Persuasive Essay

To achieve professional success in any field, we must be able to communicate persuasively. As you learned in writing your rhetorical analysis essay, advertisers use ethos, pathos, and logos to convince customers to buy their products. Similarly, you may use ethos, pathos, and logos in a variety of workplace situations to reach your goals. Consider the following scenarios:

  • You’ve just completed a successful project for your organization that will result in increased revenues and reduced costs. You believe you deserve a reward. How will you convince your boss?
  • You have a great idea to start a new non-profit or business in your community, but you need an initial investment to turn your plans into reality. How will you persuade investors to believe in you?
  • The park across the street from your company’s office is covered in unsightly litter. If your company could help clean it up, it would improve the park’s appearance and boost the image of your organization in the community. How would you convince your colleagues to participate in the cleanup effort?

For this assignment, you will apply your understanding of ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade an educated, discerning audience, in the form of an essay written in APA format. Here are a few possible topics for your essay:

  • Persuade your boss to give you a raise and/or promotion at work.
  • Pretend that you are running for a locally elected office in your community. Explain why voters should choose you.
  • Make a persuasive pitch for implementing a new money-saving process, offering a new product or service, or improving employee morale at your workplace.
  • You have a great idea for a new business, or for a non-profit organization in your community. Write an extended pitch to attract investors. (See “Microgenre: The Pitch,” pp. 244-246 for an example).
  • Convince your supervisor to allow all employees to spend one afternoon of paid time each month volunteering at a local charity.
  • Make a persuasive case for allowing employees to telecommute (work from home) one day per week.

If you would like to choose a topic not on this list, please consult with your professor to make sure it is appropriate.

Basic Requirements:

  • Length: 4-5 pages (1000 to 1250 words)
  • Sources: 4 or more, at least 2 of which should be from sources found in DeVry Library databases, and 2 may come from high-quality Internet sources
  • All sources listed in the references must be cited in text; all sources cited in text must be listed in the references
  • Follow APA format throughout. Consult Chapter 26 and Chapter 28.


Category Points Criteria
Audience and Purpose 60

Writer has chosen an appropriate topic from the list provided. A specific, and sophisticated understanding of audience is conveyed by the tone of the writing. The thesis clearly indicates the persuasive purpose of the essay, meeting the reader’s needs and expectations.

Organization and Development 100

The introduction grabs the reader’s attention, introduces the subject, and clearly conveys the overall purpose. The body paragraphs support the essay’s purpose with appropriate content that meets the readers’ needs. The conclusion ties the essay together and convinces the reader to take action. (50 points)

Writer develops the essay by drawing upon the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos and providing appropriate examples of each strategy. Essay meets the required length of 4-5 pages, or 1000-1250 words. (50 points)

Style and Mechanics 40 The voice of the writer is clear, distinct, and appropriate. The writer’s message is clearly communicated with appropriate spelling and use of grammar and punctuation. Errors do not significantly interfere with meaning.
Total 200 The assignment meets or exceeds the above criteria.


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