WHAT IS PERSUASIVE WRITING? In persuasive writing, the writer attempts to convince the reader to agree with a particular point of view, to make a particular decision, or to pursue a particular course of action. THE ASSIGNMENT Your task is to select a topic that is open to debate and write an essay that argues a clear and specific position on that issue. The topic must be focused enough and narrow enough to be addressed adequately in a short essay, and you should be able to express it as a question that can be answered with either “yes” or “no.” You also must determine a target audience. In the essay you will need to support your position with carefully selected reasons and evidence. Keeping your audience in mind, you will need to define important terms and provide background information about your issue. Somewhere in your essay you must acknowledge and address opposing arguments. It is up to you to decide the most logical and effective way to organize your essay, but it must include the six elements of a classical argument: an introduction, a thesis statement, background information, reasons and evidence, opposing views, and a conclusion.