Persuasive/Point of View Essay (Opinion Piece)
The first essay will be a standard persuasive essay. For this assignment, each student will be writing in response to a topic from an opinion article (hailing from a reputable source) of the student’s choosing THAT HAS BEEN RECENTLY PUBLISHED NO LATER THAN THREE MONTHS AGO. When a writer demonstrates that she can construct a persuasive argument, it is important to specify the topic and show that it is relevant to its audience. The point of this essay is to get the reader to see the author’s point of view. Students may write about a topic that has two opposing sides or a topic that is multidimensional. Think of this type of writing as writing in response to another author and that author’s opinions. Consequently, it is perhaps easier to contradict the selected opinion article.
The student will need to establish several things in this assignment for it to work:
- The first lines of the student’s paper (in the Introduction and post hook) need to begin with the topic and context of another author’s text or the opinion being discussed.
- Also in the Introduction, the student needs to transition into her own response and end with a thesis statement that must be a claim of policy (which usually uses either “should” or “ought to”).
- Support for the student’s claim needs to be attached to the thesis. The support can be connected to the claim by using a transitional word like “because,” “since,” or “inasmuch as.” See below for example.
- Throughout the essay be sure to engage in the other author’s text. The student needs to tie her argument to something by quoting and paraphrasing the other author. Otherwise, persuasive arguments can become tangents lacking purpose. Persuasive/Point of View Essay
Structuring the essay (required):
- Introduction: Have a hook. Contextualize the article and its topic, and then have a thesis statement with ‘support’. Thesis Example: Although some Americans believe flag desecration should be illegal (ßcounter argument), such symbolic speech should be protected (ßclaim of policy) since The First Amendment to the United States Constitution would be under threat if legislation seeks to highly regulate patriotic statements. (ßsupport)
- Body: have a topic sentence for each body paragraph and focus on arguing based on the support claim(s). As well, incorporate quotes from the other article(s), which either oppose or further support the student’s claim of policy.
- Conclusion: restate the thesis and sum up the main points. Be sure to leave the reader with an idea of how to resolve the issue.
This essay needs to be a minimum of 2 pages (no more than 4pgs.), in 12 pt. font/Times New Roman, and in MLA format. Please use parenthetical citations in the essay for quotations and ideas that are not your own (see the Purdue Owl webpage for examples). Students are welcome to incorporate research; however, this essay is NOT a research assignment. I predominately want to see the students’ own ideas reflecting on a single opinion.