Persuasive Essay Excerpts

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As much as outlining your ideas before writing an essay might seem like too much additional work, it's well worth your time to do it for two major reasons.

First, sketching out an outline will help you identify and organize your best, most convincing points in support of your argument.

But if you write a persuasive essay without using several reputable, credible sources to back up your assertions, no matter how good your ideas are, you're essentially saying 'Because I said so! In this lesson, we'll review how to put together a persuasive essay by pulling from a number of sources to back up your assertions.

Once you have your persuasive essay topic, your first job is to determine what sources you'll use for your paper.

Remember, though, that while your ideas are the stars of your essay, you do need to back your essays up with good, credible research. Without supporting your key points with information from your sources, you would just be trying to persuade your readers by telling them that your ideas are the right ones just because you said so.

Just remember to strike the right balance between using your sources to support your points without depending on them too much and just pasting them all over the place instead of presenting your own ideas. How do you use your sources enough but not too much?As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.If you find any paragraphs that consist entirely or almost entirely of material from your sources, consider that a red flag for revision.The start and end of each body paragraph should always consist of your words and ideas.When you're writing a persuasive paper - or any paper, really - your good ideas should be the stars of the show.The information from your sources should play supporting roles to help build your credibility by providing data, facts, and credible opinions that bolster your ideas.And your words and ideas should also run throughout each body paragraph, where you'll be making your major persuasive points, with ideas (and occasionally words) from your sources used as support.For example, if you're writing a persuasive essay arguing that the government should institute higher taxes on unhealthy junk food, you should have a few major points that make that case, and hopefully you should have those points organized in an outline.On your second pass through the excerpts, you can scribble notes to yourself about the key points in each source. For example, if you're writing a timed persuasive essay on the topic of whether the government should place high taxes on unhealthy junk foods and you've been presented with a few short excerpts expressing differing opinions on the issue, you might jot down simple notes about what the author of each source is saying, such as 'PRO: Because people would be less likely to eat unhealthy foods.Better for society;' Or 'ANTI: Because government shouldn't interfere with personal choices about what people eat.' It's okay to jot down simple ideas and .

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