English 102: Persuasive Essay
Genre: Argument Length: 3-5 pages Format: MLA Textbook: See “Readings” section below
Assignment Write a persuasive essay that aims to convince the reader to support a non-profit organization of your choice. Locate the non-profit organization’s website and gain background knowledge on their work. The website is the only outside source required for this essay. No other outside sources should be used to compose your essay. You must include one direct quote, paraphrase, and summary (each with an in-text citation) from the website. You will also include a Works Cited page. Utilize the readings and outline template to gain knowledge on the structure of argument.
Prewriting First, identify one social issue that is important to you and locate a reputable non-profit organization focused on the issue. For example, if you are interested in supporting the education of homeless youth, you may consider the organize A Child’s Place out of Charlotte, NC (http://www.achildsplace.org/). You most likely have many non-profit organizations in your area or a non-profit organization that you have supported for a long time.
Once you have chosen the issue and organization, visit their website. The organization’s website must include enough information so that you can understand their mission, importance of their work, and how to support their work.
Next, begin to construct your argument. As you write, remember that your mail goal is to convince the reader to support this organization, not to summarize their website. Avoid unnecessary summary. Creating an outline for this essay (see printable template in Blackboard) will help organize the body of your essay. Each main point in your outline should be original and should support your thesis statement. Each main point in your outline will become a body paragraph in your essay.
Introduction As always, the introduction should include necessary background information. For this essay, the background information should include the organization’s name and a brief summary of their history and mission. As the introduction narrows towards the thesis, remember that you are presenting only one argument: why the reader should support the non-profit organization you have chosen. Review the “Roadmap” section of chapter 11 and p. 383-387 for helpful tips on constructing a persuasive thesis.
Body Paragraphs Each body paragraph for this essay should introduce, explain, and support (i.e. present the argument for) one main point. Since you are only incorporating one source for this essay, each main point with support must come from you—this means you are utilizing your rhetorical skills
to persuade your audience, so incorporate plentiful detail (including examples) to develop each body paragraph.
Conclusion The concluding paragraph for this essay should: Wrap up your argument by answering any unanswered questions Reinforce the importance of supporting the non-profit organization you selected
Source Incorporating direct information from the website is important, as well. You must include at least one direct quote, one paraphrase, and one summary. Each of these must include an in-text citation. Remember that direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries should always be concise and add to your essay. They are not a way to fill space, but a way to vary your method of incorporating support. Incorporating this single source add to your credibility as an author. Readings There are many readings in the textbook that will help you throughout this process: Ch. 11 – Argument P. 383-387 – Thesis statements P. 512-524 – Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing Ch. 27 – MLA format o In-text citation information begins on p. 538 o Referencing online sources begins on p. 556 Remember that you are only allowed to include one source for this essay: the non-profit website, so you will only include one entry on the Works Cited page