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How to Write a Well Developed in-Class Timed Argumentative/Persuasive Essay (5-Paragraphs)


While being made to write a timed persuasive essay during class might seem daunting, knowing how to thoughtfully express your opinion on a subject, and provide solid reasons and evidence that support what you have to say, is an invaluable skill that will allow you to make your voice heard by others. By combining a little organization and a few key essay-writing concepts, you will be able to better express yourself and write well-thought-out persuasive essays during class.

Organization

Before you write a single word, you should spend a few minutes developing a game plan so that your essay will be easier and quicker to write. First, determine which side of the argument you will be supporting in your paper and brainstorm three solid reasons why your readers should support your stance on the issue. Create a very basic outline, either on a piece of scrap paper or just in your head, to help you decide in what order to present your ideas in the body of the essay. Organize your arguments in a way that will allow them to flow easily from one paragraph to the next while producing a continuously stronger case for the ideas expressed in your essay. Lastly, divide the amount of time you have to write your essay between all five paragraphs of the paper. Having an idea of how much time you have available to spend on each paragraph will keep you on task and moving steadily.

Introduction

The first paragraph of your essay will be an introduction to the topic being discussing in your paper. Begin your introductory paragraph by grabbing the attention of your reader with an interesting fact, quote, anecdote or bold statement related to the essay topic. Use your first sentence to lead into a general synopsis of the argument on which your paper is focused, being sure to include both sides of the argument. Conclude your introduction by developing a thesis sentence that clearly states the position you will be supporting, and attempting to get your readers to support, in your persuasive essay.

Argument

For each of the three body paragraphs, you will present one reason why your readers should agree with your perspective on the topic being discussed. The first sentence of each paragraph should state the argument that paragraph will be presenting in favor of your side of the topic. Follow up each topic sentence with an illustration, such as a quote, fact or example, that supports the particular argument in that paragraph. Continue by explaining how that illustration supports your topic sentence and overall opinion in the essay. Consider using a mixture of persuasive tactics, such as stating logical facts and statistics, telling emotional stories and making comparisons, and sharing expert opinions and personal experiences, to win over your readers in the body of your paper. Conclude each body paragraph with a sentence that sums up the paragraph and ties it back to your original thesis.

Conclusion

The conclusion of your essay is meant to tie your entire piece of writing together and show your readers that you effectively proved why they should agree with you on the topic. Briefly summarize all of the reasons you presented to your readers throughout the paper to convince them to support your side of the argument and how those reasons support and prove the thesis in your introduction. Conclude your final paragraph with a sentence that will get the attention of your readers and leave them thinking about what you wrote, such as a question about the subject, a prediction of what might happen if the majority of people support a certain side of the argument or even a strong statement summarizing and reinforcing your ultimate opinion on the matter.

Tip
  • This is not the only format for a 5 body paragraph argumentative essay or timed writing essay. This is only one way to help writers stay on topic and prepare for a timed writing. This format offers structure.
About the Author

Danielle Crandall has been a professional writer and editor for more than five years. Her work has appeared in various online publications and marketing materials for nonprofit organizations, covering topics ranging from beauty and fashion to home decor to education and society. Crandall holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Arizona.

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