How to Write a Persuasive Essay

What is Persuasive Writing? This form of writing aims to persuade or convince readers that the author’s opinion on the subject is suitable. When writing a persuasive essay, the student should be well versed in framing logical arguments, word selection and creating a powerful closing argument. You have to build a solid case using expert […]

Posted: July 21st, 2021

What is Persuasive Writing?

This form of writing aims to persuade or convince readers that the author’s opinion on the subject is suitable. When writing a persuasive essay, the student should be well versed in framing logical arguments, word selection and creating a powerful closing argument. You have to build a solid case using expert opinion, examples, and sound reasoning.

When writing a persuasive essay, you deal with emotions by trying to change or influence another person’s opinion through words. The author tries to make the reader agree to their cause. Figures and facts do not apply, and the writer has to persuade the reader to believe what they are talking about. There being no facts to back your argument, you have to present opinions and ideas that elicit emotions in the readers to the point of them agreeing with you.

Why is persuasive writing important?

Persuasive writing helps students express their views on specific topics. It is an excellent way to tap into students’ passions by researching topics dear to their hearts. It is a way to get students to be more engaged in their classwork. Writing a persuasive essay also helps the student improve skills such as doing research, writing structure, and different writing styles. The student also works on improving their ability to form evidence based logical arguments, opinions and arguments.

Argumentative vs Persuasive Essay

An argumentative essay is more academic and formal as the writer has to support their argument or view with hard evidence. This lacks in persuasive writing as all you have to do is make your reader identify with your emotions or well-presented opinion. In argumentative writing, you have to go deeper and reference expert quotes and scientific opinions. This type of essay is typically a debate on paper. To write an argumentative essay effectively, the writer must carry out extensive research to develop a legitimate and compelling argument. Therefore, an argumentative essay intends to argue a particular point using evidence without considering if the audience will believe the argument or not.

Persuasive writing involves dealing with the reader’s emotions instead of mind; therefore, it is essential to know your target audience. What would influence teenagers will not be successful in swaying the opinion of a group of pensioners. While the tone in an argumentative essay is authoritative, a persuasive essay presents ideas more relaxed. The author seems more

like a trusted mentor or friend trying to appeal to their audience’s sense of intelligence, ego or emotions.

Persuasive Essay Format

When writing a persuasive essay, carefully read the assignment and pay attention to details such as alignment, spacing, font, and word count. The following are general requirements for persuasive essay formats:

  • Tines New Roman font, 12-point and 16-point font for the title unless stated otherwise. You can also use Georgia and Arial fonts.
  • Double-spacing and some instances 1.5 is also allowed
  • Word count is either 500, 1500, or 2000 words.
  • Alignment is justified

The List of Topics and How to choose One 

When facing challenges crating a persuasive essay, it would be a good idea to hire a professional to write your persuasive essay. You can find professional help online from people skilled in this sector. The first step when writing an essay is to pick a relevant topic that will make the task more engaging and inspire you to make the essay more convincing. You have to narrow down the topic by taking a specific position towards a particular subject.

If you are having problems taking a position on a particular subject, you wish to tackle, and you can work individually or brainstorm with your classmates. Write down what goes through your mind as you brainstorm, no matter how strange or irrelevant it seems. After that, start to connect the ideas and cluster them into sub-topics and exploring them in detail.

The following are good essay topics that will impress your audience

  1. Feel better in the workplace by working harder
  2. Why do people feel entitled always to be right?
  3. You will appreciate your life more when you experience a devastating situation
  4. Why you should try new things
  5. Can an embarrassing situation make someone change their life?
  6. If you want to be successful, have self-confidence.
  7. How do you succeed if you want something badly enough?
  8. Oral presentations should replace homework writing assignment
  9. Students should be allowed to bring their phones to school
  10. Is music efficient in relieving stress to reduce depression?
  11. Should protestors be left to block traffic? Are they a threat to public safety?
  12. What is the importance of voting?
  13. Should same-sex marital unions be legalised?
  14. How do you feel about protecting religious freedoms?
  15. Should college students carry guns on campus?
  16. Do we really have privacy rights?
  17. What should be done to combat opioid addiction?
  18. Should we have universal healthcare?
  19. Should supplements and vitamins be more strictly regulated?
  1. Are libraries still relevant, with many people now reading digital books?

Persuasive Essay Outline

A persuasive essay outline consists of the:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

The essay should have five paragraphs in total. The introduction is the first paragraph, with the body has the second, third, and fourth paragraphs, including the writer’s key arguments. The last paragraph consists of the conclusion to summarise your arguments. The following is an exploration of an outline in persuasive essay writing.

  • Introduction Paragraph

When writing a persuasive essay introduction, always start with a hook. No matter how attractive your topic is, starting with a hook is best. A hook is a phrase that grabs the attention of your readers. Hooks can be in the form of an impressive fact or statistic, a memorable anecdote, or a relevant quote. Understand that not everyone reading your essay will comprehend what you are talking about; it is essential to explain the issue and why it is significant to you.

After effectively communicating your topic, give your thesis statement towards the end of the introduction paragraph to clearly show your position. A thesis statement is an idea you will validate in the main body of the essay. The body of the essay is founded on the nature of your thesis and must have a stand. It would be best if you sounded to be sure of your position.

  • Main Body Paragraphs

The main body paragraphs contain the flesh of the essay as they give your work substance. It is in these paragraphs that you put your point across to your audience. The body consists of three paragraphs, with each paragraph supporting the thesis with a different argument. The paragraphs should be connected to validate your position.

In a persuasive essay, the lines of thoughts or ideas presented in the body must be supported by relevant facts. Explore the main ideas of each paragraph to give you sufficient room to expand on each point. You can illustrate their importance to the topic while having a disagreeing point of view to counter it as it further strengthens your persuasive essay paper.

Transition words and sentences should connect the three supporting paragraphs. These sentences enable your audience to stay with your thought process by pointing from one helpful fact to a reasonable conclusion. Doing this will add meaning to your work and make it easier to comprehend. Examples of transitional words and phrases include: on the other hand, interestingly, or therefore among others.

  • Conclusion Paragraph

By the time your readers get to the conclusion paragraph, it is assumed that they are almost convinced. The purpose of the conclusion paragraph is to restate all you have presented to the reader, keeping the information new. Restate your thesis at this point and link it to the main ideas. Close with a call to action, a question, or a prediction to reinforce your ideas and position.

How to Use Arguments in Persuasive Essay

A persuasive argument is what makes your readers agree with you. A series of statements should support your claims to validate them. You can only use claims with supporting evidence when presenting your argument in a persuasive essay.

The following can serve as evidence in a persuasive argument:

  • Proven statistics and facts
  • Research and definitions
  • Expert quotes on the topic
  • Personal opinion with examples to illustrate your point of view

If you support your claims with more evidence, you will have a successful and persuasive argument. Making claims and not supporting them with evidence means that your argument has failed; you must give your readers reasons to believe the claims.

The purpose of a persuasive argument is to demonstrate that your claim is true, if the evidence you provide cannot prove that, it is safe to say that there is no argument. An argument can consist of several paragraphs, a paragraph, or a sentence depending on the length of the persuasive essay. But, despite the length, a persuasive argument has three essentials: premise, inference, and conclusion.

  • Premise

A premise is a fact or a statement that provides evidence or reasons why your claim is factual. It is the basis of your argument, and you use it to support your conclusion. In other words, one provides a premise as proof for the truth in the conclusion, a validation, or a reason to accept the conclusion.

  • Inference

Inferences consist of the reasoning parts in a persuasive argument. They link a premise and a conclusion. Premises originate from factual premises, thus linking them to the conclusion argument. You cannot arrive at a logical conclusion devoid of an inferential claim as it is the only way to verify a premise and connect it to the proof.

  • Argument conclusion

The argument conclusion is the justifiable claim using several premises with inferences. It flows logically from the premise where the argument is considered persuasive if the premises are factual to sustain your conclusion.

How do I know that my argument is persuasive?

A persuasive argument should consist of the following elements:

  • A clear position
  • Effective communication by knowing the words to use or what hooks to use
  • A solid argument
  • A clear essay structure
  • A solid conclusion

An argument with evidence is what makes your writing a persuasive essay. Remember to follow the structure consisting of a premise, inference, and conclusion and be straightforward when communicating your argument.

How to Shape a Powerful Persuasive Argument

To have a powerfully persuasive argument, follow the steps below.

  1. Choose a topic you are passionate about. It is easier to convince your readers if you also believe in what you are putting across. When choosing a topic, pick one that appeals to your sensibilities. Although you will still have to research the topic, it will be easier to defend your argument when you already have a strong opinion.
  2. Be familiar with your audience. To make your readers agree with and believe you, you first have to know them. For example, a persuasive essay about removing standardized testing from school systems should be targeted to parents and not students. Always keep this in mind when choosing your target demographic.
  3. Grab your reader’s attention. Any persuasive writer must state their opinion through a declarative statement that undoubtedly conveys their point of view. This could be in the form of research findings, facts or other evidence that unequivocally presents information to support your thesis. This will instantly hint to the reader about what the essay is regarding, your position, and if they will keep on reading to establish if they will support your argument.
  4. Research both arguments. To persuade the reader to take your stand on the topic, you have to be aware of the contrary opinion. You may be dealing with an audience that is completely stuck in their beliefs. Therefore, it is essential to know both sides of the argument and ways to counteract the opposition effectively.
  5. Exercise empathy. An effective way to shape a powerfully persuasive argument is the use of empathy. Your readers will believe you ore if they feel that you understand or relate to their experiences. It is important to have emotional appeal in a persuasive argument as it targets the reader’s sensitivities while explaining why they should change their beliefs.
  6. Use rhetorical questions. Another good strategy is to present questions for the reader to answer by themselves later on, especially when there is relevant information to help the reader decide to support your viewpoint.
  7. Stress your point. Use exaggeration to make a point, express exclusivity or urgency to strengthen your argument. Use hyperbolic statements to convey an impactful image.
  8. Repetition: strategic repetition can effectively remind your reader about the message you are conveying. Find different ways to pass the same message using metaphors, true stories, paraphrasing or other literary devices. All these will serve to emphasize your point without boring the reader with repetitiveness.

How to Support Your Argument

Support your claims with evidence and make the evidence appeal to reason. You can support your argument in the following ways.

  • Using facts is an authoritative way to convince your readers. You can obtain facts from personal experience, observation, or reading. Facts should not be confused with truths. “Truths” are ideas that many people believe but cannot be proven.
  • Use statistics as a powerful tool to support your argument. Your statistics should come from reliable sources, and remember to cite and reference your sources.
  • Use quotes from experts in the particular field to validate your claim.
  • Use examples to enhance your meaning and make your viewpoint concrete. Examples are the proof.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step-by-Step

  1. Choose a topic you feel strongly about. If your instructor has provided the topic, approach it from an angle that appeals to you. Start the essay with an engaging introduction and conclude the introduction with a thesis statement.
  2. Begin by explaining and acknowledging viewpoints contrary to yours to build trust and credibility with your readers. Remember to outline the limits of your argument as it helps you look honest and reasonable to those who may want to refute your claims. When you respectfully acknowledge opposing viewpoints and accepting limitations to your viewpoint, you set a responsible and measured tone for the persuasive essay.
  3. Make your petitions to support your thesis through the use of credible and sound evidence. Use opinions and facts from varied sources like personal anecdotes, statistics, expert testimony, and scientific studies. Clearly state and fully explain each piece of evidence.
  4. Ensure that your tone and style are suited for your audience and subject. Tailor your word choice and language to these two factors while staying true to your voice.
  5. Complete your essay with a conclusion that successfully summarises the key argument and supports your thesis.

Tips for Persuasive Writing

In persuasive writing, you are trying to persuade the reader to agree or consider your viewpoint. To ensure that your point gets through, consider the following:

  • Support your argument with both personal opinions and facts.
  • Organize your writing by starting with the weakest evidence to the strongest. This tactic will leave a good impression and give importance to your evidence.
  • Consider your target audience’s background or life experiences. Use this information to create a better persuasive essay.
  • Provides real-life incidences and examples to help your readers connect with you at a personal level
  • Find a statement or phrase to capture your audience’s attention. An effective hook is a powerful fact or statistic or a personal experience that will amaze or astonish the reader.

Avoid the following in a persuasive essay.

  • Do not be too negative, as negativity is not ideal for convincing someone to believe your claim. Avoid words such as awful or disgusting.
  • Do not use a strict argument to support or refute a claim. This will eliminate the possibility of choosing a stand that lies in the middle of two opposing sides.
  • Do not use a diversion to throw the reader onto the wrong track.
  • Do not use vague terminologies. Some words have several meanings and may not deliver the intended message in a persuasive essay.
  • Do not apply the bandwagon persuasion method to tell the audience that they are the only ones left out. This is an ineffective and cheap method to persuade your audience. Your reader is smart enough to make their own decision on the subject matter.

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