English 2 Spring 2008
PERSUASIVE WRITING

Essay 1: 3 pages double spaced typed (750-1000 words)
Final Due W March 5—bring drafts & notes!
Down Draft Due W. 2/27, Up Draft Due M. 3/3
Picture the car you hope to own in three years.  Think of that place where you wish you could spend vacation.  What’s the name of that movie you can’t wait to see?  While these choices stem largely from your natural personality and tendencies, it’s a safe bet that some sort of  persuasion and  likely the media has played a role.  Car ads.  Travel brochures.  Movie clips. Recommendations from friends. These powerful forms of persuasion penetrate your mind and your wallet.  But why don’t those Swiffer Wet Jet commercials inspire you to beg your housemates to buy them so you can clean the toilet?  Why aren’t (most of!) your teachers excited to see what’s new at the Skate Shop?

Target audience.  In order to be persuasive, you must gear your argument toward the anticipated audience.  It’s exactly how advertisers rope you in.  Ads that persuade you to purchase products use different language, emphasis and style than those that aim to persuade your grandparents.  The average yearly salary of a market analyst – a person hired by advertising companies to study what sells to certain groups of people – is about $60,000.

To further your awareness of targeting audiences, you (along with your peer group) created an ad campaign for an environmental problem. Your next assignment  asks you to write a 3 page double spaced typed persuasive essay (or other form of persuasive writing) to convince your target argument to do something about a specific environmental problem. I encourage you to write to the audience you know best, but here are some other specific target audiences:
Couch potatoes            Grandparents            Teachers
Business people            Pet owners            Firefighters
Professional Athletes        Musicians            Teenagers
Hospital patients            Artists                Government officials
Mothers to-be            Preschoolers            Professional chefs
College students            Avid readers            Sailors
Health nuts            Bikers                Actors

Your topic can be the same one as for your ad campaign or it can be a different topic, but it must be a specific environmental problem which has come up in class with a specific solution; preferably one or more of the readings will be used, and possibly one of your “posts” will serve as a draft. Persuade your audience by using both personal experience and quotes from class readings or other research. All claims must be supported with evidence. I encourage you to bring a draft to a writing tutor for feedback.

What is your topic or the problem you hope to address?

What do you think will work as a solution?

What personal experiences can you use to develop your essay and support your claims?

Which texts might help you develop your essay and provide evidence for your claims?

Who is your audience? (Who do you want to convince to take what action about which problem?)