Notes  Writing to Persuade--Developing the Essay or OpEd

Notes on Persuasion and OpEd


 The Cambridge Dictionary defines "to persuade" as, "to cause people to do or believe something, esp. by explaining why they should: ...."
In many senses all writing is persuasive, and when readers finish a piece, it proves the writing was, indeed, successfully persuasive, at least, in keeping the reader engaged. Most every decision we make, large or small, involves persuasive elements as we choose what to do. But maybe the most powerful and subtle persuasion that we contact everyday is advertising. In many varieties of print, on radio, TV, and more and more on websites, we are invited, kidded and intimidated into buying what the seller is selling. Advertising, whether we admire it or not, has much to teach us about what moves (persuades) us to act.

Even in ads or persuasive discussion, the elements of a reasoned argument are present, clearly or implied: basically, statement>reason>evidence. Persuasion allows for more informal style, but those 3 basics are there.

LINKS:  Effective Persuasive Strategies,|  More Persuasive Techniques -Aristotle's Persuasive Appeals |-

ELEMENTS FOR PERSUASIVE WRITING

  • Must have a ONE SENTENCE declarative statement, NOT a question and without using "I" or pronouns.

  • Must contain the TOPIC, the writer's POSITION and for the persuasion essay, the primary REASON(s).

Op-Ed persuasive writing uses class thesis guidelines and the models in: sample OpEd | Search return for CURRENT NYT OpEds  | OpEd how-to | another OpEd how-to.  

Stages FOR A GENERAL PERSUASIVE ESSAY within a specific assignment:

STAGE 1
. CHOOSE A CURRENT, CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC that you have energy for.


STAGE 2  DO A TOPIC EXPLORATION EX. TO: 
                   ~ IDENTIFY WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW AND               
                   ~ IDENTIFY WHY THE TOPIC IS IMPORTANT TO YOU.

                   ~ AND FIND/make THESIS FROM PART 6 [ into ONE SENTENCE... ]

STAGE 3  RESEARCH TO FIND SOURCES & MAKE A LIST OF ANY THAT ARE POSSIBLE--ANNOTATE KEY ELEMENTS AS
                      NEEDED.

STAGE 4 . COMPLETE a Planning the Paper Ex. TO BEGIN MAKING and ordering paragraphs.

STAGE 5. IDENTIFY WHERE SOURCE INFORMATION WILL BE PLACED IN THE ESSAY TO BACKUP ANY FACTS OR
                      BORROWED INFORMATION.  CITES can be live links to the source or to the biographical list.

           FYI: For this essay/oped AND for the major essa, video documentaries can show many of the elements we use in
                documented writing. In both, the narrator/writer introduces main idea(s), explains, introduces/credits
                experts/evidence, ties all the ideas together. Video documentary sites may also include written transcripts.

Specifics for an OpEd essay: can be based on the stages of Persuasive writing above.
    1. CHOOSE A CURRENT, CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC that you have energy for and that might well expand into the focus for the main essay.

    2. Persuasive/OpEdwriting is 800-900 wds and for this assignment does include 3-5 sources of factual, verifiable data. Signal phrases are crucial for crediting sources and should include as part of a sentence: 1) the author and 2) briefly where the source can be found, and 3) a hyperlink (Word can do this) should be made of the reference--one word or more.   

    3. If possible use an analogy, situation or an example to convey what you're trying communicate. 

    4. Writing should be informal--semi-formal, in style and diction, reflect the energy the writer has for the topic. In fact, Opeds can be even reasoned, documented "rants."

    5. The assumed reader would be someone with only general knowledge of the topic, and any "special" words or terms should by briefly explained or defined.

    6. The title can be creative and should reflect the point directly or ironically.  


    Copyright - Jane Thielsen ~ 2020 - All rights reserved