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Persuasive Writing

Persuasive Writing. The art of arguing persuasively. Drawing conclusions. At the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels, persuasion is about arguing well.

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Persuasive Writing

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  1. Persuasive Writing The art of arguing persuasively

  2. Drawing conclusions • At the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels, persuasion is about arguing well. • Arguing well means that you have analyzed the various perspectives on a topic to align with one viewpoint or a combination of viewpoints. Or, you can put forward your own, new way of looking at things.

  3. Opinion Statement • Address the prompt directly. • What are the two sides of the argument? • The father is a good parent. • The father is not a good parent. • You can agree with either statement, or you can adopt a middle-of-the road opinion in which case you qualify your opinion. • The father is generally a good parent; however…

  4. Collecting Evidence • Again, when you infer, you draw logical conclusions based on limited evidence. Infer does not mean to guess. Inferring is like inductive reasoning: you make a generalization based on specific observations. Scientists use inductive reasoning to make sense out of their observations and to create a hypothesis.

  5. You Try • With your thinking partner, decide which opinion you will argue. That is, you will both agree to argue one side. • Yes, he is. (For) • No, he is not. (Against)

  6. Context • While your opinion is important and the evidence to support this opinion—the reasoning behind your opinion—is critical, you also have to exhibit an understanding of the big picture. • You must convey this understanding to your reader. Identifying the work and the author is the first step.

  7. Developing context. Think these questions through with your partner. • What does it mean to be a “good” parent? • Is there such a thing as a purely “good” individual? • What is marriage all about? What is parenting all about? • What does Saroyan seem to be saying about life or human nature? What is the theme? Why are the words “flaw” and “squashed” so important? Does the father set himself up to be squashed?

  8. The Introduction • With your thinking partner, identify the theme of the story. • Then complete this sentence: In his short story “Gaston,” William Saroyan illustrates …. • With your thinking partner, summarize the plot of “Gaston” in a few sentences. • With your thinking partner, lead into an opinion statement. Experiment. Pay attention to transition words/phrases.

  9. The Body • Now work with your partner to complete an outline for the body of your essay. • For each paragraph, state your claim. Then list evidence to validate your claim. CLAIM: EVIDENCE:

  10. The Counterclaim • Work with your partner to identify reasons that support the OPPOSING opinion. • i.e. The father is a good parent or is not a good parent.

  11. Wrapping things up • You want to let your reader know that you are wrapping up. Use transitions: In conclusion, finally, in the end, etc. • You need to summarize your points without repeating (using the exact wording) what you you have previously stated. • You may leave the reader with “food for thought” if it is relevant to your argument.

  12. Persuasion in literary analysis • This task involved persuasion within the context of literary fiction. • For this reason, it is fairly easy to organize your essay: you follow the story chronologically. • After your analysis of Saroyan’s theme, you should be rooted in ideas that can be used to open and end your argument.

  13. You try • With your thinking partner, write both an introduction and conclusion for your essay. • Then EDIT your work to make sure the writing is correct and the ideas are clearly expressed. • As part of your editing, you put yourself in the READER’S SHOES. This reader has NOT read the story. Is the reader able to understand what is going on? What you are trying to do?

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