In persuasive or argumentative writing we try to convince others to agree with our facts, share our values, accept our argument and conclusions, and adopt our way of thinking.
- establishing facts to support an argument
- clarifying relevant values for your audience
- prioritizing, editing, and/or sequencing the facts and values in importance to build the argument
- forming and stating conclusions
- "persuading" your audience that your conclusions are based upon the agreed-upon facts and shared values
- having the confidence to communicate your "persuasion" in writing
- showing awareness of counter-arguments and defend your argument
The following steps will help you develop your own argumentative essay:
- Read all materials available that are relevant to the topic. Then read materials available that are relevant to the topic.
- Identify the main topics covered by the arguments that you have read about your issue. This is so that you have a list of different topics for your paragraphs.
- Use the topics that you have identified in step 2 as your group headings for organizing your research notes.
- Make a decision about what your main conclusion will be.
- Look back at the paragraph structure and apply it to your own essay.
- Draft a detailed plan for your essay. In this plan note down the information that you will put in each paragraph. Use note form, not complete sentences.
- Begin writing a draft of the body of your essay. Turn to words & paragraphs page again.
- Check your writing for the following things:
• do your paragraphs present arguments which support your main conclusion as non-debatable or as facts?
• do your paragraphs present arguments which oppose your main conclusion as debatable and possibly not true?
• have you clearly marked the place where you shift from the opposing arguments to the supporting arguments with a contrasting connective?
• have you used connectives, pronouns, and referencing words to make your paragraph cohesive?
- Draft your introduction.
- Draft your conclusion.
- Check your draft introduction and conclusion. Redraft if necessary.
- Now that you have a complete draft of your essay check it again for the following things:
• Does it provide strong support for your main conclusion?
• Can you make the text more cohesive?
• Are your verbs, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure correct?
- Check the final draft and write a cover sheet.
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