persuasive essay

You begin the process of writing the persuasive essay by asking a question related to one or more of the articles we have read this quarter and then use analysis to help you answer this question. In other words, you will use analytical writing as a tool to help you learn about and inquire into an issue raised by our reading that you care about personally. Before you can write persuasively about a topic, you need to learn about the topic– this written analysis will provide a way to learn about the topic that you are planning to argue.

Be sure to choose a topic and question that interests you personally, something that is connected to your own experience and life. We all have experience with as least some of the issues covered by our readings: language, literacy, education, work, power— think about something we’ve read that really had an impact on you, and consider what kinds of further questions you could raise in relation to this reading and your own experience.

Then find texts related to this question or topic that can be analyzed. You could analyze articles, films, news programs, websites—anything that you think might help you learn more about your topic.

Your analysis should:

  • Arise out of a question related to the themes covered in the Essay Exam Unit, which can, at least in part, be answered through analysis.
  • Demonstrate that you’ve examined a text or set of texts closely, carefully, and critically.
  • Include a clear interpretive frame through which the text(s) will be analyzed.
  • Note trends and patterns that are significant in relation to your interpretive frame.
  • Show a critical awareness of the author’s or producer’s choices and strategies.
  • Provide a vivid description of the text(s) (if applicable).
  • Analyze elements that contribute to the overall meaning or effect of the whole.
  • Develop well-organized paragraphs.
  • Incorporate peer and instructor feedback in the final version.
  • Use effective Grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and other sentence level strategies.

Your paper should be 3-5 pages and include:

  • An introduction to the topic (including a discussion of its importance/relevance).
  • Summary and analysis of at least 5 appropriate sources for the given topic.
  • Synthesis of those sources.

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