How to Write an Intro - Ways to Begin a Persuasive Essay

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How to Write an Intro - Ways to Begin a Persuasive Essay

Post  aqalieh95 on Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:49 pm

Listed below are some of the best ways to start and introductory paragraph for a persuasive essay. Depending on your purpose and your audience, you can adjust these methods to be amusing or serious.
Ways to Begin a Persuasive Essay

  • Anecdote (a brief story)
  • Quote
  • Surprising/shocking statement
  • Question
  • Hypothetical (a description of what COULD be true or COULD happen, but for which you have no direct proof)
  • Vivid description
  • Statistic
  • Definition of topic

Here are some examples of each method.

Subject: "Are 16 year olds too young to drive by themselves?"
Position of the writer: Yes, 16 year olds are too young to drive alone

Anecdote: A little over a year ago, my sister earned her license; since then she has been terrorizing our neighbors with her lack of skill. Last week for example, she threatened the existence of several innocent mailboxes as well as three different species of living creatures. While my sister's actions may constitute an extreme example of the problem, it is clear that teen drivers can often be hazardous to themselves, and potentially others. It is in the best interests of our state to raise the minimum driving age to 18.

Quote: Bertrand Russell once said, "Most people would rather die than think: many do." Unfortunately, many 16-year-old drivers are dying more than thinking. The number of young drivers injured and killed in auto accidents is on the rise, and there is no relief in sight for the foreseeable future. Therefore, legislators in the state of Michigan must raise the minimum driving age to 18 to protect the young people of our state.

Surprising/shocking statement: I used to think my brother would live to see his 17th birthday. He was a vibrant, intelligent, loving human being, and he had so much to offer to this world. I was certain that he would have a huge impact on the lives of others. Unfortunately, he did, but it was because of his death instead of life. And the impact of his death was devastating. If only he had not careened out of the driveway and into the path of an oncoming car. His youthful exuberance was his undoing, as it is for numerous other teens across America. Clearly, we must increase the minimum driving age in our country in order to prevent such needless tragedies.

Question: Do we really want our children to perish at an early age? On the surface, it would seem that this question has a clear answer. However, it would seem that our lawmakers lack clarity in their vision of what is advisable for the young citizens of our state, for they blithely ignore the need to raise the driving age. The citizens of Michigan must take action - it is time we insist our lawmakers create new regulations that increase the minimum driving age in our state.

Hypothetical: As Sally maneuvered her car into traffic on the freeway, she glanced back to look at her six year old son asleep in the back seat. She smiled, filled with hope for the future. Suddenly, Sally jolted forward. Her forehead hit the steering wheel and her minivan catapulted over the median and flipped upside down. The car that struck her sped off, its sixteen year old occupant unaware that, in his rush to get to his girlfriend's house, he had just rear ended a car and shattered two lives. Sadly, this tragic situation occurs all too frequently in our state, and it is time to do something about it. Our mission, as concerned citizens, is to lobby our Congress to raise the minimum driving age before a single additional life is lost.

Vivid description: Imagine our nation's roads filled with 2000 pound missiles just looking for a target. Every day, we expose ourselves to one of the most lethal weapons available to mankind. Cars. Such a valuable tool, and yet so deadly. It is time we recognized that our vehicles, which we see such precious resources, can also be the instruments of our deaths, especially in the hands of youthful drivers. 16 and 17-year-olds do not yet have the maturity or decision-making capacity to ably operate a motor vehicle. Thus, minimum age restrictions must be increased to eliminate needless deaths on our nation's roads.

Statistic: Last year, 16 year old drivers killed 842 people. This statistic has been rising for nearly a decade, and our nation's young people continue to put the lives of others, as well as their own, at risk. And the worst part is that 842 deaths affect far more lives than 842 people. Every family member, innocent bystander, witness, judge, jury member, and health care professional is scarred by such tragedies. We must prevent these senseless deaths, and the resulting anguish suffered by those left alive. Our best course of action: raise the minimum driving age to 18.

Definition: Folly: n. a lack of understanding, sense, or rational conduct. We often laugh at the folly of those around us, finding amusement and entertainment value in the absurd behavior of others. Keeping the minimum driving age at 16 is folly. And it is anything but amusing. Far too much mayhem is occurring on our roads due to the poor decision-making of youthful drivers. Our state's legislator must come to their senses and show evidence of rational conduct by increasing the minimum driving age to 18.

Credits to Mr. Honeyman, 8th grade Language Arts teacher at West Hills Middle School
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