I need to write an introduction and a conclusion about the death penalty.

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As you probably know, in persuasive writing, it is important to make your readers care about the issue from the outset.  So, you will wish to convince them that the issue affects them--even if they are on the other side.  And, just to remind you: Begin with an attention-getting anecdote or example, a surprising statistic, or a rhetorical question (one that is asked to make people think; it is not a "real" question that actually requires an answer). Usually one begins the "blueprint" of the thesis with the most important idea.  However, it can also be effective to save the "heaviest ammunition" for last, leading from the least to the most important reason.

Since the conclusion should leave the audience feeling that an issue has been adequately and fairly explored, you might repeat your position in different words than those used at the beginning, as previously suggested.  Or,--this is used in persuasive writing--you might make a strong statement about what might happen if the course of action you recommend is not followed.

See the sites below from the enotes how-to topics as they offer instruction. And, do not forget that there is an essay lab if you need more help.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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You don't say whether you favor the death penalty or not, and it really isn't important. Which ever view you take, you need to have your main idea and facts in order before you state write your introduction. You should research the effects and statistics of the pro or con stance that you take. Hopefully, some specific item will stand out and you can use it as part of your intro. I agree with the previous post that your conclusion should mirror and support your intro.

Many years ago, I wrote a college term paper on this topic. (I received an "A" and the instructor read it to the class and used it as an example of how to write a strong persuasive essay. I am strongly in favor of continuing the death penalty--and possibly even expanding it to include multiple, repeat offenders.) My introductory paragraphs used several examples of horrific murders that went unpunished and...

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