Persuasion Points

Report
Persuasion
Points
Elements of
Persuasive Writing
Claims and Premises
 Claim
– the core of an argument; a
statement of the opinion that the writer
supports with reasoning and evidence
 Premise
– a reason that supports the
validity of a claim.
 Thesis
– a one-sentence statement of the
writer’s argument containing a claim and
at least one premise.
Thesis Importance
 The
thesis is the most important sentence in the
essay. It is the main point of the essay boiled
down into one sentence.
 There is nothing new about the thesis. Even the
ancient Greeks knew that any successful
argument needed to appeal to the reader
through logic and reason. Logic means that
the idea conveyed is expected. Reason is
sound judgment or good sense. Combined
these can have a profound impact on your
ability to convince the reader to embrace the
same opinion as you.
An illustration…duct tape
Reasons that duct tape is the most ingenious
and versatile tool ever invented.



It’s vital to national security. It was first used by the US
Army to create a watertight seal on ammunition boxes.
It’s out of this world. NASA astronauts carry duct tape on
moon missions. It played a part in saving the Apollo 13
mission, and it was used to repair a fender on the lunar
rover on the Apollo 17 mission.
It’s a fashion statement. Entire wardrobes have been
created with duct tape: pants, belts, purses, wallets,
hats, visors, ties and even prom dresses.
 It
is a medical miracle. One medical study
reported that duct tape was useful in the
treatment of warts, and it can be used for first
aid as a temporary suture to close up a
wound.
 It’s kind to animals. Hunters sometimes tape it
to the bottom of a hunting dog’s feet where
the terrain is rough and full of burrs. Bee
keepers use it to seal their bee hives when
transporting hives.
Breaking it down…
 While
this may be a the most humorous
attempt, it does illustrate a logical structure.
 First, it provides the reader with a claim. “Duct
tape is the most ingenious and versatile tool
ever invented.”
The claim is then followed with five clear
premises (reasons) that support the claim.
Format
A
complete thesis must contain a claim and
at least one premise.
 These two components will provide the
writer with a clear plan of how to organize
the essay.
 A clear thesis will provide the reader with a
sneak preview of where the essay is going.
Planning the thesis:
 Claim:
Duct tape is the most ingenious
and versatile toll ever invented.
 Premise
1: It’s vital to national security.
 Premise 2: It’s a medical miracle.
 Premise 3: It’s a fashion statement.
A clear thesis…
 Duct
tape is the most ingenious and
versatile tool ever invented because it’s
vital to national security, it’s a medical
miracle, and it’s a fashion statement.
Remember two keys steps:


State what your claim is (the “what”).
Tell why your claim is valid (the “why”).
Another example…
Imagine you are trying to persuade your
parents to extend your curfew. You would
begin by stating your claim.
 My
curfew should be extended by an hour.
The next step would be to tell your parents
why your claim is valid.
The next step would be to tell your parents
why your claim is valid.
I
have never violated my curfew.
 I have never acted irresponsibly while out
at night.
 I have always called home to inform you of
any changes in my evening plans.
Thesis statement:
My curfew should be extended by one hour
because I have never violated my curfew, I
have never acted irresponsibly while out at
night, and I have always called home to
inform you of any changes in my evening
plans.
Armed with a solid thesis, you have a
foundation for your essay. As the writer you
know where you are going. As the reader,
you have a clear idea of the road ahead.
Once the thesis is established, you are
prepared to put the flesh on the bones of
your argument.
Your turn…
1.
2.
3.
Select one of the following questions.
Brainstorm at least 6-8 possible answers.
Construct a thesis that contains a claim and at
least three supporting premises
(reasons/assertions).
 Who
is the most influential living person?
 How have computers impacted our society?
 What is a product you would endorse?
 What is a key quality to success in today’s
world?

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