How to Write a Persuasive Essay - Step by Step Guide
Whether you are enrolled in a college or pursuing an online degree, you will need to write a persuasive essay. The primary purpose of this writing piece is to convince the reader to agree on a specific idea or opinion.
Moreover, a combination of thorough research work and a correct word choice makes up a good persuasive argument. Such a type of writing is a mixture of modern life. It is found in the form of blogs, advertisements, and speeches.
Thus, in the contemporary era, knowing how to write this type of essay is an important skill that everyone should have. This guide will help you write a good persuasive essay by going through the easy steps given below.
What Is a Persuasive Essay?
As per the persuasive essay definition:
It is a type of essay where a writer chooses a position and convinces the audience about it. Such a particular point of view is supported by strong evidence throughout the body of the essay.
Moreover, it demonstrates why the author’s viewpoint is correct and discusses why the opposing argument is incorrect.
Similarly, the following aspects are required to write a good persuasive essay.
- In-depth research
- Knowledge about the target audience
- A clear understanding of both sides of the issue
It may seem like a difficult task, but it can be made quite manageable and easy.
Only conduct the research, understand the reader’s biases, and gain a solid grip on both sides of the product. On the other hand, persuasive writing is also a part of the contemporary world. It is not just found in academics but also graces newspapers, advertisements, blogs, and speeches.
Elements of a Persuasive Essay
Below are the main elements of a persuasive essay.
- A clear thesis that establishes your focus.
- An opening paragraph that introduces the chosen topic.
- Body paragraphs that include solid evidence to support the arguments.
- Smooth transitions to connect the ideas.
- Use counter-arguments to summarize and refute the opposing views.
- A conclusion that restates the central argument.
Persuasive Essay Format
A persuasive essay format usually follows the below pattern.
- Thesis Statement
- Background Information
Body Paragraphs (3-5 paragraphs)
- Argument 1 with supporting evidence
- Argument 2 with supporting evidence
- Antithesis paragraph with supporting evidence
- Summary of main points
- Restate thesis statement
- Call to action
Font: Times New Roman.
Font Size: 16pt for the headlines and 12pt for the rest of the essay’s text.
Line Spacing: Double line spacing.
Word Count: Between 500-2000 words.
How to Start a Persuasive Essay?
To start a persuasive essay, follow the given steps.
- Always start your essay with an exciting and engaging hook statement.
- Set the tone by planning your essay in the beginning.
- Refer to an interesting quote, question, or fact related to the concept of your essay.
- Brainstorm and outline the ideas for the introductory paragraph.
- Avoid boring and cliche essay templates.
- Do not start with writing common knowledge.
- Mention your position concerning the issue.
How to Write a Persuasive Essay?
To write a persuasive essay, follow the steps below. It will help in making the writing process easier.
1. Prewriting the Essay
It is the first step where you will plan the essay and make pointers. It is the foremost technique to get the desired result of your writing piece.
2. Selecting Good Persuasive Essay Topics
After planning your essay, select an interesting topic to write on. Below are some interesting persuasive essay topics that you can choose from.
- The internet is a great invention, but it affects society.
- Should all the kids who participate in a competition receive trophies?
- Is it necessary to protect human rights?
- Should marijuana be allowed for medicinal use?
- Should there be a ban on using phones in high school?
- Should same-sex marriages be given the same rights as straight marriage?
- What is the reason behind the popularity of Apple products?
- Is censorship on the internet effective?
- Should bullying be made illegal in the United States?
- Why do some people refuse to use internet technology?
These persuasive essay ideas will help you understand the unique topics to argue about in your paper. If you need more ideas, we have also compiled a list of some easy persuasive essay topics for you.
3. Choosing Your Perspective
You need to have a clear direction to choose your stance on the issue. Thus, state your perspective from the beginning and restate it throughout the essay. Also, discuss what solution you are going to offer.
Do the necessary research and decide on the side you want to take. Moreover, the audience should also clearly understand your stance from the start.
Make sure to have a solid reason to be on either of the sides. It is because the reader will not be convinced unless you will justify your viewpoint with compelling evidence.
4. Understanding the Target Audience
It is better to understand your audience before starting writing, as every reader has its own needs, wants, and beliefs. Similarly, some topics may be sensitive to a specific group. Therefore, to convey your viewpoint effectively, it is better to determine them beforehand.
In schools and colleges, the primary audience is the teacher and the students. You can communicate with them to find out their stance on the issue. Moreover, you will also be able to develop an argument that can function in the real world.
5. Identifying the Strongest Evidence
After choosing a position, it's time to conduct thorough research. It will help in finding out various themes of discussion on the topic. However, it is not possible to cover all of them in your essay at a time.
Thus, for making people believe and understand your viewpoint, choose the topic with convincing evidence. You may need scholarly articles, quotes from experts, facts, and personal experience to support your thesis.
6. Developing a Well-Structured Outline
In this stage of essay writing, give a proper structure to your persuasive paper. The idea is to organize all the evidence and compile a strong argument.
Typically, a persuasive essay outline consists of the following three parts.
- Body Paragraphs
Have a look at the below outline format to understand the proper persuasive essay structure.
Persuasive Essay Outline Format (PDF)
The detailed outline will be discussed below.
7. Write the Rough Draft
After developing your essay’s outline, write the rough draft. Persuasive arguments are usually built on three essential components.
Logos (Logical Reasoning) - This element appeals to the reasoning. It uses evidence and logic to convince the audience to agree with your viewpoint.
Pathos (Passionate Reasoning) - This element appeals to emotions. Here, a writer focuses on the values and beliefs of the audience to provoke their emotions.
Ethos (Ethical Reasoning) - It is an element that appeals to the writer’s credibility. Readers will trust your opinion because they consider you a credible author.
8. Revising your Persuasive Essay
A good thorough read will help refine your essay. Revise the paper by following the few tips given below.
- Is the essay making your point clear?
- Are the quotes and stats that you have used relevant?
- Is the introduction paragraph worth grabbing the audience’s attention?
- Is the opposing point used and explained well?
- Is the concluding paragraph adding value?
- Is the essay in the sink?
- Is readability good?
9. Proofreading Your Persuasive Essay
Proofreading is essential when it comes to writing an essay. If your essay has spelling, grammatical, or punctuation mistakes, it will leave a bad impression on the reader. Thus, read your paper aloud at least twice before the final submission. Also, format your essay correctly.
Persuasive Essay Outline
The following is the detailed persuasive essay outline.
Persuasive Essay Introduction
The first paragraph intends to grab the reader’s attention with an interesting quote or story. Moreover, give an overview and background information on your argument. Also, mention the thesis statement at the end of the introduction that will help to explain your position.
Remember, a good introduction seamlessly flows towards the body paragraphs and proves the thesis statement with strong arguments.
Persuasive Essay Body Paragraphs
This section consists of three to five paragraphs. Make sure that each one focuses on a different idea with supporting evidence. Use transitions to create a logical flow from one idea to another.
Moreover, all paragraphs should also contain valid arguments to support your position on the topic.
Persuasive Essay Antithesis Paragraph
Leave one paragraph for counter-arguments. Here, you will state what the opponent has to say about the issue and why you still disagree. Assert your position and make use of logical arguments and sufficient details to convince the readers.
Persuasive Essay Conclusion
A persuasive essay conclusion will tie all the information together. It includes a summary of the main arguments, a restated thesis statement, a call to action, and recommendations. Similarly, write a clear and logical conclusion and leave readers with some food for thought. It will help to create a convincing effect for your essay.
Similarly, write a clear and logical conclusion and leave readers with some food for thought. It will help to create a convincing effect of your persuasive essay.
Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay
Below are some useful tips for writing a persuasive or argumentative essay.
- State your position clearly in the introduction.
- Be aware of all the opposition arguments. Make a list of them and highlight the strongest ones.
- Take enough time to conduct thorough research work.
- Find strong evidence from credible sources to refute the counter-arguments.
- Present the opposing views in neutral language that does not demonstrate judgment.
- Repeat your main point in a variety of ways to attract the readers.
- Use emotive and strong language to provoke the audience’s emotions.
- Write your persuasive essays in the present tense.
- Use persuasion techniques and logical transitions between paragraphs.
- Add credibility and reasoning to make your essay even more authentic.
Persuasive Essay Examples
The main idea while writing a persuasive essay is not just to convey the message. However, the focus is to deliver your opinion and convince the audience to change their perspective.
Below are persuasive essay examples to help you understand things in a better manner.
Persuasive Essay Template (PDF)
Persuasive Essay on Education (PDF)
Persuasive Essay on Social Media (PDF)
Persuasive Essay Samples (PDF)
Persuasive Essay on Abortions (PDF)
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Frequently asked questions
How long is a persuasive essay?
In a persuasive essay, the basic structural outline is 5 paragraphs. The main argument should be contained in one paragraph and each supporting point within its own to keep everything concise yet cohesive.
What is the importance of writing a persuasive essay?
A persuasive essay is important to convince readers that they should believe in an idea or opinion. It's a form of non-fiction writing where the writer makes use of carefully chosen words and phrases while creating logical arguments for their audience.