Sela Pothuizen May 23, 2020 Persuasive
While social media makes it easier than ever for us to spout our opinions, posting a firmly worded Tweet is not really the same as building a cohesive, successful, and convincing argument. With that in mind, we offer a few quick tips that will set you on the right path.
Draw up a thesis statement–sometimes called a proposition, a statement of what you propose to prove in your writing–and list your reasons underneath it. Beneath each reason, list the facts, figures, examples, or quotations that help support it.
As you write, define any key terms that you feel your audience will not understand, and use examples to illustrate your main points. Statistics can be good attention grabbers, particularly in the introduction, but use them sparingly and round off numbers. Use visual images such as metaphors and analogies to compare one thing to another as much as possible. Use your strongest arguments first and last–people are more likely to remember those points placed at the beginning and end of your paper.
Before that thesis statement, you should “hook” the reader. You may do that with a fact related to your topic, an anecdote, a quote, or even a definition. Think of something that would keep the reader interested in your paper. A solid introduction will seamlessly flow towards the body paragraphs, which will prove the thesis statement with strong arguments.
Opinions are not arguments. However, arguments stem from opinions. That`s why we construct arguments in the first place, because we have opinions. The key is that you must support your argument, with the aforementioned research, logic, and organization. Don`t be content to just state a point and expect it to win your audience over wholeheartedly. Present your argument, support it with strong evidence, analyze that evidence, and continually develop a sense of why, what, and how all of it together makes your stance the correct one.
It`s also best when your evidence comes from multiple forms of reputable sourcing, so aim for a mix of peer-reviewed academic studies, ethical news media, historical examples, and expert opinions. Don`t rely on unfounded assumptions and don`t fudge data in favor of your argument. Tell it like it is. Get to know your school library. Better yet, get to know your research librarians, as they can be immensely helpful.