Put the argument into a concrete shape, into an image, some hard phrase, round and solid as a ball, which they can see and handle and carry home with them, and the cause is half won.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Persuasion is a constant in each of our lives. No matter where we look, what we read, what we see, or who we interact with, we are inevitably going to encounter some form of persuasion. Advertisements want us to buy things. Newspapers and television want to convince us of how we should feel about events. We are put into positions where we must defend our thoughts and beliefs to others, and the process we apply is typically some form of persuasion.
Persuasive writing is one of the most powerful forms of writing—it has the ability to influence one’s thoughts, and also the ability to change one’s mind about a particular issue. The persuasive essay is an ideal tool for supporting an opinion on an issue using researched facts and information. It also gives you the chance to recognize an opposing viewpoint and refute it, noting that those who hold the opposing viewpoint are the intended audience of the piece.
In this assignment, you will write a persuasive essay that makes an argument about a change or a current issue in your major, a major you are interested in pursuing, or your field of work.
The project has one milestone, which will be submitted earlier in the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. This milestone will be submitted in Module Five. The final submission is due in Module Seven.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
Develop stylistically appropriate writing that incorporates strategies for writing to a given audience, subject, and purpose
Incorporate feedback from peer review for improving the quality and effectiveness of one’s own writing
Write informative introductions; coherent theses; well-developed, organized, and supported body paragraphs; and conclusions that are persuasive and supported by effective research
Utilize appropriate research for developing a well-informed position through written composition
For this essay, you will identify an issue in your current major, a major you are interested in pursuing, or your field of work. You will then establish an argument and support that argument with research and relevant evidence.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Introduction: This is where readers will have a chance to get an idea of what your essay will be about and what you will prove throughout. Do not give all of your information away here, but give readers a sample of what is to come. Do not forget to review your writing plan to make sure you are hitting all of the points that you planned out, while also stating your claim.
A. Provides an overview of the issue you have selected, briefly describing main points and your argument.
B. Compose an engaging thesis that states the argument that you will prove and support throughout your essay. This statement will give direction to your essay and should be well thought out.
II. Body: The body is your opportunity to describe and support your argument in depth. Make sure your thoughts and evidence are clear and organized in a way that is easy for readers to follow and understand.
A. Be sure that you write multiple paragraphs that are focused, clearly state their intent, and move logically from one to the other, building the thesis argument as the essay progresses.
B. Your body paragraphs should support your argument by combining thoughts and ideas with evidence from sources. There is no such thing as a
right or wrong argument; the key is how it is supported and the quality of the evidence used.
C. Address and refute any opposing viewpoints to your argument. This is your chance to discredit any opposing views, thus strengthening your own.
III. Conclusion: Think of the conclusion as a review of your argument. Use this section to restate your argument and remind readers of your supporting evidence. Think of this as your last chance to persuade readers to agree with you.
A. Review your argument. This section should consist of a review of your main points employed to support your argument. Think of this as your last chance to prove your point or your closing arguments.
B. Your conclusion should articulate insights about your argument established through your essay. This should follow logically from your essay, referring to key points or quotes used to support your argument.
Summative Assessment Rubric
Guidelines for Submission: Your persuasive essay must be 5–7 pages in length (plus a cover page and references) and must be written in MLA or APA format. Save your work in a Microsoft Word document with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Then, check your writing for errors. Once you have proofread your document, submit it via the Summative Assessment: Persuasive Essay link in Brightspace.