Persuasive Essay: This assignment requires you to argue whether or not the author was successful in his writing of the article you summarized. This is also referred to as a rhetorical analysis.
See Chapter 13 and 17 in Evergreen for more information on writing persuasively.
1. Essay description and details: For this essay, you will write to your audience using a formal tone about the article assigned. Be careful not to add your opinions about the topic, but argue where the author’s argument and purpose was successful or not in his writing of the article. In other words, you are critiquing the author’s writing — your reader will know what you thought was or was not well argued in the article and why.
1. Your writing style:
a. Write with a formal style and tone. No contractions, no slang, few pronouns (I, you). Be sure your arguments are organized and easy for the reader to follow. Read it aloud to test this out! Better yet, read it aloud to someone else and get a peer review.
2. Include all the things we have learned so far:
b. Intro, Conclusion, Title
c. Summary, Quotations, Plagiarism
d. Subject/Verb agreement, Sentence Structure, Commas, Colons and Semi-colons
e. Paragraph Writing
3. Be sure to state a claim (thesis) and prove it by including your arguments.
4. Be sure to reference the article when posing your arguments. That’s what you are arguing, after all.
5. MLA or APA Format
a. Include in-text citations for every reference to information from the article
b. Include a works cited (MLA) or reference page (APA)
*Questions to help you decide your argument.
- What is the purpose of this argument, the article? What does the author hope to achieve?
- Who is the audience for this argument?
- What appeals or techniques does the author use – emotional, logical, ethical?
- How does the argument try to make the writer seem trustworthy?
- What authorities does the author use? Are they credible?
- What facts are used in the argument? What logic? What evidence? How is the evidence arranged?
- What claims are made? What issues are raised, and which ones are ignored?
- Whose interest does this writing serve? Who gains or loses by it?
- How does the language or style of the argument work to persuade an audience? Or not?
- Overall, does the argument succeed or fail? Quote language from the piece – where does it makes sense and where does it fall apart?
- Has your persuasive essay become an argument? It should!