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teacher comment : You’re on the right track here, just be sure to do all the things PEPSICOLA asks. For instance, for the primer, perhaps tell a personal story or tell someone’s story to gain attention. Much of what you have here is for the Intel section, which is good, but you need to do all the other sections. You especially need the Confrontation section, where you bring in opposing arguments to your point. Also make sure you have a more interesting title (one that doesn’t give away your topic). Just read the PEPSICOLA handout again and make sure you do all the things it asks.

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Think of the primer as you would think of a primer of paint. The Primer must be applied first in order to create a bright composition. Technically speaking, the first coat of primer is your title. A title should be both creative and connect in some way to the aim of your essay. It can be slightly illusive, depending on the type of essay you are writing. The primer is also your introduction. Here, your writing must always be lively, perhaps even illusive. It should build curiosity. You must grab hold of your reader’s attention quickly and keep them reading. The Primer is a great opportunity for you to incorporate a personal story full of pathos—or a historical parallel full of kairos—or you may wish to write in a fashion that puts the reader in the scene . . . for example: “You are in line at the grocery store. You’ve been going to the grocery store for years, but today, something is different.” Here, too, you can establish rapport with the reader (ethos) by using a more conversational style.


Explain the topic of your essay; provide background information about the topic. You must help the reader land on his / her feet. You must. You have gained the reader’s attention with the Primer, now you must tell them why you gained their attention. Paint a picture for the reader. The reader wants to know “what’s in it for me?” You must put yourself in the reader’s seat and quench their thirst for understanding. Tell them what the essay’s about.


Otherwise known as a thesis statement. The Point is the aim of your essay, specifically. What do you want to accomplish with your essay? Why did you write it? Your aim should be plainly revealed to the reader. Ask yourself: “what’s the readergetting out of this?”


Method of discussion. Tell the reader by which means of organization you plan to discuss your points and sub-points. Readers want to know what to expect. Readers don’t like essays with tricks and gimmicks. There is plenty of that to be found elsewhere in life. In an essay, a reader expects to learn things. They expect to be challenged. Never underestimate your reader. We like to watch previews before we go to the movies. Preview the essay, too.


Your sources, your proofs. Here is where your investigative research comes rallying to fight for you. This is where expert quotes from primary (this is the ideal source for Intel) or insight from secondary resources, all of which strengthen your Point, your aim, are strategically placed. TRI(T)-composed paragraphs work especially well in this section. TRI(T) paragraphs help you to stay in control of your sources; they also work well in the


Counterarguments. To be a true rhetorician, you must allow for confrontation—yes, in your own writing! You must allow the “other side” of your topic to fight against you, but only long enough for you to crush them all. Sometimes, you can flip-flop the order of Intel and Confrontation; it all depends on your topic, and your style.


In the Confrontation section you have purposefully set up arguments against you, but only so you can refute them (prove them wrong). Be especially careful here, as it is easy to lose control, which would weaken your aim. This, know. You must fully obliterate the opposition.


As a writer of a persuasive essay, you are also the leader of your topic. You have done a lot of work building upon the aim of your topic; you have made your point; but now what? Every day we hear conversations in which people speak about how terrible something is; rarely do we hear any proposed solution. Solutions take a create deal of critical thinking. Your proposed solution need not be lengthy, nor does it need to be jammed with statistics. It should be logical and genuine. It can be a simple suggestion, or, it could be a groundbreaking theory.


Summation and linkage. Remember the field view from the Tagmemic Discovery Matrix? This is where to use it. Here, you must reemphasize your major point(s). Similar to your Primer, you must incorporate a pathos-driven narrative, conversational in tone, which speaks to the larger picture. Here is where you leave the reader—but only from the physical page. Your ideas, your ingredients—which have already transported your reader into unknown territory—should remain to marinate in your reader’s mind. Therefore, you do not conclude, you adjourn.


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