Archive

Archive for the ‘Discursive and Persuasive Writing’ Category

Some Interesting Topics…

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Food for thought if you’re swithering on which topic to write your persuasive/discursive essay on:

  • Altruism – Can We Really Commit a Selfless Act?
  • Science – Is it a Religion?
  • Capitalism vs Communism
  • Creatonism vs Darwinism
  • What is Art?
  • Nature vs Nurture
  • Is Technology Taking Over Our Lives?
  • Orwell’s 1984 – Has it Come True?

Remember, you can also use topics from other subjects you are studying as basis for your essay; Politics, Modern Studies, History etc.

  • Scottish Independence
  • Should the Police Be Armed?
  • Voting Age – Should it be Altered?
  • Conscription – Should We Bring it Back?
  • The London Riots – A Sign of Things to Come?

PEEL Paragraph Structure

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Here’s a reminder of the paragraph structure discussed in class. *Evidence and Explanation are interchangeable*

Point

It is of the utmost importance that the point you are making is clearly indicated. If it is unclear, your essay will be difficult to follow, and any impact you may achieve via the explanation of your evidence will be lost.

Evidence*

Make sure your evidence is taken from a reliable source:

  • News
  • Web Articles
  • Interviews
  • TV Programmes
  • Books

Avoid unreliable sources such as Wikipedia. Any material you present as fact must be sourced. It is not necessary to continually quote – paraphrasing is perfectly acceptable, but must be referenced via footnotes.

Explanation*

The relevance of your facts must be explained within the contex of your argument. How do they help you make your point? Why are they significant? This should for the main body of the paragraph. Don’t let the facts do the talking for you – this is where you make your grade.

Link

This should round off your paragraph, clearly linking your explanation back to your initial question from your introduction. It will allow you to summate your point and clearly distinguish its relevance to your discussion whilst allowing you to proceed clearly with your next idea.

Have a look at the exemplar essays within the context of this structure if this is unclear. Any questions, post a message.

That Clarkson Article!

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

 

The Jeremy Clarkson article we discussed in class is below:

Clarkson

Although this is not structured in a similar manner to your persuasive essay, it does utilise a number of key techniques which effectively characterise the speaker and get the point across in an entertaining manner. Have a look and try to find the following:

  • Repetition
  • Hyperbole
  • Humour
  • Imagery
  • Pun
  • Variation of sentence structure
  • Use of factual information
  • Listing

Structuring Your Persuasive Essay

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Your essay should adhere to the following guidlines in order to effectively construct your argument.

  • Introduction – State your topic clearly. Contextualise it, provide any necessary background information and ensure that you clearly communicate why the topic is worth discussing. Ensure that your word choice and phraseology indicates the persuasive nature of your argument. Aim to stimulate reader engagement.
  • Argument – The effectiveness of your argument will rely equally upon the evidence you draw your points from and also the manner in which you present them. Aim to discuss 4 points which you will present in a one-sided manner. Utilisation of the techniques listed below is key.
  • Concession – You must show an awareness of the obvious counter arguments to your points to effectively present your point of view. You can either show a grudging acceptance of the ‘other side’ but restate how much more relevant and significant your point of view is, or refuse to accept the counter argument via well explained reasoning. Avoid being irrational or making poorly thought out claims as this will undermine your argument.
  • Conclusion – Aim to finish on an irrefutable point. Finishing strongly is key. Perhaps find an appopriate quote – chances are someone has said it better before!

Key Techniques

The following techniques should be evident at some point within your essay:

  • Repetition
  • Lisiting
  • Hyperbole
  • Rhetorical Questioning
  • Emotive Language
  • Humour (difficult but very effective!)

Structuring Your Discursive Essay

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Your essay should adhere to the following guidlines in order to effectively construct your discussion.

  • Introduction – State your topic clearly. Contextualise it, provide any necessary background information and ensure that you clearly communicate why the topic is worth discussing. Aim to stimulate reader engagement.
  • Initial Argument – This should be the side of the argument that you do not personally agree with, although it must still be discussed and fully evidenced in order to present a balanced argument. Aim to discuss between 2-points (two in significant depth or 4 key points succinctly).
  • Pivotal Paragraph – This should function as a link between the two arguments. You should make a brief comment regarding the points you have just dealt with, and then indicate that you are now going to discuss opposing views. Think of how you answer a ‘Link Question’ in close reading and work backwards.
  • Rebuttal Argument – This should be the side of the argument that you do personally agree with. Ensure that you discuss a similar number of points as in your inital argument to ensure a balanced discussion.
  • Conclusion – This should state your personal opinion on the topic, and your reason for holding it. Aim to finish stylishly. Your closing statement should be thought provoking and poignant.

Key Points

Your aim is to display a balanced presentation of ideas which should allow the reader to become suitably informed about a topic in order to form a clear opinion. In order to do this ensure you attempt to do the following:

  • Write formally – attempt to utilise a sophisticated tone via effective word choice and sentence structure.
  • Use facts – make sure your discussion is well informed and refers to valid and reliable sources
  • Use questions – the key here is to stimulate interest. Get your reader thinking.

For further reading, have a look at broadsheet newspaper articles. This is the style which you should be aiming to replicate.

 

 

Example Essays

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Here are the example essays we discussed in class:

Lockerbie Bomber

Are We Really a Nation of Animal Lovers

The End of Democracy in Europe

Whose Benefit

The detailed marking comments for the essays can be found here:

Higher Writing Commentaries