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Prof. Sehulster - English 92 - Writing for College - Essay 3: Home

Your Assignment

ESSAY 3: The Persuasive Essay


You have now spent many weeks thinking about a particular element of yourself and evaluating a single work related to that element.  Now you will continue to engage with that element by choosing a particular point of argument related to that element and defending that position in a persuasive essay.  For example, perhaps you have chosen a specific field of study, so now you might want to argue why/why not a college education is necessary to work in that field or why some technique in that field represents the best or worst approach, etc.  Or perhaps you have chosen a particular hobby or activity, so now you might want to persuade a reader of the merits of that hobby or activity or the dangers of some trend in that hobby or activity, etc.  Or perhaps you have chosen a particular type of experience, so now you want to argue how life’s obstacles strengthen people’s characters. 


What is a Persuasive Essay?

The persuasive essay argues for a particular point of view.  It aims to influence the reader to take an action or bring about some change in the reader’s thinking. You must be convincing and committed to your topic. You must anticipate opposing arguments and argue against them, too. [750 – 1,000 words]


Why Write a Persuasive Essay?

The purpose of the persuasive essay is to influence the readers to take an action or change their thinking.   You want your readers to agree with you completely after reading your argument. 


What are the Components of a Persuasive Essay?

  • Introduction: This section will introduce your topic and grab your reader/compel your reader to keep reading with some kind of a lead.  It will give the reader an idea of what’s coming in the rest of the essay and even allude to the counter argument(s) the essay will address or combat.  (It may or may not contain the thesis, depending upon the approach you choose to take in the essay.)
  • Evidentiary Support: This section will encompass several paragraphs and include the discussion of the evidence/support for your argument, including some data and research, concrete examples and details, and some argument regarding the opposing positions.  You will utilize some research in this section.
  • Conclusion: This section will draw an overall conclusion (claim) about your position and may even suggest future avenues for consideration.
  • Works Cited: This section will follow the MLA formatting for the two works cited in your argument.


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