Writing Persuasive or Argumentative Research Papers

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Persuasive writing addresses topics that are somehow controversial or template discussion because of their complexity. To select a topic, first consider your own opinions. Ask yourself these questions: * What issues do I feel strongly about? * What debatable subject, or controversial topic, would like to learn more about? NOTE: If you can’t decide on a topic important or relevant to you, try searching the database on the library’s weeping or answer the questions on the handout titled “Choosing an Issue that Matters to You” (you may request a copy of the handout before or after class).

Be sure your thesis, or claim, is arguable. Avoid arguing following: Irrefutable facts: Example – there is no point in trying to argue heart disease is deadly. Everyone knows that, so a better argument would revolve around how to stop the rise of heart disease within the current American * Preferences: Opinions can be changed, but some people just society. Prefer one thing over another. Example – some people do not like to scuba dive. You cannot convince them to enjoy something they simply do not. Religion and other deep-rooted beliefs: Religious or moral issues are beyond empirical analysis and are therefore futile to argue.

Take an angle that does not directly argue these issues. For example, you would not want to try arguing that Christianity is a false religion. This would only incite anger in the people who hold Christianity as a core value. Once you’ve selected a topic, take time to write down everything you know about it. You probably will not use all the ideas you jot down, but this will at least get you the inking. (Step 1 prep marinara; previously assigned) Once you’ve decided on your topic and thought about your feelings towards the issue, then you’re ready to state your claim.

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The claim, remember, is simply the statement you will attempt to persuade your audience to agree tit. Example: If my topic is “Social Networks” then my claim might be, “Minors should not be allowed to use social networking websites. ” Now my job as a persuasive writer is to get my audience to agree with this claim. DUE DATE ALERT: Have you chosen your topic? Did you state your claim? Did you consider arguments for/against your claim? Was your topic approved? Is Assignment #1 checked and placed in the Research section of your binder?

CHECK IF COMPLETE: Please do not continue until this step is complete STEP 2: DETERMINE CREDIBLE RESOURCES FOR YOUR TOPIC AND MAKE A BASIC CLAIM In order to persuade the audience to agree with your claim, you need to share with them the strongest, most credible reasons you have for making the claim. Unfortunately, you are not yet considered an “expert” on the issue; your word is not enough to persuade a reader. However, as a researcher you are able to find and share expert opinions, fascinating facts, sobering statistics, and any other credible data that’s considered relevant evidence in support of your claim.

Keep in mind; it takes thorough extensive research to find such relevant information. Also remember, only by fully understanding al sides of the issue will you be prepared to take a position, make an informed claim, and effectively write your persuasive research paper. You most likely already have some idea of the arguments that support your claim; so, now it’s your job to find out what the experts have to say, what the actual facts are, and what statistics, if any, support your arguments. While in the library, you will scan various resources to determine what the experts say the arguments are for your claim.

Remember to research all sides of the issue. Keep in mind; your goal is to find experts who agree with you and aka the same arguments you want to make; however, if they have different arguments than you do, then use the arguments set forth by the experts. The idea is to find sources/evidence that supports your claim, from there you can determine what the BEST arguments are. It is imperative that you find credible evidence in order to be persuasive; be careful when considering what type of evidence to use. Review the handout “What Type of Evidence Should I Use? To assist you in determining a credible source from all the rest. Key Idea: Find out what the experts have to say on the issue; what are their arguments for and against your claim? Scan lots of resources looking for expert opinions, facts, statistics, etc. That support your claim. Be sure to look for information in support of your claim and some that argues assignations claim. Be sure the evidence you decide to use is credible. Lastly, you must assume your reader is not already familiar with your issue. Part of your job, in the beginning, is to inform the reader of the history or background of the issue.

Make sure the reader understands where the debate began, why it’s controversial, and what it means to be ‘foe or ‘against’ our claim. While in the library, look for sources that include this type of information as well. TIP: The very best resources are those that are packed with information about every aspect of your topic. Assignment: Library’ Day 1 * Review several sources relating to your topic and determine which credible, relevant sources are worthy of further review (which sources look good to use). * State your basic claim (in general, what you believe about the issue) on the handout provided. Example: Topic – social networks / Basic Claim – I believe minors should not be allowed to use social outworks. ) * Look for sources that – include background/history of the issue, include credible information: I. E. Statistics, expert opinions, facts, etc. , and include arguments for and against your claim. Choose a maximum of 6 sources (print or internet) for review. * DO NOT PRINT ANYTHING FROM THE COMPUTER. For web sources, write the URL on your handout along with any comments you wish to make about the site. If you find a magazine, book, or other print source, you may ask for help/approval to make copies on the library’s copy machine.

Did you find enough resources related to your topic? If not, have you submitted a new topic? Did you find expert opinions/statistics/facts/other data that agrees with your basic claim? Did you locate information on the background or history of your issue? Did you record the rural of the sites you wish to return to? Did you complete Assignment CHECK IF COMPLETE: STEP 3: DETERMINE THE BEST PREMISES AND STATE YOUR THESIS Premises are the reasons why you believe your claim; why you feel the way you do; they are the reasons you give to persuade the reader to agree with you; they are your pros, the arguments for your claim.

The Premises make up he bulk of your essay, so you will need sufficient evidence to support EACH ONE. Example: If you’re arguing that minors should not be allowed to use social networking Sites, your premises might be: (1 ) Sexual predators exploit naive teenagers (2) These sites are addictive and distract teens from important responsibilities (3) Teenagers, especially, become victims or even perpetrators of cyber- bullying NOTE: Sometimes premises are based on unstated assumptions. Layoff reader might disagree with these, then you have the added task of proving the assumption.

For instance, in the example above the assumption is made hat teenagers are allowed and in fact, do use social networking sites. Because this is an assumption younger readers may not agree with, I need to include a statistic or survey result, perhaps, that proves this statement is true before I can begin the work Of persuading the reader Of my claim. After reviewing your sources, you’re ready to determine your premises, or arguments. Choose 3 or 4 of the BEST reasons that support your claim. When deciding which premises to include, consider the following: 1 .

Aristotle 3 Types of Persuasive Appeals 2. The beliefs and values of your audience 3. How to effectively counter the alternative perspectives 4. The amount of information available to help fully support each argument Assignment: Library Day 2 and 3: * Determine which sources have the largest amount of relevant information that supports each premise. * STILL, DO NOT PRINT ANYTHING FROM THE COMPUTER, PLEASE! * Complete the Evaluating Online Sources handout for each online source you decide to use (2 minimum). On page 3 of this same handout, record: web address (be exact), author, title of article (if available), title of web page, publication date/last updated/revised dates, and he date website was visited. Lastly, include an overview of the source including the specific information you plan to use. (Example: bar graph- teenage use of social networks compared to other age groups, UCLA professor argues social networks do not benefit social development of teens, fed. Gobo. Stats. Citing increased cyber-bullying cases. ) * Print sources (book, magazine, encyclopedia, etc. If you find a magazine, book, or other print source, you may ask for help/approval to make copies using the library’s * Determine your premises, and then use your clam and the 3 to 4 proper. Premises to write your thesis statement, following the example on the Assignment #3 handout. * Day 3 – copy/paste all on line sources into a Microsoft Word document. Follow the directions from the teacher for saving/ storing/uploading these sources. DO NOT PRINT ANY MATERIAL UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. Did you determine which premises to use (3 to 4)?

Did you use the 4 criteria for determining effective premises? Did you find sources with enough information to support each premise? Are your internet sources ‘credible’ according to the Evaluating Online Sources handout? Did you find and copy at least 1 print source? Are each of your sources properly documented in your notes for future access? Did you copy and paste your online articles/sources into a Word Document? Did you find facts, statistics and/or authorities to quote? Did you locate and print background information or history of your issue?

Did you find funny or otherwise emotional anecdotes that may appeal to your own values or beliefs or to those of the reader? CHECK IF COMPLETE: please do not continue until this Step is complete USE PERSUASIVE TECHNIQUES TO CHOOSE THE BEST PREMISES Your job, as researcher, is to decide which proofs, or premises, best support your viewpoint and address alternate perspectives most effectively. This can be the most time consuming and likely the most difficult step in the research writing process. There are guidelines and techniques; however, that will assist you in selecting the most effective premises.

To be persuasive, you must be viewed as credible and your argument must be solid and reasonable. In order to be convincing, you should appropriately apply the Types of Persuasive Appeals, or the persuasive techniques of logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos: Appeal to reason by using facts, statistics, research, logical arguments, etc. This is the most convincing technique in academic writing. Ethos: Appeal to the credibility or character of the author or of the people quoted. Use credible sources, and prove your own credibility with good academic writing, grammar, spelling, and tone.

Pathos: Appeal to emotion, values, and beliefs to suppository own feelings or passion about the issue. Include personal stories from yourself or others, and use appropriate word choice to emphasize emotion. In academic writing, this technique should be used with are; appealing to emotion should not be obvious or contrived. UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE DUE DATE ALERT: Library Day 2 Have you found enough resources to support each of your premises? Did you find facts, statistics and/or authorities to quote? Did you locate and print background information or history of your issue?

Did you find funny or otherwise emotional anecdotes that may appeal to your own values or beliefs or to those of the reader? CHECK IF COMPLETE: Us porting only your own viewpoint is not sufficient for writing a persuasive paper. You must also understand your audience, so you can find ways to purport your thesis in a manner convincing to them. Ask yourself the following questions to help you identify and persuade your audience more effectively: * What is the audience’s knowledge level about your topic? * What is their attitude towards the topic? What are the audience’s values and beliefs? These questions will help you identify the character of your audience and establish a tone for your paper that is both professional and reasonable. Assume your audience is intelligent-?never sound condescending or know-it- all-?but be sure to thoroughly explain concepts. Knowing your audience will also help you determine areas to research in order to effectively address counterarguments. UNDERSTANDING ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVES/CONTRADICTIONS/THE OPPOSITION A large part of understanding your audience is addressing alternative perspectives.

This can be done just after the introduction, just before the conclusion, or throughout the paper. Addressing other viewpoints can be intimidating, yet it is essential. Alternative perspectives should be treated fairly-? think about what others believe and why they believe so, and focus on the most common arguments. F-room there, you can either refute or concede heir arguments. Conceding means that you agree with their argument and acknowledge the issue is complex; follow with a discussion of your first premise (argument).