Essay on Essay

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Lecture Notes - Essay Writing II PERSUASIVE ESSAYS - essays in which you argue your own position on a subject, trying to persuade readers to agree with you (Stewart 142) - you may be writing for a hostile, neutral, or friendly audience STANDARDS OF EVALUATION (a) aesthetic standard: “the study of beauty” (143); does something please the senses, is it well performed, is it a good example of its kind?; main criteria are coherence and comparison (i.e., “with others of its kind”) (b) practical standard: “feasibility and usefulness”; will something work, will it be useful, does it have a relevant application?; main criteria are social situation and context/purpose of application (144) (c) ethical standard: “moral, ideological, or religious values”; is something right or wrong, is this a position worth believing in, is this a course of action worth following?; main criteria are principles/values - keep in mind that more than one standard of evaluation can be used in a persuasive paper PRO-CON STRUCTURE - pro and con are Latin words meaning “for” and “against” (151); side you decide is stron- ger becomes pro argument; weaker side becomes con argument - pro-con structure requires that arguments against your case presented first; then argu- ments for your case follow - idea here is that readers hostile to your case or predisposed towards a specific argu- ment see their ways taken seriously before you develop your position (i.e., that they are gradually drawn into the paper) - two ways of organizing a pro-con style (persuasive) paper: (a) deal with all con arguments first: then devote rest of essay to pro arguments; mostly effective when your arguments very strong (b) answer arguments against your position point-by-point through entire essay: more effective if readers hostile or if strong arguments on both sides - watch your transitions (i.e., shifts from idea

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