college english essay examples

college english essay examples

The Power of Persuasion in College English Essays

1. Introduction

The possible reason may be that they lack persuasive writing skills. English writing is a process of transforming subjective feeling and ideas into language expressing one’s true self through language. It is not merely describing an object or expressing the author’s mood without taking care of convincing the readers, or even only to describe what they have. The writing itself originated from personal feeling and reason. Thus, the persuasive essay skill is shown in this aspect. This talent is not independent, but is derived from certain cultivation. According to research of Educational, a good persuasive article is based on the down-to-earth accumulation, and its essence is the accumulation of knowledge and language skills. Rich knowledge and strong language ability provide enough support and materials for a good argument. A good essay should combine arguments with some knowledge of humanities, natural science, social science or similar aspects. The use of an analogy, reasoning, or cause and effect is good skills. In short, a persuasive essay can’t survive without elaborate accumulation. Especially today, as college students are lack of practice of writing, going on the internet to cut and paste but disdaining writing, which forces teachers to train and cultivate the students’ language ability, promote their thinking ability and cultivate their persuasive and contemplative skills. Therefore, it is necessary and meaningful to study the persuasive writing skills of argumentative essays.

At the dawn of this 21st century, many university teachers, especially English teachers, witness a striking phenomenon. They find it short of effectiveness. In the past, we always emphasized on students’ competence to apply grammar, writing tips, and their wide knowledge. Judging from the composition assignments composed by Chinese college students, their command of grammar, the use of transition words is at a normal level. However, problems still exist, usually big problem and mainly at the level functions, such as topic writing. Poor ideas and shallow content are the general characteristics of the students’ compositions, which lack in-depth thinking. Many students’ articles are similar; the words and sentences seem similar; they are often your English words and Chinese logic. It seems as if they write in accordance with this mode. They develop “one size fits all” structure, that is, they adhere to the pattern at the expense of thinking independently. They are reluctant to think hard.

2. Importance of Clear Thesis Statements

Students were indeed required to interpret their own moves in their essays based on the Toulman model of argumentation to amplify their development of clear thesis statements. They, all English 102 students, in fact viewed their essays as pieces of narrative fiction with each paragraph acting as a voice that they would entertain in a round robin. To avoid the “KISS” or the “Kisses” (the “keep it simple” syllabus), an idea given is “introduction” to the Structures of (Argument) assignments. The idea is to mix the structures to illustrate that their papers are not “organized straightjackets” punctuated with a thesis statement at the end of an extended introduction paragraph. The structure as a supporting paragraph must introduce, develop, and voice a thought conclusive of that single thought. Rhetorical construction of each paragraph was the trick.

In college freshmen English courses (English 102), typical of any freshman class no matter the institution, over 80% of students rated themselves as proficient or experienced writers capable of accomplishing what would be required of them as college students in English 102. Their proficiency was based on the use of social-networking sites and short dialogues or “status updates,” written papers that were under 500 words. Now they were faced with writing full-length essays that could vary from 2,000 to 3,500 words, within the 16-week term. The students nicely anticipated the first three sections of the course: reading, drafting, revising, and turning in four 1,000-word papers. How hard could those papers be? From English 101, they knew how well they could write. Then came that fifth paper, assigned during midterm exam week, they thought, “who is this Toulman character? What do I say and do with a ‘Rogerian’ and a ‘classical’ model for argumentation?” In all honesty, “I have no clue” . I guess this is the assignment for Section III – B, 2-Analyzing the Persuasive Moves of a Text [Required Supplement] . Toulman’s Terms and Concepts of Logic.

3. Utilizing Persuasive Language Techniques

Unfortunately, college essays and particularly possible future professions are stunted by an avoidance of persuasive techniques in essays. While “autobiographical narratives” and “opinionated pieces” are important, they must progress and evolve into techniques that will be utilized in a “real world” setting from “unique” voices. Utilizing persuasive language techniques will help college students gain a better proficiency in English essays making them more competitive in the working world.

In order to produce a successful persuasive essay, students must learn how to use persuasive language techniques effectively. Persuasive language technique is used to construct arguments based upon well-thought-out planning strategies. Dr. Kay Strong of East Carolina University’s “Connecting Teachers” website suggests that persuasive language is paramount in an interconnected learning environment. She states, “Persuasion is the foundation of business; without it, communication is muddied … persuasive writing is a craft that is developed explicitly with language throughout the curriculum.” If students use persuasive language techniques in an essay, they will be successful.

Many college English essays today focus more on academic essays that prove or disprove an academic topic rather than persuading a reader to partake in an action or simply to change the reader’s mind. While some assignments will require presentations are a necessary skill for the student to get through the class. Persuasion is a key component in English essays that should be focused on more today.

4. Incorporating Evidence and Examples

Arguments that we want students to make, you might say, are ones that have a basis in evidence, in specific examples, and in the world of common knowledge, so that their arguments will induce assent of some kind from an audience, and not just those who are already converted to accept their point of view. Why is this persuasive? Reasoning every point through and using evidence to back every point signifies that your audience can look at your statement from more than one angle. The evidence encapsulates the message you’re conveying, so, fundamentally, it’s good evidence that prompts the reader. Use evidence every time. Reason or provide specific evidence in your supporting body paragraphs. If you assert or reason a point, support it with an example.

Incorporating evidence and examples. The most important part of your argument is the evidence that proves your point. Examples work well only if they’re convincing examples. Admittedly, it takes more effort to reason every point through and use specific evidence to back every point, but that’s the kind of writing that scores a better grade. What counts is not just your arguments, but also your evidence: whatever is used to persuade us. The best evidence comes from the most authoritative and current source, and uses specific examples. If you refer to recognized authorities such as literary critics, you’re backing up your argument. It is really the evidence, with examples, that persuades.

5. Conclusion

Persuading audiences to accept, support, or sanction ideas or world views that can influence their beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations, or other behavior is known to be a powerful communicative feature inherently connected with human social behavior. Hingley posits that the being in solidarity with persuasive communicators for project implementation is indicative of most students. In visioning the power of persuasion in text, Crompton points that successful 21st century leaders are persuaders, and the development of their use of language is important because it reflects the concepts that mold their leadership identity, and the language they influence others to follow. “This is who I am, and this is what I want to do“; “You should follow me, and this is what I want you to do“. These two sentences above identify narrative and persuasive text producers of one text profile.

Restating the thesis, this study investigates what constructive strengths and weaknesses emerge in ESL students’ essays in the explicit use of specific influencing devices: such as pairing, grouping, upscaling, collecting, or including verbs of inquiry. If acknowledging how a thesis could more effectively withstand rebuttal is the work of an academic audience, appropriate organization and engagement of influencing devices in the make-up of the thesis will enable the essay an active power of persuasion toward this audience. The consistent exposure to and intentional use of advanced influencing devices is both unmarkedly contributory for better academic writing and a requisite for studying at the tertiary level. An improved awareness from students about some of the essential linguistic and organizational devices that contribute to making “good” theses not only will raise the quality of the writing process, but could also afford their vocalization to the community where they sojourn in pursuit of ideologies that precipitate the grave and dangerous conflicts embedded in present world geopolitics.

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