Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay

The 2013 legislative session came to a close on May 2. While hundreds of well-intentioned proposals failed to advance, scores of others successfully made their way through committees and subcommittees in both houses, in some cases with heated debate and grudging compromise, and gained the votes necessary for legislative passage. These measures now await approval by the governor, who has 45 days from the end of the legislative session to approve or veto the proposed legislation.

Part I

For this final paper, I’d like you to select one of the measures up for final approval, research the issue, track the history of the bill, then write a 1,250- to 1,500-word essay (five to six pages if properly formatted) arguing for or against the measure. Your audience for this essay will be people who are knowledgeable of the issue but disagree with your stance. You must cite at least five sources (which may include the bill itself, newspaper articles, studies, legislative reports, and no more than two written testimonies), using MLA-style formatting for in-text citations and your works-cited page.

To start, read through the list of measures that passed the Hawaii State Legislature in 2013, located in our “Resources” area, and select one that interests you. Next, visit the Hawaii State Legislature website and input the name of your selected bill into the search box for “Bill Status/Measure Status” and hit the “Go” button. The name of your bill will start with “SB” (for “Senate Bill”) or HB (“House Bill”) followed by a number (Ex., SB45).

If you have inputted the name of your bill correctly, you will be taken to a page containing the full history of your measure, from the date that it was introduced, through each legislative review, amendment and vote, all the way until its forwarding to the governor. By clicking on the name of the bill, at the top of the page, you can see the actual text of the proposal. On the right side of the page, you will find links to different drafts of bill, committee reports that detail discussion or research of the bill, and testimony submitted for various hearings on the bill by individuals and organizations in the community. These testimonies can be very useful in providing an understanding of the various perspectives on the measure and the various interests that would be affected by its acceptance or rejection. In general, testimony by individuals or groups who have official standing or who have a direct, vested interest in the topic are most useful as source material for a persuasive essay (versus testimony offered by individuals with no direct relationship to the issue). You may refer to as many of the testimonies as you feel appropriate, but no more than two will count toward your minimum of five sources.

In addition to the information you find on the legislative website, you should also conduct outside research to better account for the larger context within which the proposal has been made. Has such legislation been proposed before? When and by whom? Are such measures in place in other areas of the country? Is this part of a recent trend? What data has been used to support or reject such proposals? Who are the major players supporting or opposing the measure? Who will be affected— positively and negatively — if it passes? What are the long-term costs?

Part II

In addition to your essay, you will also submit a 400- to 500-word reflection on what methods of persuasion you used and how you structured your paper to address the needs, demands and challenges of your specific audience. What information did you include or exclude? What modes of persuasion did you use to overcome your audience’s resistance? What points did you concede and why? What combination of ethos, pathos and/or logos did you use?

Both your persuasive essay and your reflection are due in your drop box no later than Friday, July 5, at 10 p.m. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call, email, stop by during office hours or make an appointment to see me.

Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by EssayPro