Notes  Writing to Persuade--Developing the Essay or OpEd

The Cambridge Dictionary defines "to persuade" as, "to cause people to do or believe something, esp. by explaining why they should: ...
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 the 3 basics appeals, below, are there:

LINKS:  Effective Persuasive Strategies,| Aristotle's Persuasive Appeals


Aristotle(400sBCE) taught that a speaker's ability to persuade an audience is based on how well the speaker appeals to that audience in three different areas: logos, ethos, and pathos.

  1. Thesis: Must be a ONE SENTENCE declarative statement, NOT a question and without using "I" or pronouns, i.e. "This issue".... restate the issue, even if it feels too repetitive.

  2. Must contain the TOPIC, the writer's POSITION the primary REASON(s).

  3. Must be able to stand alone.

  4. Specifics for a genereal persuasive essay: can be based on the elements of Persuasive writing above.
      • CHOOSE A CURRENT, CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC that you have energy for and that might well expand into the focus for a larger essay.
      • Persuasive essay is 800-900 wds and for this assignment does include 2-3 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 foun

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

    2. Writing should be informal--semi-formal, in style and diction, (but of course avoid slurs and profanity) and shoule reflect the energy the writer has for the topic. In fact, Opeds are often reasoned, documented "rants."

    3. 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.

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


    Copyright - Jane Thielsen ~ 2020 - All rights reserved