When writing a persuasive paper, your purpose is to convince your audience to agree with your idea or accept your recommendation for a course of action.
If you’ve decided to write an essay on animals (either for a school assignment or for another purpose), here are the steps to follow:
- Choose a topic, such as:
- Everyone should spay or neuter their pets.
- Adoption is the best option.
- Dogs should be treated as individuals, not discriminated against because of breed.
- Microchipping is important in keeping pets with their families.
- Find and review information. You can do research in the library and on the Internet to get more information. While reviewing the materials, look for interesting facts or tidbits that will hook your readers.
- Create a flow chart that looks something like this:
Statement Reason 1 Supporting data Supporting data Supporting data Reason 2 Supporting data Supporting data Supporting data Reason 3 Supporting data Supporting data Supporting data
- Write a sentence that states the reason for your paper. For example: Everyone should spay or neuter their pets. This statement will go in the first box in your flow chart. The flow chart is a visual way to help you create an outline. An outline will help you organize the information in a logical order. Your finished product will have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
- The body will contain the three reasons and the supporting data listed on your flow chart. The body not only contains evidence to support your opinion, but also addresses one or two opposing views. Be sure to include your counter-argument when stating the opposing view. For example, one opposing view to the above statement might be this: Many people think that an animal who has been spayed or neutered will become lazy and fat. Your counter-argument could be this: This is a misconception. The main reason pets become fat is lack of exercise and overfeeding.
- Keep the flow chart handy as you read through all the information you have gathered. On a sheet of paper, write “Hooks and facts to grab the reader’s attention” and as you review your material, jot down cool facts that you come across. For example: Just one female cat and her offspring can produce an estimated 420,000 cats in only seven years.
- Be sure to address a wide variety of reasons to support your topic statement. For example: Think about pet overpopulation, overcrowded shelters, the costs to your city or town, the effects on pet health and pet behavior. What would your audience find most important?
- Before writing your actual paper, keep your facts straight by writing each reason and the supporting evidence on separate sheets of paper.
- Write your first draft.
- Revise your outline and draft.
- Write or type your final paper.
- Keep in mind that your teacher may require a bibliography.