Write a persuasive essay of about 1500 words (5 double-spaced pages, not counting the Works Cited page) that develops your own argument about the specific topic that you researched for your Annotated Bibliography. Assume your readers’ understanding of the topic is incomplete; your essay should work to further their understanding and to convince them to view the topic your way. As explained in Successful College Composition, a persuasive essay makes an argument—which is, “a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence” (Bost et al.). A thesis is a concise and specific statement of an argument. Formulating a thesis for this essay will require you to analyze evidence. Evidence must come from the four credible sources presented in your Annotated Bibliography.
Begin your essay with an introductory paragraph that interests your reader, provides some background on the topic, and states your thesis. Develop supporting claims as topic sentences for each body paragraph. In each body paragraph, respond to evidence from at least one source to support that paragraph’s topic sentence. You may either reinforce or challenge source material to support your claims; however, if you challenge a source, then you must provide other compelling, credible evidence to persuade your reader of your claim. Organize body paragraphs logically to evolve your thesis. At least once in the body of the essay, acknowledge "the limits of your argument” by explaining “differing points of view on the subject” (Bost et al.). Follow the advice in Successful College Composition “to address opposing arguments earlier rather than later in your essay” (Bost et al.). Finish your essay with a concluding paragraph that sums up your essay’s main points and rephrases your thesis.
When discussing source material in your essay, be sure to represent the source accurately and to use a signal phrase (e.g., According to Rachel Carson,…; As David Suzuki writes,…; In Majora Carter’s Ted talk,…) to attribute evidence to a particular source. When you mention ideas and examples from sources, clearly distinguish their authors’ language from your own by putting quotation marks around words or phrases that you have lifted from sources. Any language that is not in quotations your reader will think is your own. If it’s not, then that is plagiarism. Follow guidelines for quotations and in-text citations in the MLA Guide. When you quote a source that has page numbers, include the page number(s) of the quoted passage in parentheses at the end of your sentence before the period. Avoid block quotations (i.e., more than four lines of prose) of sources; instead, incorporate brief quotations into your own sentences. Rather than only quote, also paraphrase and summarize sources in your essay.