February 7, 2012

Persuasive (Argumentation) Writing Assignment

Read the assignment guidelines and take careful notes of the due dates, requirements, and topics in your writer’s notebook. Post any questions you have below in the comment box.

Length—2  pages (typed and double-spaced)

Draft 1 Due Date—Wednesday,  February 22.

Draft 2 Due Date—Friday, March 3



At minimum, the requirement of this assignment is to write an essay that musters proof, and brings it forth, to convince your audience to agree with you about a particular topic.  In a stricter sense, persuasive writing needs to follow a logical set of steps to prove your argument to your audience.  Clarity is crucial in this type of assignment because you cannot persuade the audience of anything if they do not understand what you are talking about.


1.)     Focus on PROOF rather than EMOTIONAL APPEALS

2.)     Be sincere in your argument—make us believe that you really believe it, and that there are REAL and VALID reasons for us to agree with you.

3.)     Try to anticipate counterarguments, and address them within your argument, as those who disagree with you will look for holes in your argument immediately.


When you turn in your first draft, we will talk more about persuasive strategies, so for this draft, just make sure that you do the following:


1.)     Decide which prompt you want to argue for or against.

2.)     Write an outline of your argument, including PROOF from at least TWO outside sources.

3.)     Include a TYPED first draft of your argument.

4.)     Include citations that tell the reader where your proof came from.  If you take exact words, you must put the sources in quotation marks.  You can include these as footnotes (at the end of the sentence where you include the source), or as an endnote (at the end of the essay draft.)






  1. Argue for or against the following statement:  “Education owes a large debt to the past.”
  2. Argue for or against the importance of a university education.
  3. Argue for or against adolescent freedom.
  4. Agree or disagree with the statement:  “Human kind cannot bear very much reality.”  (T.S. Eliot)
  5. What knowledge is needed before all other types of knowledge?
  6. Agree or disagree with the following statement:  “We speak even in our silences.”
  7. Agree or disagree with the statement: “There is nothing wrong with chasing rainbows.”
  8. Argue whether life is a line or a circle.
  9. Agree or disagree with the following statement:  “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”
  10. Agree or disagree with the statement that, “All Americans are free.”


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