A persuasive essay in any form of writing where a writer presents his/her viewpoint using factual data in order to convince his/her readers.

All essays have 3 major parts:
1. Introduction
2. Body
3. Conclusion

Creating A Thesis Statement

All essays have a thesis statement that is located in the introduction. A thesis statement is a statement that you believe is true and which you will attempt to prove throughout your essay.

The simplest way for you to create a thesis statement is to use the words in the prompt to start you off! For example:

Prompt: Are uniforms a good idea for schools?
Possible Thesis: Uniforms are a good idea for schools.

Prompt: Explain whether it is beneficial or not to give homework to students every day.
Possible Thesis: It is not beneficial to give homework to students every day.

If you want to make your thesis statement more sophisticated, take your basic thesis and ask yourself, "How can keep this idea, but say it in different words that aren't in the prompt?" For example:

Simple Thesis: Uniforms are a good idea for students.
Reworded Thesis: In schools, both students and teachers would benefit from uniforms.

Simple Thesis: It is not beneficial to give homework to students every day.
Reworded Thesis: Giving homework to students every day is not directly linked to student learning.

Creating Topic Sentences

A topic sentence is the first sentence of a body paragraph. The topic sentence should be connected to your thesis statement. They are the reasons (the evidence, the proof, the support) that prove your thesis true. To create your thesis statements, say your thesis statement to yourself. In your mind, add "because..." and the way you finish that sentence can become your topic sentences. For example:

Thesis: Mayor Bloomberg made the right decision to cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon.

(because...)

Topic Sentence #1: Necessary resources would have been wasted on the marathon.
Topic Sentence #2: The marathon would have diverted attention from more important matters.
Topic Sentence #3: It was too soon to continue "normal life."

These topic sentences will eventually be expanded to become your body paragraphs.

Organizing Body Paragraphs

Strong body paragraphs have certain components to it. They usually follow the format below, which is called TED.

T opic sentence (This sentence explains the topic of your paragraph.)
E vidence (This is where you give your evidence, or support, which could includes quotes, details, and facts.)
D iscussion (This is where you explain how your evidence supports your thesis statement.)

Here is sample body paragraph that uses TED format on the topic of the cancellation of the NYC Marathon:

Topic Sentence:
By canceling the NYC marathon, more volunteers were able to contribute their time to help the area after Hurricane Sandy.

Evidence/Examples:
According to The New York Times, “thousands of people, including runners in Manhattan who had expected to compete in the New York City Marathon, which was canceled late last week, have pitched in to haul away fallen trees and distribute food and clothing.”

Discussion:
If the marathon had gone on, needed resources would have been diverted to people other then the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Instead runners were able to help people remove the debris and garbage from the homes and property. The runners helped people without essential items, such as food and clothing. If the marathon was permitted to continue, some victims in Staten Island might not have been helped. It was a good mayoral decision to cancel the marathon.


Eventually, you will combine all these elements together to create one single body paragraph:

"By canceling the NYC marathon, more volunteers were able to contribute their time to help the area after Hurricane Sandy. According to The New York Times, “thousands of people, including runners in Manhattan who had expected to compete in the New York City Marathon, which was canceled late last week, have pitched in to haul away fallen trees and distribute food and clothing.” If the marathon had gone on, needed resources would have been diverted to people other then the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Instead runners were able to help people remove the debris and garbage from the homes and property. The runners helped people without essential items, such as food and clothing. If the marathon was permitted to continue, some victims in Staten Island might not have been helped. It was a good mayoral decision to cancel the marathon."

Helpful Sentence Starters for Election Essay

When you are writing your "evidence" for your persuasive essay on the election, here are some sentence starters that you can use:

- Obama/Romney wants to…
- If Obama/Romney is elected president, he will…
- Obama/Romney has…
- We need Obama/Romney because...
- It is important to…because…
- This is important because...
- This would be good for the country because…
- This matters because...

Be sure that the evidence you are giving is SPECIFIC. Use specific names of laws, bills, policies, numbers, and statistics that have been passed or will be passed by your candidate


When you are quoting a direct source, you can use these sentence starters:

- According to (insert name of newspaper or person), "…."
Example: According to www.scholastic.com, people today should "...recommit ourselves to a better world."

- (Name of person or newspaper) says/states/said, "….…"
​Example: Miep Gies, a friend of Anne's said, "People should never think that you have to be a very special person to help those who need you."

- (Name of person), from (Name of newspaper, magazine, or organization), says/said/writes, "..."
Example: Declan Walsh, from the NY Times writes, “writers compared the teenage blogger to Anne Frank.”

- In (Name of newspaper or book), (Name of person) writes/says/states, "..."
Example: In The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne writes, " I believe that even bad people are truly good at heart."


When you are writing your discussion, here are some helpful sentence starters:

- This means...
- This shows...
- This proves...
- This demonstrates...
- This illustrates...

Writing Introductions

An Introduction Should...
  • Introduce the topic of the essay
  • Show how the topic will be developed or proven
  • Contain the thesis statement
  • Entice the readers to continue reading


There are 2 general ways that you can write an introduction.
1. Write your thesis statement followed by all of your topic sentences.

Example:
"In The Giver by Lois Lowry, the setting plays a crucial role in creating conflicts for Jonas. The Ceremony of Twelve forces him to become The Receiver of Memory. The rules of his community prohibit him from telling anyone about what he is learning, and because the Nurturers want to kill Gabriel, Jonas must take the baby with him on his journey to escape."

2. Use an "inverted pyramid" structure. This is when your introduction begins with a general statement, becomes more focused on a topic, then lists your thesis and topic sentences.

This is the same as the H.I.T.T. structure:
H ook - This is where you get your reader's attention.
I mportance - This is where you explain why your topic is importance
T hesis Statement - Write your thesis statement.
T opic Sentences - Write your topic sentences.


Inverted_Pyramid.png
Inverted_Pyramid.png


Example:
"In novels, the protagonist's conflict and the setting of the story are usually closely related to each other. This is particularly true in The Giver by Lois Lowry, which is set in a futuristic, "utopian" society. In this book, the setting plays a crucial role in creating conflicts for Jonas. First, the Ceremony of Twelve forces him to become The Receiver of Memory, which is a job that he does not enjoy. Then, when he learns the truth about the community, he wants to tell others but the rules forbid it. Finally, because Nurturers kill babies who cannot sleep through the night, Jonas must take Gabriel with him on his journey to escape."


In your introduction, remember to AVOID expressions like "In this essay, I will talk about...," "This essay will be about...," and "My reasons for this are..."

Writing Conclusions

A Conclusion Should...
  • Stress the importance of the thesis statement
  • Give the essay a sense of completeness
  • Leave a positive final impression on the reader

The conclusion is often what a reader remembers best because it is the last thing in their mind from your essay. Your conclusions, then, should be one of the best parts of your paper!


There are two general ways that you can write your conclusion. You could:

1. Write a simple summary where you restate the main points in your essay (your thesis and topic sentences)

Example:
"In conclusion, the setting of The Giver plays a crucial role in creating Jonas's conflicts. Because of the rules of his community, Jonas is forced to become the Receiver of Memory, which is both a painful and lonely job. He cannot tell others what he knows, which makes him keep everything to himself, and he must endanger himself in order to save Gabriel from the Nurturers."

2. Use pyramid structure, which is opposite to the inverted pyramid. This begins with your thesis and your topic sentences, followed by a more general statement. The last sentence should show how your topic applies to the wider world.

This is the same as T.R.U.E. structure:
T hesis - Reword your thesis statement.
R etell - Reword your topic sentences.
U nderstanding - Explain how your topics connects to the wider world / why it is important.
E nd - End with a strong statement!


Conclusion_Pyramid.png
Conclusion_Pyramid.png


Example:
"Therefore, it is clear that the setting of The Giver is the direct cause of many of Jonas's problems. Because of the strict and strange rules of the society, Jonas must take a job he does not want, he is forced to keep his problems to himself, and he must take Gabriel with him on a dangerous and life-threatening journey. Even though setting and conflict may not initially seem like they connect, they are actually more related than one might think!"

Remember to avoid introducing new ideas or evidence in your conclusion (this should have been in your body paragraphs), and avoid using the exact same words as your introduction (that is repetitive.)

Revising Your Essay

​Transition words help your writing flow more smoothly and helps your readers better follow your thought process! Here are some examples of transitions words that you can use in your essay:


To give examples, try:
  • For example
  • For instance

To add to your idea, try:
  • Also
  • as well (This is only used at the end of sentences. For example: "Mitt Romney will help the economy as well.")
  • In addition
  • Furthermore
  • too
  • Additionally

To show a difference or contrast, use:
  • despite
  • On the other hand
  • Unlike
  • However
  • rather
  • but
  • although

For your conclusion:
  • Therefore
  • In conclusion
  • Thus