Definition: A persuasive paragraph uses details, arguments, appeals and examples to convince the reader about a certain point.
Purpose: To sway the reader to agree with the writer.
Practical Uses: You may want to persuade your boss that you deserve a promotion. You may want to convince your neighbors to vote in the local election.
Model Persuasion Paragraph
Benefits of an On-line Class
College students should take at least one on-line class. First, students can save time by taking a class on-line. Instead of taking the bus or driving a car and parking, students can walk to their computer. This may save some students ten minutes, but can save other students more than an hour. Also, on-line classes are more flexible. Though students still have to do the work, parents and students with family commitments can schedule their class time around the needs of their children or family members. Students who have part-time or full-time jobs can complete the class work anytime of the day or night. In addition, if students are comfortable working with computers, learning on-line can be more efficient and interesting. Students can jump quickly to the internet to have a point explained. Some instructors tie power point presentations and video links into their on-line lectures. Though some students may miss the face to face learning of a traditional class, on-line classes can address that concern. For example, instructors can require on-line introductions so that students meet each other and even see photos or avatars of their classmates. Also, instructors can use on-line discussion boards so that students can share their ideas. For all these reasons, students should try an on-line class.
Written by Professor Annick—El Camino College
Key Elements to a Persuasive Paragraph
While the paragraph structure of a persuasive paragraph does not change from the basic paragraph structure, there are some key elements to consider when you write your paragraph.
- Persuasive paragraphs can be organized in a variety of ways.
- logical order
- from least important to most important
- from general to specific
- There are many transition words to choose from. The table below lists some.
|To Continue a Line of Reasoning
in the same way
the most important . . .
pursing this further
|To Change the Direction of Reasoning
on the other hand
Exercise 1: Use the model paragraph to answer the following questions:
- List four reasons a student should take an on-line course.
- In what ways is an on-line class more flexible?
- Identify three transition words or phrases.
- Now that you’ve read this paragraph, would you consider taking an on-line class?
- Create an alternative title for the paragraph.
Exercise 2. Writing the Persuasive Paragraph
For the remainder of the chapter, use one of the paragraph topics below or one given to you by your instructor.
Persuade for or against
Requiring school uniforms in high school
Changing the drinking age
Banning junk food in schools
Supporting a controversial issue in the news
Contributing money to a specific cause
Volunteering at a specific non-profit organization
Outlawing automatic weapons
You are trying to sway your reader to see your point as valid. Consequently, avoid using biased language that might turn the reader against you.
Step One: Prewrite on a separate paper and then complete the outline form below.
TIP: Remember your supporting sentences should add a new point that will prove your topic sentence.
Topic Sentence: _________________________________________
Supporting Sentence #1: __________________________________
Supporting Sentence #2: ___________________________________
Supporting Sentence #3:_____________________________________
Supporting Sentence 4: (if used) ______________________________
Specific examples/proof/details: _______________________________
Concluding Sentence: ________________________________________
Step Two: Write the paragraph.
Step Three: Edit and revise the paragraph for content using the checklist as a guide.
I have given my paragraph a creative title.
My topic sentence has a clear subject and a clear overall impression.
I have several supporting sentences that support my topic sentence.
I have multiple examples for each supporting sentence.
All of my sentences relate directly to the topic sentence.
My paragraph is organized in a logical manner.
I have used transition words at the beginning of each supporting sentence.
I have a conclusion that sums up my paragraph.
Step Four: Proofread. Proofreading is checking your work for mechanical and grammatical errors.
I have used the spell and grammar check feature on my computer.
I have also checked for spelling and grammar errors on my own.
I have spelled out words rather than abbreviated them.
I have made sure my subjects and verbs agree in number.
I have corrected any commonly confused words (their/there/they’re).
I have checked for run-ons, comma-splices, and fragments.
I have checked for proper capitalization.
I have checked for other punctuation errors.
I have followed a format.
This paragraph represents my best writing.