Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sample Persuasive Essays

Here are a series of sample persuasive essays that may provide useful models for your work in ENG101. Both of these samples are taken from Randy Rambo's excellent ENG1001 web site.

1. John J. Hinklemeyer, "The Failure of Abstinence-Only Programs." Hinklemeyer's essay is a persuasive argument that uses independent research to argue that abstinence-only sex education classes have left American students poorly informed about sex and vulnerable to teen pregnancy and disease. As the instructor notes, this is not a perfect essay, but it does provide an excellent model. Note the strong thesis, complex organization, and the expert handling of quotations.

2. Jamie Fast, "The End of an Illusion." Fast's essay argues for a specific interpretation of Jane Mansfield's short story "Miss Brill." Note the strong thesis and complex organization of the essay; note too that Fast's paragraphs take large claims and break them down into smaller units, which makes this a good model for paragraph development as well. You can click on the bracketed numbers in the piece to read her professor's comments on why this is a strong essay.

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