sure to use the strongest supporting claims you have considered to develop your argument. I
Supporting a Thesis with Research
In the sixth week of our course, I will ask you to complete an Argument and Persuasion essay. Along with your own beliefs and opinions, you will be asked to use research to support your thesis, or main idea. Once you have read a variety of sources and considered all sides of the issue you will “argue” in your argumentative essay, you can form your thesis. The research you include within your essay’s body is only useful and important if it works to support your essay’s main idea (thesis).
Caution: Do not allow the research you include to take over the entire essay. I am most interested in your opinions and ideas and how well you incorporate the research to support them. Your voice and your manner of expression should still be present; do not try to copy the writing style of the authors you research.
When writing an MLA essay that is based on sources, you face three main challenges in addition to documenting your sources: 1) supporting a thesis, 2) avoiding plagiarism, and 3) integrating quotations and other source material.
The following is a list of terms you should know when using research in essays:
– Plagiarism = Three different acts are considered plagiarism: 1) failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas, 2) failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks, and 3) failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words.
– Paraphrase = A paraphrase is written in your own words and retells information found in a researched source; it is your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else.
– Quotation (direct quote) = A quotation consists of the exact words from a source. To show your readers that you are using a source’s exact phrases or sentences, you must enclose them in quotation marks.
– In-text citation = In-text citation is used to provide immediate information about the referenced source within the text of your paper. An in-text citation names the author of the source, often in a signal phrase, and gives the page number from the source at the end of the sentence in parentheses. Use in-text citation when using direct quotes and when paraphrasing.
Refer to the Appendix (A-1 – A-19; at the end of your book) of your course textbook for guidelines and examples of how to properly use MLA methods of citation (“Works Cited” and in-text documentation).