Persuasive Writing: Rhetoric in Action

Prompt: Choose an issue or topic that clearly has two sides. The side in which you stand must be clear. Compose a personal essay which attempts to persuade your audience to your line of thinking. Within your essay, you will employ a balance of ethos, pathos, and logos to create a powerful, convincing argument.

Directions: Persuasive writing is personal and creative and has very little rules. There are no formulas or templates. When building an argument, persuasive writers consider deeply the organization of their argument and their tone. Purposeful paragraphing and grammar choices are also powerful pieces which pace an audience through an argument.

MLA heading with creative title
Double spaced
2 to 4 pages in length
Clear appeals of pathos, logos, and ethos are utilized throughout
Facts, data, or examples are pulled from a credible source(s).
Works Cited Page (see guide below)
MLA documentation is implemented within the essay (see guide below)
First/Second person pronouns are allowed but not required.
Even though this is not a process essay, close attention to conventions is expected.
Inject your own voice and personality into your writing. A genuine author is a persuasive author.

The appeal to ethics backs up the argument with an appeal to either the credibility of the speaker and/or the credibility of the anecdote or expert.  This appeal can also appeal to the civic duty or responsibility of the audience.  It is effective in building up the confidence of the reader in finding value in the argument.
The appeal to logic creates the argument through facts, data, and concrete examples.  The source(s) used add weight to the argument aiding in the legitimacy of the position.  The facts are credible and are presented as truth.
The emotional appeal successfully brings to the surface the heart of the argument persuading the reader through an emotional response, whether it be compassion, guilt, excitement, or joy.
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Voice: The speaker’s voice has clear personality and reflects an appropriate tone to the topic and position taken.
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Organization: The essay follows a clear path of logical persuasion with purposeful paragraphing. The order in which arguments are presented are well thought out.  The reader never feels lost or confused.
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Conventions: Basic grammar rules are considered.  Great effort is clearly taken in applying punctuation and capitalization to guide the reader through a clear understanding of the authors message.
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Works Cited Page: Is a complete listing of sources and follows all MLA guidelines: spacing, title, formatting of entries, and alphabetical order.
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Embedding and Documenting of Quotes: Quotes are flawlessly embedded using an appropriate method and MLA documentation follows proper punctuation and the correct citation is inside the parentheses. 
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