Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay

By Karen Palmer on July 2020
Category: Essay Writing

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There are a lot of types of essays that students are assigned through their academic careers. One of them is a persuasive essay. Let’s find out how one can write a persuasive essay avoiding common mistakes and creating a decent academic piece.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is a type of written assignment that aims to encourage its readers to accept a particular point of view and demonstrate why this point is preferable compared to others. The name of the assignment speaks for itself – your piece should persuade your reader that information that you have found through your research supports your claims and proves that you are right when taking sides in some debatable topic. By the end of the piece, your reader should have no doubts about whether your opinion and your claims are truthful and correct.

Steps of Writing a Persuasive Essay

Step 1: Picking a topic. When picking what you should discuss in your persuasive essay, focus on some controversial issues and questions that have some potential for debating. For example, you might focus your work on questions like: “Is modern music better composed compared to the music of the 60s and 70s?” or “Should parents punish their children?” Of course, it’s better to pick the topic that you are interested in as it will make the process of writing easier.

Step 2: Researching. Find some background information on the topic, take your time to analyze a few sources, such as reports, archives, articles, and field studies.

Step 3: Picking a side. Decide what you are going to persuade your readers. Think of what your opinion on the issue is and how you can prove your point of view with evidence.

Step 4: Creating an outline. Create a brief outline with the main points organized on the paper. Do additional research if you need to find some more evidence to support your claims.

Step 5: Writing. Write the first draft of your essay, following your outline. Useful tips presented in this post will help you make this step easier, so keep reading.

Step 6: Editing and polishing. The final step is to proofread and edit your essay. Make sure you check your work for grammar and punctuation, as well as the overall style and flow.

What Is the Structure of a Persuasive Essay?

The structure of a persuasive essay is similar to other written assignments that you are probably used to. It consists of three main parts with key elements in each of them. The following are the elements that you should include in your persuasive essay when working on it:

Introduction

The introduction chapter of your essay is one that should prepare your reader for the following information, provide some basic background information on the topic, and include the main idea – your thesis statement that shows your point of view. Here are a few things that you should pay attention to when writing an introduction to your persuasive essay:

  1. Introduce the question that is discussed in the work.
  2. Briefly introduce different sides that one can take when discussing the chosen topic. It doesn’t mean that the sides must be completely polar. But there should be some room for an argumentative discussion.
  3. Clearly state your own opinion on the question. Be careful when choosing words – your statement should leave no space for question on what side you take in the debate. Don’t use words like ‘however,’ ‘depending,’ etc. Your point of view on the topic should be clear and firm.

Remember that your introduction sets the tone of your work, and the position that you show with your thesis statement should be supported with proper evidence later in the text.

The Body

The body of your work is the part where you give your thoughts and claims enough support with evidence and examples that you have found through your research. However, what makes a persuasive essay special is that you don’t have to strictly stick to the facts as you can elaborate your thoughts based on your own experience and emotions.

The number of paragraphs may vary depending on the task that you were given and the number of evidence that you put in your work. Generally, a persuasive essay requires a minimum of three body paragraphs. However, you can write more if you have a lot of information on the discussed issue. Keep in mind that each piece of evidence will require a separate paragraph so that your ideas are easy to follow and understand. Use your evidence in the text, starting with the strongest one.

It’s great to stick to a basic structure of each paragraph that will consist of:

  1. Topic sentence. This sentence should provide a claim, arguments, or an idea that you elaborate.
  2. One or two sentences that explain and specify some details about your topic sentence and make it more obvious how your claim ties down with your thesis statement.
  3. Evidence that supports your topic sentence.
  4. Transitional sentence. The sentences that you end up your paragraphs with help to connect everything into one smooth, logical line without sudden jumps from one fact to another. It also helps to create some sort of summary of the information provided in the paragraph and make it more concluded.

When writing the body paragraphs, remember to link each one of them to the thesis statement from your introduction. Each paragraph should be focused on one piece of evidence and explain why it proves your point of view on the topic.

The body part of your essay is where you can use various types of instruments to make it persuasive. For example:

  • Using comparison and analogy
  • Drawing hypothetical situations
  • Mentioning your life experience
  • Appealing to reader’s emotions
  • Appealing to facts, statistics, and various data
  • Using quotes and sayings

Conclusion

A conclusion is the summary of all the ideas and claims that you used in your work. It should restate your thesis statement, but don’t repeat it – change it a little and add some of the details and evidence from your body paragraphs.

Don’t try to add anything new, as it will confuse your reader. Summarize the main points instead and conclude your essay with some strong sentence that will leave no space for any doubts on whether your opinion on the issue is right.

Be confident in your words and claims – this is the only way to persuade your reader. Don’t forget that your conclusion is as important as the rest of your work as it helps to organize all the thoughts and ideas presented in your work.

Useful Tips on Writing Your Persuasive Essay

Here are some pieces of advice that you might find useful when writing your essay:

  1. Do your research before you choose the side. Sometimes you might put a lot of time and effort into your work just to find out that you don’t have enough evidence to support your claims and defend your position against counter-arguments. Start working on your paper only after you conduct your research on the topic to understand it from different angles.
  2. Choose your topic wisely. Some questions might seem like a good fit for a persuasive essay, but in reality, the answer to them just narrows down to simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
  3. If you want to make your conclusion more powerful, you can add a little call to action.
  4. Don’t skip the outline step. Some students think that creating an outline is a waste of time. However, it really helps when you need to organize your thoughts and plan your writing.
  5. Use transitional words that help make your work easier to read and follow. Examples: therefore, first of all, additionally, however, on the other hand, etc.
  6. Request help from a team of professional writers if you’re stuck with your essay. You don’t want to miss that deadline, and we are the ones who will help you manage all of your assignments on time.
  7. Put your essay away for a few hours or even days after you finish writing it. When you come back to it, you will see that it’s easier for you to spot mistakes with a fresh eye.
  8. Use grammar checkers when polishing your essay.
  9. Know who you write for. Try to understand your reader. Who are they? Do they start reading your essay without any knowledge on the issue? Do you need to change their mind?
  10. Understand that your essay should defend your point of view and have pretty strong evidence against objections that your reader might raise.

Now you are ready to start working on your persuasive essay! We hope that you find this article and our tips useful. Make sure you follow our steps of writing and have enough time to write and edit your work before the deadline. And if the deadline is too close for you to manage, you can always turn to our team for help!

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