Lesson Fourteen

What is a

persuasive paragraph?


A persuasive paragraph tries to convince the reader that a particular point of view is worthy of consideration. It wants you to consider both sides of an issue, but it reveals a bias in favor of one side over another. Facts may be presented in support of a position, but the writer is not being objective. The point of view is subjective.

objective: impartial; fair; balanced; factual

subjective: partial; in favor of an idea; biased

Here’s an example of a persuasive paragraph:

 Immigration contributes to the overall health of the American economy. Despite recent concerns expressed about illegal and some legal immigration to the United States, this country has largely benefited from the skills, talents, and ambition that immigrants bring with them. American businesses gain from a good source of affordable labor, while towns and cities are revitalized by immigrant families who strengthen communities through civic participation and the generation of new economic activity. The United States must continue to welcome new arrivals and help those who are already here; otherwise, the country will lose the advantages it has over other industrialized countries that compete against us in the global marketplace and seek to recruit from a vast pool of unskilled and skilled global workers.

You may recognize this from the lesson on paragraphs. The position is supported by facts, but some of it is hearsay (what the writer has heard), and some of the ideas are rooted in the writer’s subjective viewpoint. Opposing views are not directly recognized in this paragraph, however, they may be hinted at. A paragraph or an essay that is persuasive anticipates an argument.

If you want to send me an example of a persuasive paragraph that you have written, email your paragraph to your teacher:

[email protected]

In the subject field, write “persuasive paragraph.” Thanks!

In the next lesson, we’ll look at problems that students have when they write.

Next: Lesson Fifteen