Persuasive Paper

Objective: The goal of the persuasive paper is to: 1) select a topic of immigration law, 2) do appropriate research on the topic, 3) champion a side on the issue, 4) present the side of the issue you most favor, 5) address the counter points of view; indicating why these points of view fail or are misguided, 6) rehabilitate and summarize your principal arguments.

Structure: While this structure does not have to be followed precisely, something resembling the following is expected:

  1. Section 1: Introduction
    1. Attention getter comment
    2. Thesis statement (showing main and controlling ideas)
    3. Background – sufficient background that explains the issue, should not be

an exhaustive legislative history of the topic.

  1. Sign Posts to inform the reader where your argument is heading.
  1. Section 2: Multiple Ideas in Support of the Claim
    1. Provide a topic sentence introducing the point
    2. Give explanations and evidence on your point
    3. Make concluding statement summarizing the point you just discussed

and transition into your next supporting point.

  1. Section 3: Summary of some opposing views – those opposing views that are most related to your argument and directly stand in opposition to your argument.
    1. Provide topic sentence explaining that this paragraph will be opposing points of view.
    2. Present general summary of some opposing ideas
    3. Present some generalized evidence
    4. Provide brief concluding sentence for paragraph; transitioning into the next

rebuttal paragraph

  1. Section 4: Response to Opposing Views
  2. Provide topic sentence explaining this paragraph/section
  3. You may recognize the validity of some opposing points, but then present how your position is stronger.
  4. Present evidence directly countering/refuting ideas mentioned in the previous section.
  5. Provide concluding statement summarizing your countering arguments
  6. Section 5: Conclusion
  7. Restate your thesis
  8. Briefly summarize discussion points
  9. Leave the reader with a strong impression; this is not the place to be passive.
  10. May provide a “call to action” in conclusion.


  • Paper must be no more and no less than 10 pages – this will force you to write concisely and be very selective of the arguments you choose to highlight both in favor and in opposition. Needless to say you should address the strongest points on both sides of the issue. Bibliography will not count towards this 10-page requirement.
  • Bibliography: Must provide as many sources as you deem necessary to construct you argument and counter-argument. There is no precise number for this as it is dependent on the topic that you choose. However, you should provide no less than 6 references.
  • Paper must confirm to MLA standards.
  • Paper must be double-spaced, 12-point font, written in Times New Roman font.