Country Report (Pro)


Don't Teach Me, Persuade Me

What kind of paper are you writing?

You are writing an argumentative research paper. That means that you are trying to persuade your reader that something is true, and you are backing up your claims with evidence. It's a type of persuasive essay.

Unfortunately, some students miss this key point.

Consider the following conversation. (After all, an essay is much like a conversation between you and your reader).


You should go to Italy.


This is your thesis statement. In your essay, it's the last sentence of your introduction.



This is the reader's reaction. I am waiting to see if you can convince me that I should go to Italy.
You: In the year 1865, the capital of Italy moved from Turin to Florence. Huh? You haven't answered my question! No wonder I look confused.
Me: Hmm . . . I'm not really convinced. Can you feel the disconnect? You haven't told me why I should visit Italy!

Now, perhaps you were implying that Italy has this rich and fascinating history, and therefore it's a great place to visit. But that's far too subtle. A good paper explicitly answers the question, "Why should I go"?

Now consider this conversation:


You should go to Italy.

This is your thesis statement.





Italy has a rich and fascinating history. You can see buildings that date back to Ancient Rome, and in Florence you can see gorgeous architecture from the Renaissance period (Doyle). Visiting Italy is a great way to learn about the history of Western civilization.

This is your body paragraph.

Your topic sentence supports your thesis, and your evidence supports your topic sentence.


Cool. I think I'll go.


That's much better.

So heed this advice:

Lesson Steps


Take a hard look at your first body paragraph. Is it persuasive?


Or does it simply summarize some facts about your country?

If so, fix it!


Congratulations! You're done with this lesson.


Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.