PERSUASIVE ESSAY ASSIGNMENT GUIDE
You will write a persuasive essay of no less than 1000 words. The essay will include 4 sources, one of which will be scholarly. The paper will be formatted according MLA standard guidelines. You will use Arial 12 as the font.
Your paper will include a thesis statement that presents the topic, the subject/detail and your position. Your thesis must be arguable. There must be an element of a person or group who disagrees.
You must also have a counter argument. You will present the opposition as well as explain it. It is not enough just to introduce the counter argument. You must also explain why this position is not correct or maybe misinformed.
Body paragraphs should contain quotes and paraphrased information from the sources to support your position and counter the opposition. These in-text citations must follow MLA guidelines; use the authors name when you have it or a short form of the title.
You will write a Works Cited page that contains a page break between it and the rest of the text. These entries must also follow the MLA style guide; double space with no extra space between the entries and use hanging indents. You will follow MLA 8 guidelines.
*Please note that this is only a sample format. There are multiple ways to organize an argumentative paper. However, these are the key elements expected.
1 paragraph this is a short paper.
To set up and state ones claim
Make your introductory paragraph interesting. How can you draw your readers in?
What background information, if any, do we need to know in order to understand your claim? If you dont follow this paragraph with a background information paragraph, please insert that info here. State your claim at the end of your introductory paragraph
1 paragraph; Optional (can omit for some papers). Also, sometimes this info is incorporated into the introduction paragraph (see above). You must provide context for the topic. Where you place it will be your choice.
Lays the foundation for presenting your claim.
Will often include:
Summary of works being discussed
Definition of key terms
Explanation of key theories
Supporting Evidence Paragraphs
Prove your position. Usually is one paragraph but it can be longer.
What is one item, fact, detail, or example you can tell your readers that will help them better understand your claim/paper topic? Your answer should be the topic sentence for this paragraph.
Explain Topic Sentence
Introduce your evidence either in a few words (As Dr. Brown states ) or in a full sentence (To understand this issue we first need to look at statistics).
What supporting evidence (reasons, examples, facts, statistics, and/or quotations) can you include to prove/support/explain your topic sentence? You want more than one piece of evidence to support the topic sentence.
How should we read or interpret the evidence you are providing us? How does this evidence prove the point you are trying to make in this paragraph? Can be opinion based and is often at least 1-3 sentences.
End your paragraph with a concluding sentence that reasserts how the topic sentence of this paragraph helps us better understand and/or prove your papers overall claim.
To anticipate your readers objections; make yourself sound more objective and reasonable.
Usually 1 but 2 paragraphs tops
What possible opposition might your reader pose against your argument and/or some aspect of your reasoning? Who holds this position? You must have a person or entity. Insert one of those arguments here.
Refute the opposite and explain why their position is not good enough.
End paragraphs with a concluding sentence that reasserts your papers claim as a whole.
PART 1: Summary
Remind readers of your argument and supporting evidence
Conclusion you were most likely taught to write in High School
Restates your papers overall claim and supporting evidence
PART 2: Your So what section
To illustrate to your audience that you have thought critically and analytically about this issue.
Your conclusion should not simply restate your intro paragraph. If your conclusion says almost the exact same thing as your introduction, it may indicate that you have not done enough critical thinking during the course of your essay (since you ended up right where you started).
Your conclusion should tell us why we should care about your paper. What is the significance of your claim? Why is it important to you as the writer or to me as the reader? What information should you or I take away from this?
Your conclusion should create a sense of movement to a more complex understanding of the subject of your paper. By the end of your essay, you should have worked through your ideas enough so that your reader understands what you have argued and is ready to hear the larger point (i.e. the so what) you want to make about your topic.
Your conclusion should serve as the climax of your paper. So, save your strongest analytical points for the end of your essay, and use them to drive your conclusion
Vivid, concrete language is as important in a conclusion as it is elsewhereperhaps more essential, since the conclusion determines the readers final impression of your essay. Do not leave them with the impression that your argument was vague or unsure.