In this project, you will write a persuasive essay. You will learn how to present and support your arguments, how to counter likely opposing arguments, and how to convince your reader of your point of view.
A persuasive essay is like an imaginary dialogue between a reader and the writer. The writer uses arguments to try to convince the reader to think something or to take a certain action. But the writer also has to imagine how the reader will argue against his or her arguments, and answer those objections.
The body paragraphs in persuasive essays often have a unique organization. First the writer expresses a reader’s likely response (a counterargument) to the argument that will follow. Then the writer presents the argument and its support. By addressing a reader’s likely response first, the writer strengthens his position.
The organization of such a body paragraph looks like this:
CHOOSING A TOPIC
When you select a topic for a persuasive essay, choose one that is controversial issue in the society. It should not be a topic about which most people have the same opinion. You should also choose a topic that you have a strong opinion about. It should be a topic that you have some personal connection to and that you know something about.
Here are some good questions to ask yourself as you choose your topic:
1. Is this really a controversial topic that people will have different opinions about?
2. Do I have a strong opinion about this topic?
3. Do I have enough knowledge about this topic?
4. Do I have a personal connection to this topic?
5. Will my readers be interested in this topic?
Follow these steps to find arguments to support your topic.
1. Brainstorm about your topic using listing or freewriting.
2. Read through your brainstorming notes and circle any arguments that you can use to support your topic.
3. Write down three arguments that you might use in your essay.