It may take more time to write your attention catcher than any other sentence in your essay, but this is time well spent in my opinion. Attention Catching Techniques Here is a short list of attention catching techniques for persuasive essays. This list is not to be thought of as exhaustive, but rather as a few guiding examples to help you get started. I encourage you to combine and experiment with these techniques as your writing develops.
Asking a Question: This is my favorite technique because it can be used on any topic at any time. Additionally, it has a strong rhetorical effect on readers: people are conditioned to think about questions because answers are often expected of them. When you ask a question in your paper, readers are more likely to consider your ideas. While you are unlikely to have access to the necessary resources to dig up quotes for a timed essay or standardized test, if you do have time example: a high school application letter , using an appropriate quote is a classy way to start off your essay.
Just be sure that the quote is connected to your topic in some easily identifiable way. Anecdote: An anecdote is a short story. Stay on Mode: Remember that you are writing a persuasive essay, not a narrative. Your anecdote should be limited to a few sentences, lest your writing may be perceived as off mode. Startling Fact or Statistic: Did you know that two out of three persuasive essays do not begin with a proper attention catcher? Imaginative Scenario: Picture this!
You have forty-five minutes to write an essay and you need an attention catcher fast.
What do you do? One way to do this is to create an imaginative scenario such as the one that I just described. Immerse your reader in an example of the problem and show them why they should care. Use descriptive writing and sensory details to either positively or negatively charge your writing; however, as with telling anecdotes, be careful not to stray off mode. Remember that your main purpose is to write arguments not to tell stories. Combinations: You might find yourself using some hybrid of two or more of these techniques, which is completely acceptable.
You can begin with an imaginative scenario and end with a question.
Persuasive essay structure and format
Try something wild. When it comes to writing, the most restrictive limitations are the bounds of your own imagination. I encourage you to stretch those bindings whenever you have the opportunity. Thesis A thesis is a clearly worded statement telling readers exactly what the writer intends to do in the essay.
The best place to do this is immediately after the attention catcher. Of course not.
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Students should not have to wear uniforms. The emboldened text represents the thesis or central argument in my essay. Every sentence in my paper should in some way connect to that central argument. Any sentence that is not furthering my thesis is distracting from it and should be removed. Clearly state your thesis in your introductory paragraph and spend the rest of the essay trying to support it. Preview of Main Points The preview briefly states the main points that will be argued in the essay. The preview is not where the arguments are developed.
The preview merely summarizes each point in as few words as possible.
Persuasive essay concluding part
Each body paragraph should have one main point. All of the main points should be concisely stated in the preview.
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An appropriately structured five-paragraph essay will preview three main points. It is important for writers to preview their main points in the exact order that they will be developed.
For example, if I claim that my essay will argue square , circle , and triangle. My first body paragraph should be about squares, my second should be about circles, and my third should be about triangles. I instruct my students to put their previews right after the thesis statements in their introductory paragraphs. Educators and professionals argue back and forth on the value of previewing points. Consequently, previews are not required on many standardized tests; however, I require them for my students because it is an easy way to tell if they are considering format in their compositions.
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Previewing and structuring main points in this manner is a good way to scaffold into a more personalized and sophisticated writing style. Body Paragraphs The term body refers to all paragraphs after the introduction and before the conclusion. The metaphor that comes to mind most often in describing this structure is the sandwich: the introductory and concluding paragraphs represent slices of bread while the body paragraphs are the meat and cheese of the essay, so to speak. There are three body paragraphs in a five paragraph persuasive essay.
Each body paragraph should focus on one argument, called the main point. Though I encourage my students to have three body paragraphs, it is certainly possible to write a successful essay with more or fewer body paragraphs. Main Points A main point is the purpose of the body paragraph. Each body paragraph should have one clearly stated main point that is expressed in the topic sentence of the paragraph.
The main point should then be developed and supported with emotional or logical arguments. A five-paragraph persuasive essay should have three main points and each main points should support the thesis of the essay. Topic Sentences Topic sentences clearly state the purpose of the paragraph.
Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay
Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence. The goals of a persuasive essay are somewhat opposite to that of a mystery novel: when writing a persuasive essay do not attempt to build suspense by keeping secrets from the reader. Write topic sentences that are clear, direct, and upfront about your purpose. Notice that this example has two parts: the non-emboldened text restates the thesis of the essay and the bold text is the main point.
The rest of the paragraph should argue the main point. Supporting Details Supporting details are arguments, examples, or descriptions that justify, explain, and develop main points. My students perennially struggle with properly supporting their main points. In order to help them, I teach them to use thought stems to extend and develop their arguments. Persuasive Essay Thought Stems What I mean by this is… Another way to say this is… This connects to my argument because… The reason for this is that… To put it another way… This shows that… This is important because… For example… With a little bit of practice, students can use these thought stems to better explain and support their arguments.
My students generally do pretty well at coming up with main points and creating support, but they often fail to connect the two. Having evidence is not enough. The prosecutor must explain what the evidence shows. Likewise, writers need to explain what their evidence shows to make the connection. Example We should not have to wear school uniforms because they limit our ability to express our individuality. What I mean by this is that students have the right to express who they are and how they are feeling.
One of the most important ways they do this is through dress. The topic sentence states the central point of the paragraph.
This will be in the form of one of the reasons in support of the thesis statement made in the introduction. These sentences will build on the topic sentence by illustrating the point further, often by making it more specific. This evidence may take the form of statistics, quotations, or anecdotal evidence. The final part of the paragraph links back to the initial statement of the topic sentence, while also forming a bridge to the next point to be made.
This part of the paragraph provides some personal analysis and interpretation of how the student arrived at their conclusions and also connects together the essay as a cohesive whole.