The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper

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The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper

The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper

Topic: Physician Assisted Suicide

Overview: Persuasion is a constant in each of our lives. No matter where we look, what we read, what we see, or who we interact with, we are inevitably going to encounter some form of persuasion. Advertisements want us to buy things. Newspapers and television want to convince us of how we should feel about events. We are put into positions where we must defend our thoughts and beliefs to others, and the process we apply is typically some form of persuasion.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper

Persuasive writing is one of the most powerful forms of writing—it has the ability to influence one’s thoughts, and also the ability to change one’s mind about a particular issue. The persuasive essay is an ideal tool for supporting an opinion on an issue using researched facts and information. It also gives you the chance to recognize an opposing viewpoint and refute it, noting that those who hold the opposing viewpoint are the intended audience of the piece.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper

Prompt: For this assignment, you will use a guided prompt to write notes that will help you better understand how to approach the persuasive essay. As you follow the guide, remember to use feedback from Module One when discussing your issue. These writing notes will help you address the critical elements below, which will ultimately inform your final submission of the persuasive essay. In this assignment, you’ll take the first step in this process by writing some notes about your issue. Each response should be one fully developed paragraph in length.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper

Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:

Writing Plan: Use this writing plan as a way to gather your thoughts and determine your strategy for writing your persuasive essay. This process will allow you to develop a potential structure for effectively persuading readers to agree with your argument. This plan will be helpful in keeping your thought process on track when you begin writing and revising your essay.
Your argument is the main point that you are trying to make in your essay. It should clearly state your opinion on your issue. Describe the argument to be addressed in your persuasive essay, and include how the argument is connected to your major, the major you are considering pursuing, or your field of work.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper
Key points are pieces of evidence that support an author’s main argument. What are three possible key points for your selected issue? How do they support your main argument?
Your audience is the person or people you are addressing in your essay. Who is the audience that will be reading your essay? What potential challenges will you encounter in supporting your argument with this audience?
Your goal is the end result that you wish to achieve in writing this essay. What goal do you hope to accomplish? What will this essay need to be successful?
Potential resources are pieces of evidence that could be used to support your argument. List potential resources that could be used as supporting evidence for your argument, and provide a brief description of each and how it will reinforce your argument.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper
Using the supporting resources you identified above, list each of the points of your argument with the resources that support them. This process will help you begin to form an effective essay structure.
Determine aspects of your argument that would be effectively supported with evidence. Defend your choices.
Guidelines for Submission: Save your work in a Word document with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins.

Module 1: The Keys to Persuasion
Module 1: The Keys to Persuasion
Welcome to ENG-123: English Composition II! In this course, you will uncover the foundations of persuasive writing and explore
the research process through analysis and evaluation of various sources.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper
In this first module, you’ll start by introducing yourself on the course-long discussion boards. Next, you’ll explore problem solving
and persuasion with your classmates. Finally, you’ll brainstorm and develop ideas for your persuasive essay (due in Module
Seven) by submitting a journal entry to your instructor.

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1-2 Reading: Problem Identification

Reading: Problem Identification
We encounter problems in every aspect of our lives. On a personal level, we are constantly working on such things as mending
relationships with friends and family members, managing a hectic household, and addressing health concerns. In our
professional lives, we also encounter problems on a daily basis, both on a small and a large scale. For example, if you are a
teacher, you may spend one class period managing poor student behavior and then spend the next class period scrambling to
figure out how to finish your lesson plan before the bell rings. There are also the larger-scale issues that you may deal with,
particularly if you teach in a public school system, such as reconciling the tension between government-mandated initiatives and
your own beliefs about what works well in the classroom.
In response to these types of industry-specific problems, researchers are continually investigating ways to fix these issues. The
results of such research will impact the types and availability of careers in various fields, while also impacting people’s personal
lives.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper For example, in the fast food industry, many companies are responding to society’s ever-growing interest in “eating clean”
and “being green.” Takeout containers are made with recycled materials, and many fast food chains are ceasing to use artificial
colors and ingredients in their food. Individuals in the food industry now feel the pressure to join the “clean and green”
movement in order to attract and maintain customers. And as with all change, debate follows. There will always be dissenters
from every viewpoint.
Introduction to Persuasion
In this course, you will practice the art of persuasion. You will
think about a problem in your field of study/profession that
has at least two clear arguable sides and compose a
persuasive argument that clearly states your point of view on
the issue. Your goal is to convince the audience to adopt
your viewpoint. In order to do this, you will make a claim—an
assertion with which your audience might disagree—and
then support that assertion with evidence.
Argument in Everyday Life
The word “argument” has a negative connotation, or
suggested meaning. When people hear the word argument,
they often assume it is a hostile conversation about a topic.
But argument can also simply mean a well-reasoned point
being made about a topic, done so in a respectful, logical
way. Arguments can occur between respectful parties who strongly disagree with one another’s argument, but it does not
have to be hostile.
Let’s say you are sitting at Thanksgiving dinner, and you are a bit nervous because your uncle, who feels very differently
about politics than you, will inevitably bring up the latest political hot topic. Knowing you have to be level-headed and
reasoned in your conversation with him, in order to avoid any hostility, you choose an even tone, respectfully acknowledge
what he is saying, but still hold your ground on your position toward the hot topic.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper Since it is different than his position, and
you want to hold your own in this argument, you present him with reasons that are clear and logical. Although he may not
agree with you, and you will likely not persuade him, he is more likely to at least listen to your point of view. Making sure you
do not slip into insulting language, eye rolling, or walking away when he disagrees with you are all important to having an
effective argument.
In all aspects of our lives, we present arguments to those around us: to car salespeople, to our children when they don’t want
to do something we know is good for them, to our partners when they want to spend more money than we do, or to our
grandparents when we try to get them to see the benefits of using video chats. Whether we are writing or talking to people
who matter to us, argument is all about drawing people in and persuading them to at least see our point of view, if not to
adopt it.
The examples in the video show us how argument and persuasion can function successfully (or unsuccessfully) in everyday life.
Although the examples provided are in the first person (since they are examples from everyday life), the premise in persuasive
writing is the same:
be respectful of potentially opposing positions
use logic to ground your stance
be clear, concise, and precise in the presentation of your argument, using indicator words such as “must,” “should,”
“support,” “because,” or “oppose” to present your core argument
Opposing Viewpoints
When making a persuasive argument, it is also important to factor in any counterarguments, or opposing viewpoints, and
consider how to respond to them.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper
Most topics generate a variety of positions, not simply two positions that sit in direct opposition to each other. In fact, it is helpful
to picture the potential positions on any given topic in a circular format rather than imagining two distinct points at opposite ends
of a straight line. Few topics lend themselves to such an oversimplified black and white division. As most topics are complex and
layered, some of the most potent arguments can be found in the grayer areas. The more complex issues give rise to multiple
points of view along a continuum, something writers need to keep in mind.
Take, for example, the topic of sex education in public schools. One position on the topic is the “absolutely not” position held by
some people due to their religious and/or moral ideologies. According to this position, sex education should never be taught in
America’s public schools under any circumstances. Opposing the “absolutely not” position are a range of positions, not just one.
Here are only four of the many possibilities:
Yes, sex education should be taught in public schools, depending on what material is covered.
Yes, if it concentrates on abstinence.
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No, if it concentrates on abstinence.
No, if it begins in elementary school.
If you are writing on sex education in public schools, you will have
to be familiar with all of the positions on both sides of the
argument. Additionally, you will need to understand the reasons
people hold these positions. Refuting any opposing position is
impossible if you are unfamiliar with the issue as a whole.
The first step in composing a persuasive argument is to do a little
preliminary research and brainstorm topics for your written piece.
The next few pages in the module will help you get started.
1-3 Discussion: Persuasion in Everyday Life (GRADED)The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper

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1-4 Reading: Brainstorming Ideas

Reading: Brainstorming Ideas
This week, in your 1-6 Journal assignment, you’ll be asked to look at some issues related to your potential field or degree.
Before you practice some brainstorming strategies, it might help to take a look at possible issues related to your field. In module
two, we’ll take a closer look at conducting keyword searches and gathering sources, but for now, to prepare for brainstorming
and constructing your Journal submission this week, you can take a look at the freewriting instruction steps previously outlined—
with that idea as your starting point.
Remember that the most important part of freewriting is reflecting on your writing. So, after your loop, be sure to ask yourself the
same reflective questions you asked during your initial freewrite.
Freewriting Questions
After you finish freewriting, read your writing carefully to decide which ideas are most worthy of exploration. As you read over
your writing, ask yourself these questions:
Do I stay on topic in most of the writing, or do I shift to another topic? Am I more interested in my initial or my new topic?
What words are repeated in my writing? Words that you repeat are likely to indicate an interest in that particular aspect of
the topic?
Which of my ideas can be backed up with research during the subsequent research process? Opinions can help point you
toward an interest, but if your freewrite consists only of opinion, you may need to conduct another freewrite that focuses
more on facts, you may want to conduct a preliminary search, or you may need to pick a new topic.
Can I identify one or two questions that most of my freewrite responds to? If you can, you might have found yourself a
research question.
If you’d like to compare a freewriting session against a looping session, compare the loops below to the freewrites from above.
Looping Example #1
Looping Example #1
Feeding America’s poor won’t be easy. Not with one out of seven of us living at the poverty level. It’s especially bad for
kids. I mean, how can a kid concentrate on learning when he hasn’t eaten in two days?The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper When you think about how much
food goes to waste every single day in this country, you’d think there wouldn’t be a problem. Just think about the food
fights that go on in cafeterias all over the country. With that wasted food alone we could probably feed all the poor
people. And I know a lot of people let vegetables sit in their refrigerators until they rot and then they have to throw out all
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that food. Also, just think about all the restaurants that throw away food every single day. You’ve probably seen
homeless people doing “dumpster digs.” I know I have. At least, they are getting some nourishment out of what’s being
discarded, but who’d want to eat food that’s mixed with garbage? I think we should have more public service
announcements to make people aware of what they are wasting. That would be a first step. Maybe parents could also
be advised not to put so much food on their kids’ plates at suppertime. That would solve two problems–the food waste
problem and the obesity problem. Then, we could use the money that is saved to help the hungry more than we do. It’s
true that some celebrities like Sandra Lee have started a campaign, but not everybody watches her on the food network
channel. I guess we need more celebrities getting the word out. I know the President and First Lady are working on this
and that’s helping a lot. But there’s really a lot to do. There are food banks, of course. But we really need more than
famous people getting the word out. We need the average Joe thinking twice about waste.
Follow-Up Questions
Do I stay on topic in most of the writing, or do I shift to another topic? Am I more interested in my initial or my new
topic? ANSWER: I really did focus on the poor and how much food-waste there is in this country. I also talked about
what famous people and ordinary people can do to solve the problem of people going hungry.
What words are repeated in my writing? ANSWER: “Poor” (poverty), “food,” “waste,” “celebrities.”
Which of my ideas can be backed up with research during the subsequent research process?ANSWER: There has to
be a lot of data about poverty in America and also wasted food. I could also learn more about Sandra Lee and what
people like her are doing to help.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper
Can I identify one or two questions that most of my freewrite responds to?ANSWER: What are celebrities doing to help
the poor? What can the average person do?
Research Question
Topic: Feeding the hungry

Research Question: What are the characteristics of an effective anti-hunger program?
Looping Example #2
Looping Example #2
What will I do to earn a living? Right now I’m studying liberal arts and there are a lot of possibilities in front of me,
assuming I don’t change my major. There are a lot of things I know I wouldn’t do–no matter how much money I could
make. Even if I was desperate, like Stephen King, I wouldn’t dig graves to earn money. I also wouldn’t do anything that
would harm animals. And I would never steal from people the way Madoff did. But, as a liberal arts generalist, especially
a generalist with some computer skills, I could probably enter any field I wanted to. There really are a lot of choices.
Plus, I could always learn on the job. Most businesses have orientation and training programs that help new hires learn
what they need in order to do a specific job. And, a lot of places will actually pay for employees to take additional
college courses. Of course, I could pay for further education myself if I had to. I could get a Master’s Degree or some
other degree that would help me get promotions once I’ve started working. Plus, there’s always stuff I could learn about
on my own by doing research on the Internet or by taking some online courses. Things are changing so fast that I’d
probably have to take additional courses anyway. Take electrical engineers, for example. I read that by the time they
graduate, half their knowledge is obsolete. So maybe I shouldn’t worry too much about what I’m learning right now.
Instead, I should concentrate on getting a good solid academic base, rather than a narrow or too-specific body of
knowledge. Being able to communicate well is critical for career success, no matter what field I choose and I’ve always
had A’s in my written and oral communications classes. Being a good problem-solver is important, too. I like challenges
and have often been complimented on my analytical skills. Another thing that’s going to serve me well are my people
skills. Everybody tells me I’m both a good leader and a great team player. So, I guess, now that I think about it, I won’t
have to dig graves. I should be able to get any job I want…assuming the economy is better by the time I graduate.
Follow-Up Questions
Do I stay on topic in most of the writing, or do I shift to another topic? Am I more interested in my initial or my new
topic? ANSWER: I did stay on the topic of my future–work I’d like to do and work I definitely wouldn’t do.
What words are repeated in my writing? ANSWER: “earn a living,” “money,” “job,” “learning”
Which of my ideas can be backed up with research during the subsequent research process?ANSWER: I should be
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able to research jobs in general, especially those available to liberal arts majors. The Keys to Persuasion Research PaperI’d also have to find out what skills are
required for entry-level jobs in certain industries.
Can I identify one or two questions that most of my freewrite responds to?ANSWER: What jobs does a liberal arts
degree lead to? How soon does knowledge become obsolete?
Research Question
Topic: Job economy
Research Question: What can one do with a liberal arts degree?
Clustering is another method of brainstorming ideas. You can use it by itself, or you can organize some of the ideas you
discovered during your freewrite. Watch the following video to learn more about the clustering method.
1-5 Activity: Brainstorming Ideas (UNGRADED)
Activity: Brainstorming Ideas (UNGRADED)
Now it’s time to put into practice one of the brainstorming exercises discussed in the previous page. Please select one of the two
UNGRADED brainstorming activities below.
You may want to choose a topic that is related to your career or degree, since you will be completing a journal assignment on
the next page with that focus.
1-6 Journal: From Issue to Persuasion

In this module, you’ll begin constructing an argument for your persuasive essay by taking writing notes. You’ll also develop a list
of keywords to help you research your subject matter and use them to search for potential sources to support your argument.
2-1 Reading: Preparing for Assignment 1, Milestone 1
Reading: Preparing for Assignment 1, Milestone 1
“My very first book, Night, was, paradoxically, born more in certainty than doubt. I knew I had to testify about my
past but did not know how to go about it…I had things to say but not the words to say them.”
— Elie Wiesel
Deciding on a topic is the first step in the writing process. The good news is that, as a writer, you are encouraged to choose
what you are going to research. The important thing to keep in mind is that you should choose a topic that interests you and that
you would like to learn more about.
Be wary of choosing topics that you know absolutely nothing about. For example, if you choose a topic in the health sciences,
you need to be prepared to read health sciences research material, which can be quite intimidating to someone who isn’t familiar
with the language of the discipline.
You should use the tools, resources, and information from Week 1 as guidance when selecting your topic, and if you’re still
unsure if the topic will work, please email your instructor.
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Elie Wiesel speaking to the United
States Congress.
Selecting a Topic Based on Your Field of Study, Career, and Knowledge
As you are considering topics to research, you should consider your field of study, your career, and your previous knowledge
and experience. Read each of the examples below to see how several students have chosen topics based on these factors.
Writer: Felix
Interests: my children, health, diseases, medicine
Career: nurse
Knowledge and experience: My sister’s baby just got measles and nearly died
because her neighbor chose not to vaccinate her children.
Topic: vaccination of children
Thought process: I don’t understand why people don’t vaccinate their children. I
wonder what they’re thinking. Maybe there’s a good reason for not vaccinating
children. If I write about the topic of vaccinations, I’ll learn how to talk to neighbors
and future patients when the issue comes up.
Writer: Janelle
Interests: real estate, Ernest Hemingway, the consequences of recessions, the Chinese economy
Career: Something in business? Financial analyst?
Knowledge and experience: I have been adjusting to changes to my household budget because of the recession.
Topic: family economics during the recession
Thought process: I know a lot about buying and selling houses and how families can change their habits to make ends meet
during the recession. I also know that some financial service companies don’t treat customers’ money as carefully as they
should. Maybe I’ll write about how families should weather the recession by making changes to how they spend their money.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper
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Writer: Alister
Interests: nature, math, computers
Career: Studying to be an IT professional
Knowledge and experience: I fell in love with computers when my parents gave
me a robotic dog when I was 10, and I learned that I could program its behavior.
Topic: quality assurance processes
Thought process: I am very enthusiastic about solving problems with computers.
Sometimes I let my enthusiasm get the best of me and I don’t check my work. I
wonder what the most important components of quality assurance processes are
when it comes to working on an IT team. My topic may help me improve in my
career as well.
Writer: Tabitha
Interests: children, teaching, technology
Career: Teacher, and eventually a principal
Knowledge and experience: I have been working as a teacher’s aide in a private school for five years, ever since I graduated
from high school.
Topic: teaching with technology in elementary education
Thought process: I’ve been working as an aide for five years, and I love my school and I love working with kids, but I’d like to
eventually be a teacher in a school where technology is used in the classroom. The teachers that I’ve talked to say that
elementary kids are too young to really take advantage of technology. There must be some ways to incorporate technology into
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elementary education in a meaningful way. I wonder what they are…
2-2 Assignment: Writing Notes
This assignment does not contain any printable content.
2-3 Video and Reading: Keywords
Video and Reading: Keywords
Keywords are the terms that are relevant to your topic that you enter into a search engine to find sources for your research.
Developing a list of effective and relevant keywords will greatly improve your search results.
While you may typically use an internet search engine like “Google” to search for everyday topics, for this project, you will be
required to use SNHU’s Shapiro Library databases for your research. You will learn more about this process later in this module.
Selecting Effective Keywords
On the next page, you will complete an activity that will help you generate several keywords related to your research topic.
Below is an overview of the steps you will take in order to identify the best keywords for your search.
Step 1: Identify your research topic and basic argument related to topic.
It is okay if your topic and basic argument are still “a work in progress”; in fact, the keyword
identification and search process may help more clearly define your topic and argument. However,
you do need a working topic/argument from which to develop keywords.
Step 2: Identify the major concepts in your research topic and argument. Analyze different
aspects of your topic and argument to distinguish the main ideas.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper
For example, if my research argument is “Acupuncture for performance horses helps prolong their
careers,” the major concepts would be: acupuncture, horses, performance horses (dressage horses,
jumpers, hunters, barrel racers, etc).
Step 3: Develop keywords based on the major concepts in your topic/argument.
Now examine the main concepts you identified and evaluate their appropriateness for use as
keywords. The most useful and significant keywords will generate the best results for your research.
The best keywords are not too broad or too general. Look for specific concepts and make sure they
are directly connected to your topic.
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For example, keywords based on the major concepts above would be acupuncture, horses, and performance horses; these are
the terms you would use to begin your search. The terms identified are not too broad and are related to the topic. If you had
identified main concepts as animals and veterinary care, you would need to re-evaluate your main concepts to generate more
specific keywords.
If you are having a difficult time generating keyword ideas, abstracts are good sources because authors use them to generate
“hits” on search engines. Check the end of journal articles for keywords as well.
Step 4: Assess the effectiveness of your keywords.
One way to assess the effectiveness of your keywords is to try them out and evaluate the results. If
the results generated are not what you were looking for, you should identify new keywords.
For example, if you are writing a paper on American history in the colonial period and you search the keywordsAmerica and
history, you will generate an overwhelming number of responses, most of which will not be helpful. Searching the keywords
colonial American history will yield better results. If you generate any acceptable sources, check those for additional keywords.
Using Boolean operators could also help refine your search (see Step 5).
Step 5: How to choose and use Boolean operators.
Boolean operators, the terms AND, OR, and NOT, are used to modify search results and manage the
number of responses generated by your keywords. Essentially you combine your keywords with the
Boolean operators to yield different search results in order to increase, decrease, or obtain more
specific responses. You will learn more about Boolean operators in the next section, but it’s good to know now that this will be
another, important step in this search process.
2-4 Activity: Creating Keywords (GRADED)
Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is a useful visual technique for brainstorming keywords. The brain is constantly making connections between
different aspects of a problem. By capturing these connections and exploring them systematically, we are less likely to miss
possible solutions. Mind mapping is also a highly visual and efficient way of organizing ideas.The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper
To begin mind mapping, the main subject/research topic is written in the center of a sheet in a circle. New ideas are drawn in the
form of spokes branching from this central idea. These ideas are likely to lead to further ideas which form new spokes and so
on. It can be helpful to use different colors for different branches of the map. By the end of the mind mapping process, you will
have an entire page full of keywords related to your research topic.
The first step in creating your own mind map is to grab a blank piece of paper and a pen or pencil (several different colored pens
would be ideal). In the middle of the page, write down the main subject that you plan to research for the persuasive essay
project. Then draw a circle around it:
From the main circle, draw lines outward to represent the main ideas:
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As you dig into each of the main ideas, add sub-topics and supporting evidence:
We can take the mind map as far as it needs to go to cover all our main ideas, our sub-topics, and our relevant evidence.
After your mind map is complete, look over the results and pick out the most interesting terms that you have generated on the
page—these terms are your keywords.
Sample Mind Map
The image below depicts a sample mind map drawn out based on the research topic “the impact of technology on urban
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2-5 Reading: Library Databases
This assignment does not contain any printable content.
2-6 Activity: Opposing Viewpoints (GRADED)
This assignment does not contain any printable content The Keys to Persuasion Research Paper