ColoState Convincing The Wire Assignment

Writing Assignments:

Papers must be typed, double-spaced, with 1” margins all around, in 12 point, Times New Roman font. Proper MLA documentation is required for all sources. Page length requirements do NOT include “Works Cited” pages. Points will be deducted for failure to meet minimum page length requirements. All papers must be submitted to Turnitin (Blackboard –> Assignments –> Browse/Upload –>Save –> Send) by 11:55 pm EST on the due date in order to avoid late penalties. Papers received after the due date will be docked 10 points per day, starting at 11:56 pm EST onthe due date. I reserve the right to fail papers if the author refuses to submit source material when requested.


Grades are non-negotiable and earned – not given. No extra credit will be offered; diligently do the work and you won’t need bonus points. The work you will do this semester will be weighted as follows:

Paper 1: Convincing20% (46 pgs + Works Cited)

Convincing Essay Assignment


The purpose of this essay is to convince your audience to agree with your point of view on an issue. The key difference between a convincing and a persuading essay is that authors argue to convince in order to primarily contact the minds of your audience, to get them to agree with you on an intellectual level. There’s quite a gap between intellectual agreement and truly moving people to act, which will be the purpose of the persuading essay. So, this essay will consist mostly of what appeals to the mind–logic and researched evidence.


An issue raised in the first full season of The Wire.


Audience is a crucial consideration in the convincing essay.

Your audience must need to be convinced of whatever stand you take. If they all already agree with you, there’s not much point in making an argument in the first place. Several things that you may need to know about your audienceinclude:

how much they already know about your subject

if they already have preconceptions about your subject

they should have some stake in the issue (or you should be able to convince them of this)

their general beliefs and values

demographic information, such as income, age, education, race/gender (if applicable), political leanings, etc.

their potential reactions to your claim


The focus of the essay should be your stand and why it’s the right one. The essay should be focused on a clear thesis, several clear reasons, and evidence for each reason–all determined by the needs of your audience. All of this, too, we said, should be clearly set up within the first few paragraphs of your essay, and the connections continually explained throughout so your reader knows how everything fits together.


The more hostile your audience, the more development (at least in terms of evidence) you’ll need. Sources you use should be specific and relevant and ones that your audience would find credible. As a general guideline, think about two to three outside sources as a minimum number for this essay. The sources should be scholarly – as in, peer-reviewed, published in an academic journal or book. Avoid .com and .net websites, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. If you must use online sources, choose those ending in .org, .gov, and .edu. Potential sources for information include but are not limited to:

statistical info

sample cases

quotes/paraphrases from credible, scholarly sources


The essay needs a very clear logical progression between reasons with no serious gaps. The essay should flow smoothly as it moves from your basic statement of point-of-view to your audience. You need an excellent understanding of your own point of view before you begin to write. Avoid confusing structure, tangents, abstract evidence, logical errors, lack of evidence to demonstrate your points, writing over (or under) the heads of your audience in terms of vocabulary, and stylistic or editing errors.

Make a strong case to get your readers to agree with you. Meet the length requirement and find appropriate secondary sources.

Adapted, in part, from

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