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ENGLISH 1301 - Mothershed: Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay Assignment Requirements and Information

The three sources on the Works Cited page at the essay's end must be from Panola's electronic database called "Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints." This database is full of position papers and contains more information than you could ever need, read, or use. 

If you have difficulty logging into the databases, please email The first available librarian will help you. Instructors do not have access to students' library credentials.

The Persuasive Essay 

You are going to write an essay in which you take a position, for or against, a specific topic.  This type of writing hopes to convince its readers to believe or do something.

Persuasive writing utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view, or to take a particular action.  The argument must always use sound reasoning and solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples, and/or quoting experts.

Follow these steps:

1)     Choose your position; decide which side of an issue or problem you are on.  Identify the solution you will offer.  Know the purpose of the paper.

2)     Analyze your audience.  Decide if they are apt to agree, disagree, or stand neutral.

3)     Research your topic to find specific and convincing evidence.  Often it is necessary to go beyond your own knowledge and experience.  Find out what the experts believe and say.  (You should conduct your research within Gale. ) Students: there is no need to reinvent the wheel.  If you will first use Gale's Opposing Viewpoints to read up on the issue in which you are interested, the paper will almost write itself.  (Plus, this assignment requires the sources to be from Gale.)

NOTE:  The topics of gun control, abortion, and all topics related to Social Justice are off limits.  Students seldom do well on these subjects because their essays are merely long rants of personal opinion instead of scholarly research of the facts. 

The final, polished paper should be in proper MLA format, 800 words minimum, double-spaced, standard font with one-inch margins.  Cite your sources, at least three, on the Works Cited page at the end.  See the Sample MLA paper posted in Announcements. 

Finally, on this essay (just like Essay #1), you will be given one revision opportunity.

Panola Databases with pro/con features

Search Catalog

Search M.P. Baker Library Collection

Email us at

Call us at 903-693-2052

Or click the "ASK PC!" green box at the top of this column!

Brainstorm Keywords to help get you STARTED


Brainstorming keywords is an important part of the research process. As you begin to look at your search results take note of any new keywords that are relevant and incorporate those into your next search. 

Think about using BROADER terms to get more results, and NARROWER terms to retrieve fewer results. 

Possible keywords to get you started are listed below. 

  • pro/con
  • viewpoint*                       
  • controversy*
  • argument*
  • editorial*
  • perspective*

If you were researching gun laws for example, you might search (Gun Laws AND Gun Crime Rates*)

Persuasive Essay

         TIPS  on Structuring your Persuasive/Argumentative Essay (Click the photo)

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