For this assignment, you will write a persuasive essay on one of these topics
below. When forming your thesis, you need to pick a clear side and compose a
When writing your essay, you want to keep in mind proper essay format. You
should be including secondary sources to support your arguments when
necessary, and ensuring that you are citing those secondary sources using MLA
Please chose one of the topics below:
All schools in Ontario should implement year-round schooling.
Homeschooling should no longer be an option for children.
Women OR Transgender OR other subaltern members of society in the
Native Canadians have not received enough support from the
Ontario schools should once again implement a 5th year of high school.
There is no word limit on this assignment, but please keep in mind that essays
should not exceed 4-5 pages double spaced.
Once completed, this assignment is to be submitted to the Assignment Dropbox
Writing a Persuasive Paragraph or Essay
Choose a debatable topic
A debatable topic has two valid arguments. Your topic should be one about which you know something. The more
evidence you can provide, the more likely you are to sway your audience. You must plan on doing research and your
essay must be documented properly.
Formulate an argumentative thesis
Some topics have been discussed so often they are tired, uninteresting and not worthy of discussion. Choose a
current topic. Because the purpose of a persuasive essay is to convince readers to accept your position, your thesis
must take a stand. One way to make sure that your thesis actually does take a stand is to formulate an antithesis, a
statement that takes an arguable position opposite from yours.
Define your terms
You must make clear the terms you use in your argument. Be careful to use precise language in your thesis, avoiding
vague words such as wrong, bad, right and immoral, which convey different meaning to different people.
Accommodate your audience
Who are your readers? Are they unbiased observers or people deeply concerned about the issue you are discussing?
Are they skeptical, hostile, emotional or unconcerned? How will you convince each type?
Consider opposing arguments
You must know how to refute opposing arguments. Do this by showing that opposing views are untrue, unfair,
illogical, unimportant or irrelevant. Discuss the limitations of the opposing view. When you acknowledge an
opposing view, do not distort it or present it as ridiculously weak. This tactic, called creating a straw man, could
seriously undermine your credibility.
Build your argument on assertions, claims you make about a debatable topic backed by evidence which is
supporting information in the form of examples, statistics or expert opinion. Document your evidence carefully.
Establish your credibility
Establish your credibility by finding common ground, demonstrating knowledge, and maintaining a reasonable tone.
Demonstrate knowledge about your subject by personal experiences and research. Make certain that you document
source material very carefully. For your instructor, an undocumented quotation or even an incorrect date can call an
entire paper into question. Use reasonable language, not emotionally charged language that will turn away the
Present your points fairly
Avoid distorting evidence and quoting out of context. In other words, be honest.
Never suggest that you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re not enough of an expert in this subject
that your opinion would matter. Avoid phrases like, “In my humble opinion….I’m not sure, but…..” Make a BOLD
statement and proceed with confidence!
Don’t Refer to Yourself
Do not announce what you are about to do in the essay. “In this paper, I will………. The purpose of this essay is
to…….” JUST DO IT! Do not say, “I believe students need less homework….I think there are other important
things.” State your opinions as FACTS. “Students need less homework because……”
Persuasive Essay Outline
I. The introduction
The introduction to your persuasive essay orients your audience to your subject. Tell the reader why your
subject is a valid concern, why it is interesting, or explain how it has been misunderstood. This is a short
II. Background Statements
Present a brief overview of the subject. You may include a narrative of past events, a summary of others’
opinions on your subject, or a summary of basic facts. Keep your background statement short; long,
drawn-out discussions at this point will distract your readers from the focus of your argument.
Your thesis statement should be toward the end of this paragraph. The thesis must contain your subject
and your stance. Follow the thesis with a statement of your major support ideas.
III. Support 1-This should be your weakest support.
IV. Support 2
V. Support 3-This should be your strongest support
VI. Refutation of opposing arguments
Anticipate the arguments, admit their strengths and then refute the points.
VII. Summarize key points, restate your thesis, reinforce the weaknesses of opposing arguments, or
underscore the logic of your position.
The conclusion restates in general terms the major arguments you have presented to support your thesis.
End with a strong last line, an apt quotation or a statement that captures the sentiments and intensity of
A Persuasive Essay – Example
Writing the persuasive essay is not an English-class-only task. You will find that complaint letters, job
application letters, business presentations, grant applications, speeches, and many others can be structured
as persuasive essays. And why not? After all, their task is to persuade the reader. Most persuasive essays
are approximately 5 paragraphs in length, with the 3 middle paragraphs as the Body
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