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Writing Project 3: Persuasive Essay  


 
Overview:  ​As  a  student  writing  in  courses  across  the  curriculum,  you  will  be  asked  to  present  arguments  of 
one  kind  or  another.  Even  reports  that  don’t  make  an  overt  argument  nonetheless  represent  the  writer’s 
version  of  the  information  and  suggest  to  readers  that  that  version  is  reasonable  or  correct.  In  our  class, 
Writing  Project  1  asked  you  to  analyze  a  visual  text  for  its  explicit  and  implicit  arguments.  Writing  Project  2 
had  you  research  a  topic  to  better  understand  the  many  ways  that  people  approach the topic and its related 
issues.  In  Writing  Project  3,  you  will  take  up  a  position  on  one  of  those  issues,  preparing  you  to  compose 
critical,  developed  arguments.  To  that  end,  you  will  write  a  persuasive  essay  informed by the work completed 
in WP1 and WP2.  
 
Purpose:  ​Your  purpose  is  to convince your readers that your position is reasonable— though you may attempt 
to persuade them to consider a certain position or to do something.  
 
Audience:  ​You  are  writing  to  an informed, intelligent audience, perhaps readers of the ​New York Times ​or ​the 
Atlantic​, so your stance should be thoughtful, balanced, and reasonable.. 
 
Research:  ​In  order  to  effectively  persuade your audience that your position is worthy of consideration, you will 
need  to  highlight  the  significant,  compelling,  and  novel  information  you  have  discovered  and  effectively 
deploy  that  information  to  support  your  claims.  Thus,  you  will  use  your  research  from  WP1  and  WP2  to  (1) 
teach  your  audience  about  something  of which they have limited awareness, and (2) convince them that your 
position is valid and worthy of consideration. 
 
Requirements:  Your  essay  should  be  a  minimum  of  1600  words  ​in  length,  incorporate  ​at  least  7  credible 
sources​, attend to the specific requirements of the assignment, and adhere to APA formatting standards 
 
Project  Submission:  ​Much  of  your  process  work  for  this  project  will  be  posted  to  Google  Classroom  and/or 
completed  in  class.  Your  final  project  will  be  submitted  as  an  APA  formatted  document  to  the  WP3 
submission dropbox in Blackboard. 
 
Other  Useful  Chapters  in  the  Field  Guide:  Writing  a  successful  argument  is  a  complex  undertaking,  so  you 
may  find  that, more than with other assignments, you’ll need to reference other sections of the ​Field Guide as 
you generate ideas, conduct follow-up research, and draft. Related F​ ield Guide ​chapters include the following:  
 
● 5–9 rhetorical situations 
● 16 evaluations, for arguments about whether something is good or bad 
● 11 analyzing texts, for arguments that interpret a literary work 
● 20 proposals, for arguments that propose some kind of solution 
● 27 generating ideas and text 
● 33 beginning and ending 
● 36 arguing, for advice on crafting an argument 
● 45–53 research, for arguments that call on other sources and need documentation 
● 34 guiding your reader 
● 28–31 drafting, assessing your own writing, getting response and revising, editing and proofreading 
 
   
Characteristics of a Successful Persuasive Essay. 
 
 
The Assignment 
● The essay presents an argument. 
● Required drafts and other related assignments are present. 
 
The Rhetorical Situation 
● The essay accomplishes its purpose. 
● The essay meets the needs of its audience. 
● The writer works to build common ground with the audience. 
● The writer appeals to readers’ values.  
● The essay fulfills the demands of its genre. 
● The essay’s stance is reasonable and fair with a professional tone. 
● The essay’s design is appropriate and effective (readable, clear). 
 
The Context 
● Appropriate background information is provided. 
● The essay provides a clear indication of why the topic matters.  
 
The Argument 
● The position is stated clearly in a thesis statement. 
● The position is appropriately qualified. 
● Reasons are clearly stated. 
● Reasons are adequately supported. 
● Supporting evidence is accurate, current, appropriate, and sufficient. 
● Counterarguments are addressed, showing an awareness of more than one point of view 
● Counterarguments are effectively refuted 
 
The Organization 
● The draft is clearly organized. 
● The argument is presented logically throughout. 
● Transitions help the reader move from idea to idea. 
 
Use of Source Material 
● The essay includes adequate and appropriate source material. 
● Sources are framed, meaning they are introduced and identified. 
● In-text citations are present and correctly formatted. 
● Summaries and paraphrases are accurate and avoid plagiarism. 
● The Works Cited section is correctly formatted (APA). 
 
General 
● Sentences are consistently correctly phrased and punctuated. 
● The language is precise, and the wording exact and accurate. 
● Mechanics, usage, grammar, and spelling are correct.