The Persuasive Research Paper
We will be working on the Persuasive Research Paper for the next two units. Please keep in mind that this is the longest paper you will write for this class. (This paper is also worth more of your grade than others in this course.)
In the Persuasive Research Paper, you will simply want to take a position on an issue of your choice, using research to support your position and to try to convince others to adopt your position. This paper should be at least 4-6 pages long (at least 1000-1500 words), it should include at least four sources, and it should accomplish the following:
*State your audience.
*Clearly articulate your position as well as the reasons why you hold this position, using evidence to support the validity of your stance.
*Present information confidently and efficiently.
*Use established information for support, as well as personal “evidence” (if applicable) such as short anecdotes and examples from your own experience, or the experience of others.
*Maintain a persuasive tone that will be accessible (not alienating or insulting) to your particular audience.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Papers on the following topics will not be accepted:
* capital punishment
I’ve already read more papers on these topics than anyone should in an entire lifetime, so I won’t read anymore. I encourage you to be more creative in selecting your topic.
YOUR FIRST TWO PARAGRAPHS (THE INTRODUCTION)
Your first two paragraphs should do two things:
1.) Engage the reader and capture their interest.
In terms of capturing the readers interest, you want a good “hook”–something that will make the reader want to keep reading, even if they disagree with you. “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” opens with history and emotion, summarizing problems that have developed with children’s sports. “Sticks and Stones and Sport Team Names” uses a short personal narrative (a story from the author’s life) to hook the reader. “Working at McDonald’s” opens with a direct, bold statement, designed to surprise the reader as to its full meaning. (Also note how some of the titles of the essays in your book may act as “hooks.”)
2.) Make your position (or thesis statement) clear.
Notice that in each of these essays, the author’s position is make clear in either the first or the second paragraph. You will want to do the same. Also, notice how the thesis is restated in several places in the paper, reminding readers of the author’s stance in the middle of the paper and at the end, in the conclusion.
YOUR NEXT SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS (THE BODY)
The body of your paper should offer at least 2-3 logical reasons and convincing support for your position.
You will probably want to devote the first paragraph of this section to foreshadowing each of your reasons. Here’s an example: There are three reasons why capital punishment should be abolished. It is an inhumane procedure that causes unmeasurable suffering. It is a practice that devalues human life. It is costly and unsuccessful as a deterant of crime.
The following paragraphs would then discuss each of these reasons one-by-one, devoting at least 1-2 paragraphs to each reason. Within each paragraph, you’ll want to provide supporting evidences (facts, statistics, examples, stories, etc.) You will also want to consider opposing arguments–how the opposing side would respond to each of your reasons. And, you want to refute the opposing side’s reasons (explain or show why you’re right and they’re wrong.)
YOUR LAST 1-2 PARAGRAPHS (THE CONCLUSION)
In the conclusion, you want to reemphasize your position and summarize your points. In other words, you want to wrap everything up and tie it with a pretty bow. Reexamine the final few paragraphs of each of the essays in Chapter 6 for examples.