ItC 79: How can you prepare for a Writing I extraordinary exam (Persuasive Essay)?


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Target audience: For those who need to construct a persuasive (academic) essay, here are some things to consider.

  • Review exam guidelines
  • Create an outline
    • Introduction: Thesis statement appropriate for a persuasive essay, including three points (reasons, etc.) that align with each of the topic sentences.
    • Topic sentence that begins with point #1 taken directly from the thesis statement (last sentence of the introduction paragraph).
    • Topic sentence that begins with point #1 taken directly from the thesis statement (last sentence of the introduction paragraph).
    • Topic sentence that begins with point #1 taken directly from the thesis statement (last sentence of the introduction paragraph).
    • Conclusion
  • Create, review, and revise essay with the following:
    • Introduction
      • Hook (choose one  of the following)
        • famous quote (citation not required; include "anonymous" or the name of the famous person associated with the quote
        • essential question (citation not required)
        • impactful fact or statistics (citation required)
      • Background information, the context of the problem, antecedents, etc. What does the reader need to know before presenting the thesis statement (i.e., the main idea of the entire essay)?
      • Thesis statement appropriate for a particular essay type (overall claim). For a persuasive essay, state the topic; the position, claim, point of view, etc; and then conclude the sentence with a list of three key points (i.e., reasons).
    • Body paragraph #1, #2, and #3
      • Main idea of the body paragraph: Provide a topic sentence. A topic sentence should include the main point (point of view) or claim of the body paragraph.
      • Evidence sentences: Provide examples, details, facts, statistics, etc. that come from outside sources (citations required). Evidence sentences are specific claims (premises) that support the main claim... the topic sentence.
      • Analysis sentences: In your own words, connect the evidence to the main idea (topic sentence); along with an analysis, these same sentences can compare and contrast, synthesize, point back to a point made in a prior paragraph, comment, explain, etc.
      • Linking sentence=Link the main point of the current paragraph to the main point of the subsequent paragraph; may also function as a summarizing sentence.
      • Position of the (MEAL) sentences: 1) Main idea begins a body paragraph and a linking sentence concludes a body paragraph; 2) Evidence sentences come before their corresponding analysis; 3) An evidence sentence may be one or more sentences and/or two different pieces of evidence may be included in the same sentence; and 4) Maintain a balance between evidence and analysis sentences.
    • Conclusion
      • Restate and reword thesis statement (taken from the last sentence of the introduction paragraph)
      • State the significance, relevance, big picture of your thesis statement.
      • Provide a closing statement.
  • Final thoughts for an academic essay
    • Maintain a balance between hedges and boosters.
    • Avoid contractions.
    • Avoid slang, colloquialisms, jargon, etc.
    • Use an outline before, during, and after having completed the final draft of the essay.
    • Include five-to-eight sentences in each of the paragraphs.