The Art of Persuasion by Linda Brumfield • Key Learning: Genre influences organization, techniques, and style of writing. • Unit Essential Question: How does genre influence organization, techniques, and style of writing. • Concept: Persuasive Standard: 1.4.5.C. • Lesson Essential Questions: – How does an effective persuader influence his/her readers? – How do writers select techniques to persuade an audience? Persuasive Writing • In persuasive writing, a writer takes a position FOR or AGAINST an issue and writes to convince the reader to believe or do something. • Persuasive writing is often used in advertisements to get the reader to buy a product. It is also used in essays and other types of writing to get the reader to accept a point of view. In order to convince the reader you need more than opinion; you need facts or examples to back your opinion. So, be sure to do the research! • Persuasive writing follows a particular format. It has an introduction, a body where the argument is developed, and a conclusion. After writing an essay, like any other piece of writing, you should read, revise, conference and revise, before publishing the final product. Before starting, check the rubric to see how you will be evaluated, as well as, all the ingredients required to write the essay. General Guidelines • • • • • As a general guideline, when writing a persuasive essay: Have a firm opinion that you want your reader to accept. Begin with a grabber or hook to get the reader's attention. Offer evidence to support your opinion. Conclude with a restatement of what you want the reader to do or believe. • Use transitions words - phrases that connect ideas and show how they are related. Introduction • • • • • • • The introduction should also include a thesis or focus statement. There are three objectives of a thesis statement: It tells the reader the specific topic of your essay. It imposes manageable limits on that topic. It suggests the organization of your paper. Through the thesis, you should say to the reader: "I've thought about this topic, I know what I believe about it, and I know how to organize it." • Example Introduction: • [GRABBER-OPENING WITH A STRONG STATEMENT] Of all the problems facing the environment today, the one that bothers me the most is global warming. Some scientists say that the earth is getting warmer because of the greenhouse effect. [THESIS STATEMENT] In this paper I will describe the greenhouse effect and whether the earth's atmosphere is actually getting warmer. Hooks • • • • • • • • The introduction has a "hook or grabber" to catch the reader's attention. Some "grabbers" include: 1. Opening with an unusual detail: (Manitoba, because of its cold climate, is not thought of as a great place to be a reptile. Actually, it has the largest seasonal congregation of garter snakes in the world!) 2. Opening with a strong statement: (Cigarettes are the number one cause of lighter sales in Canada!) 3. Opening with a Quotation: (Elbert Hubbard once said , "Truth is stronger than fiction.") 4. Opening with an Anecdote: An anecdote can provide an amusing and attentiongetting opening if it is short and to the point. 5. Opening with a Statistic or Fact: Sometimes a statistic or fact will add emphasis or interest to your topic. It may be wise to include the item's authoritative source. 6. Opening with a Question. (Have you ever considered how many books we'd read if it were not for television?) 7. Opening with an Exaggeration or Outrageous Statement. (The whole world watched as the comet flew overhead.) • View Hooks Lesson Plan: • View Hooks Slideshow Hook and Thesis • Write the introduction "hook or grabber” to catch the reader's attention. • Write a thesis, or the topic sentence for the entire piece (the main points of argument which will be converted into topic sentences of paragraphs in the piece). Body • • • • • • • • • • • • The Body: The writer then provides evidence to support the opinion offered in the thesis statement in the introduction. The body should consist of at least three paragraphs. Each paragraph is based on a solid reason to back your thesis statement. Since almost all issues have sound arguments on both sides of the question, a good persuasive writer tries to anticipate opposing viewpoints and provide counterarguments along with the main points in the essay. One of the three paragraphs should be used to discuss opposing viewpoints and your counter-argument. Elaboration: Use statistics or research, real-life experiences, or examples. back to top Generating hypothetical instance: Used particularly when creating an argument and you want the reader to see a different point of view. Use cues for the reader. (eg.: suppose that, what if...) Clarifying a position: Think about what needs to be explained and what can be assumed. Thinking through a process: Think through the procedure from start to finish. Most often the sentence will begin with a verb. Provide background information a reader may need. Illustrate whenever appropriate. Define special terms used. Use cues for the reader. (e.g..: first, second, next, then etc.) Drawing comparisons: Choose something similar to what is being explained. Use one of two patterns: Opposing or Alternating. End with a conclusion. Use cues for the reader. Making an analysis: You can analyze a problem by looking at the parts and therefore help the reader to understand. Drawing an analogy: Use an analogy to explain or elaborate and idea by identifying significant likenesses between two objects or ideas when otherwise they are quite different. This is helpful when the comparison is made to something that is familiar to the reader. Generating hypothetical instance: Used particularly when creating an argument and you want the reader to see a different point of view. Use cues for the reader. (e.g..: suppose that, what if...) Conclusion • • • • • The Conclusion: A piece of persuasive writing usually ends by summarizing the most important details of the argument and stating once again what the reader is to believe or do. Restate your thesis or focus statement. Summarize the main points: The conclusion enables your reader to recall the main points of your position. In order to do this you can paraphrase the main points of your argument. Write a personal comment or call for action. You can do this: – With a Prediction: This can be used with a narrative or a cause and effect discussion. The conclusion may suggest or predict what the results may or may not be in the situation discussed or in similar situations. – With a Question: Closing with a question lets your readers make their own predictions, draw their own conclusions. – With Recommendations: A recommendations closing is one that stresses the actions or remedies that should be taken. – With a Quotation: Since a quotation may summarize, predict, question, or call for action, you may use a quotation within a conclusion for nearly any kind of paper. • Persuasive Outline • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . Introduction: Get the readers attention by using a "hook." Give some background information if necessary. Thesis or focus statement. II. First argument or reason to support your position: Topic sentence explaining your point. Elaboration to back your point. III. Second argument or reason to support your position: Topic sentence explaining your point. Elaboration to back your point. IV. Third argument or reason to support your position: Topic sentence explaining your point. Elaboration to back your point. V. Opposing Viewpoint: (This is optional, however highly recommended, so that the reader will know you have considered another point of view and have a rebuttal to it.) Opposing point to your argument. Your rebuttal to the opposing point. Elaboration to back your rebuttal. VI. Conclusion: Summary of main points or reasons Restate thesis statement. Personal comment or a call to action. Using a Graphic Organizer: • www.readwritethink.org/materials/persuasion_ map/ - 4k • Go online, complete, and print the completed persuasive map organizer Persuasive Strategies Copyright 2006 IRA/NCTE. All rights reserved. ReadWriteThink.org materials may be reproduced for educational purposes. Images ©2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Claim State your argument. Example: I am going to try to convince you that chocolate is a healthy snack. Big Names Important people or experts can make your argument seem more convincing. Example: Former U.S. president Bill Clinton thinks that junk food should be taken out of vending machines. Logos Facts, numbers, and information can be very convincing. Example: A Snickers bar has 280 calories and 30 grams of sugar. That’s not very healthy. Pathos Getting people to feel happy, sad, or angry can help your argument. Example: Your donation might just get this puppy off the street and into a good home. Ethos If people believe and trust in you, you’re more likely to persuade them. Example: Believe me! I’ve been there before. I’m just like you. Kairos Try to convince your audience that this issue is so important they must act now. Example: This is a one-time offer. You can’t get this price after today. Research Using reliable research can help your argument seem convincing. Example: A recent study found that students who watch TV during the week don’t do as well in school. Observations and Notes • • • Group members: ___________________________________________________________________ OBSERVATIONS AND NOTES Check the strategies that group members are using to build their argument. Jot down their reasons in the Notes section to use as examples later. – – – – – – – _____ Claim – Students state what they are trying to convince the audience of _____ Authorities or “Big Names” – Students cite well-known authorities or experts to get the audience to believe their argument _____ Logos – Students use facts, data, statistics, or numbers to support their argument _____ Pathos – Students appeal to the audience’s emotions _____ Ethos – Students try to gain the audience’s trust and show their credibility and honesty _____ Kairos – Students try to build a sense of urgency and convince the audience that they must act now _____ Research – Students cite research (websites, articles, experts) to build their arguments; they show graphs, tables, or charts to help persuade • Notes • • Copyright 2006 IRA/NCTE. All rights reserved. ReadWriteThink.org materials may be reproduced for educational purposes. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Name: ___________________________________ Date: ________________________ CHECK THE STRATEGIES Take another look at the persuasive piece that you chose to share with the class from the Persuasion Is All Around You assignment. What strategies does the author use to try to persuade you? Read through each strategy and decide whether the author used that strategy by writing yes or no in the second column. If you write yes, then explain how the author used that strategy. Persuasive Strategy Yes/No How the Author Used It Claim – States the main point or stance Big Names – Mentions experts and important people to support the argument Logos – Uses logic, numbers, or facts to support the argument Pathos – Appeals to the audience’s emotions Ethos – Tries to build trust and credibility Kairos – Builds a sense of urgency for the cause Research – Uses studies and information to make the argument seem more convincing; this can be in the form of words, graphs, tables, or illustrations Strategy checklist.pdf Copyright 2006 IRA/NCTE. All rights reserved. ReadWriteThink.org materials may be reproduced for educational purposes. Images ©2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Using a Graphic Organizer • Complete the map for the persuasive piece online and print a copy • Try this map: Peer Conferencing • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Conferencing with a Peer Ask someone to read your rough draft to see if they understand and can follow your argument. You may want to put your draft up on the Internet for other students to respond also. Ask them to consider the following questions. (copy them and paste them at the end of your essay.) Their answers should show you that your argument makes sense. back to top What is the thesis statement? How is the thesis explained? What are the main points of the argument? (3) 1. 2. 3. How did the author back up each point? 1. 2. 3. What are the opposing point(s)? What is the writer's solution? back to top Final Copy • Final Copy • Make the final content revisions as suggested by your peers and teacher. Check the mechanics and make those changes. Now you are ready to publish! Will it be published on the Internet, in a school magazine or newsletter, in a class newspaper or are you printing it out for the teacher to read? If you are publishing on the Internet be sure to include your email address so that you can get some responses.