Prewrite

Make your case

You've gathered all the facts, now it's time to list the arguments both for and against your issue and begin planning the structure of your writing.

List the Arguments

It's impossible to persuade someone to believe your viewpoint without also considering the viewpoint of those who may disagree with you. Review your research and create a list of arguments for and arguments against your issue. Brainstorm as many examples as possible. Ultimately you will be choosing the three best arguments to include in the writing.

Plan Your Structure

Your paper will need to contain the following elements.

  • Opening/Introduction: In this area you will introduce your readers to the topic and give a little background information. It works well to state your topic in the form of a question—Is the Iditarod an example of cruelty to animals sporting event? Be sure to state your position on the issue within the last sentence of the paragraph. In the opening, you want to pull the reader in and give them a reason to keep reading.
  • Body: The body of your essay should contain at least three paragraphs. Each paragraph must state a different viewpoint on your topic, examine the opposition to that viewpoint and provide a defense of that viewpoint. Many of the best examples of persuasive writing save the most compelling viewpoint for third body paragraph leaving the reader with the strongest point before closing. The defense must be supported with evidence documented through your research. Don't forget the reason for examining an opposing viewpoint—you're trying to prove, through the use of factual information, why your opinion is better.

    Within each paragraph you need to be sure to use powerful transitional words and phrases as you compare each point. Click here to go back to the mini-lesson on transitional words and phrases.

  • Closing/Conclusion: The conclusion should always restate the issue and then quickly tie in the three viewpoints examined in the body paragraphs. You should never introduce new information in the closing. Simply summarize the arguments and then close with a powerful statement relating to your originally stated issue.


Print Arguments For and Against worksheet


Print Planning worksheet