Persuasive Essay: The student will write a 5-7 page persuasive essay that demonstrates the ability to do the following: 1. Organize and support a valid argument 2. Define essential terms 3. Support and qualify all generalizations 4. Answer probable objections without resorting to distortion. (5-7 sites and at least 3 educational sites)
The purpose of this essay is to develop an original argument about a literary work (short story, group of poems, or play from our reading list or from a primary source approved by the instructor) that can successfully persuade the reader towards a less than obvious thesis that requires persuasion. It is presumed that the argument is not one discussed in class and is not simply a plot summary, but a less than obvious take on a character or some aspect of the literary technique. The goal is to persuade the reader that the thesis has been proven. For example, it’s possible to persuade that: Although he is arguably a criminal and an arsonist, Abner Snopes possesses characteristics of the tragic hero. You will want to locate literary criticism that both supports and contradicts your thesis.
MLA Source Citation: This assignment requires at least one primary source and secondary sources from literary critics to be cited in MLA style.
MLA Quotation Citations: This assignment requires use of both primary and secondary quotations to be cited in MLA style.
Follow the formal, academic format described in the Format for Literary Analysis document listed first on the Assignments page. The primary source of the Persuasive Essay cannot be the same as the primary source discussed in the Critical Analysis Essay, nor can it be a topic discussed as an example.
Websites can be helpful, but they should not be the only source of information. Never refer to Wikipedia or other rudimentary sources, such as sparknotes or Cliff’s Notes. We must support our essays with scholarly sources that specifically address the primary source.