of Persuasive Writing
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
· 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
· 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.