ENG4U Persuasive Writing Assignment Help
ENG4U Unit 3 – Lesson 4
Persuasive Writing Assignment
For this assignment, you will write a persuasive essay on one of these topics below. When forming your thesis, you need to pick a clear side and compose a clear argument.
Please download the instruction sheet and rubric for this assignment.
When writing your essay, you want to keep in mind proper essay format. You should be including secondary sources to support your arguments when necessary, and ensuring that you are citing those secondary sources using MLA format.
Please chose one of the topics below:
· All schools in Ontario should implement year-round schooling.
· Homeschooling should no longer be an option for children.
· Women OR Transgender OR other subaltern members of society in the Military
· Native Canadians have not received enough support from the government.
· Ontario schools should once again implement a 5th year of high school.
· Another topic that must be approved by your teacher
(Send your topic and thesis statement for approval)
There is no word limit on this assignment, but please keep in mind that essays should not exceed 3-4 pages double spaced.
Once completed, this assignment is to be submitted to the Assignment Dropbox for marking.
Writing a Persuasive Paragraph or Essay
Choose a debatable topic
A debatable topic has two valid arguments. Your topic should be one about which you know something. The more evidence you can provide, the more likely you are to sway your audience. You must plan on doing research and your essay must be documented properly.
Formulate an argumentative thesis
Some topics have been discussed so often they are tired, uninteresting and not worthy of discussion. Choose a current topic. Because the purpose of a persuasive essay is to convince readers to accept your position, your thesis must take a stand. One way to make sure that your thesis actually does take a stand is to formulate an antithesis, a statement that takes an arguable position opposite from yours.
Define your terms
You must make clear the terms you use in your argument. Be careful to use precise language in your thesis, avoiding vague words such as wrong, bad, right and immoral, which convey different meaning to different people.
Accommodate your audience
Who are your readers? Are they unbiased observers or people deeply concerned about the issue you are discussing? Are they skeptical, hostile, emotional or unconcerned? How will you convince each type?
Consider opposing arguments
You must know how to refute opposing arguments. Do this by showing that opposing views are untrue, unfair, illogical, unimportant or irrelevant. Discuss the limitations of the opposing view. When you acknowledge an opposing view, do not distort it or present it as ridiculously weak. This tactic, called creating a straw man, could seriously undermine your credibility.
Build your argument on assertions, claims you make about a debatable topic backed by evidence which is supporting information in the form of examples, statistics or expert opinion. Document your evidence carefully.
Establish your credibility
Establish your credibility by finding common ground, demonstrating knowledge, and maintaining a reasonable tone. Demonstrate knowledge about your subject by personal experiences and research. Make certain that you document source material very carefully. For your instructor, an undocumented quotation or even an incorrect date can call an entire paper into question. Use reasonable language, not emotionally charged language that will turn away the reader.
Present your points fairly
Avoid distorting evidence and quoting out of context. In other words, be honest.
Never suggest that you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re not enough of an expert in this subject that your opinion would matter. Avoid phrases like, “In my humble opinion….I’m not sure, but. ” Make a BOLD
statement and proceed with confidence!
Don’t Refer to Yourself
Do not announce what you are about to do in the essay. “In this paper, I will. The purpose of this essay is
to…….” JUST DO IT! Do not say, “I believe students need less homework I think there are other important
things.” State your opinions as FACTS. “Students need less homework because. ”
Persuasive Essay Outline
I. The introduction
The introduction to your persuasive essay orients your audience to your subject. Tell the reader why your subject is a valid concern, why it is interesting, or explain how it has been misunderstood. This is a short paragraph.
II. Background Statements
Present a brief overview of the subject. You may include a narrative of past events, a summary of others’ opinions on your subject, or a summary of basic facts. Keep your background statement short; long, drawn-out discussions at this point will distract your readers from the focus of your argument.
Your thesis statement should be toward the end of this paragraph. The thesis must contain your subject and your stance. Follow the thesis with a statement of your major support ideas.
III. Support 1 -This should be your weakest support.
IV. Support 2
V. Support 3 -This should be your strongest support A.
VI. Refutation of opposing arguments
Anticipate the arguments, admit their strengths and then refute the points.
VII. Summarize key points, restate your thesis, reinforce the weaknesses of opposing arguments, or underscore the logic of your position .
The conclusion restates in general terms the major arguments you have presented to support your thesis. End with a strong last line, an apt quotation or a statement that captures the sentiments and intensity of your argument.
PERSUASIVE ESSAY OUTLINE
Purpose: To persuade Audience: Paragraph 1: Introduction
Open with a catchy beginning such as a question, an unusual detail, a fact, or a strong statement.
State the issue or question: Opinion statement about the issue: I believe
Paragraph 2: Reason and evidence for my position
Use words that show organization for this paragraph. For example: First . . . . . To begin with . . . Number one . . .
A. Evidence (examples/stories):
B. Evidence (examples/stories):
Paragraph 3: Reason and evidence for my position
Use words that show organization for this paragraph. For example: Second . . . . . Next . . . Number two . . .
A. Evidence (examples/stories):
B. Evidence (examples/stories): Paragraph 4: Counter argument and my response to that argument
Use words that show organization for this paragraph. For example:
Some people may say. . . . . Some people may argue . . . Others believe . . . Others hold the opinion that . . .
A. Counter argument (reread the prompt):
B. My response/solutions:
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
Use words that show organization for this paragraph. For example:
In conclusion . . . To summarize . . . To restate my point . . . Restate your opinion: I believe
. Summarize the reasons you’ve given for your opinion.
3. Personal comment or make a call to action (please support/join/do) if necessary .
A Persuasive Essay – Example
Writing the persuasive essay is not an English-class-only task. You will find that complaint letters, job application letters, business presentations, grant applications, speeches, and many others can be structured as persuasive essays. And why not? After all, their task is to persuade the reader. Most persuasive essays are approximately 5 paragraphs in length, with the 3 middle paragraphs as the Body. The example here has only 1 Body paragraph, and is in the form of a letter of complaint to Time magazine.
Paragraph 1: The Introduction
I’ve been a loyal Time reader for as long as I
I appreciate Time’s ability to provide a clear summary of the major news stories of the week, supported by colorful pictures and the occasional chart. For someone with little time for newspapers, Time allows me to skim through a week’s worth of news quickly. Your
new layout, however, is hard to read and makes skimming impossible.
Time should return to its original design.
Paragraph 2: The Body
Readability studies published in the December, 2000 issue of Computer Magazine show that most people read serif fonts faster and more comfortably than they do sans-serif fonts.
Such studies also show that ragged-right or justified layouts are easy to read, while ragged left is not. Why, then, would the editors of Time allow the magazine to be published using a sans-serif font in a ragged-left format? A
one-page article, which I could skim in under five minutes, now takes me at least ten to decipher.
· The paragraph sticks to a single topic: the lack of readability of the new magazine.
· The paragraph uses an authoritative study as evidence to support the primary argument.
Paragraph 3: The Conclusion
If you care at all about your loyal readers, you will see the importance of returning Time to its
· Restates the thesis statement without using the exact same words.
Time is meant to be a time saver. It is meant to provide a quickly-read summary of the week’s news for those of us too busy to read the newspaper or watch CNN. Creating a layout that makes quick reading difficult is bound to cost you readers. This is a cost I am certain the editors of Time are unwilling to bear.
· Summary of your central idea in the body paragraph(s).
Returning to your old format will help you to
keep me as a reader for many years to come.
· Graceful exit, here connecting back to the
hook in the first paragraph
Sample Persuasive Essay
The purpose of a persuasive essay is to convince the audience to change their views on an important issue or to take action to change something. In the following example, writer Barbara Duddles argues against the use of uniforms in school. Notice that the essay follows the proper MLA format.
Barbara Duddles Ms. Banick English II February 6, 2006
We Should Not All Be Uniform!
Every day, millions of teenagers spend between six and eight hours in America’s high schools. They sit at their desks, listen to their teachers, and do their school work. In some of these schools, however, they are also forced to dress in school uniforms. This restriction is really too much. In America’s high schools, students should not be forced to wear uniforms because they take away a student’s sense of individuality, they do not allow for self-expression, and they absolutely do not save families any money.
First of all, students should not wear uniforms because they take away a student’s sense of individuality. Imagine this: 30 students sit in desks in a small classroom. Each student wears tan pants and a white shirt. They sit with their school books and papers in front of them. They all look exactly alike. Does this seem right? Of course not! We are all individuals! We are unique in many different ways. Why try to make all students look alike? This idea is supported by testimony from a 17-year-old student forced to wear uniforms. Her story was reported in National Catholic Reporter of March, 2002, and she said, “Everyone hated it. It completely killed any sense of individuality any one of us had. Everyone looked the same. It was sad to
Duddles 2 watch” (3). Clearly, students with experience in wearing uniforms feel that they take away a sense of individuality.
Next, school uniforms do not allow students to express themselves. Teenagers are at an age where they are trying to establish their identity. Is it fair to prevent them from exploring self-expression by making them wear uniforms? By taking away a student’s right to choose what to wear, we also take away the opportunity to express oneself. For example, if a young
woman is very interested in becoming a fashion designer, she may begin to take home economics classes and train herself to make clothes and create patterns. If that were true, she would definitely want to wear her own creations to school; this would allow her to show off her achievements and gauge her peers’ responses to her newly created clothes. However, if she were a student who was forced to wear uniforms, she would not be able to express herself in this manner. To take that right away from America’s youth is an injustice.
Finally, some schools tell parents that uniforms are a good idea because they save families money. This is not necessarily true. It is logical to say that when teenagers come home from school, they want to change out of the clothes that they were forced to wear to school.
Well, what are they going to change into? They will want clothes of their own choice, of course. This means that parents would still have to provide their children with clothes that fit current trends, plus they would have to buy a separate set of clothes for their children to wear to school each day. While it is possible that some teenagers may not want designer clothes in addition to their school uniforms, it is very unlikely.
In conclusion, in our public schools, students should not be forced to wear uniforms. This is because they take away a student’s sense of individuality, they do not allow for self- expression, and they do not save families any money. There are already plenty of restrictions
Duddles 3 upon high school students, and these rules and regulations are acceptable because they help maintain order on a daily basis. However, mandating school uniforms would not be a helpful regulation. Uniforms may seem like a good idea at first, but in the end they would do more harm than good.
McCarthy, Coleman. “Uniforms not a Cure for Schools’ Ills.” National Catholic Reporter. March 29, 1996.
PERSUASIVE ESSAY RUBRIC
Make a claim
I do not make a claim
I make a claim but it is buried confused, or unclear
I make a claim but don’t explain why it is controversial
I make a claim and explain why it is controversial.
Give reasons in support of the claim.
I do not give convincing reasons in support of the claim.
I give 1 or 2 reasons which don’t support the claim well, and/or irrelevant or confusing reasons
I give reasons in support of the claim, but overlook important reasons.
I give clear and accurate reasons in support of the claim.
Consider reasons against the claim.
I do not give reasons against the claim.
I acknowledge that there are reasons against the claim, but don’t explain them.
I discuss reasons against claim, but leave out important reasons and/or don’t explain why the claim still stands
I thoroughly discuss reasons against the claim and explain why the claim is valid anyway.
My writing is aimless and disorganized.
My writing is usually organized but sometimes gets off topic. Has several errors in paragraph format.
My writing has a clear beginning, middle and end. I generally use appropriate paragraph format.
My writing is well organized, has a compelling opening, strong informative body and satisfying conclusion. Has appropriate paragraph format.
I use the same words over and over and over Some words
may be confusing.
My words are dull, uninspired or they sound like I am trying too hard to impress
I use mostly routine words.
The words I use are striking but natural, varied and vivid.
Many run-ons, fragments and awkward phrasings make my essay hard to read
My sentences are often flat or awkward. Some run- ons and fragments
I wrote well constructed but routine sentences.
My sentences are clear, complete and of different lengths.
Many errors in grammar, capitalization, spelling and
punctuation make my paper hard to read.
Frequent errors are distracting to the reader but do not interfere with the meaning of my paper
My spelling is correct on common words. Some errors in grammar and punctuation. I need to revise it again.
I use first-person form, and I use correct sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and spelling.