|Mom and Lori|
So I am back to the persuasive essay subject.
My main idea that I promote strongly in all my classes proposes that MOST (though not all) persuasive subjects can be framed in a problem-solution format.
In thinking about a persuasive essay subject, a writer should ask herself: "what's the problem here" and then "what solution[s] can I argue that would solve the problem?"
Once a problem and a solution have been brainstormed, a writer can construct a thesis using what I call the "BECAUSE-SHOULD FORM."
My formula called BECAUSE-SHOULD thesis method sets up a subordinated sentence in which the
"BECAUSE part" expresses/describes the problem, and then the "SHOULD part" describes and ARGUES FOR the solution.
So, for instance, let's take GLOBAL WARMING as a subject.
Scientists have proven the existence and very real threat of global warming with, well, you know, SCIENCE, and so the problem is well defined, though some readers may need convincing that the problem is real and it exists as there is counter information, disinformation, being disseminated that global warming is some liberal conspiracy or red herring distraction.
Here's two versions of a BECAUSE-SHOULD thesis in GLOBAL WARMING:
SAMPLE BECAUSE SHOULD THESIS: Because global warming is a planet threatening problem caused by excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, world governments should band together and create a network of CO2 filter systems that extract the substance from the atmosphere and bring it to tolerable levels.
World governments should band together and create a network of CO2 filter systems that extract the substance from the atmosphere and bring it to tolerable levels because global warming is a planet threatening problem caused by excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The essay that follows uses the following source:
In classes that allow students to choose their own subjects, I often have students ask me for a subject to write about because they cannot think of a subject. I share this article from Scientific American and the basics of the thesis, which basically hands the paper to them, ready to write, with a core source to anchor the solution. No one has written the essay in seven years of sharing the idea.
Students don't REALLY mean that they want a suggestion, any suggestion. What a student wants is for me to look inside his soul and find the subject lurking there that he has been unable to think of but will know its perfect for him when he hears me say it.
I don't have that super power in person let alone across the Internet.
And so I keep recommending my global warming subject and another one on how the worst mistake in human history is agriculture, but that's a story for another time.
QUICK NOTE ON THE USE OF THE WORDS "SUBJECT" AND "TOPIC": I have become picky about the use of these words. Since we use the word "topic" for "topic sentences," which represent sub-topics of an essay, then the word is best reserved for that purpose. Thus, the word "subject" makes more sense as a global subject, a catch all for the sub-topics. Please join me in this sensible usage.
Here are the links to the previous seven installments of this feature.
How to Write a Persuasive Essay Part One
How to Write a Persuasive Essay Part Two
How to Write a Persuasive Essay Part Three
How to Write a Persuasive Essay Part Four
How to Write a Persuasive Essay Part Five
How to Write a Persuasive Essay Part Six
What follows are brainstorming plans, partial outlines, and notes of various kinds with some example thesis statements but also a great deal of lists of objections or sub-topics and matching topic sentences. Enjoy!
A sample on marriagePAPER SUBJECT: Causes of divorce
PROBLEM: Marriages going bad that end in divorce
- problems in the marriage that lead to divorce
SOLUTION: Understanding causes: working to improve partnership: communication
problem + solution = thesis
NON-BECAUSE-SHOULD THESIS: By understanding the common causes of divorce, many couples can avoid losing their marriage and instead transform it into a happy and healthy partnership.
TOPIC SENTENCE: Proper communication can solve the major problems in most marriages.
- - people do not communicate well
- - people do not voice their expectations or often they do not even know what these expectations are until they say them out loud
- - people often say things in anger that they don't mean and then can't take back
- - common interests
- - common philosophies on money
- - common religion
- - similar views on how to raise children
- - allowing each other to have separate interests
A sample with gunsSUBJECT: more gun control or less gun control or more specifically: change the concealed weapons permit law
PROBLEM: LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF GUNS
- Rampant crime; innocent people killed in shootings
- shooting sprees - mass shootings
- Connecticut elementary - Sandy Hook Dec. 2012
- Movie theatre in Colorado showing of the Dark Knight - July 2012
- Charleston church and Lafayette movie theater - June 2015
- Uber driver in Kalamazoo in Feb of 2016
- Orlando nightclub shooting June 12, 2016
SOLUTION: Change to concealed weapons permit law
fewer restrictions on CW permits
ANTI-GUN CONTROL PAPER - TOPICS TO INVESTIGATE
1. Constitutional right to own guns
1.5: Massacres - Sandy Hook & Colorado
2. Who commits gun crime? not responsible gun owners
* Only 2% of all gun crimes in the US in the last five years were committed by people with permits to carry concealed weapons.
** = http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/concealed-carry/
"Fact: Crime rates involving gun owners with carry licenses have consistently been about 0.02% of all carry permit holders since Florida’s right-to-carry law started in 1988." - Florida Department of Justice, 1998
- - people who want gun control
- - lawmakers
- - Your audience is PEOPLE WITH THE POWER to put your solution in action and/or people who need convincing to act on your solution or whom your solution will affect
- - safety - who gets licensed?
- - types of guns?
- - too many guns already
- - changes to CW law will not reduce crime
- - innocent people could still get caught in crossfire
- - There will always be black market guns
A sample on office politicsDEVELOPING THE PAPER
PROBLEM: OFFICE POLITICS
SOLUTION: INTERPERSONAL TRAININGS
THESIS: Because office politics can damage employee morale, destroy productivity, and even ruin a company's reputation, companies should provide human resource programs and interpersonal communications training twice a year.
1. About office politics (what is it?) (might define this in introduction)
TOPIC SENTENCE: Understanding the definition of office politics will help to eliminate it.
2. How office politics destroys employee morale
TOPIC SENTENCE: Office politics has a direct effect on on employee, which affects many other aspects of the workplace.
3. How office politics can destroy productivity
TOPIC SENTENCE: What would the next topic sentence be?
4. How office politics can ruin a company’s reputation
TOPIC SENTENCE: Why should I do all the work here?
5. Why companies should provide human resource programs and interpersonal communications training twice a year
6. What are these human resource programs and interpersonal communications trainings
NEVER FEAR, TRUE BELIEVERS!!© All text and some of the images are the exclusive copyright of christopher tower (who purposefully avoids capitalizing his name), also known as the galactic monkey wrench, located at the Eldorado Ranch and batcave in the heart of the Great Lakes. All rights reserved. All paronomasia intentional.
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
I miss you so very much, Mom.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 646 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.11 - 10:10
NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.