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Persuasive Essay

You are working on the rough draft of your paper this week.  Your book guides you through the creation of a rough draft with an exercise.  Your paper should be set up as a paper, however, and not as answers to those questions provided in your book.  In other words, your paper should be submitted and be formatted as any formal paper.  It should have required APA formatting, an introduction with your thesis statement, body paragraphs, an acknowledgement of the counterargument, and a conclusion paragraph.  Additionally, it should have fully formatted in text citation and a works cited/references page.  Your final paper is required to be 5-7 pages, so I would try and get as close to that 5 page minimum as you can.  The more work you put into your paper this week, the more comments I can make for its improvement before the final draft.  I look forward to reading them! 

I also thought this would be a good time to discuss how to make sure your paper is cohesive from start to finish. 

Papers have two levels of unity: External and Internal

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External unity is when all your paragraphs relate back to your thesis statement.  This basically demonstrates that you have stayed on topic throughout your entire paper.  Every paragraph should relate back to your overall argument….Example Thesis: Common Core Standards in primary education are a deterrent to student learning because they encourage rote memorization, discourage creativity and kinesthetic lessons, and because they reduce student achievement to scores on standardized tests

My body paragraphs would all then relate back to proving my statement.  I would want each paragraph to demonstrate how common core standards do each of those things asserted. 

Internal Unity is when all the sentences in a paragraph relate back to that paragraph’s own topic sentence. 

A topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph which states what that paragraph will be about.  I like to think of paragraphs as having the same basic structure as a paper as a whole.

They should look like this:

Topic Sentence

Supporting Sentences

Conclusion/Transition Sentence that rounds up that paragraph and leads to the next. 

This is very similar to the overall structure of a paper:

Thesis statement/introduction

Supporting Body Paragraphs

Conclusion Paragraph

I even like to call the topic sentence the “baby thesis statement.”

To check for internal paragraph unity, read each paragraph on its own, isolated from the rest of the paper.  Do each of the sentences in the paragraph relate to the main idea of that paragraph?  If not, revise/remove. 

Here is a link to an external website that has some topic sentence practice/description.

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