The Persuasive Essay


Using the material generated in Activity 4 of this unit and the following list of possible topics, draft a response to the arguments presented in the assigned readings in an essay of 1,000 to 1,250 words.

Your essay should be well organized, with good paragraph structure and transition; a strong, ethical,

persuasive approach; an appropriate introduction and conclusion; and lively, precise, and

grammatically correct sentences. Use a variety of rhetorical techniques, as appropriate, and use MLAstyle

documentation to cite any material that you quote, paraphrase, or summarize. Revise, edit, and

proofread as necessary.


The critiques written in Activity 4, as well as the first draft of the assignment, MUST be submitted

with the assignment.


Argue one side or the other of one of the following statements, drawing on the material from the

readings listed following and from the critiques you completed in Activity 4. Remember that your

thesis must be your own. Because your essay will be shorter than the assigned readings, you will

need to narrow your topic, zeroing in on what you believe are the most important points.

Addictions are a product of social dislocation and family stress. Readings: Addiction in Free Markets

(see linked PDF); “An Insatiable Emptiness” (page 495).

Unrealistic body images presented in the media promote physical and psychological disease among

women. Readings: “Pressures to Conform” (page 221); “Social Bodies: Tightening the Bonds of

Beauty” (page 541).

Criteria for Marking Assignment 4

The following criteria will be used in marking Assignment 4:


Clear thesis

Good persuasive organization, with subtle presentation and linking of main arguments and support

Originality and/or sophistication, expressed via specific examples and complex sentence style and


Subtle understanding and expression of ideas in assigned essay set

No basic grammar errors


Clear thesis

Reasonably good persuasive organization; no large logical errors or absence of support

Good understanding of ideas in assigned essays set, with evidence of some originality and

sophistication at the top end of the scale

Infrequent grammar errors



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