Persuasive Essay Introduction A Writer’s Checklist Choosing an issue Writing your opinion statement Considering your audience Supporting your point of view Concluding your persuasive essay A Writer’s Model Your Turn: Writing a persuasive essay
Introduction What is your opinion about how long your school year should be? requiring students to do volunteer work? whether music downloaded from the Internet should be free? Each of these issues could be the subject of a powerful persuasive essay.
Introduction Your words can make things happen!Persuasive writing is about convincing readers to believe as you do about an issue that is important to you. Not only can you change readers’ minds, you can influence them to take action and make the world a better place.
A Writer’s Checklist When you write a persuasive essay, you should • Choose an issue about which you feel strongly. • Write an opinion statement, or thesis, that tells your point of view on the issue. • Consider your audience. Think about who you are trying to persuade and how to influence that person or group. • Support your opinion statement with strong reasons and solid evidence. • Conclude your essay with a summary of your reasons and a powerful call to action.
Choosing an issue What will you write about? Find anissue by • brainstorming topics that are important to you • watching the news on television or reading news items in an online newspaper • finishing the sentence “If I could change anything about the world, it would be ________ .” A good issue is one about which people disagree and about which you and other people have strong feelings.
Choosing an issue Isaac created this chart to evaluate the issue for his persuasive essay. Licensing pets Issue Is this an issue about which people disagree? Yes. Some people who own pets would not want to pay for licenses. Do I feel strongly about it? Why? Yes! Licensing pets is a good idea because it’s in the best interest of the owners and their pets. Can I make this topic interesting to others? Yes. I can explain to them how the issue affects pet owners and non-pet owners alike.
Writing your opinion statement Once you have chosen an issue, write an opinion statement. An opinion statement, or thesis, tells both your issue and your point of view on it. Licensing pets Issue: + Point of view: Pets should be licensed Opinion statement: Licensing pets has benefits for both you and your pets.
Considering your audience Next, consider your audience. Whom do you want to persuade? What do those people care about? Most issues affect more than one group of people. To identify the audience for your essay, ask yourself, “Who is interested in this issue?” Identify at least two groups who might care about your issue. Decide which group you want to write for.
Considering your audience Isaac identified two groups. People who own pets would find this issue important. People who are concerned about animal welfare may also be interested. Then he decided which group to address. I want to convince pet owners, because they are the ones who would have to pay for the licenses.
Considering your audience Now analyze your audience so that you can choose the reasons and evidence that will make the biggest impact on this specific group of people. • What type of people make up my audience? • What is important to this audience? • How does this group feel about my issue? • Why might people in this group disagree with me?
Considering your audience Isaac created a chart to analyze his audience. What type of people make up my audience? pet owners What is important to this audience? their pets How does this group feel about my issue? Many of them probably won’t want to get their pets licensed. Why might people in this group disagree with me? They won’t want the bother and expense of licensing their pets.
Supporting your point of view issue reason reason reason evidence evidence evidence evidence In a persuasive essay, you must supportyour opinion with solid reasons and evidence. This builds a convincing argument with which to persuade readers.
Supporting your point of view Reasons tell why you hold your point of view about an issue. The reasons you give must make sense if they are to persuade your reader. Opinion statement: Middle school students should start their school day later. Solid reason: According to recent studies, teenagers’ sleep patterns show that they are alert late at night and need to sleep later in the morning. Weak reason: I really don’t like getting up early.
Supporting your point of view To put together the reasons that support your opinion statement, first write down the reasons you already have. Then, do research to add to that list. Reasons: Licensing pets helps locate missing pets. Licensing pets makes pet owners more responsible. In our state, a pet must have had its rabies shots in order to be licensed.
Supporting your point of view Give at least one—and preferably two or three—strong pieces of evidence to support each reason in your essay. There are many types of evidence: facts statistics anecdotes and examples expert opinions
Supporting your point of view A fact is a statement that can be proved true. In our state, the money generated by pet licensing goes for the care of stray animals. A statistic is a fact in number form. The money generated from pet licensing helps care for 50% of the strays in our state’s shelters.
Supporting your point of view An anecdote is a brief story that illustrates an idea. My friend Mike had a cat that ran away two weeks ago. Mike’s cat wasn’t licensed, so his chances of getting the cat back are lower. An example is a specific instance that illustrates a general idea. Microchips used for pet licensing are very small; they are usually the size of a grain of rice.
Supporting your point of view An expert opinion is the opinion of an authority on the issue. A veterinarian at a local animal shelter, Dr. Tamesha Lane, says, “We can now afford to care for more strays here with the money generated by pet licensing.”
Providing support for your point of view Reason Licensing pets ensures that pet owners will be more responsible about the health of their animals and other animals. Evidence Evidence Evidence In some states, pets must have their rabies shots before they can be licensed. When pets are licensed, they are seen by a vet who gives them a quick examination. The vet will treat a pet’s infectious disease so it is not passed on to other animals. Make sure the evidence you use in your essay clearly and directly supports each reason that you give.
Supporting your point of view Here are some ways to find additional reasons and evidence to support your opinion statement. Interview people who know about your issue. Research your issue. Find magazine articles, books, and reliable Web sites with information about your issue. Conduct a poll to see how many students agree with your point of view, and, if not, why not.
Concluding your persuasive essay Conclude your persuasive essay by restating youropinion in a new way. Then give a summary of thereasons that support your opinion. If you your essay has been persuasive enough, your audience will want to know what to do next. Include a call to action with suggestions. Write to your city council and tell them that you would like this policy changed.
A Writer’s Checklist Use the checklist as you look at the following Writer’s Model and then evaluate and revise your own persuasive essay. • Choose an issue about which you feel strongly. • Write an opinion statement, or thesis, that tells your point of view on the issue. • Consider your audience. Think about who you are trying to persuade and how to influence that person or group. • Support your opinion statement with strong reasons and solid evidence. • Conclude your essay with a summary of your reasons and a powerful call to action.
My parents taught me to be responsible for our pet dog Jake. That is why we have licensed him. Licensing your pet has benefits both for your family pet and for you. Licensing can help you locate your pet if it is lost. In some states, a pet receives a license tag, but in our state, a chip with contact information is placed under your pet’s skin. If your pet runs away, whoever finds it can take it to the nearest shelter. Workers at the shelter can scan the chip and find contact information. opinion statement reason #1 fact
My friend Mike had a cat that ran away two weeks ago. Mike’s cat wasn’t licensed, so his chances of getting the cat back are lower. Not only will licensing help you locate a missing pet, but it will also ensure that you are a responsible pet owner and keep up with your pet’s shots. In our state, a pet must have had its rabies shots in order to be licensed. Rabies is a serious and deadly virus that can be transmitted from one rabid animal to another. anecdote reason #2 fact
Furthermore, licensing pets is beneficial because the money from licensing helps care for 50% of all the strays in our state’s shelters, including the shelter in our town. Licensing a pet only costs $12.00. While some people may think this is too expensive, it really is not much money to protect your pet and bring you peace of mind if your pet is lost. It is important to take care of your pets. Part of being a responsible pet owner includes purchasing a license for your pet. reason #3 statistic fact counterargument addressed restatement of opinion
Clearly, licensing pets is a win-win idea for both pets and their owners. Licensing helps owners locate their missing pets, reminds them to get their pets vaccinated against rabies, and supports the work of animal shelters in caring for stray pets. If you own a pet, please make plans to get it licensed immediately. conclusion summary of reasons call to action
Your Turn: Writing a persuasive essay Write a persuasive essay in response to one of the prompts below. Then, use the Writer’s Checklist and the Writer’s Model as a guide to evaluating and revising your work. Some people feel that all students should be required to study a foreign language for four years. How do you feel about this idea? The city council wants everyone under sixteen to wear a helmet when rollerblading, biking, and skateboarding. What is your opinion on this issue?