best words to use in a persuasive essay

The 108 Most Persuasive Words In The English Language

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best words to use in a persuasive essay


It’s a long known fact that the secret to persuasive writing isn’t in the adjectives, it’s in the verbs.

Copywriters know power verbs sell and convince.

Internally, we have a list of 108 verbs that we’ve been using for a good decade, and we recently thought we should share it with proper credit to the original author.

We found that although the list is being recirculated (and in many cases claimed as original by several different authors!), the original author is, in fact, nowhere to be found.

So, if anyone knows who wrote this, we’d love to know!

With or without the original author, it’s still a great list…here it is!

best words to use in a persuasive essay

According to legendary advertising man, Leo Burnet, “Dull and exaggerated ad copy is due to the excess use of adjectives.”

To prove it, he asked his staff to compare the number of adjectives in 62 ads that failed to the number of adjectives in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and other age-old classics.

Here’s what he discovered:

Of the 12,758 words in the 62 failed ads, 24.1% were adjectives.

By direct comparison, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address contains only 35 adjectives out of 268 immortal words – only 13.1% adjective-to-total-word ratio.

Winston Churchill’s famous “Blood, Sweat and Tears” speech rates even lower and has a 12.1% adjective ratio (81 adjectives from 667 words).

Burnett found that similar ratios applied to great works such as The Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Conclusion: Use more verbs, not adjectives.

Verbs increase the pulling-power and believability of ad copy.

That’s why it makes sense to keep this 108-VERB “CHEAT-SHEET” close-by whenever you begin to draft your next space ad, sales letter, Website, or email campaign.

best words to use in a persuasive essay

Still unsure how to incorporate these verbs into your marketing campaign? Or, perhaps, you just don’t have the time?

Then consider hiring a team of professional copywriters to do it for you! Talented advertising and marketing writers can take mediocre content and use power verbs to turn it into engaging copy that meets goals and produces results.

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best words to use in a persuasive essay

3 thoughts on “ The 108 Most Persuasive Words In The English Language ”

It is remarkable, very amusing piece

Hi there, love your website. I am a teacher and my kids love using your amazing verbs you have provided us with in their writing. Email me and I could send you some drafts of their writing – you’ll be blown away!

Catch up soon 🙂

Thanks, Hope Brown

Hi Hope! We are so happy to hear that our blog has helped you and your students. We would love to see some of their writing!

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Which of these “Power Verbs” do you find most persuasive?

Essay Papers Writing Online

10 effective techniques to master persuasive essay writing and convince any audience.

Persuasive essay writing

As a skilled communicator, your ability to persuade others is crucial in many areas of life. Whether you’re presenting an argument, advocating for a cause, or simply trying to convince someone of your point of view, your persuasive essay can be a powerful tool. However, crafting an essay that truly convinces your reader requires more than just strong opinions and eloquent language. It requires a strategic approach that combines logical reasoning, emotional appeal, and effective writing techniques.

1. Craft a Compelling Introduction: Your introduction is the first impression you make on your reader, so it’s essential to capture their attention right from the start. Consider using a captivating anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a shocking statistic to engage your audience and set the tone for your essay. By immediately grabbing their interest, you increase the chances that they’ll continue reading and be open to your persuasive arguments.

2. Clearly Define Your Position: Before launching into the main body of your essay, make sure to clearly state your position on the topic. This will help your reader understand your stance and follow your line of reasoning throughout the essay. Use concise and assertive language to communicate your position, and consider reinforcing it with strong evidence or expert opinions that support your viewpoint.

3. Appeal to Emotions: While rational arguments are important, emotions often play a significant role in persuasive writing. Connect with your reader on an emotional level by using vivid descriptions, personal anecdotes, or powerful metaphors. By eliciting an emotional response, you can create a deeper connection with your audience and make your arguments more compelling.

Choose a compelling topic that ignites your passion

Choose a compelling topic that ignites your passion

When crafting a persuasive essay, it is crucial to select a topic that not only captivates and engages your readers but also resonates strongly with you. By choosing a compelling topic that ignites your passion, you will be able to infuse enthusiasm and conviction into your writing, making it more convincing and persuasive.

While it may be tempting to select a popular or trending topic, it is essential to choose something that you deeply care about and have a genuine interest in. Your passion for the subject matter will shine through in your writing, capturing the attention and interest of your readers.

  • Explore your hobbies and personal interests.
  • Reflect on societal issues that deeply affect you.
  • Consider topics that challenge conventional thinking.
  • Analyze current events and their impact on your community or society as a whole.
  • Look for subjects that inspire debate and differing opinions.
  • Examine topics that align with your values and beliefs.

By choosing a topic that you are not only knowledgeable about but also passionate about, you will have a stronger emotional connection to your writing. This emotional connection will allow you to effectively convey your argument, influence your readers’ perspectives, and ultimately convince them to see things from your point of view.

Remember, the key to writing a persuasive essay lies in your ability to convey your ideas convincingly. By selecting a compelling topic that ignites your passion, you will have a solid foundation for crafting a persuasive essay that will resonate with readers and leave a lasting impact. So, take the time to explore your interests and choose a topic that truly captivates you.

Conduct thorough research to gather supporting evidence

Gathering strong evidence is a vital step in writing a persuasive essay. Convincing your readers requires you to present compelling facts, statistics, expert opinions, and examples that support your arguments. To achieve this, it is crucial to conduct thorough research to collect relevant and reliable information.

Begin by determining the main points you want to convey in your essay. These points should align with your thesis statement and support your overall argument. Once you have a clear idea of what you are trying to communicate, start gathering supporting evidence.

Research various credible sources such as academic journals, books, reputable websites, and expert interviews. Look for information that directly relates to your topic and can be used to reinforce your arguments. Be sure to verify the credibility and reliability of your sources to ensure the accuracy of the information.

Take notes as you conduct your research, highlighting key points, supporting evidence, and any quotes or statistics that you may want to include in your essay. It is essential to organize your findings in a way that makes sense and flows logically in your essay.

When using statistics or data, make sure to cite the sources properly to give credit to the original authors and establish your credibility as a writer. This will also allow your readers to verify the information themselves if they wish to do so.

By conducting thorough research and gathering strong supporting evidence, you will be able to present a persuasive and well-supported argument in your essay. This will not only convince your readers but also showcase your knowledge, understanding, and dedication to the topic at hand.

Develop a clear and concise thesis statement

One of the most important aspects of writing a persuasive essay is developing a thesis statement that is clear, concise, and compelling. A thesis statement serves as the main argument or central idea of your essay. It sets the tone for the entire piece and helps to guide your reader through your argument.

When developing your thesis statement, it’s essential to choose a strong and persuasive statement that clearly states your position on the topic. Avoid vague or ambiguous language that can confuse your reader and weaken your argument. Instead, use strong and specific language that clearly conveys your main point.

Your thesis statement should be concise, meaning it should be expressed in a clear and straightforward manner. Avoid unnecessary words or phrases that can dilute your message and make it less powerful. Instead, focus on getting your point across in as few words as possible while still maintaining clarity and impact.

Additionally, your thesis statement should be compelling and persuasive. It should motivate your reader to continue reading and consider your argument. Use persuasive language and strong evidence to support your thesis statement and convince your reader of its validity.

In summary, developing a clear and concise thesis statement is crucial for writing a persuasive essay. Choose a strong statement that clearly conveys your position, use concise language to express your point, and make your statement compelling and persuasive. By doing so, you will create a strong foundation for your entire essay and increase your chances of convincing your reader.

Use persuasive language and rhetorical devices

Use persuasive language and rhetorical devices

When it comes to crafting a compelling persuasive essay, one must master the art of persuasive language and employ various rhetorical devices. The way you choose your words and structure your sentences can make all the difference in captivating and convincing your readers.

One effective technique is to use strong and powerful language that evokes emotion and creates a sense of urgency. The use of vivid and descriptive words can paint a picture in the minds of your readers, making your arguments more relatable and engaging.

Additionally, employing rhetorical devices such as metaphors, similes, and analogies can effectively convey your message and help your readers understand complex ideas. By drawing comparisons and creating associations, you can make abstract concepts more tangible and easier to grasp.

Another valuable device is repetition. By repeating key phrases or ideas throughout your essay, you can emphasize your points and reinforce your arguments. This technique can help make your arguments more memorable and leave a lasting impact on your readers.

Furthermore, using rhetorical questions can encourage your readers to think critically about your topic and consider your perspective. By posing thought-provoking questions, you can guide your readers towards your desired conclusions and make them actively engage with your essay.

Lastly, employing the use of anecdotes and personal stories can make your essay more relatable and establish a connection with your readers. By sharing real-life examples or experiences, you can offer concrete evidence to support your arguments and establish credibility.

In conclusion, mastering persuasive language and employing rhetorical devices can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your persuasive essay. By choosing your words carefully, using powerful language, and incorporating various rhetorical techniques, you can captivate your readers and present your arguments in a compelling and convincing manner.

Address counterarguments and refute them with strong evidence

When writing a persuasive essay, it is crucial to anticipate and address potential counterarguments to strengthen your argument. By acknowledging opposing viewpoints and then refuting them with strong evidence, you can demonstrate the credibility and validity of your own position.

One effective way to address counterarguments is to acknowledge them upfront and present them in an objective and unbiased manner. By doing so, you show that you have considered different perspectives and are willing to engage in a fair and balanced discussion. This approach also helps you connect with readers who may initially hold opposing views, as it shows respect for their opinions and demonstrates your willingness to engage in thoughtful debate.

To effectively refute counterarguments, it is important to use strong evidence that supports your own position. This can include data, statistics, expert opinions, research findings, and real-life examples. By providing convincing evidence, you can demonstrate the superiority of your argument and weaken the credibility of counterarguments. Be sure to cite credible sources and use persuasive language to present your evidence in a convincing way.

In addition to providing strong evidence, it is also important to anticipate and address potential weaknesses in your own argument. By acknowledging and addressing these weaknesses, you can show that you have thoroughly considered your stance and are able to respond to potential criticisms. This helps to build trust and credibility with your readers, as they can see that you are aware of the limitations of your argument and have taken steps to address them.

In conclusion, addressing counterarguments and refuting them with strong evidence is a crucial component of persuasive writing. By acknowledging opposing viewpoints and providing solid evidence to support your own position, you can strengthen your argument and convince readers to adopt your point of view. Remember to always approach counterarguments objectively, use persuasive language, and address any potential weaknesses in your own argument. By doing so, you can create a compelling and persuasive essay that will resonate with your readers.

Edit and proofread your essay for grammar and clarity

Once you’ve completed your persuasive essay, the work isn’t quite finished. It’s essential to go back and review your writing with a critical eye, focusing on grammar and clarity. This final step is crucial in ensuring that your arguments are effectively communicated and that your reader can easily understand and follow your points.

First and foremost, pay attention to grammar. Look for any errors in your sentence structure, verb tense, subject-verb agreement, and punctuation. Make sure that your sentences are clear and concise, without any unnecessary or confusing phrases. Correct any spelling mistakes or typos that may have slipped through the cracks.

Next, consider the overall clarity of your essay. Read through each paragraph and ensure that your ideas flow logically and cohesively. Are your arguments supported by evidence and examples? Are your transitions smooth and seamless? If necessary, revise or rearrange your paragraphs to strengthen the overall structure of your essay.

It’s also important to check for any ambiguous or vague language. Make sure that your words and phrases have precise meanings and can be easily understood by your reader. Consider whether there are any areas where you could provide more clarification or add further details to strengthen your points.

When editing and proofreading, it can be helpful to read your essay out loud. This can help you identify any awkward or convoluted sentences, as well as any areas where you may have used repetitive or redundant language. Reading aloud also allows you to hear the natural rhythm and flow of your writing, giving you a better sense of how your words will be perceived by the reader.

Finally, consider seeking feedback from others. Share your essay with a trusted friend, family member, or teacher and ask for their input. They may be able to offer valuable suggestions or catch any errors that you may have missed. Sometimes, a fresh set of eyes can provide a new perspective and help you improve your essay even further.

By taking the time to edit and proofread your essay for grammar and clarity, you can ensure that your persuasive arguments are presented in the most effective and compelling way possible. This attention to detail will not only demonstrate your strong writing skills, but it will also increase the chances of convincing your reader to see things from your perspective.

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Tips and Tricks

Allison Bressmer

Allison Bressmer

How to write a persuasive essay

Most composition classes you’ll take will teach the art of persuasive writing. That’s a good thing.

Knowing where you stand on issues and knowing how to argue for or against something is a skill that will serve you well both inside and outside of the classroom.

Persuasion is the art of using logic to prompt audiences to change their mind or take action , and is generally seen as accomplishing that goal by appealing to emotions and feelings.

A persuasive essay is one that attempts to get a reader to agree with your perspective.

What is a persuasive essay?

Ready for some tips on how to produce a well-written, well-rounded, well-structured persuasive essay? Just say yes. I don’t want to have to write another essay to convince you!

How Do I Write a Persuasive Essay?

What are some good topics for a persuasive essay, how do i identify an audience for my persuasive essay, how do you create an effective persuasive essay, how should i edit my persuasive essay.

Your persuasive essay needs to have the three components required of any essay: the introduction , body , and conclusion .

That is essay structure. However, there is flexibility in that structure.

There is no rule (unless the assignment has specific rules) for how many paragraphs any of those sections need.

Although the components should be proportional; the body paragraphs will comprise most of your persuasive essay.

What should every essay include?

How Do I Start a Persuasive Essay?

As with any essay introduction, this paragraph is where you grab your audience’s attention, provide context for the topic of discussion, and present your thesis statement.

TIP 1: Some writers find it easier to write their introductions last. As long as you have your working thesis, this is a perfectly acceptable approach. From that thesis, you can plan your body paragraphs and then go back and write your introduction.

TIP 2: Avoid “announcing” your thesis. Don’t include statements like this:

  • “In my essay I will show why extinct animals should (not) be regenerated.”
  • “The purpose of my essay is to argue that extinct animals should (not) be regenerated.”

Announcements take away from the originality, authority, and sophistication of your writing.

Instead, write a convincing thesis statement that answers the question "so what?" Why is the topic important, what do you think about it, and why do you think that? Be specific.

How Many Paragraphs Should a Persuasive Essay Have?

This body of your persuasive essay is the section in which you develop the arguments that support your thesis. Consider these questions as you plan this section of your essay:

  • What arguments support your thesis?
  • What is the best order for your arguments?
  • What evidence do you have?
  • Will you address the opposing argument to your own?
  • How can you conclude convincingly?

The body of a persuasive essay

TIP: Brainstorm and do your research before you decide which arguments you’ll focus on in your discussion. Make a list of possibilities and go with the ones that are strongest, that you can discuss with the most confidence, and that help you balance your rhetorical triangle .

What Should I Put in the Conclusion of a Persuasive Essay?

The conclusion is your “mic-drop” moment. Think about how you can leave your audience with a strong final comment.

And while a conclusion often re-emphasizes the main points of a discussion, it shouldn’t simply repeat them.

TIP 1: Be careful not to introduce a new argument in the conclusion—there’s no time to develop it now that you’ve reached the end of your discussion!

TIP 2 : As with your thesis, avoid announcing your conclusion. Don’t start your conclusion with “in conclusion” or “to conclude” or “to end my essay” type statements. Your audience should be able to see that you are bringing the discussion to a close without those overused, less sophisticated signals.

The conclusion of a persuasive essay

If your instructor has assigned you a topic, then you’ve already got your issue; you’ll just have to determine where you stand on the issue. Where you stand on your topic is your position on that topic.

Your position will ultimately become the thesis of your persuasive essay: the statement the rest of the essay argues for and supports, intending to convince your audience to consider your point of view.

If you have to choose your own topic, use these guidelines to help you make your selection:

  • Choose an issue you truly care about
  • Choose an issue that is actually debatable

Simple “tastes” (likes and dislikes) can’t really be argued. No matter how many ways someone tries to convince me that milk chocolate rules, I just won’t agree.

It’s dark chocolate or nothing as far as my tastes are concerned.

Similarly, you can’t convince a person to “like” one film more than another in an essay.

You could argue that one movie has superior qualities than another: cinematography, acting, directing, etc. but you can’t convince a person that the film really appeals to them.

Debatable and non-debatable concepts

Once you’ve selected your issue, determine your position just as you would for an assigned topic. That position will ultimately become your thesis.

Until you’ve finalized your work, consider your thesis a “working thesis.”

This means that your statement represents your position, but you might change its phrasing or structure for that final version.

When you’re writing an essay for a class, it can seem strange to identify an audience—isn’t the audience the instructor?

Your instructor will read and evaluate your essay, and may be part of your greater audience, but you shouldn’t just write for your teacher.

Think about who your intended audience is.

For an argument essay, think of your audience as the people who disagree with you—the people who need convincing.

That population could be quite broad, for example, if you’re arguing a political issue, or narrow, if you’re trying to convince your parents to extend your curfew.

Once you’ve got a sense of your audience, it’s time to consult with Aristotle. Aristotle’s teaching on persuasion has shaped communication since about 330 BC. Apparently, it works.

Ethos, pathos and logos

Aristotle taught that in order to convince an audience of something, the communicator needs to balance the three elements of the rhetorical triangle to achieve the best results.

Those three elements are ethos , logos , and pathos .

Ethos relates to credibility and trustworthiness. How can you, as the writer, demonstrate your credibility as a source of information to your audience?

How will you show them you are worthy of their trust?

How to make your essay credible

  • You show you’ve done your research: you understand the issue, both sides
  • You show respect for the opposing side: if you disrespect your audience, they won’t respect you or your ideas

Logos relates to logic. How will you convince your audience that your arguments and ideas are reasonable?

How to use logic in essays

You provide facts or other supporting evidence to support your claims.

That evidence may take the form of studies or expert input or reasonable examples or a combination of all of those things, depending on the specific requirements of your assignment.

Remember: if you use someone else’s ideas or words in your essay, you need to give them credit.

ProWritingAid's Plagiarism Checker checks your work against over a billion web-pages, published works, and academic papers so you can be sure of its originality.

Find out more about ProWritingAid’s Plagiarism checks.

Pathos relates to emotion. Audiences are people and people are emotional beings. We respond to emotional prompts. How will you engage your audience with your arguments on an emotional level?

How to use emotion in essays

  • You make strategic word choices : words have denotations (dictionary meanings) and also connotations, or emotional values. Use words whose connotations will help prompt the feelings you want your audience to experience.
  • You use emotionally engaging examples to support your claims or make a point, prompting your audience to be moved by your discussion.

Be mindful as you lean into elements of the triangle. Too much pathos and your audience might end up feeling manipulated, roll their eyes and move on.

An “all logos” approach will leave your essay dry and without a sense of voice; it will probably bore your audience rather than make them care.

Once you’ve got your essay planned, start writing! Don’t worry about perfection, just get your ideas out of your head and off your list and into a rough essay format.

After you’ve written your draft, evaluate your work. What works and what doesn’t? For help with evaluating and revising your work, check out this ProWritingAid post on manuscript revision .

After you’ve evaluated your draft, revise it. Repeat that process as many times as you need to make your work the best it can be.

When you’re satisfied with the content and structure of the essay, take it through the editing process .

Grammatical or sentence-level errors can distract your audience or even detract from the ethos—the authority—of your work.

You don’t have to edit alone! ProWritingAid’s Realtime Report will find errors and make suggestions for improvements.

You can even use it on emails to your professors:

ProWritingAid's Realtime Report

Try ProWritingAid with a free account.

How Can I Improve My Persuasion Skills?

You can develop your powers of persuasion every day just by observing what’s around you.

  • How is that advertisement working to convince you to buy a product?
  • How is a political candidate arguing for you to vote for them?
  • How do you “argue” with friends about what to do over the weekend, or convince your boss to give you a raise?
  • How are your parents working to convince you to follow a certain academic or career path?

As you observe these arguments in action, evaluate them. Why are they effective or why do they fail?

How could an argument be strengthened with more (or less) emphasis on ethos, logos, and pathos?

Every argument is an opportunity to learn! Observe them, evaluate them, and use them to perfect your own powers of persuasion.

best words to use in a persuasive essay

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Allison Bressmer is a professor of freshman composition and critical reading at a community college and a freelance writer. If she isn’t writing or teaching, you’ll likely find her reading a book or listening to a podcast while happily sipping a semi-sweet iced tea or happy-houring with friends. She lives in New York with her family. Connect at

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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

best words to use in a persuasive essay

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument. Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”


You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

Table of contents

best words to use in a persuasive essay

Meredith Sell

You can make your essay more persuasive by getting straight to the point.

In fact, that's exactly what we did here, and that's just the first tip of this guide. Throughout this guide, we share the steps needed to prove an argument and create a persuasive essay.

This AI tool helps you improve your essay > This AI tool helps you improve your essay >

persuasive essay

Key takeaways: - Proven process to make any argument persuasive - 5-step process to structure arguments - How to use AI to formulate and optimize your essay

Why is being persuasive so difficult?

"Write an essay that persuades the reader of your opinion on a topic of your choice."

You might be staring at an assignment description just like this 👆from your professor. Your computer is open to a blank document, the cursor blinking impatiently. Do I even have opinions?

The persuasive essay can be one of the most intimidating academic papers to write: not only do you need to identify a narrow topic and research it, but you also have to come up with a position on that topic that you can back up with research while simultaneously addressing different viewpoints.

That’s a big ask. And let’s be real: most opinion pieces in major news publications don’t fulfill these requirements.

The upside? By researching and writing your own opinion, you can learn how to better formulate not only an argument but the actual positions you decide to hold. 

Here, we break down exactly how to write a persuasive essay. We’ll start by taking a step that’s key for every piece of writing—defining the terms.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is exactly what it sounds like: an essay that persuades . Over the course of several paragraphs or pages, you’ll use researched facts and logic to convince the reader of your opinion on a particular topic and discredit opposing opinions.

While you’ll spend some time explaining the topic or issue in question, most of your essay will flesh out your viewpoint and the evidence that supports it.

The 5 Must-Have Steps of a Persuasive Essay

If you’re intimidated by the idea of writing an argument, use this list to break your process into manageable chunks. Tackle researching and writing one element at a time, and then revise your essay so that it flows smoothly and coherently with every component in the optimal place.

1. A topic or issue to argue

This is probably the hardest step. You need to identify a topic or issue that is narrow enough to cover in the length of your piece—and is also arguable from more than one position. Your topic must call for an opinion , and not be a simple fact .

It might be helpful to walk through this process:

  • Identify a random topic
  • Ask a question about the topic that involves a value claim or analysis to answer
  • Answer the question

That answer is your opinion.

Let’s consider some examples, from silly to serious:

Topic: Dolphins and mermaids

Question: In a mythical match, who would win: a dolphin or a mermaid?

Answer/Opinion: The mermaid would win in a match against a dolphin.

Topic: Autumn

Question: Which has a better fall: New England or Colorado?

Answer/Opinion: Fall is better in New England than Colorado.

Topic: Electric transportation options

Question: Would it be better for an urban dweller to buy an electric bike or an electric car?

Answer/Opinion: An electric bike is a better investment than an electric car.

Your turn: Walk through the three-step process described above to identify your topic and your tentative opinion. You may want to start by brainstorming a list of topics you find interesting and then going use the three-step process to find the opinion that would make the best essay topic.

2. An unequivocal thesis statement

If you walked through our three-step process above, you already have some semblance of a thesis—but don’t get attached too soon! 

A solid essay thesis is best developed through the research process. You shouldn’t land on an opinion before you know the facts. So press pause. Take a step back. And dive into your research.

You’ll want to learn:

  • The basic facts of your topic. How long does fall last in New England vs. Colorado? What trees do they have? What colors do those trees turn?
  • The facts specifically relevant to your question. Is there any science on how the varying colors of fall influence human brains and moods?
  • What experts or other noteworthy and valid sources say about the question you’re considering. Has a well-known arborist waxed eloquent on the beauty of New England falls?

As you learn the different viewpoints people have on your topic, pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of existing arguments. Is anyone arguing the perspective you’re leaning toward? Do you find their arguments convincing? What do you find unsatisfying about the various arguments? 

Allow the research process to change your mind and/or refine your thinking on the topic. Your opinion may change entirely or become more specific based on what you learn.

Once you’ve done enough research to feel confident in your understanding of the topic and your opinion on it, craft your thesis. 

Your thesis statement should be clear and concise. It should directly state your viewpoint on the topic, as well as the basic case for your thesis.

Thesis 1: In a mythical match, the mermaid would overcome the dolphin due to one distinct advantage: her ability to breathe underwater.

Thesis 2: The full spectrum of color displayed on New England hillsides is just one reason why fall in the northeast is better than in Colorado.

Thesis 3: In addition to not adding to vehicle traffic, electric bikes are a better investment than electric cars because they’re cheaper and require less energy to accomplish the same function of getting the rider from point A to point B.

Your turn: Dive into the research process with a radar up for the arguments your sources are making about your topic. What are the most convincing cases? Should you stick with your initial opinion or change it up? Write your fleshed-out thesis statement.

3. Evidence to back up your thesis

This is a typical place for everyone from undergrads to politicians to get stuck, but the good news is, if you developed your thesis from research, you already have a good bit of evidence to make your case.

Go back through your research notes and compile a list of every …

… or other piece of information that supports your thesis. 

This info can come from research studies you found in scholarly journals, government publications, news sources, encyclopedias, or other credible sources (as long as they fit your professor’s standards).

As you put this list together, watch for any gaps or weak points. Are you missing information on how electric cars versus electric bicycles charge or how long their batteries last? Did you verify that dolphins are, in fact, mammals and can’t breathe underwater like totally-real-and-not-at-all-fake 😉mermaids can? Track down that information.

Next, organize your list. Group the entries so that similar or closely related information is together, and as you do that, start thinking through how to articulate the individual arguments to support your case. 

Depending on the length of your essay, each argument may get only a paragraph or two of space. As you think through those specific arguments, consider what order to put them in. You’ll probably want to start with the simplest argument and work up to more complicated ones so that the arguments can build on each other. 

Your turn: Organize your evidence and write a rough draft of your arguments. Play around with the order to find the most compelling way to argue your case.

4. Rebuttals to disprove opposing theses

You can’t just present the evidence to support your case and totally ignore other viewpoints. To persuade your readers, you’ll need to address any opposing ideas they may hold about your topic. 

You probably found some holes in the opposing views during your research process. Now’s your chance to expose those holes. 

Take some time (and space) to: describe the opposing views and show why those views don’t hold up. You can accomplish this using both logic and facts.

Is a perspective based on a faulty assumption or misconception of the truth? Shoot it down by providing the facts that disprove the opinion.

Is another opinion drawn from bad or unsound reasoning? Show how that argument falls apart.

Some cases may truly be only a matter of opinion, but you still need to articulate why you don’t find the opposing perspective convincing.

Yes, a dolphin might be stronger than a mermaid, but as a mammal, the dolphin must continually return to the surface for air. A mermaid can breathe both underwater and above water, which gives her a distinct advantage in this mythical battle.

While the Rocky Mountain views are stunning, their limited colors—yellow from aspen trees and green from various evergreens—leaves the autumn-lover less than thrilled. The rich reds and oranges and yellows of the New England fall are more satisfying and awe-inspiring.

But what about longer trips that go beyond the city center into the suburbs and beyond? An electric bike wouldn’t be great for those excursions. Wouldn’t an electric car be the better choice then? 

Certainly, an electric car would be better in these cases than a gas-powered car, but if most of a person’s trips are in their hyper-local area, the electric bicycle is a more environmentally friendly option for those day-to-day outings. That person could then participate in a carshare or use public transit, a ride-sharing app, or even a gas-powered car for longer trips—and still use less energy overall than if they drove an electric car for hyper-local and longer area trips.

Your turn: Organize your rebuttal research and write a draft of each one.

5. A convincing conclusion

You have your arguments and rebuttals. You’ve proven your thesis is rock-solid. Now all you have to do is sum up your overall case and give your final word on the subject. 

Don’t repeat everything you’ve already said. Instead, your conclusion should logically draw from the arguments you’ve made to show how they coherently prove your thesis. You’re pulling everything together and zooming back out with a better understanding of the what and why of your thesis. 

A dolphin may never encounter a mermaid in the wild, but if it were to happen, we know how we’d place our bets. Long hair and fish tail, for the win.

For those of us who relish 50-degree days, sharp air, and the vibrant colors of fall, New England offers a season that’s cozier, longer-lasting, and more aesthetically pleasing than “colorful” Colorado. A leaf-peeper’s paradise.

When most of your trips from day to day are within five miles, the more energy-efficient—and yes, cost-efficient—choice is undoubtedly the electric bike. So strap on your helmet, fire up your pedals, and two-wheel away to your next destination with full confidence that you made the right decision for your wallet and the environment.

3 Quick Tips for Writing a Strong Argument

Once you have a draft to work with, use these tips to refine your argument and make sure you’re not losing readers for avoidable reasons.

1. Choose your words thoughtfully.

If you want to win people over to your side, don’t write in a way that shuts your opponents down. Avoid making abrasive or offensive statements. Instead, use a measured, reasonable tone. Appeal to shared values, and let your facts and logic do the hard work of changing people’s minds.

Choose words with AI

best words to use in a persuasive essay

You can use AI to turn your general point into a readable argument. Then, you can paraphrase each sentence and choose between competing arguments generated by the AI, until your argument is well-articulated and concise.

2. Prioritize accuracy (and avoid fallacies).

Make sure the facts you use are actually factual. You don’t want to build your argument on false or disproven information. Use the most recent, respected research. Make sure you don’t misconstrue study findings. And when you’re building your case, avoid logical fallacies that undercut your argument.

A few common fallacies to watch out for:

  • Strawman: Misrepresenting or oversimplifying an opposing argument to make it easier to refute.
  • Appeal to ignorance: Arguing that a certain claim must be true because it hasn’t been proven false.
  • Bandwagon: Assumes that if a group of people, experts, etc., agree with a claim, it must be true.
  • Hasty generalization: Using a few examples, rather than substantial evidence, to make a sweeping claim.
  • Appeal to authority: Overly relying on opinions of people who have authority of some kind.

The strongest arguments rely on trustworthy information and sound logic.

Research and add citations with AI

best words to use in a persuasive essay

We recently wrote a three part piece on researching using AI, so be sure to check it out . Going through an organized process of researching and noting your sources correctly will make sure your written text is more accurate.

3. Persuasive essay structure

Persuasive essay structure

If you’re building a house, you start with the foundation and go from there. It’s the same with an argument. You want to build from the ground up: provide necessary background information, then your thesis. Then, start with the simplest part of your argument and build up in terms of complexity and the aspect of your thesis that the argument is tackling.

A consistent, internal logic will make it easier for the reader to follow your argument. Plus, you’ll avoid confusing your reader and you won’t be unnecessarily redundant.

The essay structure usually includes the following parts:

  • Intro - Hook, Background information, Thesis statement
  • Topic sentence #1 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Concluding sentence
  • Topic sentence #2 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Concluding sentence Topic sentence #3 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Conclusion - Thesis and main points restated, call to action, thought provoking ending

Are You Ready to Write?

Persuasive essays are a great way to hone your research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Approach this assignment well, and you’ll learn how to form opinions based on information (not just ideas) and make arguments that—if they don’t change minds—at least win readers’ respect. ‍

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay in 6 Steps

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A persuasive essay is defined by two purposes: to convince the audience to agree with the speaker’s position on a debatable issue and to inspire listeners to take action. In order to succeed, the speaker must forge a relationship with the audience, while appealing to their intellect and emotions. Let’s look at six steps to writing an excellent persuasive essay.

1. Choose a debatable issue about which you have strong feelings and a definite position.

A debatable issue is one that generates conflicting opinions and points of view; it also may generate strong personal or professional feelings as to how it should be addressed. A persuasive essay is likely to be more effective if you invest your time and effort in writing about an issue that is important to you, perhaps one that you relate to personally.      

2. Research all sides of the issue and take notes.

Once you have chosen an issue for your essay, research conflicting views about it. Take notes over information that supports your position on the issue: facts, examples, statistics, anecdotes, and quotations from experts and/or reliable studies. Record the sources of the information to establish its reliability. Also, take notes over information that supports the strongest argument against your position on the issue. 

3. Draft a thesis statement for your essay.

Like most essays, a persuasive essay needs a thesis statement: a sentence that clearly states what you will explain and support in the essay. Write a thesis that clearly states your position on the issue.

4. Create a working outline.

A working outline is not detailed. Referring to your notes, create a 3-part working outline that lists 2 of the strongest arguments in favor of your position and the strongest argument against it. 

5. Draft the introduction, main body, and conclusion of your essay.

In drafting your essay, keep in mind the objectives to achieve in each part. Also, incorporate rhetorical devices, imagery, and figurative language throughout the text.

Introduction: To arouse the interest of the audience, use one or more of these methods. 

  • Begin with an anecdote that relates to the subject of the essay; it can be an anecdote from your personal experience or one you have heard or read from another source.
  • Begin with historical or factual information of interest regarding the subject.
  • Begin with a quotation that relates to the subject. Quotations from history, literature, or contemporary figures can all be effective; identify the source of the quotation.

Develop the introduction by identifying the general subject of your essay and the specific issue at hand; acknowledge that the issue generates disagreement, as views regarding it often conflict. 

Conclude the introduction with your thesis, stating your position on the issue clearly and concisely.  

Main Body: Refer to your working outline while writing the main body of your essay. Draft a main body paragraph to address each of the three parts of the outline. Since the working outline includes two arguments supporting your position and one opposing it, the main body may consist of three paragraphs; however, if more than one paragraph is required to thoroughly address a part of your outline, by all means, write it. Refer to your research notes and the list of rhetorical devices while developing each paragraph. 

Conclusion: The final paragraph should indicate to listeners that your essay is reaching an end.  

  • Restate the issue and your position regarding it. 
  • Briefly sum up your two arguments in favor of your position.
  • Explain what will happen if your position is not adopted and why the resulting consequences are important to the audience.
  • Point out actions that should be taken in addressing the issue to avoid serious consequences.

The final sentence of the conclusion should leave listeners with something to think about. A powerful, thought-provoking quotation, a vivid image, or a final rhetorical question—asked and answered—will provide a sense of closure, while emphasizing the validity of your essay.  

6. Review the structure and content of the essay, and revise the text to make it more effective and convincing. 

After reviewing and revising the text of your essay, you should be able to answer “yes” to these questions:

Is there a paragraph of introduction?

  • Have you engaged the interest of the audience in some way?
  • Have you established your own voice in the essay and created a bond between you and your listeners?
  • Have you identified the topic and the specific issue of your essay?
  • Does the paragraph end with a thesis statement that clearly states your position on the issue?

Does the main body consist of at least 3 paragraphs? 

  • In the first main body paragraph, have you stated the strongest argument against your position on the issue? Have you refuted the argument with various types of specific evidence?
  • In the second main body paragraph, have you presented your first argument in favor of your position? Have you supported your argument with various types of specific evidence?
  • In the third main body paragraph, have you presented a stronger argument in favor of your position,  the best argument you can present? Have you supported it with various types of specific evidence?
  • Throughout the main body paragraphs, have you included appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos?

Is there a paragraph of conclusion?

  • Have you restated the issue and your position on it?
  • Have you summed up your two arguments in favor of your position?
  • Have you explained what will happen if your position is not adopted and why the resulting consequences are important to the audience?
  • Have you pointed out actions that should be taken in addressing the issue to avoid serious consequences?
  • Does the conclusion give listeners a sense of closure and leave them with something to think about?

Does the text of your essay employ numerous rhetorical devices?

As you read your essay aloud, have you provided transition words and phrases to move smoothly from one part of a paragraph to another and from one paragraph to the next?

Do you think your essay is persuasive and will hold the attention of the audience? (If not, why not? What would make it more persuasive and engaging?)

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

The entire point of a persuasive essay is to persuade or convince the reader to agree with your perspective on the topic. In this type of essay, you’re not limited to facts. It’s completely acceptable to include your opinions and back them up with facts, where necessary.

Guide Overview

  • Be assertive
  • Use words that evoke emotion
  • Make it personal
  • Topic selection hints

Tricks for Writing a Persuasive Essay

In this type of writing, you’ll find it is particularly helpful to focus on the emotional side of things. Make your reader feel what you feel and bring them into your way of thinking. There are a few ways to do that.

Be Assertive

A persuasive essay doesn’t have to be gentle in how it presents your opinion. You really want people to agree with you, so focus on making that happen, even if it means pushing the envelope a little. You’ll tend to get higher grades for this, because the essay is more likely to convince the reader to agree. Consider using an Persuasive Essay Template to understand the key elements of the essay.

Use Words that Evoke Emotion

It’s easier to get people to see things your way when they feel an emotional connection. As you describe your topic, make sure to incorporate words that cause people to feel an emotion. For example, instead of saying, “children are taken from their parents” you might say, “children are torn from the loving arms of their parents, kicking and screaming.” Dramatic? Yes, but it gets the point across and helps your reader experience the

Make it Personal

By using first person, you make the reader feel like they know you. Talking about the reader in second person can help them feel included and begin to imagine themselves in your shoes. Telling someone “many people are affected by this” and telling them “you are affected by this every day” will have very different results.

While each of these tips can help improve your essay, there’s no rule that you have to actually persuade for your own point of view. If you feel the essay would be more interesting if you take the opposite stance, why not write it that way? This will require more research and thinking, but you could end up with a very unique essay that will catch the teacher’s eye.

Topic Selection Hints

A persuasive essay requires a topic that has multiple points of view. In most cases, topics like the moon being made of rock would be difficult to argue, since this is a solid fact. This means you’ll need to choose something that has more than one reasonable opinion related to it.

A good topic for a persuasive essay would be something that you could persuade for or against.

Some examples include:

  • Should children be required to use booster seats until age 12?
  • Should schools allow the sale of sugary desserts and candy?
  • Should marijuana use be legal?
  • Should high school students be confined to school grounds during school hours?
  • Should GMO food be labeled by law?
  • Should police be required to undergo sensitivity training?
  • Should the United States withdraw troops from overseas?

Some topics are more controversial than others, but any of these could be argued from either point of view . . . some even allow for multiple points of view.

As you write your persuasive essay, remember that your goal is to get the reader to nod their head and agree with you. Each section of the essay should bring you closer to this goal. If you write the essay with this in mind, you’ll end up with a paper that will receive high grades.

Finally, if you’re ever facing writer’s block for your college paper, consider WriteWell’s template gallery to help you get started.

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best words to use in a persuasive essay

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Write a Persuasive Essay

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A persuasive essay is a potent literary tool designed to sway the reader's opinion and evoke a response. Unlike other types of essays , the primary goal here is not merely to inform or entertain but to persuade. In this guide, we'll explore what exactly a persuasive essay is, delve into its main components, and provide practical tips on how to write a persuasive essay that leaves a lasting impression.

What is a Persuasive Essay?

At its core, a persuasive essay aims to convince the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint or take a specific action. It's an artful blend of logical reasoning and emotional appeal, carefully crafted to sway opinions and inspire action. Whether addressing a controversial social issue, advocating for a change in policy, or expressing an individual opinion, the persuasive essay is a vehicle for influencing minds.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: The Main Components

1. Introduction: Capturing Attention and Stating the Thesis The introduction serves as the gateway to your persuasive essay. Begin by grabbing the reader's attention with a compelling hook—an anecdote, a surprising fact, or a thought-provoking question. After capturing their interest, clearly state your thesis, which should encapsulate the main argument you'll be advocating throughout the essay. Make sure it's concise, focused, and sets the stage for what follows.

2. Body Paragraphs: Building the Argument The body of your persuasive essay is where you present your case in detail. Each paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis. Begin with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph, followed by supporting evidence, examples, and logical reasoning. Be sure to anticipate counterarguments and address them in a respectful manner. This not only strengthens your position but also demonstrates a thorough understanding of the topic.

3. Ethos, Pathos, and Logos: The Triad of Persuasion A persuasive essay is most effective when it appeals to the audience's emotions, ethics, and logic. Ethos involves establishing credibility and showcasing your expertise or authority on the subject. Pathos appeals to the reader's emotions, invoking empathy or stirring passions. Logos relies on logical reasoning, presenting evidence and sound arguments to support your claims. Striking a balance between these three elements ensures a well-rounded and convincing essay.

4. Counterarguments and Rebuttal: Strengthening Your Position Acknowledge opposing viewpoints to demonstrate fairness and open-mindedness. Addressing counterarguments head-on not only strengthens your position but also shows that you've thoroughly considered different perspectives. Craft a persuasive rebuttal by presenting additional evidence or showcasing flaws in the opposing argument. This not only reinforces your stance but also reinforces your credibility as a thoughtful and informed writer.

5. Conclusion: Leaving a Lasting Impression End your essay with a powerful conclusion that backs your thesis and leaves a lasting impression. Summarise the key points from the body paragraphs and restate your thesis in a compelling way. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion; instead, focus on leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your perspective and a sense of urgency or importance regarding your argument.

Writing a Persuasive Essay: Practical Tips

Know Your Audience: Tailor Your Approach Understanding your audience is crucial when crafting a persuasive essay. Consider their values, beliefs, and potential biases. Tailor your language and arguments to resonate with your target audience, making your persuasive efforts more effective.

Thorough Research: The Foundation of Persuasion Before diving into writing, conduct thorough research on your chosen topic. Familiarise yourself with relevant facts, statistics, and expert opinions. A well-researched essay not only strengthens your argument but also enhances your credibility as a writer.

Craft a Strong Thesis Statement: The Heart of Your Essay Your thesis statement is the focal point of your persuasive essay. Ensure it is clear, concise, and debatable. A strong thesis sets the tone for the entire essay and provides a roadmap for both the writer and the reader.

Use Persuasive Language: Engage and Convince Choose your words carefully to create a persuasive impact. Employ strong, vivid language that evokes emotion and captivates the reader. Be mindful of your tone, striking a balance between confidence and humility.

Revise and Edit: Polish Your Persuasive Gem The final step in crafting a persuasive essay is thorough revision and editing. Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Check for grammatical errors, ensure a smooth flow of ideas, and confirm that your arguments are well-supported by evidence.

The refinement of your work is just as crucial as its creation. Let our team of skilled editors meticulously edit and proofread your essay , providing valuable insights to elevate your writing to its highest potential.

Writing a Persuasive Essay: A Skill That Goes Beyond Academia

Mastering the art of persuasion through essay writing is a valuable skill that extends beyond academia. Whether advocating for social change or expressing a personal viewpoint, a persuasive essay equips you to articulate your ideas effectively and influence others. By understanding the main components and following practical tips, you can confidently navigate the terrain of persuasive writing, leaving a lasting impact on your readers.

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What is a Persuasive Essay? Full Persuasive Essay Guide

best words to use in a persuasive essay

In a world where effective communication is crucial, mastering persuasive writing is essential. It transcends simply expressing opinions by enabling you to influence others and clearly articulate your message. Say goodbye to difficulties in making your point; join us as we explore how to craft persuasive essays that are both informative and genuinely compelling in our guide!

Persuasive Essay Definition

This type of essay persuades the reader to agree with your viewpoint by presenting convincing arguments, research, and ideas. You rely on logic and reason to demonstrate why your perspective is more valid than others. You must present clear arguments supported by compelling facts. Several key elements should be included in these essays:

  • A clear thesis statement or main idea that guides your essay's focus.
  • An opening paragraph that introduces your thesis statement and sets the stage for your argument.
  • Body paragraphs that use specific research evidence to support your points.
  • Smooth transitions between paragraphs that connect ideas clearly and engagingly.
  • Addressing counterarguments to acknowledge and refute opposing viewpoints.
  • A conclusion that reinforces your central idea without repeating it word for word.

Elements of a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essays rely on three key elements called modes of persuasion . These were introduced by Aristotle, a famous philosopher, to help make arguments strong and convincing.

First, there's logos , which means using evidence and logical reasoning to support your points. It's crucial to clearly state your main argument and back it up with solid evidence. Remember, what counts as convincing evidence can vary depending on who you're trying to persuade.

Next up is pathos , which involves appealing to people's emotions. Sharing personal stories can be really effective here because they help readers connect emotionally with your argument. Plus, personal anecdotes can give your essay a unique voice.

Lastly, there's ethos , which is all about building trust and credibility with your audience. The way you write your essay—whether it's serious, funny, or sincere—can affect how readers see you. Using reliable sources and showing empathy can also help establish your credibility. And when you're making claims, it's important to consider what your readers already believe and try to address any doubts they might have.

Feeling overwhelmed by all this info? Just say - ' write my paper ,' and our expert writers will jump in to assist you right away!

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay in 7 Steps

Writing a persuasive essay usually follows a structured format: introduction, body, conclusion . Unlike argument essays, which involve discussing and attacking alternate views, persuasive essays aim to convince the reader of your argument's validity. They're a bit more gentle and understanding in tone. To craft a solid persuasive essay, follow the 7 steps in this section. And while you're at it, don't forget to explore our guide on how to write an argumentative essay , too. These two types of assignments are the most common in school and college.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay in 7 Steps

Step 1: Topic Selection and Research

Choosing a good topic is where you start when writing a persuasive essay. Think about things that really interest you and make you feel strongly. But it's not just about what you like; you also need to think about what matters to your readers. Do some digging to learn more about your topic. Look into different parts of it by checking out reliable sources like books, websites, and academic articles.

While you're doing your research, keep an eye out for different opinions and new ideas about your topic. This helps you get ready for arguments against your point of view. It's also important to see if there's enough evidence out there to back up what you believe. Having lots of evidence makes it easier to make a strong case.

For more help on picking a topic, check out our persuasive essay topics .

Step 2: Develop a Strong Thesis Statement

A well-developed thesis statement should be specific, concise, and debatable. Avoid saying things that are too vague or broad, as they won't give your essay a clear direction. Instead, try to come up with a thesis that clearly says what you believe and encourages people to think about it critically.

Make sure your thesis statement is backed up by the evidence you found in your research. Use facts, numbers, or opinions from experts to support what you're saying and make your argument stronger.

Also, think about how your thesis statement fits into your whole persuasive essay. It should not only outline your main argument but also give a hint about why it's important.

Step 3: Create an Outline

An academic persuasive essay outline typically follows the 'classical' structure, which is based on techniques used by ancient Roman rhetoricians. Here are the basic elements your outline should include:

Section Details
Introduction 1. Engaging opener
2. Providing context and necessary background information
3. Stating the writer's main argument or claim
4. Offering a preview of what will be discussed in the essay
Body Paragraphs 1. Introducing and providing evidence for each reason sequentially
2. Demonstrating how each reason aligns with values or beliefs held by the audience
Counterargument 1. Recognizing and addressing opposing viewpoints
2. Explaining why these opposing viewpoints are flawed or less persuasive
Conclusion 1. Bringing the essay to a close
2. Summarizing the main points or arguments presented
3. Leaving a lasting impression on the reader
4. Encouraging action or connecting the topic to broader societal issues

Step 4: Write the Introduction

When writing a persuasive essay introduction, it should not only give background information but also frame it as a problem or issue, known as the exigence. Presenting a clearly defined problem and proposing the thesis as a solution makes for a compelling introduction, as readers naturally want to see problems solved.

Here's a breakdown of an effective persuasive essay introduction:

  • Hook : Begin with a brief anecdote that highlights an emerging issue, capturing the reader's attention.
  • Context : Provide background information related to the topic.
  • Problem : Connect the anecdote with the emerging issue, presenting it as a problem in need of addressing.
  • Debate : Mention briefly the existing debate surrounding how to respond to the problem.
  • Claim : Conclude the introduction by hinting at how you intend to address the problem, presented in a conversational tone as part of an ongoing dialogue.

Step 5: Delve into Body Paragraphs

The core of a persuasive essay lies in presenting a claim supported by reasoning and evidence. This means that much of the essay's body is dedicated to providing supporting reasons backed by evidence. A common approach taught in schools and colleges is the PEAS formula:

  • Point : Start by explaining your reason clearly. For example, 'Another reason why we need to recycle is because...'
  • Evidence : After explaining your reason, give proof that supports it. You can mention facts or share what experts say. You might say, ' I saw in a study that.. .' or ' Scientists have found that.. .'
  • Analysis : Explain how your proof supports your reason. You can say, ' This means that.. .' or ' This shows us that... '
  • Summary/So what? : Finish by quickly summarizing everything you said before. Then, explain why it's important or what it means for your argument.

Step 6: Address Counterarguments

When you're dealing with counterarguments, pick the response strategy that matches your argument.

support essay argument

  • If you agree with some points from the counterargument, acknowledge them and explain why they're not important for your topic. 
  • If the counterargument uses different evidence, say why it's not trustworthy. 
  • If the counterargument looks at evidence in a different way, explain why their understanding is wrong. 
  • If the counterargument weakens your point with evidence, explain why it doesn't actually disprove your argument.

Use phrases like these to introduce counterarguments:

  • Some researchers say...
  • Critics argue that...
  • Others might think...
  • There's a different view that...

And transition like this from counterargument to response:

  • While some of that makes sense, I still believe...
  • Even if that's true, it doesn't change the fact that...
  • Those points are interesting, but they don't affect my argument because...
  • I see where you're coming from, but I can't agree because...

Step 7: Conclude with a Call to Action or a Memorable Closing Statement

A good persuasive conclusion should do two things:

  • Summarize the main points of your essay. If it's a longer essay, using phrases like 'I have argued that' can help, but for shorter essays, it might not be needed since the reader will remember the main ideas.
  • Address the ' So what? ' or ' Now what? ' challenge. Imagine your reader asking, 'Okay, I'm convinced by your essay, but why are these ideas important? What should I do with them? Do you expect things to change?' Depending on whether your essay aims to change how people think or act, offer brief action points or insights into the implications of your ideas.

Consider ending with an anecdote, fact, or quote that highlights the significance of your argument.

Also, take a look at our guide on how to write a synthesis essay . It's a common type of assignment you'll encounter in school and college.

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Persuasive Essay Examples

Here are great examples of persuasive essays to inspire you. If you like the writing style of our authors, you can buy essay paper from them, who will ensure a high-quality document specifically tailored to your needs!

5 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay

Here are some additional tips to enhance your essay from our persuasive essay writing service :

  • Start with a Captivating Hook : Grab your reader's attention from the beginning with an engaging hook. Instead of using common approaches like surprising facts or quotes, try incorporating a unique angle or a suspenseful story related to your topic.
  • Build Your Credibility : It's crucial to establish your credibility to persuade your audience to trust your argument. In addition to presenting well-researched facts and statistics, share personal experiences or insights to demonstrate your expertise. Citing lesser-known experts or studies can also provide a fresh perspective and show a thorough exploration of the topic.
  • Clearly State Your Thesis: Craft a clear and concise thesis statement that effectively addresses the nuances of your argument. Take time to consider the wording of your thesis and how it aligns with your essay's direction. Provide a brief overview of the main points you'll cover to give readers a clear roadmap.
  • Use Persuasive Language : Choose words and phrases that evoke emotion and urgency, compelling the reader to take action. Experiment with rhetorical devices like parallelism or repetition to add depth to your argument. Maintain a tone that balances assertiveness with respect.
  • Appeal to Emotions and Logic : While emotional appeals can be powerful, support them with solid logic and evidence. Supplement personal anecdotes with relevant data, expert opinions, or logical reasoning for a well-rounded perspective. Anticipate and address potential counterarguments to demonstrate thorough consideration of the issue.

To bring it all together, you now understand the power of persuasion - it teaches you how to express your ideas clearly and convincingly. This means you can speak up for what you believe in, making society more active and informed. These skills are super useful not just in school but also in jobs and everyday life. And, if you want to make things easier, you can always check out our essay service . We'll save you time and give you some extra help with your writing!

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What are the 7 Tips for Persuasive Essays?

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Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

best words to use in a persuasive essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • Rewrote the whole article except the samples which are good and new, and FAQs section
  • Added new writing steps
  • Researched new information overall

1. Gladd, J. (2020, August 18). Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays . Pressbooks.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 perfect persuasive essay topics for any assignment.

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General Education


Do you need to write a persuasive essay but aren’t sure what topic to focus on? Were you thrilled when your teacher said you could write about whatever you wanted but are now overwhelmed by the possibilities? We’re here to help!

Read on for a list of 113 top-notch persuasive essay topics, organized into ten categories. To help get you started, we also discuss what a persuasive essay is, how to choose a great topic, and what tips to keep in mind as you write your persuasive essay.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

In a persuasive essay, you attempt to convince readers to agree with your point of view on an argument. For example, an essay analyzing changes in Italian art during the Renaissance wouldn’t be a persuasive essay, because there’s no argument, but an essay where you argue that Italian art reached its peak during the Renaissance would be a persuasive essay because you’re trying to get your audience to agree with your viewpoint.

Persuasive and argumentative essays both try to convince readers to agree with the author, but the two essay types have key differences. Argumentative essays show a more balanced view of the issue and discuss both sides. Persuasive essays focus more heavily on the side the author agrees with. They also often include more of the author’s opinion than argumentative essays, which tend to use only facts and data to support their argument.

All persuasive essays have the following:

  • Introduction: Introduces the topic, explains why it’s important, and ends with the thesis.
  • Thesis: A sentence that sums up what the essay be discussing and what your stance on the issue is.
  • Reasons you believe your side of the argument: Why do you support the side you do? Typically each main point will have its own body paragraph.
  • Evidence supporting your argument: Facts or examples to back up your main points. Even though your opinion is allowed in persuasive essays more than most other essays, having concrete examples will make a stronger argument than relying on your opinion alone.
  • Conclusion: Restatement of thesis, summary of main points, and a recap of why the issue is important.

What Makes a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?

Theoretically, you could write a persuasive essay about any subject under the sun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Certain topics are easier to write a strong persuasive essay on, and below are tips to follow when deciding what you should write about.

It’s a Topic You Care About

Obviously, it’s possible to write an essay about a topic you find completely boring. You’ve probably done it! However, if possible, it’s always better to choose a topic that you care about and are interested in. When this is the case, you’ll find doing the research more enjoyable, writing the essay easier, and your writing will likely be better because you’ll be more passionate about and informed on the topic.

You Have Enough Evidence to Support Your Argument

Just being passionate about a subject isn’t enough to make it a good persuasive essay topic, though. You need to make sure your argument is complex enough to have at least two potential sides to root for, and you need to be able to back up your side with evidence and examples. Even though persuasive essays allow your opinion to feature more than many other essays, you still need concrete evidence to back up your claims, or you’ll end up with a weak essay.

For example, you may passionately believe that mint chocolate chip ice cream is the best ice cream flavor (I agree!), but could you really write an entire essay on this? What would be your reasons for believing mint chocolate chip is the best (besides the fact that it’s delicious)? How would you support your belief? Have enough studies been done on preferred ice cream flavors to support an entire essay? When choosing a persuasive essay idea, you want to find the right balance between something you care about (so you can write well on it) and something the rest of the world cares about (so you can reference evidence to strengthen your position).

It’s a Manageable Topic

Bigger isn’t always better, especially with essay topics. While it may seem like a great idea to choose a huge, complex topic to write about, you’ll likely struggle to sift through all the information and different sides of the issue and winnow them down to one streamlined essay. For example, choosing to write an essay about how WWII impacted American life more than WWI wouldn’t be a great idea because you’d need to analyze all the impacts of both the wars in numerous areas of American life. It’d be a huge undertaking. A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible.


List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics

Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you’ll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, “should fracking be legal?” you’d decide whether you believe fracking should be legal or illegal, then you’d write an essay arguing all the reasons why your audience should agree with you.


  • Should students be required to learn an instrument in school?
  • Did the end of Game of Thrones fit with the rest of the series?
  • Can music be an effective way to treat mental illness?
  • With e-readers so popular, have libraries become obsolete?
  • Are the Harry Potter books more popular than they deserve to be?
  • Should music with offensive language come with a warning label?
  • What’s the best way for museums to get more people to visit?
  • Should students be able to substitute an art or music class for a PE class in school?
  • Are the Kardashians good or bad role models for young people?
  • Should people in higher income brackets pay more taxes?
  • Should all high school students be required to take a class on financial literacy?
  • Is it possible to achieve the American dream, or is it only a myth?
  • Is it better to spend a summer as an unpaid intern at a prestigious company or as a paid worker at a local store/restaurant?
  • Should the United States impose more or fewer tariffs?
  • Should college graduates have their student loans forgiven?
  • Should restaurants eliminate tipping and raise staff wages instead?
  • Should students learn cursive writing in school?
  • Which is more important: PE class or music class?
  • Is it better to have year-round school with shorter breaks throughout the year?
  • Should class rank be abolished in schools?
  • Should students be taught sex education in school?
  • Should students be able to attend public universities for free?
  • What’s the most effective way to change the behavior of school bullies?
  • Are the SAT and ACT accurate ways to measure intelligence?
  • Should students be able to learn sign language instead of a foreign language?
  • Do the benefits of Greek life at colleges outweigh the negatives?
  • Does doing homework actually help students learn more?
  • Why do students in many other countries score higher than American students on math exams?
  • Should parents/teachers be able to ban certain books from schools?
  • What’s the best way to reduce cheating in school?
  • Should colleges take a student’s race into account when making admissions decisions?
  • Should there be limits to free speech?
  • Should students be required to perform community service to graduate high school?
  • Should convicted felons who have completed their sentence be allowed to vote?
  • Should gun ownership be more tightly regulated?
  • Should recycling be made mandatory?
  • Should employers be required to offer paid leave to new parents?
  • Are there any circumstances where torture should be allowed?
  • Should children under the age of 18 be able to get plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons?
  • Should white supremacy groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
  • Does making abortion illegal make women more or less safe?
  • Does foreign aid actually help developing countries?
  • Are there times a person’s freedom of speech should be curtailed?
  • Should people over a certain age not be allowed to adopt children?


  • Should the minimum voting age be raised/lowered/kept the same?
  • Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood?
  • Should the United States build a border wall with Mexico?
  • Who should be the next person printed on American banknotes?
  • Should the United States’ military budget be reduced?
  • Did China’s one child policy have overall positive or negative impacts on the country?
  • Should DREAMers be granted US citizenship?
  • Is national security more important than individual privacy?
  • What responsibility does the government have to help homeless people?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?
  • Should the US increase or decrease the number of refugees it allows in each year?
  • Should privately-run prisons be abolished?
  • Who was the most/least effective US president?
  • Will Brexit end up helping or harming the UK?


  • What’s the best way to reduce the spread of Ebola?
  • Is the Keto diet a safe and effective way to lose weight?
  • Should the FDA regulate vitamins and supplements more strictly?
  • Should public schools require all students who attend to be vaccinated?
  • Is eating genetically modified food safe?
  • What’s the best way to make health insurance more affordable?
  • What’s the best way to lower the teen pregnancy rate?
  • Should recreational marijuana be legalized nationwide?
  • Should birth control pills be available without a prescription?
  • Should pregnant women be forbidden from buying cigarettes and alcohol?
  • Why has anxiety increased in adolescents?
  • Are low-carb or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • What caused the destruction of the USS Maine?
  • Was King Arthur a mythical legend or actual Dark Ages king?
  • Was the US justified in dropping atomic bombs during WWII?
  • What was the primary cause of the Rwandan genocide?
  • What happened to the settlers of the Roanoke colony?
  • Was disagreement over slavery the primary cause of the US Civil War?
  • What has caused the numerous disappearances in the Bermuda triangle?
  • Should nuclear power be banned?
  • Is scientific testing on animals necessary?
  • Do zoos help or harm animals?
  • Should scientists be allowed to clone humans?
  • Should animals in circuses be banned?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets?
  • What’s the best way to reduce illegal poaching in Africa?
  • What is the best way to reduce the impact of global warming?
  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Is there legitimate evidence of extraterrestrial life?
  • Should people be banned from owning aggressive dog breeds?
  • Should the United States devote more money towards space exploration?
  • Should the government subsidize renewable forms of energy?
  • Is solar energy worth the cost?
  • Should stem cells be used in medicine?
  • Is it right for the US to leave the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • Should athletes who fail a drug test receive a lifetime ban from the sport?
  • Should college athletes receive a salary?
  • Should the NFL do more to prevent concussions in players?
  • Do PE classes help students stay in shape?
  • Should horse racing be banned?
  • Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
  • Should children younger than 18 be allowed to play tackle football?
  • Are the costs of hosting an Olympic Games worth it?
  • Can online schools be as effective as traditional schools?
  • Do violent video games encourage players to be violent in real life?
  • Should facial recognition technology be banned?
  • Does excessive social media use lead to depression/anxiety?
  • Has the rise of translation technology made knowing multiple languages obsolete?
  • Was Steve Jobs a visionary or just a great marketer?
  • Should social media be banned for children younger than a certain age?
  • Which 21st-century invention has had the largest impact on society?
  • Are ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft good or bad for society?
  • Should Facebook have done more to protect the privacy of its users?
  • Will technology end up increasing or decreasing inequality worldwide?


Tips for Writing a Strong Persuasive Essay

After you’ve chosen the perfect topic for your persuasive essay, your work isn’t over. Follow the three tips below to create a top-notch essay.

Do Your Research

Your argument will fall apart if you don’t fully understand the issue you’re discussing or you overlook an important piece of it. Readers won’t be convinced by someone who doesn’t know the subject, and you likely won’t persuade any of them to begin supporting your viewpoint. Before you begin writing a single word of your essay, research your topic thoroughly. Study different sources, learn about the different sides of the argument, ask anyone who’s an expert on the topic what their opinion is, etc. You might be tempted to start writing right away, but by doing your research, you’ll make the writing process much easier when the time comes.

Make Your Thesis Perfect

Your thesis is the most important sentence in your persuasive essay. Just by reading that single sentence, your audience should know exactly what topic you’ll be discussing and where you stand on the issue. You want your thesis to be crystal clear and to accurately set up the rest of your essay. Asking classmates or your teacher to look it over before you begin writing the rest of your essay can be a big help if you’re not entirely confident in your thesis.

Consider the Other Side

You’ll spend most of your essay focusing on your side of the argument since that’s what you want readers to come away believing. However, don’t think that means you can ignore other sides of the issue. In your essay, be sure to discuss the other side’s argument, as well as why you believe this view is weak or untrue. Researching all the different viewpoints and including them in your essay will increase the quality of your writing by making your essay more complete and nuanced.

Summary: Persuasive Essay Ideas

Good persuasive essay topics can be difficult to come up with, but in this guide we’ve created a list of 113 excellent essay topics for you to browse. The best persuasive essay ideas will be those that you are interested in, have enough evidence to support your argument, and aren’t too complicated to be summarized in an essay.

After you’ve chosen your essay topic, keep these three tips in mind when you begin writing:

  • Do your research
  • Make your thesis perfect
  • Consider the other side

What's Next?

Need ideas for a research paper topic as well? Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you.

Thinking about taking an AP English class? Read our guide on AP English classes to learn whether you should take AP English Language or AP English Literature (or both!)

Deciding between the SAT or ACT? Find out for sure which you will do the best on . Also read a detailed comparison between the two tests .

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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40 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of interesting persuasive essay ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Essays
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top persuasive essay writing examples.

Professions for Women by Virginia Woolf

Sample lines: “Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different; she has still many ghosts to fight, many prejudices to overcome. Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?”

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Sample lines: “Methinks I hear some of you say, must a man afford himself no leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sample lines: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once.”

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board by Bobby Henderson

Sample lines: “I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. … Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. … We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.”

Open Letter to the United Nations by Niels Bohr

Sample lines: “Humanity will, therefore, be confronted with dangers of unprecedented character unless, in due time, measures can be taken to forestall a disastrous competition in such formidable armaments and to establish an international control of the manufacture and use of the powerful materials.”

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Union and the Strike, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It


The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports-star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Always ad showing a young girl holding a softball. Text reads

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife To Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (120+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

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100 Words and Phrases to use in an Essay

Thomas Babb

Writing a compelling essay involves much more than simply putting your thoughts on paper. It demands the use of a precise vocabulary that not only enriches your content but also structures it in a way that is both logical and engaging. The right words and phrases can transform your essay from a basic assignment to an insightful and persuasive piece of writing.

This guide introduces you to 100 essential words and phrases recommended by expert English tutors that will help you convey your ideas more effectively. From adding information to expressing contrasts, and from illustrating examples to summarising your points, these carefully selected terms will enhance the clarity and impact of your essays.

Adding Information

When crafting an essay, integrating additional details effectively can enrich the written content and present a well-rounded argument. Here's how you can use each phrase under this category:

1. Furthermore - Use this to add weight to a point already mentioned, providing further evidence without redundancy.

2. Moreover - Similar to "furthermore," it introduces information that not only adds to the argument but enhances it.

3. Similarly - This indicates that the upcoming point shares notable characteristics with the previous one, aiding in drawing parallels.

4. Additionally - Introduces extra information or arguments that augment the current discussion.

5. Also - A simpler form of "additionally" that integrates extra facts smoothly.

6. Likewise - Indicates similarity and supports points by showing how they relate to each other in terms of qualities or actions.

7. In addition - This phrase is useful for contributing additional supportive details in a clear manner.

8. As well as - Functions to include another subject or item into your discussion without diverging from the main topic.

9. Not only... but also - A powerful structure for emphasizing not just one, but two important points, enhancing the depth of the argument.

10. Alongside - Implies that the information being added runs parallel to the already established facts, reinforcing them.

These phrases, when used correctly, help to build a strong, cohesive narrative flow in your essays, guiding the reader through a logical progression of ideas. For more on enhancing your writing with effective information addition, explore resources like Oxford Royale's Essay Writing Tips .

Introducing Examples

Introducing concrete examples is crucial in illustrating and supporting your claims effectively in an essay. Here’s how to use each word or phrase linked to this category:

11. For instance - Introduces a specific example that illuminates a broader point, helping to clarify complex ideas.

12. For example - Functions similarly to "for instance," offering a direct illustration to support or demonstrate a claim.

13. Such as - Prepares the reader for an example that is part of a larger category, typically used to list items or concepts.

14. Like - Introduces comparisons or examples in a casual and relatable manner.

15. Particularly - Highlights an example that is especially relevant to the argument, focusing attention on significant details.

16. In particular - Similar to "particularly," but often used to introduce a standout example that underscores a critical point.

17. Including - Serves to add examples to a list that may already be understood to be part of the topic being discussed.

18. Namely - Specifies and introduces exact and often multiple examples or details directly related to the point.

19. Chiefly - Points to the most important or significant examples or reasons in support of an argument.

20. Mainly - Indicates that the examples provided are the primary ones to consider, focusing on the most relevant instances.

Effective use of these phrases not only clarifies your points but also strengthens your arguments by making abstract concepts tangible. For detailed guidance on how to incorporate examples effectively in your essays, refer to academic resources like Harvard College Writing Center .

Demonstrating Contrast

IB English tutors suggest that Using contrast effectively in your essays can highlight differences that clarify your points or show alternative perspectives. Here’s how to use each phrase to demonstrate contrast:

21. Conversely - Signals a stark contrast to what has just been discussed, often introducing an opposing viewpoint.

22. However - A versatile tool to introduce a contradiction or counterpoint, breaking from the previous line of reasoning.

23. Nevertheless - Indicates persistence of a stated fact or opinion despite the contrasting information that follows.

24. On the other hand - Used to present a different perspective or an alternative to the argument previously mentioned.

25. Although - Begins a sentence where the main clause contrasts with the lesser significant, conditional clause.

26. Even though - Similar to "although," but often emphasizes a stronger degree of contrast between the conflicting elements.

27. But - A simple and direct way to introduce a contradiction to the preceding statement.

28. Yet - Suggests a contrast that is surprising or unexpected based on the previous statements.

29. Instead - Introduces an alternative action or thought in response to what has been previously discussed.

30. Rather - Used to correct or propose a different idea from what was initially stated or understood.

These phrases are essential for essays where comparing and contrasting ideas, arguments, or perspectives is necessary to deepen understanding or enhance the argument’s complexity. To learn more about using contrast in writing, visit educational resources such as Purdue Online Writing Lab .

Showing Cause and Effect

A-Level English tutors point out that effectively indicating cause and effect relationships in your essays helps clarify the reasons things happen and the consequences that follow. Here’s how to use each word or phrase to illustrate these relationships:

31. Consequently - Signals a direct result from the action or situation mentioned, highlighting the effect or outcome.

32. Therefore - Used to introduce a logical conclusion or result that follows from the reasoning presented earlier.

33. Thus - Indicates a conclusion or result that is a natural consequence of the facts previously mentioned.

34. Hence - Similar to "thus," it conveys a consequence that is a logical extension from the argument or data presented.

35. Accordingly - Shows that an action or decision is a logical response to the circumstances or facts discussed.

36. As a result - Directly points out the outcome or effect resulting from a specific cause or set of conditions.

37. This leads to - Introduces a sequence where one event or fact causes another, often used to chain multiple effects.

38. It follows that - Used when deducing a conclusion that logically arises from the preceding argument or evidence.

39. Leading to - Connects an initial action or decision directly with its consequences, highlighting a progression of events.

40. Contributing to - Indicates that the action or event adds to a situation, leading to a particular result or effect.

Mastering the use of these phrases can enhance the persuasive power of your writing by clearly linking actions and their consequences.

Adding Emphasis

Effectively emphasising key points in your essays can make your arguments more compelling and memorable. Here’s how to appropriately use each word or phrase to add emphasis:

41. Significantly - Indicates that something is of great importance or consequence, drawing the reader's attention to the gravity of the point being made.

42. Importantly - Prioritises the following information as crucial for understanding the argument or situation.

43. Indeed - Reinforces the truth of a statement, often used to confirm and agree with a previously mentioned point that might be surprising or emphatic.

44. Absolutely - A strong affirmation that leaves no doubt about the veracity or importance of the statement.

45. Definitely - Communicates certainty about a fact or opinion, strengthening the author's stance.

46. Certainly - Similar to "definitely," it expresses a high degree of assurance about the information being provided.

47. Undoubtedly - Suggests that there is no doubt about the statement, reinforcing its truth and relevance.

48. Without a doubt - A more emphatic form of "undoubtedly," eliminating any ambiguity about the point’s validity.

49. Particularly - Highlights specific information as especially significant within a broader context.

50. Especially - Used to indicate that something holds more significance than other elements, often emphasizing exceptional cases or instances.

Using these expressions strategically can enhance the persuasive impact of your writing by underscoring the most critical elements of your argument. To see more words and further explore techniques for adding emphasis in academic writing, visit resources like Cambridge Dictionary Blog .

Explaining and Clarifying

In academic essays, clearly explaining and clarifying complex ideas is essential for effective communication. IGCSE tutors and GCSE tutors suggest that each of these phrases can be used to enhance understanding:

51. That is to say - Used to introduce a rephrasing or elaboration on something that has just been stated.

52. In other words - Helps clarify a statement by expressing it in different terms for better understanding.

53. To put it another way - Similar to "in other words," it offers an alternative explanation or perspective to ensure clarity.

54. To clarify - Directly states the intent to make something clearer or to resolve any misunderstandings.

55. To explain - Introduces a detailed explanation aimed at enhancing understanding of a complex issue or point.

56. This means that - Connects a statement or idea to its implications or necessary interpretations.

57. This implies - Suggests a deeper, often unspoken consequence or meaning behind the given information.

58. Put simply - Introduces a simpler or more straightforward version of what has been discussed, making it more accessible.

59. In simpler terms - Another phrase to ease comprehension by breaking down complex concepts into basic language.

60. Thus - Concludes an explanation by summarizing the logical result or conclusion derived from the argument made.

Using these phrases effectively can help articulate intricate arguments in a more digestible format, aiding the reader’s understanding and engagement.

Summarising and Concluding

Expert IB tutors and A-Level tutors recommend that effectively summarising and concluding your essays is crucial for reinforcing your main points and providing a satisfying closure to any persuasive essay. Here’s how to use each word or phrase to effectively wrap up your discussions:

61. In conclusion - Signals the beginning of the final summary, clearly stating that the argument is drawing to a close.

62. To sum up - Introduces a concise summary of the key points discussed, often used before the final conclusion.

63. Ultimately - Indicates a final, overarching conclusion derived from the arguments and evidence presented.

64. Finally - Marks the introduction of the last point or an additional important point that concludes the discussion.

65. Lastly - Similar to "finally," it is used to introduce the final argument or point in the list.

66. To conclude - Directly states the intent to wrap up the essay, leading into a summary of the main findings.

67. In summary - Offers a recap of the essential elements discussed, reinforcing the thesis without introducing new information.

68. All things considered - Provides an overall conclusion, taking into account all the points made throughout the essay.

69. In the final analysis - Suggests a thorough consideration of all aspects discussed, leading to a concluding viewpoint.

70. After all - Implies that the conclusion takes into account all arguments and evidences previously presented.

Mastering the use of these concluding phrases ensures that your essay ends on a strong note, summarising key points and reinforcing your argument.

Discussing Similarities

Highlighting similarities effectively can enhance your argument by showing connections and parallels between ideas or topics. Here’s how to use each phrase to discuss similarities in your essays:

71. Similarly - Indicates that what follows is in alignment with the previous statement, reinforcing the connection between two points.

72. Likewise - Also used to show agreement or similarity, it confirms that the upcoming point supports the previous one in terms of characteristics or outcomes.

73. Just as - Introduces a comparison, suggesting that the situation or argument is equivalent to another.

74. As with - Used before mentioning another example, indicating that it shares properties or conditions with what has been discussed.

75. Equally - Implies that two or more elements are on the same level in terms of importance, quality, or characteristics.

76. Analogous to - Introduces a more formal comparison, indicating that one situation is comparable to another, often used in more scientific or technical discussions.

77. Comparable to - Suggests that two things can be likened to each other, providing a basis for comparison.

78. In the same way - Confirms that the action, process, or idea mirrors another, reinforcing the similarity.

79. Just like - A more casual phrase used to draw a direct comparison, making the similarity clear and understandable.

80. Similarly important - Asserts that the importance or relevance of two or more aspects is equal, emphasising their comparative significance.

Utilising these phrases allows you to effectively link concepts and arguments, showing how they complement or mirror each other, which can strengthen your overall thesis. For further reading on comparing and contrasting ideas effectively, the University of North Carolina Writing Center offers excellent resources.

Providing Alternatives

Offering alternatives in your essays can demonstrate critical thinking by showing different possibilities or approaches. Here’s how to use each word or phrase to introduce alternative ideas:

81. Alternatively - Introduces a different option or suggestion, providing another route or perspective.

82. On the contrary - Used to present a direct opposition to the previously mentioned idea, emphasising a contrasting point.

83. Rather - Suggests a preference for one choice over another, typically used to propose a different approach or opinion.

84. Conversely - Indicates a reversal of what has been previously stated, introducing an opposing viewpoint.

85. Instead - Specifies a substitute or replacement, clearly stating that one option is to be considered in place of another.

86. On the flip side - Introduces a contrasting scenario or viewpoint in a more informal manner, often used in conversational or less formal writing.

87. Rather than - Presents a comparison between two choices, highlighting a preference for one over the other.

88. As an alternative - Explicitly states the introduction of a different option or method, providing variety to the discussion.

89. Either...or - Sets up a choice between two distinct options, forcing a decision that impacts the argument’s direction.

90. Neither...nor - Used to deny two possibilities simultaneously, often restructuring the argument by excluding common options.

Incorporating these phrases allows you to explore and present multiple facets of an issue, enriching the essay’s depth and persuasiveness. For tips on effectively presenting alternative arguments, visit Harvard College Writing Center .

Expressing Conditions

Effectively expressing conditions in your essays can help outline scenarios where certain outcomes or arguments hold true. Here’s how to use each word or phrase to specify conditions:

91. If - Introduces a conditional statement, setting up a scenario where a specific result depends on a preceding condition.

92. Unless - Specifies an exception to a general rule or statement, indicating that a condition will change the outcome if not met.

93. Provided that - Sets a stipulation or requirement for a scenario to occur, emphasizing that certain conditions must be satisfied.

94. Assuming that - Suggests a hypothesis or a precondition that needs to be accepted before proceeding with an argument or conclusion.

95. In case - Prepares for a situation that might occur, setting up precautions or actions based on potential scenarios.

96. Even if - Acknowledges that even under certain circumstances, the primary argument or conclusion still holds.

97. Only if - Restricts the conditions under which a statement or outcome is valid, narrowing down the scenarios to very specific ones.

98. Whether - Presents alternatives, usually offering a choice between possibilities within the condition stated.

99. As long as - Indicates that a condition is contingent upon the duration or continuation of a specified situation.

100. Given that - Introduces a premise as a fact, assuming its truth for the sake of argument or to advance the discussion.

Final Thoughts

In crafting compelling essays, the strategic use of specific words and phrases can significantly enhance both the clarity and persuasiveness of your writing. By mastering the use of these 100 essential terms, students can effectively structure their essays, convey complex ideas, and articulate contrasts and comparisons with precision. Each category of phrases serves a unique purpose, from adding information to providing alternatives, which empowers writers to construct well-rounded arguments and engage their readers more deeply.

As you continue to refine your essay-writing skills, remember that the power of your arguments often lies in the details—the precise words and phrases you choose to express your thoughts. The power of a well crafted essay introduction and precise essay conclusion should also not be overlooked. By integrating these tools into your writing repertoire, you are better equipped to present clear, persuasive, and engaging essays that stand out in academic settings.

How can I improve my essay planning process?

Effective essay planning begins with a clear understanding of the essay question. Break down the question to identify key terms and the required response. Create an outline to organise your main points and supporting arguments logically. Consider using a mind map to visually plot connections between ideas, which can spur creative thinking. Allocate time for research, writing, and revision within your plan. Practising essay plans for different questions can enhance your ability to organise thoughts quickly and efficiently, a crucial skill especially under exam conditions.

What makes an essay introduction effective?

An effective introduction grabs the reader's attention, sets the tone, and provides a clear thesis statement. Start with a hook such as a provocative question, a startling statistic, or a compelling quote. Provide some background information to set the context, ensuring it's directly relevant to the essay's question. The thesis statement should be concise and outline your main argument or response to the question. This setup not only intrigues but also informs the reader about the essay's focus, establishing your understanding and control of the subject.

How do I choose the best evidence for my essay?

The best evidence is relevant, credible, and supports your thesis directly. Use primary sources where possible as they provide first-hand accounts that you can analyse directly. When primary sources are not available, rely on peer-reviewed journals and reputable publications. Diversify your sources to avoid over-reliance on a single type of evidence, and critically evaluate sources for bias and reliability. Properly integrating this evidence into your argument involves summarising, paraphrasing, and quoting sources while always linking back to your main argument.

How can I make my essay arguments more persuasive?

To make your arguments more persuasive, begin with a clear, assertive thesis statement. Structure your essay so each paragraph introduces a single point supporting your thesis. Use credible evidence and explain how this supports your argument. Address potential counterarguments to show the depth of your understanding and strengthen your position by demonstrating why your approach is preferable. Employing a confident but respectful tone and precise language also enhances the persuasiveness of your essay.

What are common pitfalls in essay writing to avoid?

Common pitfalls in essay writing include poor structure, weak thesis statements, and lack of coherence. Avoiding these starts with a robust plan and clear outline. Stay on topic by linking each paragraph back to your thesis statement. Avoid plagiarism by properly citing all sources. Overly complex sentence structures can confuse readers, so strive for clarity and conciseness. Finally, neglecting proofreading can leave typographical and grammatical errors, which diminish the quality of your work, so always review your essay thoroughly.

How do I manage time when writing an essay under exam conditions?

Time management in exams is crucial. Allocate about 10% of your time for planning, 80% for writing, and 10% for revising. Quickly outline your main points to structure your essay from the start. Write your body paragraphs first, as these contain the bulk of marks, then your introduction and conclusion. Keep an eye on the clock and pace yourself to ensure you have enough time to adequately develop your arguments and conclude effectively.

What are the best practices for editing and proofreading essays?

After writing your essay, take a break before you start editing to give you a fresh perspective. Read your essay aloud to catch awkward phrasing and sentences that don't flow logically. Check for consistency in tense and point of view throughout the essay. Use spell-check tools, but do not rely on them solely—manually check for homophones and commonly confused words. Consider having someone else read your work to catch errors you might have overlooked and to provide feedback on the clarity of your arguments.

How can I develop a strong thesis statement?

A strong thesis statement is clear, concise, and specific. It should express one main idea that is debatable, meaning there is potential for argument. Reflect on the essay prompt and decide on your position regarding the topic. Your thesis should guide the reader through your arguments and indicate the rationale behind your viewpoint. It serves as the backbone of your essay, so ensure it is robust and directly linked to the question asked.

How do I handle counterarguments in my essays?

Handling counterarguments effectively involves acknowledging them and then refuting them with stronger evidence or reasoning. Present them fairly and objectively, then use logical, fact-based arguments to demonstrate why your position remains valid. This not only shows critical thinking but also strengthens your original argument by showing you have considered multiple perspectives.

What is the role of a conclusion in an essay?

The conclusion of an essay should effectively summarise the main arguments discussed while reaffirming the thesis statement. It should synthesise the information presented rather than introducing new ideas. Provide a final perspective on the topic or suggest implications, further research or practical applications to leave the reader with something to ponder. A strong conclusion can reinforce your argument and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

How can I ensure my essay flows logically?

To ensure logical flow, each paragraph should seamlessly connect to the next with clear transitions. Focus on structuring paragraphs around one main idea that supports your thesis. Use transitional words and phrases to show the relationship between paragraphs. Consistency in your argumentation style and maintaining a clear focus throughout the essay will help keep your writing coherent.

What techniques help maintain reader interest throughout an essay?

To maintain reader interest, start with a strong hook in your introduction and use engaging content like relevant anecdotes, striking statistics, or interesting quotes throughout your essay. Vary your sentence structure and use active voice to keep the narrative dynamic. Also, ensure your topic is relevant and your arguments are presented with passion and clarity.

How can I integrate quotes effectively in essays?

To integrate quotes effectively, introduce the quote with a sentence that sets up its relevance to your argument, then follow the quote with analysis or interpretation that ties it back to your main point. Do not rely heavily on quotes to make your points; use them to support your arguments. Ensure that every quote is properly cited according to the required academic style guide.

What are the differences between descriptive and argumentative essays?

Descriptive essays focus on detailing a particular subject to give the reader a clear image or understanding of the topic through vivid language and sensory details. In contrast, argumentative essays aim to persuade the reader of a particular viewpoint or position using evidence and reasoning. The former is more about painting a picture, while the latter is about convincing through argument.

How can I use feedback to improve my essay writing skills?

Feedback is invaluable for improving essay writing skills. Actively seek out feedback from teachers, peers, or tutors and focus particularly on recurring themes in their comments. Reflect on this feedback critically and apply it to your future essays. Regularly revisiting and revising your work based on constructive criticism allows you to develop a more refined and effective writing style over time.

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Related Posts

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay

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  • How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips

How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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best words to use in a persuasive essay

An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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100 Persuasive Essay Topics

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

Persuasive essays are a bit like argument essays , but they tend to be a little kinder and gentler. Argument essays require you to discuss and attack an alternate view, while persuasive essays attempt to convince the reader that you have a believable argument. In other words, you are an advocate, not an adversary.

Writing a compelling persuasive essay requires you to select a topic that ideally stirs your readers' emotions. Before settling on a subject, explore some options to find one that helps craft the strongest and most engaging argument.

Below is a list of potential persuasive essay topics to spark your brainstorming process. You can choose a topic from this list or use it as inspiration to develop an idea of your own.

Main Components of a Persuasive Essay

  • Introduction : This is the opening paragraph of your essay. It contains the hook , which is used to grab the reader's attention, and the thesis , or argument, which you'll explain in the next section.
  • Body : This is the heart of your essay, usually three to five paragraphs in length. Each paragraph examines one theme or issue used to support your thesis.
  • Conclusion : This is the final paragraph of your essay. In it, you'll sum up the main points of the body and connect them to your thesis. Persuasive essays often use the conclusion as a final appeal to the audience.

Learning how to write a persuasive essay is an essential skill people use every day in fields from business to law to media and entertainment. English students can begin writing a persuasive essay at any skill level. You'll surely find a sample topic or two from the list of 100 persuasive essays below, sorted by degree of difficulty.

Watch Now: 12 Ideas for Great Persuasive Essay Topics

Beginner topics.

  • Kids should get paid for good grades.
  • Students should have less homework.
  • Snow days are great for family time.
  • Penmanship is important.
  • Short hair is better than long hair.
  • We should all grow our own vegetables.
  • We need more holidays.
  • Aliens probably exist.
  • Gym class is more important than music class.
  • Kids should be able to vote.
  • Kids should get paid for extra activities like sports.
  • School should take place in the evenings.
  • Country life is better than city life.
  • City life is better than country life.
  • We can change the world.
  • Skateboard helmets should be mandatory.
  • We should provide food for the poor.
  • Children should be paid for doing chores.
  • We should populate the moon .
  • Dogs make better pets than cats.

Intermediate Topics

  • The government should impose household trash limits.
  • Nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent against foreign attack.
  • Teens should be required to take parenting classes.
  • We should teach etiquette in schools.
  • School uniform laws are unconstitutional.
  • All students should wear uniforms.
  • Too much money is a bad thing.
  • High schools should offer specialized degrees in arts or sciences.
  • Magazine advertisements send unhealthy signals to young women.
  • Robocalling should be outlawed.
  • Age 12 is too young to babysit.
  • Children should be required to read more.
  • All students should be allowed to study abroad.
  • Yearly driving tests should be mandatory past age 65.
  • Cell phones should never be used while driving.
  • All schools should implement bullying awareness programs.
  • Bullies should be kicked out of school.
  • Parents of bullies should have to pay a fine.
  • The school year should be longer.
  • School days should start later.
  • Teens should be able to choose their bedtime.
  • There should be a mandatory entrance exam for high school.
  • Public transit should be privatized.
  • We should allow pets in school.
  • The voting age should be lowered to 16.
  • Beauty contests are bad for body image.
  • Every American should learn to speak Spanish.
  • Every immigrant should learn to speak English.
  • Video games can be educational.
  • College athletes should be paid for their services.
  • We need a military draft .
  • Professional sports should eliminate cheerleaders.
  • Teens should be able to start driving at 14 instead of 16.
  • Year-round school is a bad idea.
  • High school campuses should be guarded by police officers.
  • The legal drinking age should be lowered to 19.
  • Kids under 15 shouldn't have Facebook pages.
  • Standardized testing should be eliminated.
  • Teachers should be paid more.
  • There should be one world currency.

Advanced Topics

  • Domestic surveillance without a warrant should be legal.
  • Letter grades should be replaced with a pass or fail.
  • Every family should have a natural disaster survival plan.
  • Parents should talk to kids about drugs at a young age.
  • Racial slurs should be illegal.
  • Gun ownership should be tightly regulated.
  • Puerto Rico should be granted statehood.
  • People should go to jail when they abandon their pets.
  • Free speech should have limitations.
  • Members of Congress should be subject to term limits.
  • Recycling should be mandatory for everyone.
  • High-speed internet access should be regulated like a public utility.
  • Yearly driving tests should be mandatory for the first five years after getting a license.
  • Recreational marijuana should be made legal nationwide.
  • Legal marijuana should be taxed and regulated like tobacco or alcohol.
  • Child support dodgers should go to jail.
  • Students should be allowed to pray in school.
  • All Americans have a constitutional right to health care.
  • Internet access should be free for everyone.
  • Social Security should be privatized.
  • Pregnant couples should receive parenting lessons.
  • We shouldn't use products made from animals.
  • Celebrities should have more privacy rights.
  • Professional football is too violent and should be banned.
  • We need better sex education in schools.
  • School testing is not effective.
  • The United States should build a border wall with Mexico and Canada.
  • Life is better than it was 50 years ago.
  • Eating meat is unethical.
  • A vegan diet is the only diet people should follow.
  • Medical testing on animals should be illegal.
  • The Electoral College is outdated.
  • Medical testing on animals is necessary.
  • Public safety is more important than an individual's right to privacy.
  • Single-sex colleges provide a better education.
  • Books should never be banned.
  • Violent video games can cause people to act violently in real life.
  • Freedom of religion has limitations.
  • Nuclear power should be illegal.
  • Climate change should be the president's primary political concern.

Key Takeaways

  • Persuasive essays aim to convince rather than confront, effectively making you advocate for a position or idea.
  • Choosing a compelling topic that evokes emotions is crucial for crafting a strong persuasive essay.
  • The main parts of a persuasive essay are the introduction (with a hook and thesis), body paragraphs (explaining themes supporting the thesis), and conclusion (summarizing main points and making a final appeal).

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best words to use in a persuasive essay

15 Powerful Persuasive Speech Examples to Inspire Your Next Talk

  • The Speaker Lab
  • June 24, 2024

Table of Contents

Crafting a persuasive speech that captivates your audience and drives them to action is no easy feat. If you’re hitting the books, climbing the corporate ladder, or just dreaming of rocking the stage with your speeches, having a killer set of persuasive speech examples can totally change your game. In this post, we’ve curated some of the most compelling and inspiring persuasive speech examples to help you elevate your own speaking skills. So buckle up and grab your pen, because we’re diving into the secrets behind these unforgettable speeches.

What is a Persuasive Speech?

When we talk about a persuasive speech , we refer to a form of communication that seeks to influence the audience’s beliefs or actions. In the course of a persuasive speech, a person will present compelling arguments—backed by evidence and persuasive techniques—in order to convince listeners to embrace a specific viewpoint or take a particular course of action. Persuasive speeches are used in many different areas of life, such as in a school or university setting, in a job, or in a social setting.

When preparing to give a persuasive speech, always choose a topic or cause you’re interested in and passionate about. If you want to convince other people to agree with your stance, you must be seen to believe in it yourself. In addition, it helps to choose a topic that people care about and hasn’t been overdone.

Funny Persuasive Speech Examples

Looking for some funny persuasive speech examples to inspire your next presentation? You’ve come to the right place. Humor is a powerful tool when it comes to persuasion. It can help you connect with your audience, make your message more memorable, and even diffuse tension around controversial topics.

One classic example comes from David McCullough, Jr.’s high school commencement speech entitled “You Are Not Special.” While the title might not sound funny, McCullough delivers a hilarious reality check to graduates, poking fun at the coddling and praise they’ve received growing up. His ultimate message—that true success comes from hard work and taking risks—is made all the more powerful by his humorous approach.

But what makes funny persuasive speeches so effective? For one, humor helps the speakers build rapport with their audiences. Laughter is a shared experience that brings people together and makes them more open to new ideas. Additionally, injecting some levity into a speech can make the overall message more palatable and less preachy.

Of course, using humor in a persuasive speech requires some finesse. The jokes should be tasteful, relevant to your overall message, and not offensive to your audience. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. After all, a flat joke is better than one that leaves listeners cringing.

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Persuasive Speech Examples About Public Policy

Policy persuasive speeches advocate for a particular course of action on a public policy issue. These speeches go beyond simply raising awareness about a problem – they propose concrete solutions and try to sway the audience to support a specific plan.

One powerful policy persuasive speech example comes from Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 . Thunberg doesn’t mince words when lambasting world leaders for their inaction on climate change. But she also lays out clear policy demands, like immediately halting fossil fuel subsidies and drastically reducing carbon emissions. Her message is clear: we know what needs to be done and we need to do it.

When crafting your own policy persuasive speech, it’s important to back up your arguments with solid evidence. Use statistics, expert testimony, and real-world examples to show why your proposed solution is feasible and necessary. Anticipate counterarguments and address them head-on. And most importantly, make a clear call to action. Ask yourself: what exactly do you want your audience to do to support your policy goals?

Value Persuasive Speech Examples

Value persuasive speeches aim to change people’s beliefs or attitudes about a particular issue. Rather than advocating for a specific policy, these speeches try to shift the audience’s underlying values and assumptions.

A classic example of a value persuasive speech is Mary McLeod Bethune’s “ What Does American Democracy Mean to Me? ” address. As an African American woman born into poverty, Bethune faced countless obstacles and injustices throughout her life. But in this speech, she reframes the narrative around American democracy, arguing that our nation’s highest ideals are worth fighting for, even if we haven’t yet lived up to them. By appealing to shared values like freedom, justice, and equality, Bethune inspires her audience to keep pushing for change.

The key to a successful value persuasive speech is tapping into your audience’s existing beliefs and values. Use vivid language and storytelling to paint a picture of the world you want to see. Make your case in moral and ethical terms, not just practical ones. And don’t be afraid to show some vulnerability. By sharing your own experiences and struggles, you can create an emotional connection with your listeners.

Persuasive Speech Examples About Social Issues

Social issues make for compelling persuasive speech topics because they touch on deeply held beliefs and affect people’s everyday lives. Whether you’re talking about racial justice, gender equality, or income inequality, these speeches require a deft touch and a willingness to engage with complex, often controversial ideas.

Talking About Mental Health

One powerful example of a persuasive speech about mental health is Kevin Breel’s “ Confessions of a Depressed Comic ” from TEDxKids@Ambleside. As a stand-up comedian, Breel knows how to get laughs, but he also knows the pain of living with depression. In this speech, he shares his own story of struggling with mental illness and calls on society to break the stigma around talking about mental health. By speaking vulnerably, Breel makes a compelling case for why we need to take depression seriously and support those who are struggling.

Addressing Physical Health

Another great example of a persuasive speech about health is Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk “ Teach Every Child About Food .” As a celebrity chef, Oliver has seen firsthand the impact of poor nutrition on people’s health. In this speech, he makes a passionate plea for better food education in schools, arguing that it’s a matter of life and death. With shocking statistics and personal anecdotes, Oliver paints a grim picture of the obesity epidemic and calls on parents, educators, and policymakers to take action.

Persuasive Speech Examples About the Environment

Environmental issues are some of the most pressing challenges we face as a society. From climate change to pollution to habitat destruction, the stakes couldn’t be higher. That’s why persuasive speeches about the environment are so important. By inspiring people to take action, they make a true difference.

One of the most famous environmental speeches of all time is Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” lecture, which was later turned into an Academy Award-winning documentary. In this speech, Gore lays out the scientific evidence for climate change and argues that we have a moral imperative to act. With compelling visuals and a sense of urgency, Gore makes a powerful case for why we need to reduce our carbon footprint and transition to renewable energy sources.

Another great example of an environmental persuasive speech is Severn Suzuki’s address to the UN Earth Summit in 1992. At just 12 years old, Suzuki delivered a heartfelt plea for action on behalf of her generation, arguing that adults were stealing children’s future by destroying the planet. Her speech went viral and helped galvanize the youth environmental movement. By speaking from the heart and calling out the hypocrisy of world leaders, Suzuki showed that you’re never too young to make a difference.

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FAQs on Persuasive Speech Examples

What are some examples of a persuasive speech.

Think climate change action, voting rights, or the importance of mental health awareness. They push for change.

What are 5 examples of persuasive essay?

Gun control laws, school uniforms debate, death penalty perspectives, animal testing ethics, and social media impacts make the list.

What’s an easy persuasive speech topic?

“Why recycling matters” is straightforward and impactful. It connects with everyday actions and broader environmental goals.

What is an example of a persuasive statement?

“Switching to renewable energy sources can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.” This urges action towards sustainability.

Persuasive speech examples show us how to inspire, motivate, and transform the way we communicate our ideas to the world. By studying these remarkable speeches, you’ve gained valuable insights into the art of persuasion and the techniques that make a speech truly unforgettable.

Remember, winning people over with your words takes more than just knowing the right things to say. It’s about practice, caring deeply, and tuning into the folks listening. Take the lessons you’ve learned from these examples and apply them to your own unique style and message. Pouring your soul into your speech can truly move an audience emotionally, altering their thinking for good.

Now your moment in the spotlight is here, so show off those persuasive speech skills. Go forth and create a speech that not only informs and entertains but also inspires and empowers your audience to take meaningful action. The world is waiting to hear your voice, so make it count!

  • Last Updated: June 21, 2024

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Transgender Rights Advocates’ Last Best Hope Is Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will decide whether states have the constitutional authority to prohibit gender-affirming care for minors. Its decision, expected next term, will determine the fate of laws in more than two dozen states that severely restrict or even criminalize transgender minors’ access to health care. More broadly, the ruling will establish whether laws targeting the rights of transgender children and adults are constitutionally suspect.

There is, as always, a chance that the Supreme Court could issue a surprise decision that mandates equality for trans Americans and their families. But it appears more likely that the court will greenlight bans on gender-affirming care for minors. In the process, the conservative justices could devastate rights for all transgender people in the process, stripping away constitutional protections throughout the country. It is fitting that the court took up this case on the second anniversary of Dobbs . The next civil rights showdown, with existential stakes for equal citizenship regardless of sex or gender identity, has begun.

U.S. v. Skrmetti , the case that SCOTUS granted on Monday, is a challenge to a Tennessee law that bars health care professionals from providing certain kinds of medicines to minors. The statute forbids puberty-suppressing drugs known as “puberty blockers” as well as cross-sex hormone therapy, explicitly on the basis of sex. These treatments are the standard of care for children experiencing gender dysphoria endorsed by leading medical associations . Tennessee’s ban was part of a spate of legislation promoted by Republicans to mandate its narrow definition of gender by, in part, erasing transgender people’s existence. It was accompanied by legislation banning many drag performances, which were deemed to be “child abuse” by the bill’s sponsor; and it was followed up by a novel measure penalizing adults who assist or “recruit” Tennessee minors who travel out of state for gender-affirming care. Red states around the country are racing to enact similarly draconian laws.

Last year, a group of transgender minors and their parents sued to block Tennessee’s health care ban, arguing that it violates their rights under the 14 th Amendment. The plaintiffs raised two theories: First, the parents argued that the state ban infringed on their right, secured under the due process clause, to make medical decisions for their children; and second, the minors argued that the ban discriminated against them on the basis of sex in violation of the equal protection clause. A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6 th Circuit shot down their claims by a 2–1 vote, finding no violation of the 14 th Amendment. The 6 th Circuit held that the due process clause does not protect the parents because there is no “deeply rooted” right to secure gender-affirming care for one’s offspring, and that the equal protection clause is not offended because the law at issue does not actually constitute sex discrimination.

Both the U.S. Department of Justice and the ACLU litigated this case in the 6 th Circuit, and both asked SCOTUS to review the lower court’s decision. Yet, oddly, the Supreme Court granted only the Department of Justice’s petition on Monday. That choice is important, because the DOJ made only one of the plaintiffs’ two arguments: the equal protection claim that Tennessee’s ban discriminates on the basis of sex. That course of action seems to have flowed from a quirk in the statute that permits the Justice Department’s intervention exclusively with regard to equal protection, not due process.

The Supreme Court, though, may well have wanted to tee up Skrmetti as an equal protection case, excising the question about parents’ liberty interests under the due process clause. That’s because the big question that has divided the lower courts is whether anti-trans discrimination constitutes a form of sex discrimination. The Supreme Court has long held that, under the 14 th Amendment, laws that discriminate on the basis of sex receive heightened scrutiny and must be supported by an “exceedingly persuasive justification.” So Skrmetti asks: When states target trans people for disfavored treatment, do they engage in sex-based discrimination? If the answer is yes—as the 4 th , 7 th , and 9 th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals have found—then courts must stringently assess anti-trans legislation for an “exceedingly persuasive justification.” If the answer is no—as the 6 th and 11 th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have found—then courts can pretty much rubber-stamp overt discrimination against transgender people. (Some liberal courts have also held that transgender people constitute their own “suspect class” that triggers heightened scrutiny, though the odds of SCOTUS embracing this position are vanishingly small.)

In other words, there’s even more at stake in Skrmetti than the future of bans on gender-affirming care for minors (and adults, who now face similar restrictions in many jurisdictions). Every day, red states innovate new ways to trammel the liberties of transgender adults and children, passing laws or filing lawsuits that limit their ability to play sports , use public bathrooms , live in safe homes , avoid discrimination in school and the workplace , perform onstage , hold public office , and even vote . The list goes on and on . If there is a broad decision from the Supreme Court in Skrmetti holding that anti-trans laws trigger heightened scrutiny under the equal protection clause, then all these measures are constitutionally suspect. A broad decision the other way will require lower courts to uphold most if not all of these laws, effectively abolishing most constitutional protections for transgender people.

There is cause for some very cautious optimism. In 2020’s Bostock v. Clayton County , the Supreme Court ruled that “it is impossible to discriminate against a person” for being transgender “without discriminating against that individual based on sex.” Notably, though, the court was interpreting a statute, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, rather than a constitutional provision. Justice Neil Gorsuch authored Bostock , and Chief Justice John Roberts joined him along with the court’s liberals. Roberts and Gorsuch, of course, remain on the court, and there are still three liberal justices. So it is conceivable that a five-justice majority could apply Bostock ’s reasoning to the equal protection context.

Indeed, on a more balanced court, it would seem to be a no-brainer that the logic of Bostock extends to the 14 th Amendment. Anti-trans legislation punishes an individual for failing to adhere to the sex they were assigned at birth and curtails their rights accordingly. When states single out transgender people because they are trans, they are necessarily classifying them on the basis of sex. Tennessee’s health care ban illustrates this fact: Doctors may prescribe testosterone to a cisgender boy , but not a transgender boy who was assigned female at birth—their sex at birth determines whether they may obtain the medication. The same is true of restrictions on adult health care: West Virginia’s Medicaid program, for example, covers breast-reduction surgery for cisgender men (who have excess tissue), but not transgender men assigned female at birth (who have gender dysphoria). As the 4 th Circuit held, this distinction creates an unconstitutional regime based on sex.

Yet other courts have reached the opposite conclusion, often fueled by the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade in 2022’s Dobbs decision. In Dobbs , the court warned against the acknowledgment of any constitutional right that is not “deeply rooted” in the nation’s “history and tradition.” It also arguably cut back the equal protection clause’s protections against sex discrimination, narrowing the definition of gender-based discrimination. Conservative judges have seized upon these passages to Dobbs -ify the law of equality, refusing to protect transgender rights because they did not exist in the 18 th and 19 th centuries. And this Supreme Court is disinclined toward respecting , let alone expanding, LGBTQ+ rights. Moreover, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett have already signaled their skepticism that health care bans for trans minors are unconstitutional.

Both the Department of Justice and the ACLU urged the Supreme Court to take up Skrmetti because they had no other choice: The proliferation of these stringent laws leaves SCOTUS as the last, best hope of relief. These lawyers made the tough call knowing the risks of an adverse decision, which would wipe out pro-trans precedents in the 4 th , 7 th , and 9 th Circuits that cover deep-red states like South Carolina, Indiana, and Idaho. It is possible, though, to make the case that five justices may see the unconstitutional foundations of Tennessee’s law for what it is: discrimination against transgender people that is inherently rooted in sex-based bias. But as ever, it is a safer bet that this extraordinarily conservative court will not stick its neck out to vindicate the rights of the vulnerable.

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Guest Essay

The Ten Commandments Are Trump’s Favorite of All the Commandments

best words to use in a persuasive essay

By Christopher Buckley

Mr. Buckley is a novelist and humorist.

Gov. Jeff Landry of Louisiana signs a bill mandating that the Ten Commandments be displayed in all public classrooms. He says of the legislation, “ I can’t wait to be sued .”

Mr. Landry is sued by 28 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amalgamated Atheists of America, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Beelzebubbians, the Spouses of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Neighborhood Welcome Wagon Association, and Liberals for the Prevention of Morality.

The Republican Party responds with a fund-raising email blitz for a new legal defense fund. The subject line reads, “Moses ❤️ Louisiana (and Trump!!!).”

Donald Trump hails Mr. Landry, calling him “the greatest mayor of Louisiana maybe ever.”

“Actually, ever,” he adds.

When President Biden points out that Louisiana is a state, not a city, a Trump spokesman responds with a statement: “Once again, the morally corrupt head of the Biden Marxist Leninist Maoist family crime syndicate has demonstrated its contempt for all residents of Louisiana, or as it will be known in the second Trump term, Holy Land East.”

Speaking before the annual conference of the Evangelical Substitute Teachers Association on the eve of Thursday’s presidential debate against Mr. Biden, Mr. Trump calls the Ten Commandments “my favorite of all the commandments.” In an apparent reference to Moses, he says that “being from New York City,” he “personally knows many, many people named Moe, all of them terrific, and most of them dentists.”

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  1. Persuasive Words: In Support Of & In Support Against Essay Writing

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