In their academic career, every student gets an assignment to write a persuasive essay that argues against a certain topic. You’ll learn the craft of persuasive writing in the majority of your composition lessons. That’s advantageous. But knowing your position and being able to defend it are two skills that will be useful to you both inside and outside of the classroom. In general, it is believed that in order to successfully persuade audiences to change their minds or take action, one must first appeal to their emotions and feelings. Persuasion is the art of employing an argument to do so. So, if you have been assigned to write a persuasive essay, read the following guide on how to write a persuasive essay.
What is a persuasive Essay?
A persuasive essay is a type of essay that presents the writer’s point of view against or for a certain topic that is supported by facts and figures.
In a persuasive essay, both logic and emotional appeal are combined to persuade readers to accept a particular point of view. Writing persuasive essays may be both an academic and a personal endeavor. They often start with a query, which the author then uses in the body of the essay to argue for or against.
A writer of a persuasive essay will present a strong argument supported by facts, research, and personal experience. To refute them, the author frequently examines competing viewpoints and counterarguments.
Elements of a Persuasive Essay
A good persuasive essay has three elements called modes of persuasion. These concepts combine to create a strong and persuasive argument that seeks to persuade others of your point of view. These three elements of a persuasive essay are:
Ethos: It is a component of argument and persuasion that a speaker uses to establish their authority, knowledge, and moral character. Readers are more likely to believe someone they know to be knowledgeable, experienced, or respected in their neighborhood. Your point of view automatically becomes more persuasive if you incorporate ethos, or ethics, into your writing.
Pathos: It is an emotional appeal used to arouse feelings in your audience. As a storyteller, you can build a connection with your audience by evoking specific emotions in them. This adds an additional layer of intrigue for your readers, which increases the persuasiveness and stickiness of your writing.
Logos: A logos is an appeal to the reason and logic of the audience. A strong persuasive essay has reasons why the reader should accept the writer’s position.
How to Write a Persuasive Essay
Step 1: Pick a Topic
If you firmly believe in something, you can be more persuasive. In case you are not assigned a topic, pick a topic that you find interesting. Although you will have to do thorough research, picking a topic that you find interesting will make defending your argument easier.
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience will help you persuade them to believe and agree with you easily. For instance, your target audience will probably be parents if you write an argumentative letter arguing that standardized testing should be dropped from educational systems. So, Keep it in mind when you write to your intended audience.
Here are some questions that you should ask yourself to determine who your audience are.
- Who do you want to persuade?
- What are their concerns?
- What are their opinions on the topic?
- Are they open to a new point of view?
- What are the arguments that they can find compelling?
Step 3: Research Thoroughly on Both Sides
Every argument has a response; this is a fundamental principle of rhetoric (It is the art of effective persuasive speaking or writing). So, you must be aware of the opposing viewpoint if you want to persuade your reader to support your position.
As crucial as it is to thoroughly research your subject, understanding both sides of the debate will enable you to create the best supporting arguments. As you conduct your study, learn everything you can about the subject at hand.
Besides, consider utilizing the tools provided by your institution, such as the library, scholarly journals, and reference books. You’ll be able to easily refute the objections and answer any follow-up queries that might raise doubts about your arguments if you have a thorough understanding of your subject.
Step 4: Draft Your Thesis
Your thesis statement should explain to your readers exactly what your position entails. It is one of the most crucial components of your persuasive essay. You won’t be able to make a convincing argument if your thesis is weak.
The “what” and “how” of your argument should be included in the structure of your thesis statement. What is the argument you are attempting to persuade your audience to accept?
And how can I persuade my audience that my argument is valid? While the “how” may become more obvious as your essay develops, your thesis statement should communicate your stance while establishing the format of your essay. In addition, here are some of the most important qualities of a good thesis.
- Easy to understand
- Attentive on a scope
- Open for debates
Step 5: Create a Working Outline
You’ll have a clearer understanding of your thesis and how it progresses if you outline your paper. So, to create an outline, consider your argument’s advantages and disadvantages critically. Also, figure out, where would it be most beneficial to offer your strongest supporting evidence.
It’s usually not a good idea to save the greatest for last in a persuasive essay. Instead, start out organized by using your outline, then support each point with facts, analysis, and counterarguments. List all of your main points together with the research to back them up.
After all, making a functioning framework will enable you to organize your argument in a clear and succinct manner, simplifying the writing process.
Besides, you must be aware of both your side and your opponent’s position in a persuasive essay. Concession is the acknowledgment of opposing viewpoints. By first identifying your opponent’s points of agreement, you can more gracefully win your argument.
In addition, find out what type of proof, what statistics, or what information they might use to support their claims. Then, counter them with even more compelling reasons. Before confounding them, you might even state the true counterarguments.
With that being said, you should also consider your opponent’s point of view while creating an outline to ease out everything.
Step 6: Write Your Persuasive Essay
Now that you have picked a topic, researched it, anticipated counterarguments, drafted your thesis, and created an outline, you are good to start writing your persuasive essay. This is probably the longest step of learning how to write a persuasive essay.
A. Write the Introduction
To write a strong persuasive essay, it is crucial to consider how to produce an excellent persuasive essay introduction. We suggest that you begin your introduction with a hook to attract the reader’s interest. You can add a quote, share an interesting fact or statistic, or create an interesting scenario.
The first line that can persuade your audience is your hook. And your job is done as long as it engages the reader. For instance, you can start your persuasive essay on why attending college is essential with something like, “There are people who have never attended college and are doing better than those with a degree.”
This straightforward assertion says absolutely nothing unique. However, it encourages your reader to keep on reading to find out why people with no degree tend to do better.
If you can not think of a good hook to start your essay with, skip writing a hook and proceed to the next step. Because you can come back later after you have strengthened your argument.
The next part of your introduction paragraph is your thesis. A thesis is generally a single sentence and you should:
- introduce your topic;
- give your point of view or argument;
- let your reader know how you are;
- and add a transition to connect to the body of your essay.
So, every “body” paragraph’s final sentence should serve as a seamless transition to the following paragraph. A smooth transition from the last sentence of one paragraph to the start sentence of the next should always be present. For instance, the beginning of the sentence reads, “School uniforms provide students an environment that is free from bullying,” and the end of the sentence says, “Wearing a school uniform would blend all pupils together eliminating any class inequality.”
B. Write the Body Paragraphs
Each paragraph in the body should be laser-focused on a single piece of evidence. Also, remember to cite sources and provide evidence for each of your assertions. Apply the rule of thumb: if you make a claim that isn’t usual for the topic, back it up. And make sure your proof supports your ideas for both you and your audience. A good example would be:
“People are safer as a result of the prison’s contribution to keeping drug traffickers and criminals out of the cities.“
‘Moreover, it is usually a good idea to challenge your audience in a persuasive essay just like in a research paper, dissertation, or speech. The writer of the document shouldn’t be confrontational, according to the fundamentals of persuasive essay writing. However, you must compel your audience to reconsider their viewpoints.
Here is a good example:
“Everyone likes healthier families, lesser crimes, and safer streets. To achieve the desired results, we must first ask ourselves if we are willing to step outside of our comfort zone.“
but avoid using statements such as the following:
“The policy is a tremendous failure and anyone who thinks it is not. They are insane and totally foolish.”
Lastly, write at least 3 “body” paragraphs to support your arguments and offer supporting details. Also, verify the paragraphs’ logical flow. Your persuasive essay’s ideas should be delivered naturally, one after another, rather than being dispersed across the text.
C. Write the Conclusion
By now we assume you have learned how to write a persuasive essay. Specifically, you may have learned how to write a persuasive essay introduction and what to keep in mind when writing your body paragraphs. So, let’s go on to the last section which is how to conclude a persuasive essay.
The basic recommendations for concluding a persuasive essay are to restate your thesis or list your key arguments (in this case, you have multiple key arguments).
Then, to add some flavor, place your main point in the larger context. Let the reader wonder what comes next after reading your final sentence. Because they will want to know what they need to do next and how they can make use of their view.
Step 7: Polish Up Your Persuasive Essay
Now that you’ve finished writing your persuasive essay, it’s time for a strong revision. You must make sure your essay’s organization is perfectly proper for your target audience, the setting of the work, and the objective when you modify it.
Remember that if your project resonates with the targeted audience, fulfills the objective indicated, and clarifies the intended context to your readers, your essay’s message will be both more contentious and effective.
In addition to that, check your essay to make sure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.
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