How to Write a Persuasive Essay
In a persuasive essay, the student at the college level writes to convince the reader – usually the professor – to believe something. It includes the writer taking a position on an issue, either for or against it, using logic and reason to illustrate the point they are making is indeed legitimate. Their argument is supported by evidence: the stating of facts, the execution of logical reasoning, examples from a text with an analysis of its specific content, and the quoting of experts on the subject being examined.
If you are looking for persuasive essay examples, here is a great one below
FREE PERSUASIVE ESSAY EXAMPLE
In order to write an effective persuasive essay, the student should be well informed on the topic, an effort that can be accomplished through researching and reading rather extensively about that topic. Also, every argument – in this case, the paper’s thesis: basically the argument being put forth in the essay – needs to be debatable; that is, an issue should have two sides, the writer choosing one of them to argue with supporting evidence.
Steps to Writing a Persuasive Essay
These common steps will help you understand how to write a persuasive essay.
STEP 1. The student must choose their position on a subject or topic. If they are unaware of their position on a topic, they can take a subject that interests them and ask themselves: “Which side of the issue or problem do I want to take and write about? How can I best argue that point – and what evidence can I use to make that argument an effective one?”
STEP 2. They must analyze their audience. In the case of the student in college or university level, their professor will most likely be their audience – the reader of their persuasive essay. This means the student should keep in mind that the essay should be written in a confident, informative and assertive tone, as put forth in a professional, academic manner.
STEP 3. The student, after choosing their position on a topic, should research to find evidence of the position they’re looking to take. After all, a persuasive essay will be as effective as the evidence supporting its argument. A library is an ideal place to begin research; in most cases, the library at an academic institution will have employed a person or staff whose primary job is keeping the students abreast of the latest research practices and theories.
STEP 4. Structure, outline the persuasive essay. In this step, the student is to figure out what they will include, how they will analyze each supporting point, and in what order they will do so as they write the essay. After narrowing the focus of their argument and finding evidence that supports it, they should create an outline that includes first an introduction paragraph declaring their Thesis – their Thesis Statement – followed by briefly listed points that support it. Each body paragraph will focus on one point at a time, the ones listed in the introductory paragraph, which support the original Thesis Statement. Finally, the student must include in their persuasive essay outline a concluding paragraph tying the paper together, solidifying their argument as a whole.
STEP 5. Write the essay, edit it, rewrite if needed, revise, then submit to the instructor. It may benefit the student to have a fellow student read their persuasive essay to see if it makes a strong enough argument. Also, many institutions in higher education hire writing tutors, and may even have a writing center for students.
TOP 101 BEST PERSUASIVE ESSAY TOPICS
Persuasive Essay Outline
Here is the basic outline of a persuasive essay:
- Hook - interesting fact or story to grab the reader’s attention.
- Background information – provides context around which to build your argument and acquaints the reader with the subject.
- Thesis – a clear, concise statement of your main argument. Your thesis gives the reader a map or the path your argument will follow.
Body Paragraphs (2, 3, or more)
Each body paragraph contains the following:
- One point that backs up your thesis
- Topic sentence that reflects the main idea of the paragraph
- Support for the thesis
- Evidence. Provide information from a reliable source that supports the main idea of the paragraph.
- Analysis. Show how the evidence you provide builds a case for the argument and construct this argument here.
- Briefly summarize the main point of the essay
- Establish significance of the topic (Why should the reader be interested?)
- Give the reader food for thought
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- Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.
- Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.
2. Drafting the Persuasive Essay
When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions:
- The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement. For example: “Driving while talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
- The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
- Each body paragraph should cover a separate point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer strong evidence in the form of facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-life examples.
The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing
- Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
- Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
- 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.
3. Revising the Persuasive Essay
In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:
- Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
- Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
- Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
- Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
- Is the sentence structure varied? Is the word choice precise? Do the transitions between sentences and paragraphs help the reader’s understanding?
- Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?
If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.
4. Editing the Persuasive Essay
Next, 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.
5. Publishing the Persuasive Essay
Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.
Time4Writing Teaches Persuasive Essay Writing
Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher. We first introduce essay writing to students at the elementary level, with our Beginning Essay Writing course, where they will have an opportunity to write their first five-paragraph essay. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing essays, including the persuasive essay. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. Time4Writing’s online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s progress with Time4Writing’s online writing courses.