Persuasive Writing Introduction

The final writing assignment is a persuasive essay about the Minimum Wage.  Should it be raised to $15?

What’s the connection between Lies, Truth, Fake News and the Minimum Wage?   The question of raising the minimum wage is a hot economic and political topic.  Democrats wanted it to be part of the last COVID-19 Relief Bill, but they couldn’t get enough support.  Some economists believe it will have positive social and economic effects.  Other economists believe it will decrease the number of jobs.  Small business owners worry about the cost of covering higher wages.  Conservative politicians are usually against a dramatic raise of the minimum wage.  There are vocal supporters and opponents of the issue.  Discussion relies on statistics and complex economic arguments.

Your task will be to take a stand and find information that supports your arguments.  You will be finding information that may be truthful or biased.  In sum, you’ll be using the information and skills we have been discussing.

Topic:  You will take a firm position on whether the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour and identify at least two arguments to convince others of your position on the minimum wage in a four-five-page academic essay that would be appropriate for a course on economics, political science, sociology, or business.  To be persuasive, you should also discuss a counter-argument and explain why your arguments are superior or more important.

As part of this assignment, you will submit

  • Outline + Essay



  • Hook: Grab the reader’s attention with a quote, scenario, question, vivid description, etc. Must be related to your topic.
  • Thesis statement: Simply and clearly state your position on the issue
  • Three arguments. Choose three arguments you can use to convince your reader of your position. Briefly state these arguments here.
  • Paragraph 2 (5-8 sentences)
    • Go back to paragraph one and find your first argument. Then write a paragraph about it.
    • Use specific examples to support your argument
    • Write a transition sentence.
  • Paragraph 3 (5-8 sentences)
    • Go back to paragraph one and find your second argument. Write a paragraph about it .
    • Use specific examples to support your argument. You should authoritative websites to give facts, statistics, supporting quotations, studies, research, etc.
    •  Write a transition sentence.
  • Paragraph 4 (5-8 sentences)
    • Go back to paragraph one and find your third argument. Write a paragraph about it.
    • Use specific examples to support your argument
    • Write a transition sentence.
  • Conclusion (3-5 sentences)
    • Summarize—restate your thesis statement and three arguments in different words
    • Make a closing statement. Tie your closing statement back to your opening hook.

I have provided some articles to start our thinking.  We will analyze whether we believe the sources are credible.  You will need to find additional sources.  Tools that you will need include those we have recently discussed:

Tools for Making Informed and Thoughtful Decisions about “Truth”

  • An understanding of key terms like truthlieopinion, and fact
  • An awareness of how fact checkers can be useful
  • An awareness of how numbers can be used to deceive
  • Ways to identify and evaluate “experts”
  • An awareness of “slippery words” and how they can slant a report
  • A method for detecting fake news
  • An understanding of bias and objectivity in news reporting
  • An awareness of “tribal” thinking
  • Recognition of the importance of peer-reviewed journals

We will read these sources together as a starting point.  We will also evaluate whether they are good sources.

1.  “Increase in Minimum Wage Kills Jobs,”  Employment Policies Institute, OpEd

2.  “Minimum Wage and Job Loss: One Alarming Seattle Study Is Not the Last Word,”  Arindrajit Dube, New York Times  (this article is a good source for support to arguments)

3.  “New Minimum Wage Hikes Set to Kill Jobs in 2018,”  Brendan Pringle, Washington Examiner  (This article links to research against)

4.  CBO  (Links to an external site.)Report Finds $15 Minimum Wage Would Cost Jobs But Lower Poverty Levels” (Links to an external site.)  Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post  

DOC VERSION of the article


1.  “The Controversial Study Showing High Minimum Wages Kills Jobs, Explained,”  Jeff Guo, Vox

2.  “Study: Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage WORKED,”  David Pakman, HuffPost

Here are some Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many page?  4-5

How many sources?  4-5 sources.  You can use the sources I provided as a start.  But you must find at least TWO other sources. (The sources that are going to be used must be good sources, be careful with that)

Can I use quotes in my essay?  Yes!  But you must be sure to punctuate correctly and to use the appropriate MLA formatting.  You can practice the strategy from They say, I say— quote someone and then explain what the quote says.

Do I need to have a counterargument?  NO.

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