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Pierce's10th Grade Honors and 10th Grade IB Prep

10 Commandments of FCAT Persuasive Essay Writing
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Persuasive FCAT Essay Tips

Ten Commandments of Persuasive Writing


       Thou shalt not announce in the opening paragraph the reasons for supporting a specific stand.

       Thou shalt catch the reader’s attention with a quote, a startling fact, an interesting image, or a rhetorical question before stating a position.

       Thou shalt not begin paragraphs with boring, repetitive transition words:  “the first reason,” “the second reason,” “the third reason,” etc.

       Thou shalt use a variety of transitions between thoughts and ideas – transitions that show other connections – such as “moreover,” “nevertheless,” “not only . . . but also,” or “similarly.”  See Transitions Chart for additional examples.

       Thou shalt not present a laundry list of reasons with little or no development.

       Thou shalt critically think through the best reasons for the position taken and thou shalt develop these three or four reasons with examples, anecdotes, details, and explanations.

       Thou shalt not restrict arguments to dry, formulaic listings of points.

       Thou shalt express logic, but also emotion, humor, personality, and opinion.  The reader wants to hear the author’s “voice” speaking in the paper.

       Thou shalt not conclude the essay by repeating whole phrases and sentences used earlier in the paper.

       Thou shalt end on a positive note, leaving the reader with a strong image or a provocative questequest to consider the bigger implications of a particular stand or to take action on the issue.

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