A persuasive essay, also known as an argumentative essay, is a piece of academic writing where you use logic and reason to show that your point of view is more legitimate than any other. You must expose clear arguments and support them by convincing facts and logical reasons.
Writing a persuasive essay is like being a lawyer arguing a case before a jury. The writer takes a stand on an issue—either “for” or “against”—and builds the strongest possible argument to win over the reader.
Persuasive writing, also known as the argument essay, utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. The argument must always use sound reasoning and solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples, and quoting experts.
In a persuasive essay, it’s the writer’s job to convince the reader to accept a particular point of view or take a specific action. A good persuasive essay demonstrates not only why the writer’s opinion is correct, but also why the opposing view is incorrect.
When planning a persuasive essay, follow these steps
Choose your position. Know the purpose of your essay.
Analyze your audience. Decide if your audience agrees with you, is neutral, or disagrees with your position.
Research your topic. A persuasive essay must provide specific and convincing evidence. You might need to go to the library or interview people who are experts on your topic.
Structure your essay. Figure out what evidence you will include and in what order you will present the evidence. Remember to consider your purpose, your audience, and you topic. This type of paper is heavily based on research data, so don’t go for a topic that doesn’t give you access to tons of resources.
Set your position straight from the beginning, and maintain it throughout the paper. If, for example, you’re writing a persuasive paper on the woman’s right to abortion and you decide to support the pro-choice movement, you’ll have to make that position clear from the introduction, and you should keep it strong throughout the paper.
Do the research. A persuasive essay depends upon solid, convincing evidence. Don’t rely on a single source. Pull information from multiple websites and reference materials. Speak with community experts and teachers. Read and take notes. There is no substitute for knowledge of both sides of the issue.
Test your thesis. Your thesis, i.e., argument, must have two sides. It must be debatable. If you can write down a thesis statement directly opposing your own, you will ensure that your own argument is debatable.
This is a type of paper that demands facts. Find data in the form of statistics, scientific experiments, and research materials that support your arguments. Note: Do not confuse facts with truths. A “truth” is an idea believed by many people, but it cannot be proven.
Build the arguments in progression, so you’ll move from the least important to the most important one. This gradation will keep the reader’s attention and will convince them that you’re standing your ground by the end of the paper.
Grab the reader’s attention by using a “hook.” Give an overview of the argument. Close with a thesis statement that reveals the position to be argued.
The most important part of the introduction is the clear and concise thesis statements, which defines your point of view, as well as the direction that the entire essay is going to take.
Disproving the opposing claim is one of the most effective ways to prove your viewpoint. Thus, you’ll be searching for resources not only to support your point of view, but to refute the opposing.
Each body paragraph should focus on one piece of evidence.
Within each paragraph, provide sufficient supporting detail.
Opposing View Paragraph
Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.
Concluding Paragraph The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action. The closing sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that implies urgent action is needed, a question that provokes readers to think seriously about the issue, or a recommendation that gives readers specific ideas on what they can do.
Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.
Proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.
This type of essay strengthens your skills of persuasive thinking, speaking, and writing. When you master those skills, you’ll be more prepared to tackle any professional challenge in the future, regardless of the profession you choose.