Writing a persuasive essay is like being a lawyer arguing a case before a jury. Persuasive writing is a fixture of modern life—found in advertising, newspaper editorials, blogs, and political speeches.
Often persuasive writing assignments and test prompts concern contemporary issues, for example: Write an essay convincing the board to adopt your position. At Time4Writing, we believe the five-step writing process is the best approach to learning how to write a persuasive essay.
Here are persuasive essay tips for each phase of the writing process. The prewriting phase of writing a persuasive essay is extremely important. During this phase, students should plan every aspect of the essay:. Next, create an outline. Organize the evidence to build the strongest possible argument. If the teacher has specified an essay structure, incorporate it into the outline.
Typically, the persuasive essay comprises five or six paragraphs:. The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing. 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:. 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? You want to make sure that your argument feels like it's building, one point upon another, rather than feeling scattered. Use the last sentence of each body paragraph to transition to the next paragraph.
In order to establish flow in your essay, you want there to be a natural transition from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next. Here is one example: Add a rebuttal or counterargument.
You might not be required to do this, but it makes your essay stronger. Imagine you have an opponent who's arguing the exact opposite of what you're arguing. Think of one or two of their strongest arguments and come up with a counterargument to rebut it. However, consider the fact that middle schoolers are growing at an incredible rate. Their bodies need energy, and their minds may become fatigued if they go for long periods without eating.
Write your conclusion at the very end of your essay. As a general rule, it's a good idea to restate each of your main points and end the whole paper with a probing thought. If it's something your reader won't easily forget, your essay will have a more lasting impression. Why does this argument or opinion mean something to me? What further questions has my argument raised?
What action could readers take after reading my essay? Give yourself a day or two without looking at the essay. If you've planned ahead, this won't be hard. Then, come back to the essay after a day or two and look it over. The rest will give you a fresh set of eyes and help you spot errors. Any tricky language or ideas that needed time might be revisited then. Read through your draft. A common error with many student writers is not spending enough time revisiting a first draft.
Read through your essay from start to finish. Is this position supported throughout with evidence and examples? Are paragraphs bogged down by extraneous information? Do paragraphs focus on one main idea? Are any counterarguments presented fairly, without misrepresentation?
Are they convincingly dismissed? Are the paragraphs in an order that flows logically and builds an argument step-by-step? Revision is more than simple proofreading. You may need to touch up your transitions, move paragraphs around for better flow, or even draft new paragraphs with new, more compelling evidence. Be willing to make even major changes to improve your essay.
You may find it helpful to ask a trusted friend or classmate to look at your essay. Use the spell checker on your computer to check the spellings of the words if applicable. Read through your essay aloud, reading exactly what is on the page. This will help you catch proofreading errors. You may find it helpful to print out your draft and mark it up with a pen or pencil.
Working with a physical copy forces you to pay attention in a new way. Make sure to also format your essay correctly. For example, many instructors stipulate the margin width and font type you should use.
Sample Persuasive Historical Essay. A hook -- an interesting fact, story, or quote -- is usually your best opening. You want the first sentence to grab someone immediately and get them to keep reading. This is easier said than done, but if it interested you while researching or thinking it will likely interest other people.
Not Helpful 16 Helpful Is it okay to write my arguments in the introduction and then define them in each paragraph? Yes, it is certainly okay to briefly list your arguments in your opening paragraph. This can work well in longer essays, or if your points fit together in a way not immediately obvious to the reader. Be careful to not give too much away, though. Save the actual arguments for the body paragraphs. In general, try to have around three examples for each paragraph. Keep in mind that most professors will prefer quality over quantity.
Two good examples would be a lot better than three bad examples that either don't support your point or downright contradict it. Not Helpful 15 Helpful What are some of the transitional words to use for a persuasive essay? Adverbs, especially -ly words, are excellent transitional words. It's also possible to use prepositional phrases at the beginning of your sentences to transition.
Not Helpful 7 Helpful End your essay with a thorough conclusion that sums clearly up the points in your body paragraphs and leaves your reader with a final thought to muse on. Get your title from the last sentence in your essay. Not Helpful 10 Helpful Should I provide a lot of information, or just basic facts in order to wow my readers?
Not Helpful 8 Helpful What do I do if I have to write an essay in class and don't have access to any information or know the topic ahead of time? Instead of statistic-based arguments and evidence, use common sense and "most people believe" arguments. If you don't have access to information, your instructor will not expect an essay with strong fact-based evidence. Not Helpful 12 Helpful If you can't search for the information online, you should go to a library instead. You can also find someone who knows about the information you're looking for, and ask them questions.
Not Helpful 20 Helpful As many as you want! There is no right or wrong number to use. In general, just think of each paragraph as a mini-argument or point.
Use as many as you need to convince someone. Not Helpful 22 Helpful End it with a climax to your main point. Perhaps relate it to a reader's daily life. Answer this question Flag as Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write a persuasive essay, start with an attention-grabbing introduction that introduces your thesis statement or main argument.
A good way to test the strength of both your topic sentences and your argument as a whole is to construct an outline of your paper using only your paper's thesis statement and topic sentences.
However, your conclusion should not simply be a copy of your introduction. An effective conclusion gives the reader reasons for bothering to read your paper. One of the most important functions of this paragraph is to bring in fresh insight. Some possible questions to consider when writing your conclusion are:. While the organization and structure described in this handout are necessary components of an effective persuasive essay, keep in mind that writing itself is a fluid process.
There are no steadfast rules that you need to adhere to as you write. Simply because the introduction is the first paragraph in your essay does not mean that you must write this paragraph before any other. Think of the act of writing as an exploration of ideas, and let this sense of exploration guide you as you write your essay.
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A strong thesis statement is key to writing a persuasive essay. The thesis statement presents your topic to the reader, provides your opinion on that topic and summarizes the argument you’ll make in the paper by offering evidence for your opinion.
This persuasive type of thesis can be used in any essay that contains the writer’s opinion, including, as I mentioned above, compare/contrast essays, narrative essays, and so on. 2 Styles of Thesis Statements. Just as there are two different types of thesis statements (informative and persuasive), there are two basic styles you can use.
Persuasive essays require good research, awareness of the reader’s biases, and a solid understanding of both sides of the issue. A good persuasive essay demonstrates not only why the writer’s opinion is correct, but also why the opposing view is incorrect. Just as the thesis sentence holds together your essay, the topic sentence is the glue binding each individual body paragraph. A body paragraph’s topic sentence serves two main purposes: introducing the content of the paragraph and .
Persuasive Essay Samples Since this is the most common type of essay, it is important to be familiar with its requirements and style. Check out our persuasive essay samples to get acquainted with this popular form of essay. If writing persuasive essay causes difficulties or you simply do not want to do it yourself, leave a request on our website. Either argumentative or persuasive essays have a goal to express a concrete opinion, but they differ in the way of expression. After reading this chapter, you will know, how argumentative writing is different from.