Choose ONE topic for your persuasive essay. This can be one of the two topics you used for last week’s homework, or a different topic (if you want to choose something NOT on the list in the textbook, email me first).
Start writing your essay: at least write the 3 body paragraphs with topic sentences. Type or write it, and bring it to class next week.
Group discussions of homework (2 persuasive essay topics’ arguments and counter-arguments)
How to persuade people?
Aristotle identified three basic ways:
Logos – appeal to reason (e.g. explaining advantages and disadvantages)
ethos – appeal to morality (e.g. appeal to justice, to doing good or doing the right thing)
pathos – appeal to emotion (e.g. using fear, greed, passion, desire)
Aristotle thought good (effective) speakers should use whichever would be most effective, depending on their audience.
However, generally speaking, for academic writing, use #1.
Argument = opinion + evidence + support /explanation
Opinion = claim (often using words like “should” or “should not”, “good” or “bad”, etc)
evidence = evidence to support the claim (also called “grounds” or “data”)
support/explanation = warrant. The warrant is often a general rule or principle about how the world works.
“An author usually will not bother to explain the warrant because it is too obvious. It is usually an assumption or a generalization. However, the author must make sure the warrant is clear because the reader must understand the author’s assumptions and why the author assumes these opinions.” (Wikipedia)
counter-argument (also called “rebuttal”)
Often introduced by “However”, “Some people say that…” or similar phrase.
Practice writing warrants for these sample arguments:
Claim 1 – “The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are a good idea”
Evidence 1 – “because the economy will develop”.
Warrant 1 –
Claim 2 – “The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are not a good idea”
Evidence 2 – “because Japan will become unsafe”
Warrant 2 –
Evidence 2a – “because there will be a risk of terrorism”
Warrant 2a –
Claim 3 – “Nuclear power is good”
Evidence 3 – because of a positive effect on the economy”
Choose 2 topics from the list on p. 95 (change #4 to “2020 Tokyo Olympics”)
write 2 or 3 arguments FOR and AGAINST the topic (you may need to do a bit of research). You are not just expressing YOUR opinion, but also what OTHER people think about this topic.
Bring to class next week.
Body paragraph 1: compare the student originals and Sheffner’s rewrites. What changes did he make and why? Discuss in small groups. Download today’s handout here.
Typical rewrite reasons:
colloquial (= non-academic) language –> academic (formal, scientific) language. E.g. don’t –> do not, get better –> improve, get –> buy/purchase, even so –> nonetheless/however, so –> therefore, etc.
avoid repetition (e.g. replace nouns with pronouns). AVOID USING “WE”.
less is more (generally speaking), e.g. 3 words are better than 6. E.g. clothes we buy for every day –> everyday clothes, school uniform that public junior high school students wore –> public junior high school uniforms, etc.
detail in the wrong place – details do not belong in the introductory paragraph but in the body paragraphs. E.g. According to Mainichi Shimbun on February 14 in 2018, Taimei elementary school in Tokyo decided to use school uniforms designed by Italian luxury brand “Armani” –> According to a 2018 newspaper article, a Tokyo school decided to use uniforms designed by a luxury brand.
expand to make a point clearer – sometimes less is NOT more. Sometimes, arguments need to be explained explicitly (especially warrants; more on this later). E.g., we cannot contact with them –> they may not know who or how to contact them.
Read the sample essay in the textbook pp 91-2. We will answer questions about this essay in class next week. Be prepared.
Textbook for this semester is the same: Writers at Work – The Essay. We will use chapters 4-6.
To pass the course, you must write and hand in by the deadline THREE essays of a satisfactory quality.
Checklist for introductory paragraphs + sample paragraphs from previous years.
read the student introductory paragraphs and evaluate them using the 4-point checklist . If you attended this class, you received everything on a single handout. If not, you can download them as two separate handouts below:
(download the student introductory paragraphs here)
Here’s the checklist:
The title should clearly state the content and author’s position.
Good example – “School Uniforms are Necessary”
Not so good example – “Take it for Free?”
Avoid rhetorical questions: “a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer.”
Introductory paragraph must contain a thesis statement.
Detailed information belongs in the body paragraphs, not the introduction. The introduction is to introduce the topic (the problem, the matter being discussed in the essay) and the author’s position on it.
DIscuss in groups.
Textbook p. 94 D, p. 96 Practice 3, p. 98 D, p. 99 E.
Re-write the draft you gave me today, based on what you learned in today’s class (see the points below). Save your file as “AW1 Essay2 Draft2 (Your Name)”. Send it to me by email, with the subject of the email being the same. Print it out and bring it to class next Friday to exchange with classmates.
Does your introductory paragraph contain a clear explanation of the problem (including WHY it is a problem)?
Does your introductory paragraph contain a complete thesis statement?
Does your essay contain claims + evidence + warrants?
Does your conclusion repeat and summarize the intro and the topic sentences of the body paragraphs? Remember: no new information in the conclusion!
Do your sentences follow logically from each other?
Have you replaced negative sentences (“not…”) with positive ones?
Have you avoided using “we” (you need to specify who “we” is, first)?
Have you avoided using “I” (your personal experience, though useful,, is not by itself sufficient; you need more objective evidence to support your argument)?
reading classmates’ essays (essay #2, draft #1)
p. 31 Conclusion (read the checklist)
p. 53 Practice 8
p. 57 Practice 9
p. 58-9 Practice 10
1-to-1 conferences about last week’s writing (introduction)
Why is this important? Because you need to be sure that what you think is a problem is based on facts, not “image”.
E.g. “There has been an increase in the number of accidents caused by elderly drivers.” Has there? Is that a fact, supported by statistics, or is it an impression caused by media attention?
Model of Argument(ation) (The Toulmin model)
An argument =
(1) a claim (an opinion +
(2) “grounds”/evidence) +
(3) support (warrant).
E.g. “Students have too much homework” (1 – claim). “The evidence is that many students sleep in class.” (2 – grounds/evidence). “People who work too hard may fall asleep even during the day and at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places.” (3- warrant = a general rule or principle). “However, some people might say that students might fall asleep from playing too hard or some other reason” (4 – rebuttal).