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Struggling student persuasive letter

Please help me with some ideas on how to write my essay. I have included the full details below.

Persuasive Essay: Responding to a Very Specific Situation

Imagine that you have been invited to speak to an assembly, athletic team meeting or other group at your former high school. You are talking about your career and what you have achieved. Because we're in the realm of fantasy, we imagine they paid your expenses to make the trip, and you were given release time from your job. Cost is not an issue.

After your speech, the principal comes up to thank you. The principal then says, "We're worried about Larry (or Linda, if you prefer).

"Larry is a high school junior. He's from a broken home, doesn't like rules, likes to cut class and has no idea what he wants to do. He's healthy and has an above-average IQ: your classic underachiever. He is now running around with "friends" who are encouraging him to get into trouble and drop out of school.

"But Larry was impressed with you. He was saying he might like a career like yours. Since he rarely responds positively to any adult, we were wondering if you could help us. Would you mind writing him a personal letter, giving him reasons to stay out of trouble and choose his friends carefully? You're not a parent or teacher, so he may listen...if you write a persuasive letter that shows you understand the way teenagers think."

Of course you say yes.

Write this student a persuasive letter offering 3 solid reasons to choose friends wisely and stay out of trouble, based on your own experience. For example: "Larry, if you want to be a corporate executive, you need to stay in school, develop interpersonal skills and learn how to dress for success." Then you would have a paragraph on each.You would raise one objection, such as the need to start at the bottom, and defuse this objection.

Alternately, you might say, "Linda, if you want to join the Air Force, you need to finish school, get in shape and choose a specialty you would enjoy." Then you could have a paragraph on finishing school, another on getting in shape, and a third on choosing a specialty. You could raise one objection, such as the need to survive bootcamp, and defuse this objection.

Conclude with a statement relating to your own experience OR tying your advice specifically to the student's background (you can make up any details).

Assignment: Write a persuasive letter encouraging or discouraging the student from following your career path. Be very specific: avoid abstractions and recruiting jargon. For example, don't make a list of benefits your company or military branch offers. Your letter should not sound like a recruiting pitch. You should demonstrate that you can empathize with a reader and tailor your arguments to his or her specific situation.

Remember your audience. Larry is a teenager. At that age, were you concerned about retirement benefits? If you don't remember what it was like, ask a friend with a child that age. Or maybe you have a coworker who's close to that age.

If you prefer, you may write a mentoring letter to a junior colleague, following the same guidelines. If you choose this option, describe your colleague briefly at the top of your paper, before you write the letter. This description does not get included in your word count.

Solution Preview

This letter is to be written in much the same format as a five-paragraph persuasive essay. You will need an introduction, three body paragraphs which discuss one point each, a nod to the opposing view, and a conclusion paragraph.

The first thing you must decide in this assignment scenario is what career you were speaking to the high school students about. Since this is a fantasy situation, you have the luxury of choosing anything you like. I would be very tempted to portray myself as a United States Senator, and give advice to the student that his near-criminal behavior and lack of respect for authority would be an excellent job reference for public office. However, I don't think your professor in this class wants you to be a smart aleck, so perhaps we'll save that persuasive essay idea for another time.

You will need to choose a career to represent for this assignment that you know very well. If you have no, or little, job experience yourself, consider the job your parents held - maybe one of those careers would work for this assignment.

Your assignment tells you that this student has identified with you during your speech, and whatever career you choose to promote. Your job is to explain to him why he should, OR why he should NOT consider your career for himself. You also need three reasons why he should begin to make more appropriate personal choices in his friends and his behaviors in order to pursue whatever career he wants, even if you are recommending that he NOT choose your career. Lastly, you will need to play devil's advocate and give one point in the opposite view to the view that you are presenting. If you are counseling the student NOT to consider your career, give ...

Solution Summary

Suggestions and instructions for composing a five paragraph persuasive essay in a letter format to a struggling teen student promoting (or not promoting) your own career as a career choice for them. Example model essay included.

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