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In your persuasive essay you do three things: Present your position on a discussable issue. Anticipate possible objections and overcome them with logic and evidence to support your claim. Convince readers that they have something to gain by adopting your viewpoint.
Choosing a discussable issue A discussable issue is one that can be debated.
Choose a topic about which there can be more than one reasonable opinion. It may be possible to write a persuasive essay about the need to feed all the hungry children in the world, but it would not be a particularly interesting essay because no reasonable person would declare that all the hungry children deserve to starve.
It might be more interesting to try to persuade readers that half of all American tax dollars should be earmarked to go first to all the hungry children of the world; you will probably uncover at least one or two dissenting viewpoints.
Conversely, you might suggest that it is wrong to spend American tax dollars this way, and that the hungry children should be taken care of entirely by rich private donors; again, in this you will find a difference of opinion among reasonable people.
It is sometimes easier to persuade someone when you are passionate about a subject. If possible then, pick a subject about which you feel strongly. Make a list of your opinions and feelings about the subject.
Is this an urgent issue? Are the implications far-reaching and serious? Does it impact you personally? Do you feel angry about it? Are you excited that taking a particular action on this issue could do a great deal of good to many people? On the other hand, it isn't necessary to feel strongly about your topic.
Sometimes you even may be asked in an assignment to take a stance opposite your beliefs. If you are asked to argue for a particular position, do some role-playing: This may be challenging, but it is also rewarding.
Learning to be persuasive on a subject you yourself do not support wholeheartedly is a valuable life skill-think of marketing, legal, education, and human resources professions, for example.
When you practice looking at an issue from many sides, you may find that you have learned something. Anticipating and overcoming objections Discussing your topic with others before you start to write may eliminate certain directions your writing could take as well as suggest others.
Ask other people how they feel about the issue; test your opinions and reasons on them. Listen closely to their opinions, especially to those with whom you disagree. This will give you a preview of responses you can expect from your audience. Ask people why they feel the way they do.
The initiative is yours—you must acknowledge and genuinely understand opposing views and overcome them with the force of your persuasion, for hostile or indifferent readers are not likely to go out of their way to understand you.
Take opposing viewpoints seriously and do not oversimplify them. It is not effective or convincing to base your argument on easily refutable points.
Gather facts and evidence that support your position and refute opposing positions. Look online, in newspapers, and in magazines for current articles on the subject. Take careful notes on what you read and use these notes to build a strong argument.
Discuss your list of arguments and evidence with someone else to make sure you have covered all the important related points.Mrs. Carson's Classes. Search this site. Home. College Summit. Peer Leaders. Write an essay convincing readers to break a specific habit that is harmful to their physical, emotional, or financial health.
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