national 5 english persuasive essay examples

English National 5 Essay Examples Available

The English Department have sent more resources for National 5 critical essay revision to this site for inclusion.

They take the form of exemplar timed essays on the novels studied in the course: Stone Cold, Of Mice and Men and Animal Farm.

Find them on the dedicated critical essay revision page . The PDF files are named according to: the novel they are concerned with; whether they are the first or second example (1 or 2); and each example is numbered into parts – (i) – (iv).

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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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  • Sep 19, 2019

Our top 8 tips on how to write your National 5 English Critical Essay

Your critical essay is an essay that allows you to demonstrate your analysis, interpretation and evaluation of pieces of literature. Your national 5 English critical essay is worth 20 marks (or half of the critical reading exam) so it is important to make this count. In this post, we have outlined our top 8 tips on how to write and pass your National 5 English critical essay.

Remember: The N5 English Critical Essay questions are found in Section 2 of the Critical Reading paper. You must only answer one question.

1) Choose the right genre!

Ensure you select the correct genre for your essay. The Critical Essay paper will give you a choice of genres: Drama, Poetry, Prose and Language . You can only write an essay on a novel or short story using one of the Prose questions.

Writing about the wrong genre will stop you getting the grade you deserve.

Remember that your Critical Essay cannot be from the same genre as your Scottish text.

2) Choose the right question!

Under each genre heading, you will have a choice of two questions. Make sure that you read both of them carefully and select the one which you feel you could write about best.

3) Identify the key words in your chosen question! These words will be the focus of your essay.

For example:

Choose a poem in which the poet creates a powerful sense of place …

Choose a novel in which there is an interesting character .

In each of these examples, you would use the underlined phrase as your key words.

4) Introduce the text! Your introduction should consist of a brief paragraph consisting of two parts. Firstly, include the title, author, form and subject of your text.

E.g. ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker is a powerful gothic novel based upon an ancient vampire’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England.

The second part of your introduction should be a link to the question – using those key words.

E.g. Throughout the novel, we can clearly see how Stoker portrays Count Dracula as a mysterious and interesting character .

5) Structure your discussion! After your introduction, identify where you first see the key words in your chosen text.

E.g. In the opening stages of the novel, Stoker establishes Count Dracula as an interesting character when the protagonist – Jonathan Harker- is travelling to his castle:

 ‘I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle  Dracula…’

Start every other paragraph, with a topic sentence that includes the key words.

Later in the novel, we see Stoker further develop the idea of Count Dracula as an  interesting character , when Jonathan meets him in person…

6) Provide analysis of any evidence!

Here, the author makes effective use of setting , when he locates Dracula in a mysterious home. This helps develop the sense of the count being an interesting character.

Note that evidence can be quotations, but it doesn’t need to be – especially if you are writing about drama or prose. You just need to explain what events are significant and why they are effective.

7) Remember to evaluate!

Use phrases throughout your discussion to evaluate the writer’s methods:

E.g. this clearly shows… this is effective in revealing… this provides a vivid image of…

8) End in a proper manner!

Your essay must be complete. This means that you need to include a separate concluding paragraph, which sums up your discussion.

You can start your conclusion with

In conclusion, throughout (name of text) we can clearly see (key words) in terms of…

Ultimately, throughout (name of text) we can clearly see (key words) in terms of…

Just remember to include the key words in your conclusion and include an evaluative term too.

Eg. In conclusion, throughout the novel ‘Dracula’, Bram Stoker has clearly presented Count Dracula as an interesting character . This is evident in his effective use of setting to make Dracula mysterious, and later through the character development where the count changes from a proud Transylvanian to a murderous monster.

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Annotating National 5 persuasive essays - self or peer marking

Annotating National 5 persuasive essays - self or peer marking

Subject: English

Age range: 14-16

Resource type: Lesson (complete)

Maria Wilke's Shop

Last updated

19 September 2021

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national 5 english persuasive essay examples

Powerpoint guiding you through steps of annotating and marking an exemplar persuasive essay for National 5 English.

*taking a class or single student through annotation *practice self-assessment *practice peer-assessment *build skills for essay-writing *make assessment criteria for persuasive essays explicit *can be used on an exemplar essay given by the teacher, each student on their own essay, or swapped peer essays (if they are up for that) *can also be used on single paragraphs, or draft versions as well as unfinished essays to identify strengths and gaps *style of ppt is kept very low-key and simple - you can adapt it easily to your own needs and taste

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Persuasive Essay Examples

332 samples in this category

Persuasive essays hold the remarkable ability to sway minds and ignite change through the power of conviction. With their clear arguments and compelling evidence, these essays aim to influence readers to adopt a particular viewpoint or take action. By presenting persuasive essay example, we delve into the art of persuasion,...

Persuasive essays hold the remarkable ability to sway minds and ignite change through the power of conviction. With their clear arguments and compelling evidence, these essays aim to influence readers to adopt a particular viewpoint or take action. By presenting persuasive essay example, we delve into the art of persuasion, exploring how skilled writers effectively communicate their ideas, engage readers emotionally, and construct compelling arguments. These examples serve as beacons of inspiration, illuminating the persuasive techniques employed to captivate audiences and empower them to embrace new perspectives. Get ready to unlock the power of persuasion and discover the transformative impact of a well-crafted essay.

What is a persuasive essay?

A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing that aims to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint or argument. The primary objective of a persuasive essay is to present compelling evidence, logical reasoning, and persuasive techniques in order to sway the reader’s opinion and encourage them to adopt the writer’s perspective.

This type of essay typically includes a clear thesis statement at the beginning, followed by well-structured paragraphs that present supporting evidence and counterarguments. The writer employs persuasive language, appeals to emotions, and provides factual evidence to strengthen their case.

Ultimately, a persuasive essay intends to engage the reader intellectually and emotionally, challenging their preconceived notions and encouraging them to see the topic from the writer’s point of view.

How to write an example of a persuasive essay?

Writing a persuasive essay involves presenting arguments and supporting evidence to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint. To begin, it is essential to craft a compelling introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and clearly states the thesis statement.

The body paragraphs should then provide well-researched evidence, logical reasoning, and counterarguments to strengthen the persuasive stance. Each paragraph should focus on a single point and provide sufficient details and examples to persuade the reader.

Additionally, incorporating persuasive language techniques, such as emotional appeals and rhetorical devices, can enhance the effectiveness of the essay.

Finally, a strong conclusion should summarize the main points and reiterate the thesis while leaving a lasting impact on the reader’s mind. By employing these strategies, a persuasive essay can effectively sway the reader’s opinion and convey the writer’s perspective convincingly.

Types of persuasive essay?

Writing a persuasive essay involves presenting arguments and supporting evidence to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint. To begin, it is essential to craft a compelling introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and clearly states the thesis statement. The body paragraphs should then provide well-researched evidence, logical reasoning, and counterarguments to strengthen the persuasive stance.

Each paragraph should focus on a single point and provide sufficient details and examples to persuade the reader. Additionally, incorporating persuasive language techniques, such as emotional appeals and rhetorical devices, can enhance the effectiveness of the essay.

The purpose of writing persuasive essay

The purpose of writing a persuasive essay is to present a compelling argument and convince the reader to adopt a specific viewpoint or take a particular course of action. Through carefully constructed arguments, evidence, and persuasive language, the writer aims to sway the reader’s opinion, evoke an emotional response, and inspire them to support the writer’s perspective. A persuasive essay prompts critical thinking and encourages the reader to examine the topic from various angles, ultimately aiming to bring about a change in belief, behavior, or attitude.

How to start writing a persuasive essay?

To begin writing a persuasive essay, it is crucial to capture the reader’s attention right from the start. An effective opening paragraph should contain a strong thesis statement that clearly expresses your position on the topic. Consider using a compelling hook, such as a thought-provoking question, a startling statistic, or an engaging anecdote, to pique the reader’s interest.

The introductory paragraph should also provide a brief overview of the issue at hand, highlighting its significance and relevance to the reader. By setting the stage and clearly stating your stance, you can lay a solid foundation for the persuasive arguments that will follow in the subsequent paragraphs of your essay.

How to write a persuasive essay structure?

A persuasive essay aims to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint or argument by presenting logical reasoning and supporting evidence. To create an effective persuasive essay structure, it is crucial to organize the content in a coherent and compelling manner. The structure typically consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

The introduction serves as a captivating opening that grabs the reader’s attention. It should include a clear thesis statement that presents the main argument and establishes the writer’s position on the topic. Additionally, it may contain a brief overview of the issue at hand, providing context and relevance.

The body paragraphs form the core of the persuasive essay, presenting supporting evidence and logical reasoning to bolster the thesis statement. Each paragraph should focus on a single point or piece of evidence and be structured in a consistent manner. The writer must start with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph and clearly relates it back to the thesis statement. Following this, the writer should provide detailed explanations, examples, or statistics to support their argument. It is important to anticipate counterarguments and address them effectively within the body paragraphs, as this demonstrates a strong understanding of the opposing viewpoint.

Transitions between paragraphs are crucial for maintaining the flow and coherence of the essay. Utilize transitional words and phrases to guide the reader through the logical progression of ideas. Additionally, the body paragraphs should be arranged in a logical order, with the strongest and most persuasive points presented first.

Finally, the conclusion summarizes the main points discussed in the essay and restates the thesis statement, emphasizing its significance. The writer should use this section to leave a lasting impression on the reader by reinforcing the central argument and leaving them with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question.

In conclusion, a persuasive essay structure should comprise an attention-grabbing introduction, well-structured body paragraphs with strong evidence and counterargument refutation, and a compelling conclusion that reinforces the main argument. By organizing the essay effectively and presenting a well-supported argument, writers can maximize the persuasive impact of their essays and effectively engage their readers.

How to write a conclusion for persuasive essay?

In conclusion, it is evident that persuasive essay writing is a powerful tool for expressing ideas, influencing opinions, and driving change. The conclusion serves as the final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader, so it should be concise yet impactful. Restate the main thesis statement and summarize the key arguments presented throughout the essay, emphasizing their significance and relevance.

A persuasive conclusion should leave the reader with a sense of closure and a strong call to action, encouraging them to reflect on the presented ideas and consider taking a particular stance or course of action. By employing compelling language and reinforcing the persuasive elements of the essay, the conclusion effectively reinforces the writer’s viewpoint and prompts the reader to engage with the topic further.

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How To Write Better Essays: 5 Outside-the-Box Techniques + Writing Tips

How To Write Better Essays: 5 Outside-the-Box Techniques + Writing Tips

Table of contents

national 5 english persuasive essay examples

Brinda Gulati

Stuck on a B, chasing that A+? We've all been there. 

I have two degrees in Creative Writing from the University of Warwick with First Class Honors. From 2013 to 2014, I also studied English Literature at the National University of Singapore. 

Translation: I’ve written a lot of academic essays.

Some good. Some inspired. And others, plain lousy.

After a few Bs and the occasional C, I cracked the code on writing good essays. An average academic essay answers a question; but an essay that gets an A+ solves a problem — whether through discussion, analysis, definition, comparison, or evaluation. 

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through how to write better essays. You’ll learn how to construct bullet-proof arguments with five unique thinking techniques, cut the fluff, and discover F.O.C.U.S. to improve your essay writing skills. 

Because essays don’t have to be boring. And writing them doesn’t have to either. 

What Makes A Good Essay?

What is “good” writing? The answer is subjective. For example, I loved reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, but to some, it might be drivel. 

Nonetheless, many examples of good writing share some core qualities. 

There are five overarching qualities of good essay writing : flow, organization, clarity, unity, and specificity. 

I’ve made a fun little acronym to help you remember them better: F.O.C.U.S.™️

F low: Does the writing flow smoothly from one point to the next? 

O rganization: Have you structured your essay with a clear beginning, middle, and end?  

C larity: Is the writing clear, error-free, and unambiguous? 

U nity: Are all the elements of your writing supporting the central thesis?

S pecificity: Have you provided specific details, examples, and evidence to justify your main points? 

A Fellow at The European Graduate School, and my most cherished mentor, Dr. Jeremy Fernando , has perhaps read, written, and graded thousands of academic essays over the years. 

His advice?  

“You’re asking the reader to go on an explorative journey with you; the least you should do is ensure the trip you’re taking them on is the same as the advertised one.”

5 Creative Thinking Techniques For Writing Better Essays

The thing is, good essay writing doesn’t start at — or even as — writing . 

There’s reading, re-reading, pre-writing, revising, then actually writing, editing, and then writing some more.

As with most persuasive arguments , you need frameworks: points of reference, mental models, and structured approaches to guide your decision making.  

That's exactly what we have here. 

1. Try Reverse Outlining

A reverse outline is just what it sounds like: a process that distills a paper down to its bare essentials, leaving only the key points and topic sentences. The result? A clear, bullet-point blueprint of the paper's structure, whether it's your own work or someone else's.

Key Benefits: 

✅Creates an X-ray of a paper's structure to identify its central arguments and assess its logical flow.

✅Helps you actively engage with someone else’s work to deepen your understanding of the material.

✅Reveals structural issues in your own essay, such as missing or misplaced points, redundancies, or weak arguments.

How To Create A Reverse Outline:

This is a two-step, and perhaps infinitely repeatable process.

Take a blank page and draw a line straight down the middle.

  • In the left-hand margin, write down the keywords for each paragraph in your essay. Stick to the main points. Be brief. 
  • In the right-hand margin, write down how the keyword or topic supports the main argument. Again, don't sit down to write Bonfire of the Vanities . Make it concise . The goal is to persuasively explain your arguments in a few words.

2. Practice The Lotus Blossom Technique

In this structured brainstorming exercise, you plant your main problem in the center box of a 3x3 grid. Then, you’ll fill the surrounding boxes with related themes to expand your thinking. The method was developed by Yasuo Matsumura at Clover Management Research in Japan.

Key Benefits:

✅ A fun, novel alternative to traditional mind-mapping and spider-diagramming.  

✅Helps you visualize your essay slowly unfolding from its core. (Like a lotus, basically.)

✅I like how it's creative and thorough at the same time. An equal combination of freedom and structure.

Illustration of the technique. The core problem of "self-doubt re: next job" and different colored boxes for related ideas.

How To Practice The Lotus Blossom Technique:

  • Put your problem/essay question in the center square.
  • Fill in the surrounding eight boxes with ideas related to the problem. At this point, you don’t need to elaborate. 
  • Now, flesh out each of your eight ideas. Or, as with the lotus flower image — add another row of petals. 

64 boxes showing the Lotus Blossom Techniques with "core problem" in the middle and colored boxes from A to E.

When all your boxes are filled in, you'll have 64 ideas for one essay argument. As far as starting-off points go, this one’s hard to beat. 

Pro Tip : Did you know that dim light is a creative stimulant? Go dark. Light some candles.

3. Build A Toulmin Argument Model

According to philosopher Stephen E. Toulmin, arguments are broken down into six key components: claim, grounds, warrant, qualifier, rebuttal, and backing. 

There are three essential parts to every argument: the claim, the grounds, and the warrant.

  • The claim is the main argument you want to prove to your audience. 
  • The grounds of an argument are the evidence and facts that support it.
  • The warrant is the assumption which links a claim to its grounds, whether implied or explicitly stated.

✅Craft persuasive arguments through an in-depth analysis that closely examines each part of your essay.

✅Analyzing an argument from its components can help clarify its logic.

✅The rebuttal component encourages you to anticipate and address counterarguments. The more perspectives you consider, the more well-rounded your argument will be.

How To Build A Toulmin Argument Model:

Let’s take a published paper — “ Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research ” by Jane V. Higdon and Balz Frei — and break it down using the Toulmin model. 

Get Wordtune for free > Get Wordtune for free >
  • Claim: Consuming moderate amounts of coffee (3-4 cups a day with 300-400 mg of caffeine) has few health risks and some health benefits. Nevertheless, caffeine may be more harmful to pregnant women, children, adolescents, and the elderly.
  • Grounds: According to epidemiological studies, coffee may prevent diabetes type 2, Parkinson's disease, and liver disease. 
  • Warrant: Studies suggest that coffee consumption in moderation may have some health benefits and poses minimal health risks.
  • Backing : A number of well-designed prospective cohort studies with large sample sizes are cited as supporting evidence. 
  • Qualifier: This study applies specifically to healthy adults who consume moderate amounts of filtered coffee. Optimal intake hasn’t been defined. 
  • Rebuttal: Some may be more sensitive to negative effects. Further research is needed.

I don’t know about you, but I often get convinced of my own arguments when writing essays, and then it’s hard for me to consider other perspectives.

So, if you want a sparring buddy, here’s how Wordtune can help you with counterarguments:

First, I’ve copy-pasted our claim from above 👇🏼

Wordtune's workspace showing how to generate a counterargument with AI based on the claim above.

Next, click on the little purple sparkle icon and choose “Counterargument” from the drop-down menu. 

Wordtune's generated text highlighted in purple and an arrow pointing to the research's source with a blue tick.

Lo and behold! Not only does Wordtune provide accurate contextual suggestions for a convincing opposing opinion, it goes one step further and cites a clickable source for the research .

Nothing short of time-saving magic , if you ask me.

4. Ask The Five Whys

You need to ask “why” five times to get to the root of any problem. That’s what the inventor of the method, and founder of Toyota Industries, Sakichi Toyoda, believed. 

✅The approach identifies the real problem, not just its surface symptoms. 

✅It’s an easy-to-do and straightforward process that gets to the heart of your essay question.

✅Use this approach in combination with the Toulmin Model to build a killer essay argument.

Asking The Five Whys:

Let’s look at a sample essay question and drill down to its core.

national 5 english persuasive essay examples

When you have the core of the problem in your palm, you can then start thinking of solutions. Perhaps finding more cost-effective ways to train and support teachers. Or exploring alternative funding options, such as grants and partnerships with local businesses.

5. Experiment With The Ben Franklin Exercise

Franklin wasn’t always a prodigious scholar. While working at a print shop, he reverse engineered the prose from the British magazine, The Spectator , to learn how to write better without a tutor. 

He took detailed notes at a sentence level, contemplated them for some time, and then re-created the sentences without looking at the originals.

In fact, research from MIT shows that it's “not just the study of tiny details that accelerates learning; the act of assembling those details yourself is what makes the difference.” This is called constructionist learning. 

✅Improve your essay writing by studying works of skilled authors through practiced imitation.

✅Organizing your notes from memory will help you construct a solid structure for your essay, and evaluate any gaps in logic and flow.

✅Actively deconstructing and constructing the material allows you to engage deeply with it, and therefore, write better essays.

How I Use The Ben Franklin Exercise:

One of my favorite passages in Literature — as clichéd as may it be — is from Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club . 

Excerpt from Goodreads of a passage from Fight Club with red underlines at a sentence level.

  • Note how “strongest” and “smartest” are alliterative words, creating a sense of rhythm right in the first sentence.
  • The imagery of banality — pumping gas, waiting tables, etc. is at once, vivid and relatable, moving and unmoving.
  • The phrase “midddle children of the history man” places the narrative in a broader, more relevant context.
  • Notice how the “g” is capitalized for the first mention of war and depression, but then it switches to a small “g” for the same words in the next sentence.
  • The repetition of “very very pissed off” is much more effective than simply saving “livid.”

Similarly, start by taking a paragraph from an essay you like. Make sentence-level notes and rewrite its essence without looking at it. 

My Top Tips To Write A Good Essay

1. write lousy first drafts.

You heard me. Write as if your keyboard doesn’t have keys for punctuation. Write as if no one is ever going to read your essay. The goal is to eliminate self-censorship . When you first start writing down your main points, don’t assume the role of a self-editor. 

TRY THIS : Open a blank page, set a timer for two and a half minutes, and type until the bell goes off. Take a break. Repeat. Don’t re-read what you’ve typed. 

Forget proper spelling. Forget good grammar. Those polishes are all for later, when you have something to polish. 

This is freewriting. 

And it’s wildly effective in getting you to stop thinking about deadlines, blinking cursors, and that A+. My highest-scoring essays have all begun with messy, unstructured, poorly-worded first drafts. 

2. Read Other Essays Like A Writer

Think of your favorite book. What makes you call it your favorite? Or a series you’ve watched recently. ( Behind Her Eyes is especially good.) What compels you to see it all the way through? The same principle applies to good essay writing. Have you read an essay in your research that hooked you? Or a friend’s work you wish you could put your name to? 

Read like a writer — become a proactive participant in examining why the writing works. Instead of passively drawing stars next to important observations, ask yourself, “ Why do I like these passages? What are they doing? And how are they doing it?” (Use the Ben Franklin Exercise here.)

Take apart the essay you’re reading like a forensic pathologist doing an autopsy. 

3. Start With An Outline

Speaking of autopsies, a good essay has good bones. Once you’ve disgorged your ideas on the page, start arranging them under headers. 

Google Docs' drop-down menu screenshot of formatting headers for the blog being written.

This blog too, was born in the Notes app on my phone. But if you’re taking the reader with you somewhere, you should know where you’re headed too. 

Pro Tip : Keep two working documents for your essay. One where you dump all the links, sources, and keywords. The other is where you work on your final draft for submission.

4. Cut The Fluff

The deadline’s in a few hours and you’re scrambling to hit minimum word count . Long, winding sentences with gratuitous adjectives you’ve just looked up in the thesaurus to sound more cerebral, erudite, scholarly.

I get it. I’ve done it. And those essays have bellyflopped. Professors know when you’re trying to game them.

Here’s an actual sentence from one of my essays I wrote in 2017:

“Ibsen’s realist drama, and in particular, A Doll’s House , is replete with the problems that chapter and verse modern life – the patriarchal model of the family, money and debt, and the performance of gender.”

And much to my embarrassment, this is the scathing comment from my then-professor: 

“This makes no sense.”

Essay sentence highlighted on the left, with a comment from Nicholas Collins on the right from 2017.

Let’s rework this sentence to make sense using Wordtune (a clever AI helper I wish I had during my university days):

“The patriarchal family model, money and debt, and gendered performance are all apparent in Ibsen's realist drama, especially A Doll's House .”

Wordtune's workspace showing how to cut the fluff with AI with the example from the essay above.

Much more sensible. 

5. Get Feedback, Edit, And Revise

I can’t emphasize this enough — don’t submit your first draft! Have someone else read it, perhaps a friend in the same class or even from a different major. Look at their eyebrows to see which sections make them frown in confusion. 

Ask them to red-pen sentences and logical gaps. And then —- edit, edit edit! 

Sleep on it. Let the essay stew in the back of your mind for a full night, and come back to it with fresh eyes.

Start (Pre-)Writing Better Essays

The ability to write persuasively will serve you well no matter what stage of your life you are in: high school, university scholar, or a professional trying to get ahead. After all, the human mind is hardwired for storytelling.

Remember, the key is to F.O.C.U.S.

Whether you’re crawling or speeding towards a deadline, bag that A+ with a smart AI assistant like Wordtune !

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