The purpose of the Persuasive Essay assignment is to choose a topic that has some debatable issue. You will then take a position on that issue and write a 2 full-page Persuasive Essay trying to influence you to accept or agree with your position on this issue.
Here are the details:
1. Read the Lecture Notes in Unit 5 on persuasive writing. Also, especially read Chapter 10.9 in the online text for ideas on how to construct an approach persuasive writing. Here is the link to that chapter:
https://open.lib.umn.edu/writingforsuccess/chapter/10-9-persuasion/ (Links to an external site.)
While all the information in this chapter can be helpful, what is especially helpful is the information under the heading “Writing a Persuasive Essay.”
2. Choose a topic. Your topic will be on some issue of debate where you are able to take a side on that issue. The instructor of your class will let you know if you may write on any topic or if there will be limitations on what you may choose to write on.
3. Unlike the previous two-unit essays, there is no required outline or pattern that you have to use for organizing this essay. However, you will want to plan your organization so your ideas connect and make sense to the reader. You may use either of the patterns from the previous two units. Also, you may look at the different patterns presented in Chapter 10 for ideas. As a bit of advice, the structure is shown in Chapter 10.9 under the heading “Structure of a Persuasive Essay” is a helpful model to look at.
4. Since this essay is more persuasive instead of argumentative, you do not have to do any formal research, but you should have explanations and support for any positions you offer.
5. The essay will be at least two full pages long but no more than four pages (unless you have your instructor’s permission to go over 4 pages). You will use the MLA formatting guidelines that you used in the previous essays.
6. Include a title for your essay.
7. After writing the essay, be sure to take the time to read it several times for revision and editing. It would be helpful to have at least one other person proofread it as well before submitting the assignment.
Rubric
Persuasive Essay Grading Rubric
Persuasive Essay Grading Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePresentation of Issue (Introduction and Thesis) 20 pts
Excellent
You clearly understand the issue and are able to explain its significance. You include enough information about the issue, its seriousness, and frame it for your audience. 17 pts
Good
You have a clear understanding of the issue, though you may not include enough information and/or frame it thoroughly for your audience. 15 pts
Fair
You appear to understand the issue, but you do not adequately explain it and/or your position on the issue is unclear. 12 pts
Poor
Your understanding and/or your expression and explanation of the issue is inadequate or flawed.
20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSupport (Key points and explanations) 20 pts
Excellent
Topic and thesis are well-supported. Paper incorporates specific details and clear examples that fully explain and support the author’s position. 17 pts
Good
Topic and thesis are supported, and paper incorporates some details and examples, though additional information would have been helpful in supporting the position. 15 pts
Fair
Topic and thesis are somewhat supported, using minimal details and examples, and/or details and examples do not adequately support the author’s controlling point. 12 pts
Poor
Topic and thesis are not adequately supported and/or paper does not use sufficient details and examples to defend the position.
20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeClarity and Organization 20 pts
Excellent
Well organized, logical, and clearly articulated. Ideas are connected smoothly. Each paragraph contains a clearly focused topic sentence that relates to the thesis statement, and each paragraph focuses solely on that topic/point. 17 pts
Good
Mainly organized, logical, and clearly articulate. Appropriate transitions used to connect ideas. Each paragraph contains a topic sentence that relates to the thesis statement, and the details largely focus on supporting that topic/point. 15 pts
Fair
Lacks organization, logic, and/or clarity. Transitions used to connect ideas are ineffective. At least one topic sentence is not clear or does not relate to the thesis statement. There are details, but they are not clear and/or specific or the paragraphs may not stay focused on a single topic/point. 12 pts
Poor
Not organized or clear. Appropriate transitions are not used to connect ideas. Paragraphs are lacking apparent topic sentences, and supporting details are either incorrect or insufficient.
20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStyle 20 pts
Excellent
Writing is smooth, skillful, and coherent. Sentences are strong and expressive with varied structure. Consistent and appropriate tone and word choice is used throughout the essay. 17 pts
Good
Writing is clear and sentences have varied structure. There is consistent tone and word choice is appropriate for a college-level paper. 15 pts
Fair
Writing is clear, but sentences may lack variety. The tone is inconsistent and word choice, while adequate, could be better. 12 pts
Poor
Writing is confusing and hard to follow. Paper contains sentence fragments and/or run-on sentences. The tone and purpose are inconsistent and difficult to determine.
20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeGrammar and Punctuation 10 pts
Excellent
No errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar, or capitalization. 9 pts
Good
A few minor errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar, or capitalization, but they do not detract from the overall meaning and effectiveness of the essay. 7 pts
Fair
Several errors in punctuation, grammar, spelling, and capitalization, but while distracting, the meaning and intent of the essay can still be discerned. 6 pts
Poor
Distracting and major errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.
10 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeMLA Format 10 pts
Excellent
No errors. 9 pts
Good
One or two minor errors. 7 pts
Fair
Several errors in formatting. 6 pts
Poor
Paper does not follow MLA formatting guidelines.
10 pts
Total Points: 100

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