“Big City/Small Town” Persuasive Essay Debrief English II 2015 “Give Me Death!” Have your Patrick Henry packet ready on your desk when the tardy bell rings. Don’t: Weak Hooks • If you cannot think of a clever, interesting, or thoughtprovoking way to open your argument, skip the hook and begin with your thesis statement. • Do not do this: • “Have you ever wondered if it’s better to live in a big city or small town?” • “The benefits of living in a large city outweigh the benefits of living a small town.” • “Big cities versus small towns has always been a controversial topic.” • “Some people think that it would be better to live in a large city while others would prefer to live in a small town.” Do: Strong Hooks • “Who wants to wake to the sound of car horns, jackhammers, and all the sounds of a bustling city that never truly sleeps?” • “Have you ever gone on a road trip and you're driving through a noisy, busy city and then, BAM! You reach a quiet landscape surrounded by quaint houses, and it seems so peaceful?” • “Let’s face it. What’s life without a little excitement? Boring. That’s why living in a big city is great.” • “Do you hear that? That’s the sound of magnificent opportunities awaiting your arrival in the big city.” • “The concrete jungle where dreams are made of; there’s nothing you can’t do. Living in a big city is more desirable than living in a small town due to the endless opportunities and the exciting vibe.” Don’t: Neutral Thesis • “City life is great, but then again, the charm of a small town is also appealing. • “Some people prefer a large city while others are drawn to a small town. • “Big cities and small towns both have their pros and cons.” • “People like to live in small towns and big cities; it just depends on the person’s life style; living in either one has its own perks.” Do: Opinionated Thesis • “Living in a small town is better than living in a big city because it is much more calm and quiet, and it is an ideal place to raise a family.” • “It is far better to live in small town where people can take a break to smell the roses and make connections with the people around them.” • “It’s better to live in a big city because there is more diversity and a person can enjoy endless experiences without having to go far from home.” • “Large cities thrive with opportunities that vary from jobs to fun events to enjoy on the weekend, making the city a wiser place to live.” Don’t: Make BIG Sweeping Claims • Note to all – “Small town” does not necessarily mean rural, “in the middle of nowhereville,” living. • “People who live in small towns aren’t locked in their houses . . . they are always outside enjoying nature.” • “Due to living in the city, there are less homeless people.” • “In big cities people only care about where they're going and give no thought to others they deem beneath them.” Do: Make Reasonable Claims • “Diversity. It’s good. A big city comes with a big population, but that’s not always a bad thing. Different cultures and people bring great exposure to kids. . .” • “More job opportunities is the reason why hundreds of families pick up and move from small, secluded suburbs and head to large urban cities.” Do: Make a Brief Concession If you choose to make a concession, it must be brief, and then get right into your counter-argument. • “Of course, living in a big city can offer a chance to meet new people, but when those people turn into thousands, and even millions, life can get pretty overwhelming. Living in a small town eliminates the claustrophobic feeling of not being able to breathe among a mass of people.” Don’t: Neutral Tone Some essays read too neutral, too informational, too expository. Do: Persuasive Tone Do have voice and personality, and, most importantly, TONE! Don’t: Word Choice Every word matters. When you don’t consider your word choice, you end up using words like these: • • • • • • • Things Stuff A lot Kinda, kind of, sort of Gonna Always Never • • • • • • Many Anything Very Everything Everyone You, Your, You’re Miscellaneous Dos Plan and prewrite your essay! Indent 1” every time you begin a new paragraph. Have a concession if you can counter-argue it. Develop an appropriate TONE using carefully chosen words and phrases. • Transition from idea to idea by using transition words and phrases. • Explain your reasons and evidence with convincing commentary. YOU already agree with YOU. Now it’s your job to make others agree with you. • Carefully plan your final statement, just as you did your hook. Close with something compelling, convincing, clever, captivating . . . • • • • Miscellaneous Don’ts • Don’t begin writing on the 26 line page until you PLAN and OUTLINE your essay. • Don’t be expository. • Don’t neglect structure – paragraphs. • Don’t make lists. Pick your strongest reasons and develop them with specific examples. • Don’t have fewer than 200 words. Your target is 225 to 250. Miscellaneous Don’ts You only have 26 lines. To create a truly convincing argument, you need to use them – all of them. Do not leave more than 2 lines blank. Miscellaneous Don’ts Write all the way to the edges, except for the four times you indent. Don’t leave all of this space blank.