How to Write a Persuasive Essay

There are four types of composition writing: narration, exposition, descriptive and argumentation. We will cover that last one here. Do you know how to write a persuasive essay? If not, this article will provide you with useful information including how to write a persuasive essay outline, determine a proper persuasive essay title, and tips on how to create a successful persuasive message for your persuasive report, argumentative essay or even a good persuasive speech.

Persuasive Essay Definition

A persuasive essay, which is just as commonly referred to as an argumentative essay, is just one of the many types of essay writing. It involves taking a position and using logic and reason to explain why it is more credible than opposing views. Ultimately, it is intended to persuade the reader to agree with the view and can even serve as a call to action. Keep in mind that while it is a type of opinion essay, it is not enough to simply state that you are right and they are wrong. If you want to write a great persuasive research paper, the evidence must be based on reputable sources and involves using examples and quoting individuals who are authorities on the subject.

Persuasive Essay Structure

Let us move and briefly discuss the persuasive essay structure. A more detailed description will follow.

Outline. Developing a good persuasive essay format starts with writing an outline of your paper. A lot of students prefer to skip this part, but it really is important since it serves as your persuasive essay template as everything that is contained in your essay will be based on the outline.

Introduction. Your intro paragraph will provide some background on your topic, explain its relevance and importance to the reader, and end with a thesis statement stating your argument. You will want to keep the reader's attention, so starting with hook is the best strategy.

Body Paragraphs. You need strong persuasive paragraphs that are devoted to a single point that supports your argument. Keep it concise, but make sure to include enough detail to deliver a successful persuasive message. You will also need to include a counterpoint paragraph in which you concede that there is an opposing view, but that it is full of weaknesses.

Conclusion. Restate your thesis and evidence, and explain the broader implications of your paper.

How to Make a Persuasive Essay Thesis

If you are struggling with how to make a persuasive essay thesis, start by looking through some interesting persuasive articles and even a controversial essay or two. Once you come up with a compelling thesis based on a particular topic of interest, you will need to test it. In particular, you will need to select a thesis for which there are two or more sides to a debatable issue (i.e., nobody could reasonably argue that the sky is not blue, but they might be able to find evidence that social media does more harm than good). Also note that the best persuasive text isn't just about defending your position, but exposing the flaws of the opposing view.

As you are making your case, the best persuasive writing techniques include using statistics from non-partisan sources and quoting respected individuals who are experts on the subject. Using facts based on your reading, observations and personal experience can also be compelling. Of course, make sure to recognize that facts and truth are not synonymous. Facts can be proven whereas truths are always subjective. Also, make sure to appeal to human emotion by highlighting real victims of a tragic situation or even those who were touched by an issue in a positive way. These examples produce concrete proof that can really make your argument difficult to counter. In order to best appeal to the audience, it is important to know something about them in advance. Do you expect that most of them are inclined to agree with you anyway? Will they be indifferent or indecisive? Or perhaps you have chosen a highly unpopular view that you're sure the audience will oppose, but one that you strongly believe they can be swayed by with some logic and reason. If you feel that your position will generate controversy, you will need to find especially strong evidence to back up your claims. You should also be able to anticipate the counter-arguments and be able to preemptively rebut them.

Different Components of the Persuasive Essay

Now that you have somewhat of a better idea about how to write an essay, let us go into some more detail about the different steps. Keep in mind that most standard academic essays (especially for high school students and those who have started college) are built around the 5-paragraph format including one for the introduction, three for the body and one for the conclusion. This article will adhere to this format.

Creating the Outline

The outline should contain each main point with your supporting facts under each one. Remember that if you want to make a convincing argument, the evidence should come from reputable scholarly sources and publications. Your paragraphs and in particular your persuasive sentences will be built upon with these points acting as the foundation.

How to Start a Persuasive Essay Introduction

The intro to your essay will be where you state your opinion about the topic. It you will not want it to be particularly long; perhaps 3 or 4 sentences tops. You also do not want to reveal everything all at once since you want the reader to have a reason to continue reading. Use interesting quotes or eye-popping facts and figures to set the tone. You cannot assume that the audience will automatically understand your topic, so it is important to provide some background information. This is why doing some research in advance is essential. Context is also very important. For instance, if you make reference to Albert Einstein, everybody will know who you are talking about. But if you mention comedian Bob Einstein, the majority of the audience will be confused if you don't provide any context.

At the end of the introduction, you will introduce your thesis statement. For the persuasive essay, it will be some kind of argument that you will want the audience to support. It should be brief and to-the-point and you should stand firm. Any ambiguity and you will immediately lose the audience.

Write the Supporting Paragraphs

This part of the paper will consist of three paragraphs. The body of your persuasive paper will contain all of the information necessary to support your thesis. Each of the three paragraphs should contain one point in favor of your argument along with support behind it. This is where it becomes important to incorporate facts and figures from reliable sources. Every point should directly link back to the thesis statement and you should use proper transitions that seamlessly connect each of the paragraphs. Avoid the temptation to throw out any random fact that comes to mind, even if you think it helps your case. Instead, just keep the paper focused on the three strongest arguments since the audience will be able to retain the information better.

Persuasive Essay Conclusion That Leaves a Lasting Impression

The final paragraph should allow your persuasive essay to go out on a high note. You will provide a brief summary of your topic, restate the thesis, list your three points, and proceed to discuss what the audience can do know that they have been informed. This could include encouraging them to get involved in a particular cause.

Edit and Proofread Your Paper

Now that you know how to create a persuasive essay and have successfully completed the first draft, you might be tempted to print it out and turn it in as is. But you're not quite out of the woods yet. Even the best writing could be made to look better. Do not edit right away though. Let the paper sit overnight and look it over the next day. As you read the paper as a whole as opposed to when you wrote it part by part, you will be able to determine whether it is properly structured and flows well. You might find it necessary to expand certain paragraphs while decreasing the content in others. Or you might determine that the arguments would be more effective if arranged in a different order.

Utilize a word – sentence – paragraph strategy. Check and see if your word usage is appropriate. Perhaps you could find a better substitute word that gets your point across better. Also ensure that your sentences are appropriately written, in the right spots and that none of them are run-ons. Finally, check and make sure that there is seamless flow as you move from one point to the next.

Once you have finished editing, it is now time to proofread. Do not simply rely on spellcheck either. Your paper might have typos that are technically spelled correctly even though it is not the word you meant to use. You should also check and make sure you did not write “adopt” when you meant “adapt” or other words that are commonly confused. Read the paper aloud to a friend or family member, especially one who might not be highly knowledgeable about your topic. If the paper makes sense to them, you are well on your way to a great grade!

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