6 Paragraphs Persuasive Essay

In Search Of A Good 6-Paragraph Persuasive Essay Sample

Writing a six-paragraph persuasive essay is far from an easy task. Just because the assignment is short doesn’t make it any less challenging- in fact, it makes it more so!

Your teacher should have given you all the necessary details of what needs to be included in your paper and how you should go about writing it- so if they haven’t, make sure you know exactly what’s expected!

Before you begin to compose your own, you should certainly check out some other examples first. Here’s how to find them:

First port of call is your campus library.

In your campus library, you should be able to find many examples. Look through records of past student papers and you are bound to come across this type of paper. You’re not the first to have to write this type of short paper you know! If you don’t know where to locate these, then be certain to ask your librarian- I can assure you they will be only too pleased to assist.

Look further afield.

Don’t just look at other student examples. There will be plenty of more respected academic essays of this nature for you to peruse if you know where to look. It may often be that these appear in specialist magazines and periodicals more than books or anthologies, but you should be able to find some in your campus and public libraries. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask if you can’t find them.

Searching online is often the answer.

These days, looking online may be the easiest and quickest way to find samples. Having said that, the internet is a very big ‘place’ indeed, so it may be quite an overwhelming task to know where to begin. As long as you look on educational, institutional and well respected websites (and avoid the ones trying to make a quick buck!) you will easily locate the examples you are after.

If you don’t have internet access at home, remember you can get online for free at libraries.

All you have to do is ask.

If you’ve still not been able to locate the sample you need, and/or if you’re uncertain about any aspect of how to structure and write this essay correctly and effectively, then simply ask your teacher for help. They will be able to assist in explaining things in detail so that you can understand, and they might know of the exact example that you should read.

Writing assignment series

Persuasive or argumentative essays

In persuasive or argumentative writing, we try to convince others
to agree with our facts, share our values,
accept our argument and conclusions,

and adopt our way of thinking.

Elements toward building a good persuasive essay include

  • establishing facts
    to support an argument
  • clarifying relevant values
    for your audience (perspective)
  • prioritizing, editing, and/or sequencing
    the facts and values in importance to build the argument
  • forming and stating conclusions
  • "persuading" your audience that your conclusions
    are based upon the agreed-upon facts and shared values
  • having the confidence
    to communicate your "persuasion" in writing

Here are some strategies to complete a persuasive writing assignment:

Write out the questions in your own words.

Think of the questions posed in the assignment
while you are reading and researching. Determine

  • facts
  • any sources that will help you determine their reliability
    (as well as for further reference)
  • what prejudices lie in the argument
    or values that color the facts or the issue
  • what you think of the author's argument

List out facts; consider their importance:
prioritize, edit, sequence, discard, etc.
Ask yourself "What's missing?"

What are the "hot buttons" of the issue?
List possible emotions/emotional reactions and recognize them for later use

Start writing a draft!(refer to: Writing essays, the basics)
Start as close as possible to your reading/research
Do not concern yourself with grammar or spelling

  • Write your first paragraph
    • Introduce the topic
    • Inform the reader of your point of view!
    • Entice the reader to continue with the rest of the paper!
    • Focus on three main points to develop
  • Establish flow from paragraph to paragraph
    • Keep your voice active
    • Quote sources
      to establish authority
    • Stay focused
      on your point of view throughout the essay
    • Focus on logical arguments
    • Don't lapse into summary
      in the development--wait for the conclusion
  • Conclusion
    Summarize, then conclude, your argument
    Refer to the first paragraph/opening statement as well as the main points
    • does the conclusion restate the main ideas?
    • reflect the succession and importance of the arguments
    • logically conclude their development?
  • Edit/rewrite the first paragraph
    to better telegraph your development and conclusion.
  • Take a day or two off!
  • Re-read your paper
    with a fresh mind and a sharp pencil
    • Ask yourself:
      Does this make sense? Am I convinced?
      Will this convince a reader?
      Will they understand my values, and agree with my facts?
    • Edit, correct, and re-write as necessary
    • Check spelling and grammar!
    • Have a friend read it and respond to your argument.
      Were they convinced?
    • Revise if necessary
    • Turn in the paper
    • Celebrate a job well done,
      with the confidence that you have done your best.

How to respond to criticism:
Consider criticism as a test of developing your powers of persuasion.
Try not to take it personally.

If your facts are criticized,
double check them, and then cite your sources.

If your values are criticized,
sometimes we need agree "to disagree". Remember: your success in persuading others assumes that the other person is open to being persuaded!

Fear: If you are not used to communicating,
especially in writing, you may need to overcome fear on several levels. Writing, unlike unrecorded speech, is a permanent record for all to see, and the "context" is not as important as in speech where context "colors" the words. For example: your readers do not see you, only your words. They do not know what you look like, where you live, who you are.

Hopefully in school, and class, we have a safe place
to practice both the art of writing and of persuasion. Then later, when we are in our communities, whether work, church, neighborhoods, and even families, we can benefit from this practice.

Persuasion also has another dimension:
it is built with facts, which illustrate conclusions. Of course, this means you need to know what you are talking about, and cannot be lazy with your facts, or you will not succeed in convincing anyone. This shows another level of fear: Fear of making a mistake that will make your argument or persuasion meaningless. Since you are writing, and the words are on paper for all to see (or on a web site!), you need to work to make sure your facts are in order.


Writing assignments

Writing for the "Web" | The five-paragraph essay | Essays for a literature class |
Expository essays | Persuasive essays | Position papers | Open book exams |
Essay Exams | White papers | Lab reports/scientific papers |
Research proposals | Elements of a Research Paper
Seven stages of writing assignments | "Lessons learned" | Deadlines

Thanks to the inspiration of S Ryder, and her sixth grade class in Pennsylvania, for revision of this Guide

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