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Persuading Essay

Purpose: As with the convincing essay, the persuading essay begins with refining a well-researched position into a focused, audience-minded thesis. The thesis is backed by carefully chosen and arranged reasons, which are themselves supported by appropriate evidence. Thus, critical-reading inquiry and a synthesis of a range of positions is again crucial to this assignment. However, the purpose of this essay is to build upon what was accomplished in the previous essay; your aim has changed from simply seeking assent to inspiring action.

Everything that went into the convincing essay belongs in the persuading essay. Add to that the use of appeals to character, emotion, and style, as well as a call to action. Thus, the persuading essay requires much more than an extra paragraph. An effective appeal through style will essentially require a rewrite. Emotion and character should be intertwined throughout the essay. Of course, in determining how best to apply these appeals you must carefully consider what will and will not work with your invoked audience.

Audience: As with the convincing essay, the most significant consideration of this essay is the role of audience and rhetorical context. The identity of your audience is largely decided by determining why you are writing the argument and with what aim. For whom is your topic relevant? Considering how best to meet their expectations and predicting their reactions will affect the reasons, organization, evidence, and appeals you select.

Organization: I leave this to your discretion. Consider the strengths of your reasons as well as the needs and expectations of your audience (me included) when shaping this essay.

Requirements: Read Chapter Seven in Aims.


Grading criteria:

All considerations of purpose, focus, organization, coherence, development, and audience apply to this essay. Add to that an emphasis on appeals. Remember that this essay is worth 85% of your Unit 2 grade.