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Questions about Persuasive Essays

I need help writing a persuasive essay. The topic is gun control.

First you need to have a thesis. You must either defend gun control or oppose it. You can also take a stand for some limited form of gun control. Remember what the Second Amendment states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." You could easily argue that the intent of the framers of the Constitution was that Congress should not stop individual states from forming their own organized militias. That does not necessarily imply that anyone has the right to own and carry any type of weapon at any time.

A persuasive essay requires that you assemble a number of facts in an order to support your assertion. You should be able to research this topic fairly easily. NRA and similar groups will have lots of material available against gun control. There are also many groups lobbying for gun control. Make sure you include the arguments offered by your opponents in your essay and try to refute them.

A very general outline:

  1. Introduction: Gun control is an important issue because.... [# of people shot/criminals with guns/political implications/ right to bear arms/etc]
  2. Thesis: gun control is (good/bad) because...
  3. Facts which back up your thesis. [Compare to other countries/what do experts say/etc]
  4. Opponents say... but....[refute opponents' arguments]
  5. Therefore gun control should be (more/less) rigid. You can see a bubble sheet for brainstorming for a persuasive essay on gun control here.

The sentence below is going to be my opening sentence in my introduction, to an essay on reincarnation. Is it good enough to grip the reader?

"Reincarnation is a subject some people either reject, or think plausible."

This sentence sucks for a persuasive essay. Primarily it states an obvious fact: either people reject reincarnation or they think it is plausible. That pretty much includes everyone except for those who absolutely accept it and those who are desperately clinging to some tiny middle ground. Get off the fence! Take a stand! Here is a page about how to come up with a good thesis statement.

You have to decide which side of the argument you support. In a persuasive essay, a common tactic is to begin the introduction with evidence against the position we intend to take and then move toward a thesis statement which refutes the initial evidence following with the body of the essay which makes the case. You could start by saying "Many religions believe in reincarnantion" and then go on to cite which ones and how their beliefs include reincarnation. You could start by stating "Harry Houdini promised to send us a sign from the other side; we are still waiting." This would be good if you were coming out against reincarnation.

Question: I need some help on some more points on whether reality tv shows should got to the extremes they go to?

These shows pander to the lowest levels of human curiosity. They encourage people to make asses of themselves in public and to air their personal dirty laundry in public. Many people participate in these shows because they want their little bit of fame when in reality they are in need of serious, long term family counselling. The shows make vast amounts of money off people's suffering and do little to help people live more productive lives. They do not address real social issues such as the widening gap between the rich and poor in America today but instead use the poor against each other for the benefit of the rich. I don't know if it was a social critic from the French revolution or if it was back in the days of the Roman empire, but someone once said "We need bread not circuses!"

Question: I need help writing a persuasive essay. My topic is reality tv

I hate reality TV. I avoid it entirely on principle. But now that America has elected a reality TV President, it is important to consider how producers of reality TV manipulate the footage of participants to create drama.

See the answer above.

Click here for some other persuasive essay topics.

First you need a thesis: What do you want to say about reality TV?

Is it simply entertainment and up to the viewer to decide or do they exploit people? You can use some of the arguments above to support a thesis against reality TV or you can support reality and oppose the statements above.

Question: should schools being teaching poetry? why or why not?

First of all you need to decide your thesis: should they or shouldn't they? Having majored in literature, I come down firmly on the side that they should. Your English teacher probably agrees. But if they are fairminded, they will give you a good grade if you can come up with a persuasive argument that schools shouldn't.

Here's how I would argue for poetry. Poetry is the artistic use of language. Poets must have a more thorough knowledge of language than most people. By studying poetry, students gain a greater appreciation of language and its role in culture.

There are those who liken artists to the proverbial canaries in coal mines. Artists provide an early warning as to when society is in trouble. Artists make us uncomfortable. Hopefully artists make us think about issues that don't normally rise to the surface as we struggle individually to earn livings and live our lives on the material plane. Artists are the conscience and soul of our secular society. Religion used to play a greater role in both the public and the individual's consciousness but today we don't teach religious values in public institutions. The teaching of poetry is one way to introduce ways of thinking about issues which are greater than the immediately practical ones of earning a living.

The early development of democracy is associated with the Romantic poets who moved poetry from being a tool of the ruling classes to celebrate their own excesses to being a vehicle for appreciation of life for all. Before that, most art was sponsored by rich patrons for their own purposes. Nonetheless, art prior to the Romantics had political overtones. Pope's Rape of the Lock is a satirical verse lampooning the egocentric posturing of a rich bimbo and it was written at a time when there was very little opportunity for social criticism.

Post Modern poetry, while often byzantine and difficult to find meaning in, reflects an artist's vision of the world and provides the student with ample food for thought if taught well. The essence of democracy is that citizens must think and make decisions. The function of schools should be to encourage students to become good citizens in a democracy. By studying poetry students are encouraged to sample various world views, express new ideas and think for themselves. I think it is to be encouraged. But then again, I just like poetry.

Now for the opposing arguments. Poetry is impractical. Schools need to focus on the basics. Poetry often breaks rules of grammar, but students need to practice good grammar. Students should be learning business communication, so they can become good employees, consumers and docile non-critical thinking taxpaying citizens.

Question: I want to do a persuasive essay on hydrogen power but I can't find a topic of persuation in it, everything about it seems agreeable. Could you give an idea of how to tackle this?

When I was an anti-nuclear power activist back in the 70s we used to say "Not Clean, Not Cheap, Not Safe." So can you persuade me that hydrogen power is any or all of those things. You can write an essay which is simply persuading people to take action to go for those good things.

However, if I was Joe Chevron and you were proposing hydrogen power I would have some objections because it is in my interest to continue to sell gasoline. So you have to imagine what objections I might have. Here are some:

Question: I need help on my essay, it is about this :
Should animals be used for medical resource?
or is the price of fame to high?

The topic "Should animals be used for medical research" is a good topic for a persuasive essay because arguments can be made for either side. Personally, I have been on both sides of the issue at different points in my life and these days I am not sure where I stand.

The curious thing I see about your topic is that it asks "Is the price of fame too high." I guess this refers to the fame that a researcher might get from discovering a cure for some disease. Usually the issue juxtaposed with the animal suffering is the benefits to suffering people. In any case it comes down to the question of how much right do we have as humans to impose suffering on animals for our own benefit.

You should be able to use the internet to locate websites providing arguments on both sides of this issue. In particular search for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for arguments against using animals in research (also called vivisection.) I believe they would argue that computer models and tissue cultures can provide means to test drugs and other products without suffering. They would also cite cases where different biochemical pathways result in different toxicity in different species. This means you can't tell what is going to happen in a human by what happens in a guinea pig.

Proponents of animal research might use the biblical argument that God gave us dominion over the animals to use for our needs. I can't see very many scientists using this argument, however, as it conflicts with their basic belief system in terms of understanding the world.

I think the basic argument in favor of using animals in research is based on the fact that we already use animals for many purposes. Some of us keep pets and our dogs bark at strangers and our cats catch mice. People ride horses. Others eat dairy products. Some eat meat. We all benefit from the research which was done in the past involving animals. We use vaccines for polio, smallpox and measles. We go for surgery. We take drugs to cure ailments. Can one say it's OK for me to benefit from the past animal experimentation but deny others the benefit if further research might cure other conditions? Where does one draw the line for the use of animals?

You might be able to find some arguments justifying the use of animals in research by looking at the websites of drug manufacturers, or university medical research departments.

Question: Why high school teens should be allowed to date.

So you have your thesis: High School teens should be allowed to date. (As opposed to: they should not be allowed to date.)

What evidence are you going to cite in support?

Teens who date while living with their parents have a chance to practice some dating behaviors while they can still be corrected by their parents if they start to make mistakes.

Dating does not mean having sex. Dating could mean double dates. Dating could mean loosely supervised activities. Dating is a means for individuals to explore their feelings for other individuals without getting into deep levels of intimacy.

Preventing teens from dating can make all those activities more tempting and when they finally get the freedom to go out they might go overboard and not have anyone to help them to put on the brakes.

You can look to social service agencies or parenting support groups for more information on the pros and cons so you can incorporate them into your arguments.