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

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

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what is the main point of 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

what is the main point of 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

what is the main point of 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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persuasive essay

What is persuasive essay definition, usage, and literary examples, persuasive essay definition.

A persuasive essay (purr-SWEY-siv ESS-ey) is a composition in which the essayist’s goal is to persuade the reader to agree with their personal views on a debatable topic. A persuasive essay generally follows a five-paragraph model with a thesis, body paragraphs, and conclusion, and it offers evidential support using research and other persuasive techniques.

Persuasive Essay Topic Criteria

To write an effective persuasive essay, the essayist needs to ensure that the topic they choose is polemical, or debatable. If it isn’t, there’s no point in trying to persuade the reader.

For example, a persuasive essayist wouldn’t write about how honeybees make honey; this is a well-known fact, and there’s no opposition to sway. The essayist might, however, write an essay on why the reader shouldn’t put pesticides on their lawn, as it threatens the bee population and environmental health.

A topic should also be concrete enough that the essayist can research and find evidence to support their argument. Using the honeybee example, the essayist could cite statistics showing a decline in the honeybee population since the use of pesticides became prevalent in lawncare. This concrete evidence supports the essayist’s opinion.

Persuasive Essay Structure

The persuasive essay generally follows this five-paragraph model.

Introduction

The introduction includes the thesis, which is the main argument of the persuasive essay. A thesis for the essay on bees and pesticides might be: “Bees are essential to environmental health, and we should protect them by abstaining from the use of harmful lawn pesticides that dwindle the bee population.”

The introductory paragraph should also include some context and background info, like bees’ impact on crop pollination. This paragraph may also include common counterarguments, such as acknowledging how some people don’t believe pesticides harm bees.

Body Paragraphs

The body consists of two or more paragraphs and provides the main arguments. This is also where the essayist’s research and evidential support will appear. For example, the essayist might elaborate on the statistics they alluded to in the introductory paragraph to support their points. Many persuasive essays include a counterargument paragraph to refute conflicting opinions.

The final paragraph readdresses the thesis statement and reexamines the essayist’s main arguments.

Types of Persuasive Essays

Persuasive essays can take several forms. They can encourage the reader to change a habit or support a cause, ask the reader to oppose a certain practice, or compare two things and suggest that one is superior to the other. Here are thesis examples for each type, based on the bee example:

  • Call for Support, Action, or Change : “Stop using pesticides on your lawns to save the environmentally essential bees.”
  • Call for Opposition : “Oppose the big businesses that haven’t conducted environmental studies concerning bees and pesticides.”
  • Superior Subject : “Natural lawn care is far superior to using harmful pesticides.”

The Three Elements of Persuasion

Aristotle first suggested that there were three main elements to persuading an audience: ethos, pathos, and logos. Essayists implement these same tactics to persuade their readers.

Ethos refers to the essayist’s character or authority; this could mean the writer’s name or credibility. For example, a writer might seem more trustworthy if they’ve frequently written on a subject, have a degree related to the subject, or have extensive experience concerning a subject. A writer can also refer to the opinions of other experts, such as a beekeeper who believes pesticides are harming the bee population.

Pathos is an argument that uses the reader’s emotions and morality to persuade them. An argument that uses pathos might point to the number of bees that have died and what that suggests for food production: “If crop production decreases, it will be impoverished families that suffer, with perhaps more poor children having to go hungry.” This argument might make the reader empathetic to the plight of starving children and encourage them to take action against pesticide pollution.

The logos part of the essay uses logic and reason to persuade the reader. This includes the essayist’s research and whatever evidence they’ve collected to support their arguments, such as statistics.

Terms Related to Persuasive Essays

Argumentative Essays

While persuasive essays may use logic and research to support the essayist’s opinions, argumentative essays are more solely based on research and refrain from using emotional arguments. Argumentative essays are also more likely to include in-depth information on counterarguments.

Persuasive Speeches

Persuasive essays and persuasive speeches are similar in intent, but they differ in terms of format, delivery, emphasis, and tone .

In a speech, the speaker can use gestures and inflections to emphasize their points, so the delivery is almost as important as the information a speech provides. A speech requires less structure than an essay, though the repetition of ideas is often necessary to ensure that the audience is absorbing the material. Additionally, a speech relies more heavily on emotion, as the speaker must hold the reader’s attention and interest. In Queen Elizabeth I’s “Tilbury Speech,” for example, she addresses her audience in a personable and highly emotional way: “My loving people, We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear.”

Examples of Persuasive Essay

1. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter From Birmingham Jail”

Dr. King directs his essay at the Alabama clergymen who opposed his call for protests. The clergymen suggested that King had no business being in Alabama, that he shouldn’t oppose some of the more respectful segregationists, and that he has poor timing. However, here, King attempts to persuade the men that his actions are just:

I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eight century B.C. left their villages and carried their ‘thus saith the Lord’ far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my hometown.

Here, King is invoking the ethos of Biblical figures who the clergymen would’ve respected. By comparing himself to Paul, he’s claiming to be a disciple spreading the “gospel of freedom” rather than an outsider butting into Alabama’s affairs.

2. Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of Commons”

Hardin argues that a society that shares resources is apt to overuse those resources as the population increases. He attempts to persuade readers that the human population’s growth should be regulated for the sake of preserving resources:

The National Parks present another instance of the working out of the tragedy of commons. At present, they are open to all, without limit. The parks themselves are limited in extent—there is only one Yosemite Valley—whereas population seems to grow without limit. The values that visitors seek in the parks are steadily eroded. Plainly, we must soon cease to treat the parks as commons, or they will be of no value to anyone.

In this excerpt, Harden uses an example that appeals to the reader’s logic. If the human population continues to rise, causing park visitors to increase, parks will continue to erode until there’s nothing left.

Further Resources on Persuasive Essays

We at SuperSummary offer excellent resources for penning your own essays .

Find a list of famous persuasive speeches at Highspark.co .

Read up on the elements of persuasion at the American Management Association website.

Related Terms

  • Argumentative Essay

what is the main point of a persuasive essay

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Introductory paragraphs.

Attention Catchers

Attention catching techniques.

  • Asking a Question: This is my favorite technique because it can be used on any topic at any time. Additionally, it has a strong rhetorical effect on readers: people are conditioned to think about questions because answers are often expected of them. When you ask a question in your paper, readers are more likely to consider your ideas. As with any attention catcher, you’ll want to take your time making a good one that begins persuading your audience immediately.
  • Quotation: A wise person once said, “No matter what you’re trying to say, someone else has probably said it better.” I find that in most cases this statement is true. While you are unlikely to have access to the necessary resources to dig up quotes for a timed essay or standardized test, if you do have time (example: a high school application letter), using an appropriate quote is a classy way to start off your essay. Just be sure that the quote is connected to your topic in some easily identifiable way.
  • Stay on Point: as with everything in your paper, your attention catcher, especially if it is an anecdote, should be related to your topic and position.
  • Stay on Mode: Remember that you are writing a persuasive essay, not a narrative. Your anecdote should be limited to a few sentences, lest your writing may be perceived as off mode .
  • Startling Fact or Statistic: Did you know that two out of three persuasive essays do not begin with a proper attention catcher? Using a startling fact or statistic is another great way to pique the reader’s interest, assuming that you can locate just such a fact. I’ve heard other people suggest that students should fabricate facts or statistics when other sources are unavailable, but I personally don’t support that approach as it seems academically dishonest.
  • Imaginative Scenario: Picture this! You have forty-five minutes to write an essay and you need an attention catcher fast. What do you do? One way to do this is to create an imaginative scenario such as the one that I just described. Immerse your reader in an example of the problem and show them why they should care. Use descriptive writing and sensory details to either positively or negatively charge your writing; however, as with telling anecdotes, be careful not to stray off mode. Remember that your main purpose is to write arguments not to tell stories.
  • Combinations: You might find yourself using some hybrid of two or more of these techniques, which is completely acceptable. You can begin with an imaginative scenario and end with a question. Try something wild. When it comes to writing, the most restrictive limitations are the bounds of your own imagination. I encourage you to stretch those bindings whenever you have the opportunity.

Preview of Main Points

Body paragraphs.

Main Points

Topic sentences, supporting details, persuasive essay thought stems.

  • What I mean by this is…
  • Another way to say this is…
  • This connects to my argument because…
  • The reason for this is that…
  • To put it another way…
  • This shows that…
  • This is important because…
  • For example…

Making the Connection

Concluding paragraphs, restatement of points, clinching statements.

  • The Better World: The writer attempts to describe an idyllic scenario that will occur if their proposal is accepted. The sun will shine brighter and the sky will be bluer if the writer’s resolution is adopted, so to speak. Example: If students aren’t forced to wear uniforms, our school will have a much more pleasant and productive environment in which everyone will learn and grow.
  • The Worst Case Scenario: The writer again attempts to describe a scenario, this time imagining how bad the world might become if their proposal is rejected. Fear is a highly motivating emotion, so the writer should strive to make their scenario as frightful as possible without sounding ridiculous. Example: If students are required to wear uniforms, the environment of our school will become drab and colorless, and the structure of our hallowed institution will be further from a college and closer to a prison.
  • The Call to Action: Another good way to end your essay is to ask or demand that your reader take some action in support of your proposal. Perhaps you ask them to write a letter or email to their congressman or relevant authority. Perhaps you ask them to recycle their trash instead. The scope of your call is dependent on the topic. Example: If you understand how important it is for students to have the right to dress themselves, it is your civic duty to attend your local school counsel meeting and demand that this proposal be rejected.

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lumnwi petar

persuasive piece #1 should students have less homework.

write and anrgument not a debate please!!!!

Both your video and online instructions and notes have been very helpful in demonstrating how to write an effective persuasive essay. Your information is presented clearly and concisely and in an appealing way. The examples your provide really made my middle school students understand and internalize the different aspects of effective essay writing! From one educator to another, thank you!

That’s kind of you to say. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.

We teach students appreciation, so the least we can do is to truly thank you for your effort. It’s been really of a great help. You can’t imagine how such an explanation helped students here in my school NIS in KSA while writing their assignment. Again, thanks a lot. 🙂

Thanks this gave me a good understanding on how to write my essay!

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Persuasive Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

Posted: 25 May, 2017

Persuasive Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that looks to sway the reader to your point of view. It's a style of writing that's seen all around us, especially in advertising. If you've been received a write my essay task, this guide has everything you need to get started.

Table Of Contents

What is Persuasive Essay?

Persuasive essay structure, how to write persuasive essay, persuasive essay topics, persuasive essay examples.

A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that's designed to sway a reader to one point of view or another. They're often set by teachers with a question that allows you to pick a side. That way, you can argue the case that you believe in the most.

A good persuasive essay is well researched, and takes into account the biases of the reader.

Here's what a regular persuasive essay will look like:

  • Introduction: This is where you'll introduce the topic at hand. Talk about why the subject is so divisive or important, and why a decision needs to be made.
  • Thesis: Introduce your point of view. Make sure you research thoroughly before writing, to ensure that your writing is well informed and useful to the reader.
  • Main body: Use each paragraph to introduce a new point to support your thesis. Once you've introduced your point, make sure to use evidence to back up what you're saying. Link your paragraphs together so they flow properly, and create a bigger picture.
  • Conclusion: Use this section to tie all of your main arguments together. Nothing new should be introduced here.

Firstly , go do some research. Use what you find to help you form an opinion. Which way will you argue in your essay question?

Next , create an outline. Use the above section to help you. Fill in the main points you want to make, and how they will fit together. You can do this on cards if you like, so you can move sections around and see how they fit.

Now , you'll need to actually sit down and write. If you have a good outline, it'll just be a case of filling in the blanks. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get this done.

Finally , edit and proofread your essay. Make sure it's totally polished before you hand it in.

Topics for this kind of essay usually focus on 'Should x happen?' For example, you could be asked 'Should 16-17 year olds be allowed to vote?' It's a question with a yes/no answer, that you can delve into deeper to find out why.

If you want to try writing an argumentative essay yourself, try using one of these example questions:

  • 'Should the driving age be raised?'
  • 'Should teens be allowed to buy violent video games?'
  • 'Should students be paid for having good grades?'

Look into both sides of the argument, and come up with good justifications for your answer.

A good persuasive essay is well researched and written with both points of view in mind. Try the sample essay titles, and practice your writing skills.

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Chapter 10: Persuasion

10.2 The Structure of a Persuasive Essay

Learning Objectives

  • Determine the structure of persuasion in writing
  • Apply a formula for a classic persuasive argument

Writing a Persuasive Essay

You first need to choose a topic that you feel passionate about. If your instructor requires you to write about a specific topic, approach the subject from an angle that interests you. Begin your essay with an engaging introduction. Your thesis should typically appear somewhere in your introduction.

Next, need to acknowledge and explain points of view that may conflict with your own to build credibility and trust with your audience. You also should state the limits of your argument. This helps you sound more reasonable and honest to those who may naturally be inclined to disagree with your view. By respectfully acknowledging opposing arguments and conceding limitations to your own view, you set a measured and responsible tone for the essay.

Be sure to make your appeals in support of your thesis by using sound, credible evidence. Use a balance of facts and opinions from a wide range of sources, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and personal anecdotes. Each piece of evidence should be fully explained and clearly stated. Also, write in a style and tone that is appropriate for your subject and audience. Tailor your language and word choice to these two factors, while still being true to your own voice. Finally, write a conclusion that effectively summarizes the main argument and reinforces your thesis.

Structuring a Persuasive Essay

The formula below for organizing a persuasive essay may be one with which you are familiar. It will present a convincing argument to your reader because your discussion is well rounded and thorough, and you leave your audience with your point of view at the end. Remember to consider each of these components in this formula as sections instead of paragraphs because you will probably want to discuss multiple ideas backing up your point of view to make it more convincing.

When writing a persuasive essay, it is best to begin with the most important point because it immediately captivates your readers and compels them to continue reading. For example, if you were supporting your thesis that homework is detrimental to the education of high school students, you would want to present your most convincing argument first, and then move on to the less important points for your case.

Some key transitional words you should use with this method of organization are: most importantly ,  almost as importantly ,  just as importantly , and  finally .

The Formula You will need to come up with objection points, but you will also need to think of direct rebuttals to each of those ideas. Remember to consult your outline as you are writing because you may need to double-check that you have countered each of the possible opposing ideas you presented.

Section 1: Introduction

  • Attention getter
  • Thesis (showing main and controlling ideas)
  • Signposts (make sure you outline the structure your argument will follow: Pros Cons/Pros)

Section 2: (Multiple) Ideas in Support of Claim

  • Give a topic sentence introducing the point (showing main and controlling ideas)
  • Give explanations + evidence on first point
  • Make concluding statement summarizing point discussion (possibly transitioning to next supporting idea)
  • Repeat with multiple ideas in separate paragraphs

Section 3: Summary of (Some) Opposing Views

  • Give topic sentence explaining this paragraph will be opposing points of view to provide thorough, convincing argument
  • Present general summary of some opposing ideas
  • Present some generalized evidence
  • Provide brief concluding sentence for paragraph—transitioning into next rebuttal paragraph

Section 4: Response to Opposing Views

  • Give topic sentence explaining this paragraph/section connects to or expands on previous paragraph
  • [may recognize validity of some of points] then need to present how your ideas are stronger
  • Present evidence directly countering/refuting ideas mentioned in previous section
  • Give concluding statement summarizing the countering arguments

Section 5: Conclusion

  • Restate your thesis
  • Summarize your discussion points
  • Leave the reader with a strong impression; do not waiver here
  • May provide a “call for action”

Tip: In a persuasive essay, the writer’s point of view should be clearly expressed at the beginning of each paragraph in the topic sentence, which should contain the main idea of the paragraph and the writer’s controlling idea.

Writing for Success - 1st Canadian H5P Edition Copyright © 2021 by Tara Horkoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay to Draw Readers’ Attention
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Organize Your ‘A+’ Work

What Makes a Persuasive Essay Stand Out

Topics that are always burning, correct way to organize your written work, use a quotation or ask a question.

Ask yourself what the main point of any persuasive essay is. Regardless of a topic, it is to convince a reader to take your side, accept your position, and follow only your recommendations. A really successful paper will provide evidence, consider others’ views, and finally present a conclusion which is strong.

  • Take a stance but show you are aware of all possible prejudices and have more than one suggestion.
  • Do a proper research to be able to provide evidence that is compelling and detailed.
  • Study the audience to know whether it will or will not agree with all the theories and ideas of your persuasive essay.
  • Write according to a structure; mind a logical order of evidence presentation.
  • Use hard facts which will support the argument. Provide meaningful examples both to enhance the argument & clearly illustrate it.

Also, use linking words to allow a reader to follow the argument’s flow (similarly, nevertheless, furthermore, however). Do not concentrate only on the word count. Credit quotes & sources in footnotes or a written work itself. End every paragraph with a summary or make it link to the next one.

Whether you are writing your work for the first time or not, feel absolutely free to address our company and get professional assistance . We do know how hard it is to concentrate, find the right words, reliable sources, cite them properly, and back up every word with data. We are here to make your college work, which will distinguish you from hundreds of other students.

A persuasive essay is an essay used to convince a reader about a particular idea or focus, usually one that you believe in. Your persuasive essay could be based on anything about which you have an opinion or that you can make a clear argument about. Whether you're arguing against junk food at school or petitioning for a raise from your boss, knowing how to write a persuasive essay is a skill that everyone should have.

If you are looking for a single-word answer, here it is — reasoning. This work is not just a dozen ideas collected into one text but is a group of arguments on a single topic, each of them is supported by evidence. To succeed in creating this school work, you need to do three things.

  • Gather all the existing information on the topic.
  • Make sure the flow of thoughts, ideas, and arguments is logical.
  • Create a valid perspective of a discussed problem.

Completing a written assignment is easier if you have dealt with an argumentative one. They are similar. The only difference is that this time your main weapons are sound logic, expertise,  factual evidence.

It has become fashionable to say that time is fleeting and what was urgent yesterday is of no interest today. When it comes to persuasive essay topics, there are few which may be referred to as up-to-date at any time.

  • Moral/ethical sides of abortions
  • Social media
  • Smoking & drinking age
  • Immigrants in the USA & Europe
  • Anorexia & model body
  • Homestay vs. hospice care

If you can choose your own essay topic, start with any of these: they are popular, so there will be no problem to find useful data. In case of any writing or copy editing issues related, you can contact us.

Arguments are nothing if your persuasive essay is poorly organized. When it comes to the structure of a paper, there are three poor structure elements poisoning the outcome: lack of flow between paragraphs, a missing introduction/conclusion, sentences which start with coordinating conjunctions like ‘because’ or ‘and’, the wrong use of quotation marks .

  • Introduction. Its aim is to grab the attention of a reader and give background data on a subject. A sound ending for an introduction is a clear statement of a thesis.
  • Body. This is where you put all the facts and arguments to support an essay . A new paragraph is focused on a new point. There should be a paragraph that includes a counter-argument, too.
  • Conclusion. It restates the core argument & converts a reader to your point of view.

What content is typically characterized as ‘bad’ by most school teachers or college professors? It is the one that doesn’t fully reflect the topic, includes punctual or spelling errors (or both), has ideas that are hard to prove with examples, is nothing but plagiarism. Stylistic mistakes in a written work influence your final grade. The most common ones are too short or too long sentences, an overly informal tone, repeated phrases.

These are the two effective catching techniques for a good persuasive essay. You may use one or combine them to develop your essay writing . Using a quote is a wise step as no matter what you want or need to say, there was someone, who has already said the same thing better. An appropriate quote is a classy beginning or a vivid connection to a topic. The problem you may face is the lack of time to find a proper one. Luckily, our team is here to help you with your writing.

As for asking a question, you are to use only a rhetorical one . Why? It makes people think & keep looking for answers in your essay. Every time a rhetorical question is asked, people are likely to agree with your ideas, so persuading becomes not a complicated task to accomplish.

Remember, when you write a persuasive essay, your own fears and restrictive limitations are the bounds preventing you from creating a really worthy paper . Our company encourages you to stretch the bindings, use every opportunity, take any chance to hand in a work full of important content, strong paragraphs, serious ideas.

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1.7: The Persuasive Essay

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  • Edgar Perez, Jenell Rae, Jacob Skelton, Lisa Horvath, & Sara Behseta
  • ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative

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The Purpose of Persuasive Writing

The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince, motivate, or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion. The act of trying to persuade automatically implies that more than one opinion on the subject can be argued.

The idea of an argument often conjures up images of two people yelling and screaming in anger. In writing, however, an argument is very different. An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue in writing is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way. Written arguments often fail when they employ ranting rather than reasoning.

Most of us feel inclined to try to win the arguments we enter. On some level, we all want to be right, and we want others to see the error of their ways. More times than not, however, arguments in which both sides try to win end up producing losers all around. The more productive approach is to persuade your audience to consider your opinion as a valid one, not simply the right one. In this chapter, our theme will focus on the meaning of success based on Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. By analyzing Gladwell’s text, we will see how persuasion works in an authentic sample from popular culture.

The Structure of a Persuasive Essay

The following five features make up the structure of a persuasive essay:

  • Introduction and thesis
  • Opposing and qualifying ideas
  • Strong evidence in support of claim
  • Style and tone of language
  • A compelling conclusion

Creating an Introduction and Thesis

The persuasive essay begins with an engaging introduction that presents the general topic. The thesis typically appears at the end of the introduction and clearly states the writer’s point of view.

Acknowledging Opposing Ideas and Limits to Your Argument

Because an argument implies differing points of view on the subject, you must be sure to acknowledge those opposing ideas. Avoiding ideas that conflict with your own gives the reader the impression that you may be uncertain, fearful, or unaware of opposing ideas. Thus it is essential that you not only address counterarguments but also do so respectfully.

Try to address opposing arguments earlier rather than later in your essay. Rhetorically speaking, ordering your positive arguments last allows you to better address ideas that conflict with your own because it allows you to focus on countering those arguments.

This way, you leave your reader thinking about your argument rather than someone else’s. You have the last word.

Acknowledging points of view different from your own also has the effect of fostering more credibility between you and the audience. Readers will know from the outset that you are aware of opposing ideas and that you are not afraid to give them space. It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish. In effect, you are conceding early on that your argument is not the ultimate authority on a given topic. Such humility can go a long way toward earning credibility and trust with an audience (“ethos”). Audience members will know from the beginning that you are a reasonable writer, and they will trust your argument as a result. For example, in the following concessionary statement, the writer advocates for stricter gun control laws, but she admits it will not solve all of our problems with crime:

Such a concession will be welcome by those who might disagree with this writer’s argument in the first place. To effectively persuade their readers, writers need to be realistic in their goals and humble in their approach to get readers to listen to their ideas. See Table of Phrases of Concession for some useful phrases of concession.

Table of Phrases of Concession Home

EXERCISE 1 Home

Try to form a thesis for each of the following topics. Remember the more specific your thesis, the better.

  • Foreign policy
  • Television and advertising
  • Stereotypes and prejudice
  • Gender roles and the workplace
  • Driving and cell phones

Collaboration : Please share with a classmate and compare your answers. Choose the thesis statement that most interests you and discuss why.

Bias in Writing

Everyone has various biases on any number of topics. For example, you might have a bias toward listening to music radio stations rather than talk radio or news programs. You might have a bias toward working at night rather than in the morning, or working by deadlines rather than getting tasks done in advance. These examples identify minor biases, of course, but they still indicate preferences and opinions.

Handling bias in writing and in daily life can be a useful skill. It will allow you to articulate your own points of view while also defending yourself against unreasonable points of view. The ideal in persuasive writing is to let your reader know your bias, but do not let that bias blind you to the primary components of good argumentation: sound, thoughtful evidence and a respectful and reasonable address of opposing sides.

The strength of a personal bias is that it can motivate you to construct a strong argument. If you are invested in the topic, you are more likely to care about the piece of writing. Similarly, the more you care, the more time and effort you will put forth and the better the final product will be.

The weakness of bias is when the bias begins to take over the essay—when, for example, you neglect opposing ideas, exaggerate your points, or repeatedly insert yourself ahead of the subject by using I too often. Being aware of all three of these pitfalls will help you avoid them.

The Use of “I” in Writing

The use of “ I “in writing is a topic of debate, and the acceptance of its usage varies from instructor to instructor. It is difficult to predict the preferences for all your present and future instructors, but consider the effects it can potentially have on your writing. Be mindful of the use of I in your writing because it can make your argument sound overly biased. There are two primary reasons:

  • Excessive repetition of any word will eventually catch the reader’s attention–and usually not in a good way. The use of “I” is no different.
  • The insertion of “I” into a sentence alters not only the way a sentence might sound but also the composition of the sentence itself. “I” is often the subject of a sentence. If the subject of the essay is supposed to be, say, “smoking,” then by inserting yourself into the sentence, you are effectively displacing the subject of the essay into a secondary position.

In the following example, the subject of the sentence is underlined:

Smoking is bad.

I think smoking is bad.

In the first sentence, the rightful subject, smoking , is in the subject position in the sentence. In the second sentence, the insertion of I and think replaces smoking as the subject, which draws attention to I and away from the topic that is supposed to be discussed. Remember to keep the message (the subject) and the messenger (the writer) separate. Indeed, your argument will be stronger if you remove the I think and simply assert “Smoking is bad.” For more information about pronoun focus in an essay see Unit 1 “Introduction to Academic Writing.”

Key Takeaways

Developing Sound Arguments

Does my essay contain the following elements?

  • An engaging introduction
  • A reasonable, specific thesis that is able to be supported by evidence
  • A varied range of evidence from credible sources
  • Respectful acknowledgement and explanation of opposing ideas
  • A style and tone of language that is appropriate for the subject and audience
  • Acknowledgement of the argument’s limits
  • A conclusion that will adequately summarize the essay and reinforce the thesis

Facts and Opinions

Facts are statements that can be definitely proven using objective data. The statement that is a fact is absolutely valid. In other words, the statement can be pronounced as true or false. For example, 2 + 2 = 4. This expression identifies a true statement, or a fact, because it can be proved with objective data.

Opinions are personal views, or judgments. An opinion is what an individual believes about a particular subject. However, an opinion in argumentation must have legitimate backing; adequate evidence and credibility should support the opinion. Consider the credibility of expert opinions. Experts in a given field have the knowledge and credentials to make their opinion meaningful to a larger audience; this credibility is sometimes called “ ethos ” and is one way that we make our arguments persuasive. For example, you seek the opinion of your dentist when it comes to the health of your gums and you seek the opinion of your mechanic when it comes to the maintenance of your car. Both have knowledge and credentials in those respective fields, which is why their opinions matter to you. But the authority of your dentist may be greatly diminished should he or she offer an opinion about your car, and vice versa. In writing, you want to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions. Relying on one or the other will likely lose more of your audience than it gains.

EXERCISE 2 Home

On a separate sheet of paper, take three of the theses you formed in Exercise 1 and list the types of evidence you might use in support of that thesis.

Using the evidence you provided in support of the three theses in Exercise 2, come up with at least one counter-argument to each. Then write a concession statement, expressing the limits to each of your three arguments.

Using Visual Elements to Strengthen Arguments

Adding visual elements to a persuasive argument can often strengthen its persuasive effect. There are two main types of visual elements: quantitative visuals and qualitative visuals.

Quantitative visuals present data graphically. They allow the audience to see statistics spatially. The purpose of using quantitative visuals is to make logical appeals to the audience. An appeal based on logic is called “ logos ,” and it persuades the reader using reasoning. Often we can provide information in data form to persuade the reader through logic. Quantitative visuals help display the information clearly. For example, sometimes it is easier to understand the disparity in certain statistics if you can see how the disparity looks graphically. Bar graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, histograms, and line graphs are all ways of presenting quantitative data in spatial dimensions.

Qualitative visuals present images that appeal to the audience’s emotions. Persuading your reader based on an emotional appeal is called “ pathos .” Photographs and pictorial images are examples of qualitative visuals that can create an emotional appeal. Such images often try to convey a story, and seeing an actual example can carry more power than hearing or reading about the example. For example, one image of a child suffering from malnutrition will likely have more of an emotional impact than pages dedicated to describing that same condition in writing.

Writing a Persuasive Essay

Choose a topic that you feel passionate about. If your instructor requires you to write about a specific topic, approach the subject from an angle that interests you. Begin your essay with an engaging introduction. Your thesis should typically appear somewhere in your introduction. Be sure to have a clear thesis that states your position and previews the main points your essay will address.

Start by acknowledging and explaining points of view that may conflict with your own to build credibility and trust with your audience. Also state the limits of your argument. This too helps you sound more reasonable and honest to those who may naturally be inclined to disagree with your view. By respectfully acknowledging opposing arguments and conceding limitations to your own view, you set a measured and responsible tone for the essay.

Make your appeals in support of your thesis by using sound, credible evidence. Use a balance of facts and opinions from a wide range of sources, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and personal anecdotes. Each piece of evidence should be fully explained and clearly stated. See Unit 10 and Unit 11 for information on how to correctly incorporate outside sources into your writing.

Make sure that your style and tone are appropriate for your subject and audience. Tailor your language and word choice to these two factors, while still being true to your own voice.

Finally, write a conclusion that effectively summarizes the main argument and reinforces your thesis. See the sample persuasive essay at the end of this chapter, “The Value of Technical High Schools in Georgia’s Business Marketplace,” by student Elizabeth Lamoureux. Please note that this essay uses the MLA style of documentation, for which you can find guidelines at Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) website: http://owl.english.purdue.edu .

Choose one of the topics you have been working on throughout this section. Use the thesis, evidence, opposing argument, and concessionary statement as the basis for writing a full persuasive essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, clear explanations of all the evidence you present, and a strong conclusion.

Sample Persuasive Essay

In this student paper, the student makes a persuasive case for the value of technical high schools in Georgia. As you read, pay attention to the different persuasive devices the writer uses to convince us of her position. Also note how the outline gives a structure to the paper that helps lead the reader step-by-step through the components of the argument.

English 1101 Honors

April 25, 2013

Thesis: Technical high schools should be established in every county in Georgia because they can provide the technical training that companies need, can get young people into the workforce earlier, and can reduce the number of drop outs.

Ⅰ. Technical high schools can provide the technical training that companies in Georgia need.

  • Education can focus on these specific technical fields.
  • Education can work with business to fill these positions.
  • Apprenticeship programs can be a vital part of a student’s education.
  • Apprenticeship programs are integral to Germany’s educational program, providing a realistic model for technical high schools in Georgia.

II. Technical high schools can prepare students to enter the workforce earlier.

  • Students train during their high school years for their chosen profession.
  • Students begin to work in a profession or trade where there is a need.
  • Students will become independent and self-supporting at the age of eighteen when many of their peers are still dependent upon their parents.
  • Students can make more money over the course of their lifetimes.

III. Technical high schools can reduce the number of drop outs.

  • Students are more motivated to take courses in which they have an interest.
  • Students will find both core and specialized classes more interesting and valuable when they can see the practical application of the subjects.
  • Students would be able to earn a living wage while still taking classes that would eventually lead to full-time employment.
  • Students would learn financial skills through experience with money management.

Student Essay Home

Elizabeth Lamoureux

English 101

April 25, 2018

The Value of Technical High Schools in Georgia’s Business Marketplace

Businesses need specialized workers; young people need jobs. It seems like this would be an easy problem to solve. However, business and education are not communicating with each other. To add to this dilemma, emphasis is still put on a college education for everyone. Samuel Halperin, study director of the Commission on Work, Family, and Citizenship for the W. T. Grant Foundation, co-authored two reports: “The Forgotten Half: Non-College Youth in America” and “The Forgotten Half: Pathways to Success for America’s Youth and Young Families.” Halperin states: “While the attention of the nation was focused on kids going to college . . . the truth is that 70 percent of our adults never earn a college degree” (qtd. in Rogers). According to an article in Issues in Science and Technology, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be more need for skills obtained through “community colleges, occupational training, and work experience” (Lerman). As Anne C. Lewis points out, although the poor job situation is recognized as detrimental to American youth, President Bush tried to get rid of career and technical education (CTE) and “promote strictly academic programs.” Luckily, Congress did not support it (Lewis 5). The figure for U.S. teen joblessness in October 2009 was 27.6 percent, the highest since World War II (Karaim). According to Thomas E. Persing, Americans are “disregarding the 50 percent who enter college and fail to graduate. . . .” Since everyone does not want or need to go to college, young people need an alternative choice, namely, technical high schools. Technical high schools should be established in every county in Georgia because they can provide the technical training that companies need, can get young people into the work force earlier, and can reduce the number of drop outs.

Technical high schools provide students with the technical training that companies need. By getting input from businesses on exactly what their specialized needs are, school systems could adapt their curricula to accommodate the needs of businesses. According to an article in Issues in Science and Technology, “employers report difficulty in recruiting workers with adequate skills.” The article goes on to say that “the shortage of available skills is affecting their ability to serve customers, and 84% of the firms say that the K-12 school system is not doing a good job preparing students for the workplace” (Lerman). Education can work with businesses to provide them with the workforce they need, and students can learn the skills they need through apprenticeship programs.

Business can be further involved by providing these apprenticeship programs, which can be a vital part of a student’s education. Currently, Robert Reich, economist and former Secretary of Labor, and Richard Riley, Secretary of Education, have spoken up for apprenticeship programs (Persing). In these programs, not only do students learn job-specific skills, but they also learn other skills for success in the work place, such as “communication, responsibility, teamwork, allocating resources, problem-solving, and finding information” (Lerman). Businesses complain that the current educational system is failing in this regard and that students enter the workforce without these skills.

The United States could learn from other countries. Apprenticeship programs are integral to Germany’s educational program, for example. Because such large numbers of students in a wide array of fields take advantage of these programs, the stigma of not attending college is reduced. Timothy Taylor, the Conversable Economist, explains that most German students complete this program and still have the option to pursue a postsecondary degree. Many occupations are represented in this program, including engineering, nursing, and teaching. Apprenticeship programs can last from one to six years and provide students with a wage for learning. This allows both business and student to compete in the market place. According to Julie Rawe, “under Germany’s earn-while-you-learn system, companies are paying 1.6 million young adults to train for about 350 types of jobs. . . .”

A second important reason technical high schools should be promoted in Georgia is that they prepare students to enter the work force earlier. Students not interested in college enter the work force upon high school graduation or sooner if they have participated in an apprenticeship or other cooperative program with a business. Students train during their high school years for their chosen profession and often work for the company where they trained. This ensures that students begin to work in a profession or trade where there is a need.

Another positive factor is that jobs allow students to earn a living upon graduation or before. Even though students are considered adults at eighteen, many cannot support themselves. The jobs available to young people are primarily minimum wage jobs which do not provide them with enough resources to live independently. One recent study indicates that the income gap is widening for young people, and “In March 1997, more than one-fourth of out-of school young adults who were working full-time were earning less than the poverty line income standard of just over $16,000 annually for a family of four” (“The Forgotten Half Revisited”). Conversely, by entering the work force earlier with the skills businesses need, young people make more money over their lifetimes. Robert I. Lerman considers the advantages:

Studies generally find that education programs with close links to the world of work improve earnings. The earnings gains are especially solid for students unlikely to attend or complete college. Cooperative education, school enterprises, and internship or apprenticeship increased employment and lowered the share of young men who are idle after high school.

Young people can obviously profit from entering the work force earlier.

One of the major benefits of promoting technical high schools in Georgia is that they reduce the number of dropouts. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the figure for dropouts for the Atlanta metro area is about thirty-four percent (McCaffrey and Badertscher A16). The statistic for Germany’s dropout rate is less than nine percent (Rawe). As Rawe maintains, students stay in school because they cannot get the job if they do not have the diploma. Beyond the strong incentive of a job, students are more motivated to take courses in which they have an interest. In addition to the specialized career classes, students are still required to take core classes required by traditional high schools. However, practical application of these subjects makes them more interesting and more valuable to the students.

Another reason students drop out is to support their families. By participating in a program in which they are paid a wage and then entering that job full time, they no longer need to drop out for this reason. It is necessary for many students to contribute financially to the family: by getting a job earlier, they can do this. Joining the work force early also provides students with financial skills gained through experience with money management.

The belief of most Americans that everyone needs to have a college education is outdated. The United States needs skilled employees at all levels, from the highly technical to the practical day to day services society needs to sustain its current standard of living. Germany is doing this through its apprenticeship programs which have proven to be economically successful for both businesses and workers. If the State of Georgia put technical high schools in every county, businesses would get employees with the skills they need; young people would get into good paying jobs earlier, and schools would have fewer dropouts.

Works Cited

“The Forgotten Half Revisited: American Youth and Young Families, 1988-2008.” American Youth Policy Forum . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2012.

Karaim, Reed. “Youth Unemployment.” CQ Global Researcher 6 Mar. 2012: 105-28. Web. 21 Apr. 2012.

Lerman, Robert I. “Building a Wider Skills Net for Workers: A Range of Skills Beyond Conventional Schooling Are Critical to Success in the Job Market, and New Educational Approaches Should Reflect These Noncognitive Skills and Occupational Qualifications.” Issues in Science and Technology 24.4 (2008): 65+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 21 Apr. 2012.

Lewis, Anne C. “Support for CTE.” Tech Directions 65.3 (2005): 5-6. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 Apr. 2012.

McCaffrey, Shannon, and Nancy Badertscher. “Painful Truth in Grad Rates.” Atlanta Journal Constitution 15 Apr. 2012: A1+. Print.

Persing, Thomas E. “The Role of Apprenticeship Programs.” On Common Ground. Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, Fall 1994. Web. 16 Apr. 2012.

Rawe, Julie. “How Germany Keeps Kids From Dropping Out.” Time Magazine U.S. Time Magazine, 11 Apr. 2006. Web. 16 Apr. 2012.

Rogers, Betsy. “Remembering the ‘Forgotten Half.’” Washington University in St. Louis Magazine Spring 2005. Web. 21 Apr. 2012.

Taylor, Timothy. “Apprenticeships for the U.S. Economy.” Conversableeconomist.blogspot.com. Conversable Economist , 18 Oct. 2011. Web. 16 Apr. 2012 < http://conversableeconomist.blogspot...s-Economy.html >.

What is Success?

In the article “The Fallacy of Success” we introduce the underlying topic of this Unit “ success. ” In addition, you will read two chapters of Malcom Gladwell’s New York Times Best Seller, “Outliers: The Story of Success.” In these chapters, Gladwell introduces some “ingredients” of success. Your challenge will be to identify them and to analyze whether or not you agree with his theory of success. Your professors will also ask you to write a Persuasive composition that will either support or deny Malcolm Gladwell’s position.

College Writing: Argument

The persuasive essay, learning objectives.

  • Determine the purpose and structure of persuasion in writing.
  • Identify bias in writing.
  • Assess various rhetorical devices.
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion.
  • Understand the importance of visuals to strengthen arguments.
  • Write a persuasive essay.

The Purpose of Persuasive Writing

The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince, motivate, or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion. The act of trying to persuade automatically implies more than one opinion on the subject can be argued.

The idea of an argument often conjures up images of two people yelling and screaming in anger. In writing, however, an argument is very different. An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue in writing is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way. Written arguments often fail when they employ ranting rather than reasoning.

Most of us feel inclined to try to win the arguments we engage in. On some level, we all want to be right, and we want others to see the error of their ways. More times than not, however, arguments in which both sides try to win end up producing losers all around. The more productive approach is to persuade your audience to consider your opinion as a valid one, not simply the right one.

The Structure of a Persuasive Essay

The following five features make up the structure of a persuasive essay:

  • Introduction and thesis
  • Opposing and qualifying ideas
  • Strong evidence in support of claim
  • Style and tone of language
  • A compelling conclusion

Creating an Introduction and Thesis

The persuasive essay begins with an engaging introduction that presents the general topic. The thesis typically appears somewhere in the introduction and states the writer’s point of view.

Avoid forming a thesis based on a negative claim. For example, “The hourly minimum wage is not high enough for the average worker to live on.” This is probably a true statement, but persuasive arguments should make a positive case. That is, the thesis statement should focus on how the hourly minimum wage is low or insufficient.

Acknowledging Opposing Ideas and Limits to Your Argument

Because an argument implies differing points of view on the subject, you must be sure to acknowledge those opposing ideas. Avoiding ideas that conflict with your own gives the reader the impression that you may be uncertain, fearful, or unaware of opposing ideas. Thus it is essential that you not only address counterarguments but also do so respectfully.

Try to address opposing arguments earlier rather than later in your essay. Rhetorically speaking, ordering your positive arguments last allows you to better address ideas that conflict with your own, so you can spend the rest of the essay countering those arguments. This way, you leave your reader thinking about your argument rather than someone else’s. You have the last word.

Acknowledging points of view different from your own also has the effect of fostering more credibility between you and the audience. They know from the outset that you are aware of opposing ideas and that you are not afraid to give them space.

It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish. In effect, you are conceding early on that your argument is not the ultimate authority on a given topic. Such humility can go a long way toward earning credibility and trust with an audience. Audience members will know from the beginning that you are a reasonable writer, and audience members will trust your argument as a result. For example, in the following concessionary statement, the writer advocates for stricter gun control laws, but she admits it will not solve all of our problems with crime:

Although tougher gun control laws are a powerful first step in decreasing violence in our streets, such legislation alone cannot end these problems since guns are not the only problem we face.

Such a concession will be welcome by those who might disagree with this writer’s argument in the first place. To effectively persuade their readers, writers need to be modest in their goals and humble in their approach to get readers to listen to the ideas. These phrases of concession include:

  • granted that

Bias in Writing

Everyone has various biases on any number of topics. For example, you might have a bias toward wearing black instead of brightly colored clothes or wearing jeans rather than formal wear. You might have a bias toward working at night rather than in the morning, or working by deadlines rather than getting tasks done in advance. These examples identify minor biases, of course, but they still indicate preferences and opinions.

Handling bias in writing and in daily life can be a useful skill. It will allow you to articulate your own points of view while also defending yourself against unreasonable points of view. The ideal in persuasive writing is to let your reader know your bias, but do not let that bias blind you to the primary components of good argumentation: sound, thoughtful evidence and a respectful and reasonable address of opposing sides.

The strength of a personal bias is that it can motivate you to construct a strong argument. If you are invested in the topic, you are more likely to care about the piece of writing. Similarly, the more you care, the more time and effort you are apt to put forth and the better the final product will be.

The weakness of bias is when the bias begins to take over the essay—when, for example, you neglect opposing ideas, exaggerate your points, or repeatedly insert yourself ahead of the subject by using I too often. Being aware of all three of these pitfalls will help you avoid them.

The Use of I in Writing

The use of I in writing is often a topic of debate, and the acceptance of its usage varies from instructor to instructor. It is difficult to predict the preferences for all your present and future instructors, but consider the effects it can potentially have on your writing.

Be mindful of the use of I in your writing because it can make your argument sound overly biased. There are two primary reasons:

  • Excessive repetition of any word will eventually catch the reader’s attention—and usually not in a good way. The use of I is no different.
  • The insertion of I into a sentence alters not only the way a sentence might sound but also the composition of the sentence itself. I is often the subject of a sentence. If the subject of the essay is supposed to be, say, smoking, then by inserting yourself into the sentence, you are effectively displacing the subject of the essay into a secondary position. In the following example, the subject of the sentence is underlined:

Smoking is bad.

I think smoking is bad.

In the first sentence, the rightful subject, smoking , is in the subject position in the sentence. In the second sentence, the insertion of I and think replaces smoking as the subject, which draws attention to I and away from the topic that is supposed to be discussed. Remember to keep the message (the subject) and the messenger (the writer) separate.

Developing Sound Arguments

Does my essay contain the following elements?

  • An engaging introduction
  • A reasonable, specific thesis that is able to be supported by evidence
  • A varied range of evidence from credible sources
  • Respectful acknowledgement and explanation of opposing ideas
  • A style and tone of language that is appropriate for the subject and audience
  • Acknowledgement of the argument’s limits
  • A conclusion that will adequately summarize the essay and reinforce the thesis

Fact and Opinion

Facts are statements that can be definitely proven using objective data. The statement that is a fact is absolutely valid. In other words, the statement can be pronounced as true or false. For example, 2 + 2 = 4. This expression identifies a true statement, or a fact, because it can be proved with objective data.

Opinions are personal views, or judgments. An opinion is what an individual believes about a particular subject. However, an opinion in argumentation must have legitimate backing; adequate evidence and credibility should support the opinion. Consider the credibility of expert opinions. Experts in a given field have the knowledge and credentials to make their opinion meaningful to a larger audience.

For example, you seek the opinion of your dentist when it comes to the health of your gums, and you seek the opinion of your mechanic when it comes to the maintenance of your car. Both have knowledge and credentials in those respective fields, which is why their opinions matter to you. But the authority of your dentist may be greatly diminished should he or she offer an opinion about your car, and vice versa.

In writing, you want to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions. Relying on one or the other will likely lose more of your audience than it gains.

The word prove is frequently used in the discussion of persuasive writing. Writers may claim that one piece of evidence or another proves the argument, but proving an argument is often not possible. No evidence proves a debatable topic one way or the other; that is why the topic is debatable. Facts can be proved, but opinions can only be supported, explained, and persuaded.

Using Visual Elements to Strengthen Arguments

Adding visual elements to a persuasive argument can often strengthen its persuasive effect. There are two main types of visual elements: quantitative visuals and qualitative visuals.

Quantitative visuals present data graphically. They allow the audience to see statistics spatially. The purpose of using quantitative visuals is to make logical appeals to the audience. For example, sometimes it is easier to understand the disparity in certain statistics if you can see how the disparity looks graphically. Bar graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, histograms, and line graphs are all ways of presenting quantitative data in spatial dimensions.

Qualitative visuals present images that appeal to the audience’s emotions. Photographs and pictorial images are examples of qualitative visuals. Such images often try to convey a story, and seeing an actual example can carry more power than hearing or reading about the example. For example, one image of a child suffering from malnutrition will likely have more of an emotional impact than pages dedicated to describing that same condition in writing.

Writing at Work

When making a business presentation, you typically have limited time to get across your idea. Providing visual elements for your audience can be an effective timesaving tool. Quantitative visuals in business presentations serve the same purpose as they do in persuasive writing. They should make logical appeals by showing numerical data in a spatial design. Quantitative visuals should be pictures that might appeal to your audience’s emotions. You will find that many of the rhetorical devices used in writing are the same ones used in the workplace. For more information about visuals in presentations, see Chapter 14 “Creating Presentations: Sharing Your Ideas”.

Writing a Persuasive Essay

Choose a topic that you feel passionate about. If your instructor requires you to write about a specific topic, approach the subject from an angle that interests you. Begin your essay with an engaging introduction. Your thesis should typically appear somewhere in your introduction.

Start by acknowledging and explaining points of view that may conflict with your own to build credibility and trust with your audience. Also state the limits of your argument. This too helps you sound more reasonable and honest to those who may naturally be inclined to disagree with your view. By respectfully acknowledging opposing arguments and conceding limitations to your own view, you set a measured and responsible tone for the essay.

Make your appeals in support of your thesis by using sound, credible evidence. Use a balance of facts and opinions from a wide range of sources, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and personal anecdotes. Each piece of evidence should be fully explained and clearly stated.

Make sure that your style and tone are appropriate for your subject and audience. Tailor your language and word choice to these two factors, while still being true to your own voice.

Finally, write a conclusion that effectively summarizes the main argument and reinforces your thesis. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read a sample persuasive essay.

Key Takeaways

  • The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion.
  • An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue, in writing, is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way.
  • A thesis that expresses the opinion of the writer in more specific terms is better than one that is vague.
  • It is essential that you not only address counterarguments but also do so respectfully.
  • It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish through a concession statement.
  • To persuade a skeptical audience, you will need to use a wide range of evidence. Scientific studies, opinions from experts, historical precedent, statistics, personal anecdotes, and current events are all types of evidence that you might use in explaining your point.
  • Make sure that your word choice and writing style is appropriate for both your subject and your audience.
  • You should let your reader know your bias, but do not let that bias blind you to the primary components of good argumentation: sound, thoughtful evidence and respectfully and reasonably addressing opposing ideas.
  • You should be mindful of the use of I in your writing because it can make your argument sound more biased than it needs to.
  • Facts are statements that can be proven using objective data.
  • Opinions are personal views, or judgments, that cannot be proven.
  • In writing, you want to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions.
  • Quantitative visuals present data graphically. The purpose of using quantitative visuals is to make logical appeals to the audience.
  • Qualitative visuals present images that appeal to the audience’s emotions.
  • Successful Writing Section 10.9: Persuasion. Authored by : Anonymous. Located at : http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/successful-writing/s14-09-persuasion.html . License : Public Domain: No Known Copyright

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what is the main point of a persuasive essay

What is a Persuasive Essay? Full Persuasive Essay Guide

what is the main point of 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!

persuasive methods

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:

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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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.

what is the main point of 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. https://idaho.pressbooks.pub/write/chapter/structure-of-academic-persuasive-essays/

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essay generator.

what is the main point of a persuasive essay

People in general have strong opinions or have their personal stance about certain issues – be it substantial or trivial. Some advocate their stance in public like rallies or demonstrations where they deliver persuasive speeches to gain other people’s approval. Some people, on the other hand, opt to do it a subtle but poignant way, through writing. You may also see essay writings .

  • Samples of Formal Essays
  • Academic Essay Examples

Through the course of history, writing was used to start a revolution. Writing has its immense power of uniting the people to a specific cause. It can educate, entertain and persuade the readers. However, writing has many types, styles, techniques. etc. It is a very diverse field. You may also see short essay .

One of the most common types of writing is essay writing. According to Harvard University, “Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. ”

In other words, essay writing has been classified as a formal and informal form of writing. It gives the writer the avenue to give his/her own argument regarding a certain topic. However, it only topples one topic at a time and it is centered around a main topic. You may also see  Basic Guide on Essay Writing .

what is the main point of a persuasive essay

What is a Persuasive Essay?

Persuasive writing or also known as argument essay , explains a specific topic and attempts to persuade the readers that the writer’s stance is right or a certain idea is more valid than the other. It uses logic and reason to present that one idea is more correct than the other. Through persuasive writing , the reader must be able to discern and adapt a certain point of view and take a course of action.

The writer must take a position whether he/she is FOR or AGAINST an issue. He/she must do intensive research in order to provide evidences based on facts. The argument in the essay must always use rational reasoning and well-founded evidences by presenting facts, valid reasons, analytical examples and quoting experts. You may also see  argumentative essay

A persuasive essay could be about anything  you have an opinion of. As long as you can present compelling evidences that support your argument. People that have strong opinions about your stance should be persuaded or even accept the evidences you present as valid. You may also see persuasive speech .

Elements of a Persuasive Essay

A clear thesis or controlling idea.

This is the main focus of your essay. The flow of your paper revolves around your thesis. This establishes and sustains the focus of your paper. The thesis of your essay must be solid and distinct and avoid a vague and unsure thesis that you clearly have no background information about. You may also see free essay .

Opening paragraph

This is the introduction of your essay. It opens your whole paper to the readers and it introduces the topic of your paper. The introduction gives a short background about your essay. It gives a first impression, establishes credibility and prepares your readers to the content of your paper. It should immediately make your readers curious and interested. You may also see high school essay .

Body paragraphs

Your information or arguments are presented in the body of your essay. The body of your essay should be supported by research evidence you were able to gather. The body should contain all the information or argument you intend to convey to your readers. Do not leave room for unanswered questions in your body as it can make your essay inadequate or simply unclear. The body of your essay can be one or more than one paragraph long, depending on the length you would want to breakdown and organize your essay. Also see  Content Outline Writing Tips and Examples

Smooth transitions

The flow of your essay should be polished and refined. It should go from one point to another without breaking its coherence from each other. Your readers must be able to clearly understand that you are done explaining one point and you’re going onward with another. You may also see analytical essay .

Use of counterarguments

Using counterarguments are necessary in a persuasive essay. You use counterarguments to summarize and rebut opposing positions. It helps give emphasis on the position you have taken. It also helps make your essay a well-rounded and well-versed output. Also see  Debate Speech Examples

Your conclusion emphasizes the main point of your essay without being repetitive. Your conclusion must wrap up the main point of your essay with the help of the arguments you have presented beforehand. Although it is a ‘wrap up’ of your whole essay, you must avoid repeating words and thoughts you have already pointed out while presenting your idea. You may also see essay examples .

what is the main point of a persuasive essay

1. Take a stance

The stance you take, whether your FOR or AGAINST about an issue will dictate the direction of your essay. The information and arguments you will present in your essay will revolve around the stance you have chosen. Although it is subjective, avoid prejudice and logically explain your stance instead. Remember that your stance are to be supported by legitimate facts and evidences. You may also see scholarship essay .

2. Know your audience

Your readers have opinions of their own about a certain issue. Determine whether your audience may agree with your position and why they may not. In order to successfully contest your point of view, especially when trying to explain why a certain idea is more valid than the other, you must be able to understand both sides of the issue. You may also see student council speech .

3. Research

Thoroughly research about your topic. The point of a persuasive essay is to disprove the opposing argument through providing detailed and compelling evidences. It will likely be necessary to undertake library-based research, intensive hunt for legitimate references and thorough examination of various examples. You may also see  How to Write Definition Essay and Examples

4. Structure your essay

Organize the structure of your essay by determining the logical sequence of presenting your evidences. In order for your readers to fully understand the essence of your essay, determine the information you need to include and arrange them according to the hierarchy of its importance and/or relevance to your topic and stance. You may also see literacy essay .

5. Support your stance

As you may have done your research regarding your topic, avoid simply copy-pasting or plagiarizing supporting details. Follow proper citations in your evidences. Use hard-hitting facts that are not easily rebutted. Provide meaningful examples, verifiable statistics and one or two direct quotations from experts in order to strengthen your argument. You may also see reflective essay .

what is the main point of a persuasive essay

Without any confusion, your persuasive essay should be able to smoothly merge the following tasks:

1. First, define your key terms or ideas. It should clear up unnecessary confusion about other topics.

2. Second, describe and analyze specific examples used in your essay. It should be able to clearly explain the examples in a level the readers can easily comprehend. You may also see expository essay .

3. Third, it should be able to summarize   and evaluate   the opposing opinions on your topic; meaning, your essay should be able to weigh in on the essence of the opposing argument without invalidating it. It should just be presented but logically rebutted. You may also see comparative essay .

4. Fourth, it should compare   and contrast   your examples and their relation to your thesis. Analyze and state the correlation of your examples with your thesis.You may also see descriptive essay .

5. Lastly, your essay must be able to connect   your examples explicitly to your central idea and to each other. Directly connect the relationship of your examples with the thesis or central idea of your essay in order to prove their coherence. You may also see synthesis essay .

Persuasive Essay Example

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How to Support your Arguments

Do not confuse facts with truths. A “truth” is an idea many people believe but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. A fact, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a piece of information presented as having an objective reality. Facts have evidences that prove them to be true. It can easily be obtained through research on scholarly materials, observation or actual experience. You may also see informative essay .

2. Statistics

These provide excellent support to your argument. Statistics are a collection of quantitative data gathered or combined after intensive research and/or experiments. They provide numerical and visual evidences to your argument. Always make sure you get statistics from reliable resources and you cite your sources properly. You may also see descriptive essay .

A direct quote reproduces the words of another writer verbatim and is displayed in quotation marks. Although it is not recommended, paraphrasing the quote into your essay is a good way to support your argument. Find legitimate quotes from experts. Quotes can be found in published research papers, scholarly articles and books, and other research materials. You may also see travel essay .

4. Examples

Examples are closely similar cases that serves as a precedent or model, it illustrates what the idea is trying to convey. They add and improve your the meaning of the idea and at the same time, makes your idea actual and concrete. You may also see photo essay .

what is the main point of a persuasive essay

General Guidelines

Bear in mind that the main goal of a persuasive essay is persuade readers that the position you are going for is the most relevant position. You must have a firm opinion about an issue that you want your readers to accept. Before you start to write your persuasive essay, you must already have an opinion or a stance of your own. It is much better to have background information about certain topics before you choose what to write about. You may also see evaluation essay examples .

Always aim to grab the readers attention. You can start your essay with a grabber or hook. It can either be hard, cold facts or quotations from a reliable person that directly relates to your cause. You may also see college essay .

As it has been mentioned, a persuasive essay can be subjective, nevertheless, it still has to be objective. As much as it is about your opinion or position about the issue, it needs facts and evidences. Readers will claim your stance as false if they don’t see/read a credible source backing up your opinion. And lastly, conclude your essay with a restatement of what you want your readers to believe. Reaffirm that the statements you have presented are more valid than the other. You may also see personal narrative essay .

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Chapter 14: Argumentative (Persuasive) Essay

Argumentative (persuasive) essays.

The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince , motivate , or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion. The act of trying to persuade automatically implies more than one opinion on the subject can be argued.  Therefore, any topic that you choose for an argumentative or persuasive essay needs to be debatable .

The idea of an argument often conjures up images of two people yelling and screaming in anger. In writing, however, an argument is very different. An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue in writing is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way. Written arguments often fail when they employ ranting rather than reasoning.

Most people have strong views on controversial topics (ones that inspire extreme points of view or opinions) and are often very willing to share those strong views. However, imagine you are having a discussion with someone who is only willing to share a particular point of view, ignoring yours, which may be in opposition. The ideas presented by that person would be very narrow, almost as if the person has tunnel vision and is merely expressing a personal opinion. If that person does provide you with facts, they may often be skewed or not from a credible source. After the discussion, there is only a slight chance you would be convinced of the other person’s point of view. You may have new ideas you had not considered before or a new perspective, but you would probably not be thoroughly convinced because that person has not made any attempt to present a well-rounded, fact-based point of view. This is why it is essential for you to not only provide your reader with strong, substantiated evidenced, but also to ensure you present an argument that looks at the topic from multiple angles.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “How can my argument be convincing if I present ideas contrary to my main point of view?” Well, while you need to concede there are other views different from your own, it is very important to show your reader you have thought about different angles and that the conclusions you have come to have been critically developed. This evidence of critical thinking will elevate your argument to a level so that your reader cannot really have any objections to. Also, when you look at the structures for persuasive writing, outlined in the next section, you will learn how you can rebut the possible objections you present, essentially smashing those contrary ideas and showing how your point of view is the convincing one.

https://youtu.be/Xg_gR1-Lbk0

Video source: https://youtu.be/Xg_gR1-Lbk0

Writing a Persuasive Essay

You first need to choose a topic that you feel passionate about. If your instructor requires you to write about a specific topic, approach the subject from an angle that interests you. For example, if you’re a business student and have to write a paper about the United Nations, you may wish to look at the topic of international lending, debt, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Begin your essay with an engaging introduction. Your thesis should typically appear somewhere in your introduction.

Next, you need to acknowledge and explain points of view that may conflict with your own to build credibility and trust with your audience. You also should state the limits of your argument. This strategy helps you sound more reasonable and honest to those who may naturally be inclined to disagree with your view. By respectfully acknowledging opposing arguments and conceding limitations to your own view, you set a measured and responsible tone for the essay.

Be sure to make your appeals in support of your thesis by using sound, credible evidence. Use a balance of facts and opinions from a wide range of sources, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and personal anecdotes. Each piece of evidence should be fully explained and clearly stated. Also, write in a style and tone that is appropriate for your subject and audience. Tailor your language and word choice to these two factors, while still being true to your own voice. Finally, write a conclusion that effectively summarizes the main argument and reinforces your thesis.

Structuring a Persuasive Essay

The formula below for organizing a persuasive essay may be one with which you are familiar. It will present a convincing argument to your reader because your discussion is well rounded and thorough, and you leave your audience with your point of view at the end. Remember to consider each of these components in this formula s sections instead of paragraphs because you will probably want to discuss multiple ideas backing up your point of view to make it more convincing.

When writing a persuasive essay, it is best to begin with the most important point because it immediately captivates your readers and compels them to continue reading. For example, if you were supporting your thesis that homework is detrimental to the education of high school students, you would want to present your most convincing argument first, and then move on to the less important points for your case.

Section 1: Introduction

  • Introductory statement
  • Thesis (showing main and controlling ideas)
  • Signposts (make sure you outline the structure your argument will follow: Pros Cons/Pros)

Section 2: (Multiple) Ideas in Support of Claim

  • Give a topic sentence introducing the point (showing main and controlling ideas)
  • Give explanations + evidence on first point
  • Make concluding statement summarizing point discussion (possibly transitioning to next supporting idea)
  • Repeat with multiple ideas in separate paragraphs

Section 3: Summary of ( Some) Opposing Views 

  • Give topic sentence explaining this paragraph will be opposing points of view to provide thorough, convincing argument
  • Present general summary of some opposing ideas
  • Present some generalized evidence
  • Provide brief concluding sentence for paragraph—transitioning into next rebuttal paragraph

Section 4: Response to Opposing Views

  • Give topic sentence explaining this paragraph/section connects to or expands on previous paragraph
  • [may recognize validity of some of points] then need to present how your ideas are stronger
  • Present evidence directly countering/refuting ideas mentioned in previous section
  • Give concluding statement summarizing the countering arguments

Section 5 : Conclusion

  • Restate your thesis
  • Summarize your discussion points
  • Leave the reader with a strong impression; do not waiver here
  • May provide a “call for action”

Being Critical

When writing a persuasive essay, you need to focus on critical thinking, but you also need to ensure you are presenting an argument that considers other points of view on your topic; you need to acknowledge there are other angles, and you need to present ideas countering those objections in order to increase your chance at convincing your reader.

Style and Tone of Language

Just as with any essay, the way you write and the tone you use is very important to consider. If you are talking with a person who uses aggressive and inflammatory words, are you more or less likely to listen to the whole argument and ultimately be convinced? If someone is waving his hands and swearing or yelling, the gestures and raised voice may actually distract you from what is being said. Also, when people are extremely animated in their discussions, their audience may become defensive if they do not agree with the ideas presented. In such a case, the audience may then respond in the same way, and no one ends up really hearing other points of view and will definitely not be convinced.

Consider the same discussion, but imagine the original speaker being calm and controlled. Do you think you would be more likely to listen and consider the ideas? That is what often happens; the speaker also allows you to give your input and views, and together, you can arrive at a blend of ideas. While you may not be convinced to change your mind completely, the way the speaker presents the argument (calmly and substantively) creates an environment or situation where you are more open to discussion.

This is the same when you write; if you choose inflammatory language not appropriate to your audience, the overall impact is almost “bloggish”—like someone ranting on a topic and just stating his or her opinion. This becomes a bigger issue if no substantive evidence or support is given for the discussion. The writer just seems like a radical expressing views, not someone you can use for credible support. In short, remember to choose your words carefully. While you will need to use assertive language to support your ideas, you need to choose objective words. How you make your argument more convincing is by using strong, peer-reviewed, and reliable evidence to back up your ideas and present and rebut at least one opposing idea.

Acknowledging Opposing Ideas and Limits to Your Argument

Because an argument implies differing points of view on the subject, you must be sure to acknowledge those opposing ideas. Avoiding ideas that conflict with your own gives the reader the impression that you may be uncertain, fearful, or unaware of opposing ideas. Thus, it is essential that you not only address counterarguments but also do so respectfully.

Try to address opposing arguments earlier rather than later in your essay. Rhetorically speaking, ordering your positive arguments last allows you to better address ideas that conflict with your own, so you can spend the rest of the essay countering those arguments. This way, you leave your reader thinking about your argument rather than someone else’s. You have the last word.

Acknowledging different points of view also fosters more credibility between you and the audience. They know from the outset that you are aware of opposing ideas and that you are not afraid to give them space.

It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish. In effect, you are conceding early on that your argument is not the ultimate authority on a given topic. Such humility can go a long way toward earning credibility and trust with an audience. Your readers will know from the beginning that you are a reasonable writer, and they will trust your argument as a result. For example, in the following concessionary statement, the writer advocates for stricter gun control laws, but admits it will not solve all of our problems with crime:

Although tougher gun control laws are a powerful first step in decreasing violence in our streets, such legislation alone cannot end these problems since guns are not the only problem we face.

Such a concession will be welcome by those who might disagree with this writer’s argument in the first place. To effectively persuade their readers, writers need to be modest in their goals and humble in their approach to get readers to listen to the ideas. The following phrases can be used to achieve this goal:

Phrases of Concession

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Video source: https://youtu.be/TBo8h-ysRfw

Writing for Academic and Professional Contexts: An Introduction Copyright © 2023 by Sheridan College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Narrative vs Persuasive Essays

Jeanie Tseng, English Specialist

Mar 7, 2018

How do you distinguish between narrative and persuasive essays? A simple search tells us that a narrative essay tells a story, while a persuasive essay makes an argument. However, E nglish specialist, Jeanie Tseng, tells us why it's not as easy as that. 

Narrative essays are not short stories and persuasive essays are not argumentative essays. Narrative essays are factual, still have a thesis and follow a conventional essay structure. Short stories are often fictional, do not need a thesis statement or have introduction, body and conclusions. Persuasive essays convince readers to act or believe in something with emotive opinions. Argumentative essays go steps further by citing scientific facts, statistics and expert quotations. In this blog post we’ll focus on the differences between narrative and persuasive essays.

What makes them so different?

Narrative essays are written from a set point of view with sensory information, using intense adjectives and exact verbs. These essays can be anecdotal, experiential and personal. The writer is encouraged to be creative and thought-provoking. Experiential and personal writings are based on or involve what has happened to the writer as an individual. Note that anecdotal accounts are not necessarily reliable.

Persuasive essays use logic and reason to show that one idea is better than another by trying to convince readers to think certain ways or to do something. The writer takes up a specific position on the issue to advocate for that side. It is important for the writer to understand their audience and carry out thorough research on the subject. Clear and precise evidence is presented, including consideration for the opposing view.

Girl_writing.jpg

The writing process

The writing process for narrative and persuasive essays are different. Narrative essays are initiated by selecting an incident that occurred in real life. A thesis statement is drafted with the time, location and significance of event for the introduction. The body paragraphs are written in chronological order. A new paragraph starts whenever the story alters direction, the scene varies and there is dialogue between characters. Then the essay is filled with vivid details of the five senses and verbs. There is usually less focus on feelings and thoughts. Transitional expressions to link events are added to help with a logical flow. Finally, a resonating conclusion is reached.

The persuasive essay starts with an attention grabber and thesis statement in the introduction. The position taken is always for or against an issue, so it can be debated. The thesis statement informs the reader about the topic, its limits and how the essay is organised. The body provides evidence such as facts, statistics, quotes and examples to support opinion. This section anticipates opposition viewpoints with concessions and provide rebuttals. Transitional expressions are also used to cue the reader for the next logical point. The conclusion summarises significant details and repeats what the reader is to believe or do in a call to action.

Narrative essays are vastly different to persuasive essays. The narrative essay’s purpose is to tell a story, the persuasive essay aims to convince readers about an argument. The way to write both types of essays differ to a large extent in terms of structure and content. No wonder narrative and persuasive essays are different!

If you need support with your writing, or would like your writing reviewed by one of our English specialists, find out if you have access to our service here .

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what is the main point of a persuasive essay

Different Types Of Persuasive Writing

Different Types Of Persuasive Writing

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • Updated: May 6, 2024

Have you ever found yourself needing to write an essay where you convince the reader of your point of view? Then, persuasive writing is what you need!

A persuasive essay or text aims to convince the person reading your words that a particular point is correct. It’s one of the oldest forms of writing and has been used in politics, business, and religion over the years.

Despite there being different types of persuasive writing, they all have one thing in common: allowing the reader to understand (and believe) the writer’s position on any given matter.

But, there is a time and a place for each type, and you need to know when to choose which one to achieve your goals.

Read on to learn more about the three main techniques used for persuasive writing and how to hone your writing skills to have people believe your point of view.

What Is Persuasive Writing?

Persuasive writing is any text that convinces the reader of the writer’s opinion.

There are different techniques and types, which will be discussed later, but each is intended for a specific context and purpose.

For example, if you are trying to get an extension on your essay deadline, you will write an email with a formal tone of voice to your professor. If you’re convincing your roommate to go grab a drink, your text will be far more informal.

You may not even notice it, but persuasive writing is all around us – in the media, in advertisements, in the news, and on social media.

No matter your purpose or context, all persuasive writing has the following in common:

  • Evidence to back your claims
  • Appealing to the reader’s emotion
  • Logical arguments

Why Is Persuasive Writing Important?

Whether you’re a high school student or new to the working world, persuasive writing is an invaluable skill to have in your toolkit.

You may have to write convincing and/or persuasive essays for school to score top marks, or you have to write a convincing cover letter to go with your resume to get the job of your dreams.

But it’s more than that. Knowing how to write in a way to convince others of your personal opinion is a good way to sharpen your writing and negotiation skills. It teaches you how to research, fact-check, and construct concise and clear arguments – tools you can use your entire life.

If you end up in marketing or content writing one day, it is a good tool to have in your writing arsenal. But even if you turn towards charity work, you can use your persuasive writing skills to get donations and rally people to your cause.

3 Types Of Persuasive Writing Techniques

There are three main types of persuasive writing techniques, dating back to ancient Greece. These are:

The Greek philosopher Aristotle coined these terms back in the day, but they are still very applicable today when it comes to argumentative essays or any kind of text that needs to convince the reader.

Most persuasive writing examples use a variety of these techniques, as the combination of them strengthens your arguments.

“Ethos” is the Greek word for “character.” This technique uses writing that appeals to the reader’s character and virtues. For that reason, this style of writing is also called “ personal appeal. ”

This kind of writing plays on the reader’s sense of right and wrong. The writer establishes themselves as a trustworthy and knowledgeable character, and because of that, the readers will agree with what they have to say.

Some examples of ethos writing include:

  • “My family has been farming in Texas for four generations, and I’ve been working in food production for 25 years. So, trust me when I say that we need to avoid genetically modified produce.”
  • “I spent my entire childhood and most of my teenage years in Eureka Springs. I know most of you from school. Please, listen to me when I say: we need to put money towards restoring the Winona Springs Church – you all know it’s the right thing to do.”

Pathos means either “suffering” or “experience” in Greek. This type of writing targets the emotions of the reader, which is why it’s also called “ emotional appeal. ”

The goal of this type of writing is to trigger an emotional response in the reader, which causes them to trust what you have to say.

You can influence readers by eliciting a variety of emotions, including:

Here are some examples of how you can use the pathos technique in persuasive essays:

  • “Are you really willing to stand by and watch as millions of unwanted dogs in the Humane Society shelters are euthanized each year?”
  • “Business owners say Gen Z is scared to work, but the real reason is that they’re not paying their staff fair wages.”

“Logos” is the origin of the word “logic”. This technique is also called “ logical appeal. “It is mainly focused on logical arguments, presenting facts to convince the reader that you are speaking the undeniable truth.

Each statement that is written is backed up by facts, enhancing the writer’s credibility.

It’s possible that a writer may twist facts to fit in with their narrative, but many readers can spot this manipulative style of writing.

Some examples of the logos technique are:

  • “If you know nicotine is bad for your health, why are you still grabbing your vape as soon as you wake up?”
  • “Passenger cars emitted 374.2 million metric tons of CO2 in 2021. If we truly want to slow down climate change, we need to skip the short car trips to the store and walk instead.”

Bonus technique: Kairos

So, this technique wasn’t grouped by Aristotle with the three discussed above. However, he did believe that this was a fourth way to persuade readers to see your point of view.

Kairos means “the opportune moment.” To use this technique, the writer or speaker must create (or take advantage of) the perfect moment to deliver their message.

As an example: after a major storm in the U.S. Virgin Islands, human rights charities in the area may have more success in raising funds for their causes as they can appeal to people’s emotions.

As you can see, this example combines kairos and pathos.

Persuasive Writing Examples

As is evident from the above, persuasive writing can take many forms. Although the main goal is always to influence readers, the applications of persuasive texts are vast.

Below are just some examples of where you might use persuasive writing:

1. Persuasive essays

In persuasive essays – also called argumentative essays – the writer makes a specific claim about a topic and then uses facts and evidential data to drive the point home.

A persuasive essay aims to convince the reader that the writer is correct and that the evidence can’t be disputed in any way.

This type of persuasive writing requires a lot of research and fact-checking from the writer – it’s about more than just their opinion.

Examples of an argumentative essay include:

  • School essay
  • Thesis statement

2. Opinion pieces

An opinion piece is just the thing you need if you have strong feelings about a certain topic and want to express your views with the hope of convincing others. These are less focused on facts and instead play on the reader’s emotions.

Examples of opinion pieces include:

3. Cover letters

The job market is tough. Hundreds of applicants are vying for the same position. A convincing cover letter and job application can really make you stand out from the crowd. Using persuasive writing in cover letters can help you sell yourself to the recruiter, convincing them that you’re the only one for the job.

Reviews are typically opinion-based, but they can still make use of ethos, pathos, and logos to convince the reader of your opinion.

Say, for example, you are writing a book review on The Hobbit for school. Here are some ways in which you can adopt the three main techniques mentioned above:

  • Ethos: “I’ve devoured dozens of fantasy novels, and I believe that J.R.R. Tolkien’s world-building in The Hobbit is the best. He is able to create detailed imaginary worlds like no other writer.”
  • Pathos: “The journey of Bilbo Baggins filled me with a sense of wonder and excitement, reminding me of the magic of friendship and having a keen sense of adventure.”
  • Logos: “Tolkein’s use of detailed maps and a sensible timeline makes the story of Bilbo Baggins much more believable, as it lends a sense of logic to a fantasy realm.”

How To Excel At Persuasive Writing

Do you want to become a pro at persuasive writing? Learn by doing!

Here are some tips on how to develop your persuasive writing skills. Follow these pointers, and you’ll hone your skills enough to convince a night owl to become an early bird (with enough practice).

1. Conduct thorough research

Humans are emotional beings, but appealing to emotions alone just isn’t enough at times.

If your readers are analytical, they might not respond to emotional writing. That’s why you need to back up your persuasive writing with cold, hard facts.

Plus, having indisputable proof to substantiate your claims makes you seem a lot more trustworthy. By providing stats, facts, case studies, and references, readers will believe your words to be true.

Of course, you need to write your facts and evidence in your own words to avoid plagiarism. Smodin’s AI Paraphrasing Tool can help you write evidence-based text in your own writing style.

2. Be empathetic

Sometimes, all anyone wants is to feel heard and understood. You can provide your readers with this understanding by addressing, and relating to, their pain points. If you can offer them a solution to their problems, that’s even better!

Showing empathy allows you to identify with your readers. They need to know that you understand them. Only then will they realize that what you say truly matters.

If you show you can relate, and that you can help your audience, they’ll be more inclined to trust your solutions.

3. Use tools to help you write

Sitting down and writing an argumentative or persuasive essay or speech from scratch can be very daunting. Writer’s block is real, and sometimes you may have strong opinions but struggle to formulate your words.

There are plenty of tools on the market, but none are as effective in helping you write persuasive essays as Smodin’s AI Writer and Advanced AI Essay Writer.

The AI Writer can help you write shorter texts and sprinkle some persuasive writing into your work, for example. The smart AI technology can even cite your references to add to your credibility.

The Advanced AI Essay Writer is specifically for helping you craft persuasive essays from scratch. It’s so simple, all you have to do is give the tool five words and it will begin to write a powerful, structured essay.

But of course, writing a persuasive essay with AI is not always ideal, especially if your institution uses AI detection tools. The good news is that Smodin has a solution for you: the Smodin AI Detection Remover .

4. Make use of rhetorical questions

One surefire way to grab your reader’s attention is to use rhetorical questions. These questions don’t require answers, but they are thought-provoking. They’re used to make a point (either negative or positive) and will keep your audience hooked.

Here are some examples:

  • “How can we expect to progress as a society if we can’t take care of our homeless?”
  • “What’s the point of technological advancement if we lose touch with our cultural heritage?”
  • “How can we expect positive changes if we’re not willing to stand up for what we believe in?”

5. Repeat yourself

Repetition is a great tool in persuasive writing. By using this technique strategically, you can emphasize your key points while adding value to your argumentative essay.

You can tell stories, paraphrase what someone else said, or use metaphors to bring your point across.

In other words, you’re repeating the same opinion, without becoming redundant.

6. Choose your words carefully

No matter the kind of persuasive content you’re producing, you need to understand your audience.

There’s no point in writing in Elvish if your audience has never read Lord of the Rings!

It depends on the context, but usually, colloquial language is best for persuasive writing. It allows your audience to relate to you (and not make them feel like you’re better than them).

You’ll also want to avoid jargon or technical terms that not everyone will understand. Rather write inclusively, keeping your target audience in mind.

7. Adapt your tone of voice

A persuasive essay for college will have a different tone of voice than political speeches delivered by world leaders.

There isn’t one tone that works for all persuasive texts. Instead, it depends on the context and the readers. The tone you use goes hand in hand with your vocabulary, and can be:

  • Professional
  • Authoritative
  • Encouraging

Can I use persuasive writing in everyday life?

Absolutely! It’s not just about school essays and oral presentations. Persuasive writing and speaking can be used in discussions, cover letters, and texts to your friends… even if you just want to convince them to watch a movie with you.

How can I balance pathos and logos in persuasive writing?

Finding the balance between an emotional and logical appeal is key to your success. First, you need to understand your audience. This will allow you to appeal to their emotions. Then, you can reinforce your emotional triggers with well-researched facts and sound logic.

Wrapping Up

It is clear that persuasive writing is a very powerful skill to have. It can be used in various contexts, helping you to convince the reader about certain issues. Whether you simply want to bring your point across or motivate readers to take action, persuasive writing can help you achieve these goals.

The key to persuasive writing is understanding who your audience is. You need to tailor your words to relate to them.

Fortunately, Smodin offers a whole suite of tools to facilitate your writing process. Smodin can save you a lot of time, stress, and pre-essay tears as it assists you in writing compelling, hassle-free persuasive content.

A clear, arguable thesis will tell your readers where you are going to end up, but it can also help you figure out how to get them there. Put your thesis at the top of a blank page and then make a list of the points you will need to make to argue that thesis effectively.

For example, consider this example from the thesis handout : While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake”(54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well”(51) is less convincing.

To argue this thesis, the author needs to do the following:

  • Show what is persuasive about Sandel’s claims about the problems with striving for perfection.
  • Show what is not convincing about Sandel’s claim that we can clearly distinguish between medically necessary enhancements and other enhancements.

Once you have broken down your thesis into main claims, you can then think about what sub-claims you will need to make in order to support each of those main claims. That step might look like this:

  • Evidence that Sandel provides to support this claim
  • Discussion of why this evidence is convincing even in light of potential counterarguments
  • Discussion of cases when medically necessary enhancement and non-medical enhancement cannot be easily distinguished
  • Analysis of what those cases mean for Sandel’s argument
  • Consideration of counterarguments (what Sandel might say in response to this section of your argument)

Each argument you will make in an essay will be different, but this strategy will often be a useful first step in figuring out the path of your argument.  

Strategy #2: Use subheadings, even if you remove them later  

Scientific papers generally include standard subheadings to delineate different sections of the paper, including “introduction,” “methods,” and “discussion.” Even when you are not required to use subheadings, it can be helpful to put them into an early draft to help you see what you’ve written and to begin to think about how your ideas fit together. You can do this by typing subheadings above the sections of your draft.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how your ideas fit together, try beginning with informal subheadings like these:

  • Introduction  
  • Explain the author’s main point  
  • Show why this main point doesn’t hold up when we consider this other example  
  • Explain the implications of what I’ve shown for our understanding of the author  
  • Show how that changes our understanding of the topic

For longer papers, you may decide to include subheadings to guide your reader through your argument. In those cases, you would need to revise your informal subheadings to be more useful for your readers. For example, if you have initially written in something like “explain the author’s main point,” your final subheading might be something like “Sandel’s main argument” or “Sandel’s opposition to genetic enhancement.” In other cases, once you have the key pieces of your argument in place, you will be able to remove the subheadings.  

Strategy #3: Create a reverse outline from your draft  

While you may have learned to outline a paper before writing a draft, this step is often difficult because our ideas develop as we write. In some cases, it can be more helpful to write a draft in which you get all of your ideas out and then do a “reverse outline” of what you’ve already written. This doesn’t have to be formal; you can just make a list of the point in each paragraph of your draft and then ask these questions:

  • Are those points in an order that makes sense to you?  
  • Are there gaps in your argument?  
  • Do the topic sentences of the paragraphs clearly state these main points?  
  • Do you have more than one paragraph that focuses on the same point? If so, do you need both paragraphs?  
  • Do you have some paragraphs that include too many points? If so, would it make more sense to split them up?  
  • Do you make points near the end of the draft that would be more effective earlier in your paper?  
  • Are there points missing from this draft?  
  • picture_as_pdf Tips for Organizing Your Essay

Open Menu

If you think of your persuasive writing as going out to a restaurant, then your introduction is the menu, because it shows you what is coming to you. The conclusion is the bill, showing what you just digested, and the body is the meat and potatoes. The body is where all the points are, where all your information is, and where you make your arguments of why you want the reader to come over to your side.

Paragraphs in your body should number about four in total. Each paragraph should cover the main point you are using to back up your argument and idea. In each paragraph, you need to have three to four smaller points that defend the larger point of the paragraph. To understand how this will look, we will break it down:

  • First sentence. This carries your main point of the paragraph.
  • Second sentence. This contains the minor point that backs up the major point of the paragraph.
  • Third sentence. This contains the second minor point that backs up the major point of the paragraph.
  • Fourth sentence. This contains the third minor point of the major point of the paragraph.
  • Fifth sentence. This is the sentence that is the transition to your next point in the next paragraph.

In the body, you are supporting your thesis with those paragraphs. The body is proof that you have researched all the information and you have examined the topic completely. All the facts and figures of your persuasive argument are going to be in the body. For example, if you are going to be talking about how you deserve a raise in the persuasive letter body, then you are going to need to outline the statistics of why you deserve the raise. You will mention how few sick days you have taken, the rising cost of living, and the growing revenues of the company in the body. In fact, each paragraph can be centered on the major point of one fact or figure.

First, you need to have a statement of facts, which can include summaries concerning the problem you are discussing. It is in this part of the body that you should support all the information without stating your point of view, or trying to get the reader to agree with you.

Next, remind the reader of events or emotive illustrations that show the significance of the topic you are talking about. This should be quite clear and vivid, but brief. Do not obscure any of the information in this paragraph otherwise you could hurt your case. If you are looking for a raise by sending a persuasive letter to your boss, then this is where you will evoke emotions about how you care about the company, the raises you have received in the past, and even what the boss would do if they were in your situation.

Once you have gone through the facts in the previous paragraph, you should prove your thesis with arguments. This is the longest part of your body and it is essentially the central part of your persuasive argument. Your reader will already be paying attention, due to the previous paragraph where you detailed the facts and emotions behind your thesis. Now you show them why your position concerning your point of view is the right one, and that it should be accepted by those reading your persuasive argument.

In the next paragraph, you need to prove that the opposing argument is wrong. This is one of the most difficult parts of the body, because you have to not only prove the person reading the persuasive argument is wrong, but you have to do it in a respectful way that won't offend the reader by how you word the sentences. You should take your time writing this and really look at it from the other person's point of view. When you do this right, your reader will actually agree with what you are saying before realizing that they just blew their own argument out of the water.

Your conclusion is very important to your entire persuasive argument, because a conclusion that stays in your reader's mind will help you convince them that your point of view is the right one.

Your conclusion is an integral part of your persuasive writing. By essentially tying everything up in the end, you greatly increase the effectiveness of your argument. Your conclusion needs to be memorable and thought-provoking. You want the reader to put your persuasive essay down and think about what you wrote, what you said, and begin to realize why you may be right.

Here are a few tips that can help you with your conclusion and winning argument.

Your introduction and conclusion are the bread of your persuasive sandwich. The body is the ham between the slices of bread. Like the bread, your introduction and conclusion should be similar to each other, in a way, mirror images of each other. In your conclusion, you are working to remind the reader about what you said in your thesis statement. You are not wasting your time with the conclusion; you are getting right down to work showing why you proved your thesis statement in the body. All this is done in the conclusion.

Like you did with your introduction, where you wrote several different introduction types depending on your strategy, you can do the same with your conclusion. You should write several conclusions to see which one works best with what you wrote in the introduction and body. You want to make sure your conclusion doesn't contradict anything that you said in the body.

In the conclusion, you should restate your thesis statement, reworded slightly, and then you should go over the main points in your body. The reason that you go over the main points of the body in the conclusion is because you want the reader to recall those main points of your position. When you watch commercials, they will often say the name of the product over and over. This is done because humans learn through repetition. By repeating something, it is more likely that what you said will stick in the reader's mind, and therefore, there is a greater chance they will side with your position.

Another way to conclude your persuasive letter is to write a personal comment in it, or even a call to action. The types of things you could include in this last part of your conclusion are:

  • "With a raise, my productivity will go up and by extension, the productivity of my entire department."
  • "Would you work harder for more money? Or harder for less money?"
  • "With your signature on the forms I have provided, you will see the productivity of the department increase."

Generally, the last line of your conclusion is called the tag line and it is important that you give it special attention. Other forms of tag lines that we know of include the tag line of movies. Generally these tag lines are written in such a way as to entice you to want to see the movie. The same holds true with the conclusion. Using the tag line there are three important things that it must do in your persuasive letter:

  • It must make the reader agree with you, or at least be better disposed to agreeing with you.
  • It must magnify the points you made in the body.
  • It puts your readers in the proper mood to agree with you.

Lastly, to make your conclusion the most effective that it can be, it should accomplish the following tasks:

  • It will remind the reader about the most important parts of your conclusion.
  • It will creatively restate the main idea of your essay, which is your position and what you want the reader to agree with.
  • It will leave the reader more interested in the idea that you are trying to convince them to support.
  • It brings up a call to action for the reader.

Your conclusion is very important, so take the time to word it the best way possible. A strong conclusion has the ability to fulfill your persuasive writing completely and make a large impact on your reader.

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

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  2. How to Write a Perfect Persuasive Essay: A Detailed Guide

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  3. The structure of a persuasive essay. Tips for Writing Academic

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  4. Persuasive Essay Outline: Examples & a Writing Guide for Each Part of a

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  5. Parts Of A Persuasive Letter

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  6. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

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VIDEO

  1. PERSUASIVE ESSAY Part7 Outline

  2. Top 10 Tips to Persuade Someone

  3. Final Video Persuasive Main Point

  4. Persuasive Writing Strategies

  5. Persuasive Power point

  6. Author's Point of View

COMMENTS

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

    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.

  2. Persuasive Writing Strategies and Tips, with Examples

    The main difference between a persuasive essay and an argumentative essay is that persuasive essays focus more on personal experience and appeal to emotions, whereas argumentative essays mostly stick to the facts. Moreover, argumentative essays discuss both sides of an issue, whereas persuasive essays focus only on the author's point of view.

  3. Persuasive Essay in Literature: Definition & Examples

    A persuasive essay (purr-SWEY-siv ESS-ey) is a composition in which the essayist's goal is to persuade the reader to agree with their personal views on a debatable topic. A persuasive essay generally follows a five-paragraph model with a thesis, body paragraphs, and conclusion, and it offers evidential support using research and other persuasive techniques.

  4. 6.4: Persuasive Essays

    Writing a Persuasive Essay. Choose a topic that you feel passionate about. If your instructor requires you to write about a specific topic, approach the subject from an angle that interests you. Begin your essay with an engaging introduction. Your thesis should typically appear somewhere in your introduction.

  5. Writing Persuasive Essays

    The preview briefly states the main points that will be argued in the essay. The preview is not where the arguments are developed. The preview merely summarizes each point in as few words as possible. ... A five-paragraph persuasive essay should have three main points and each main points should support the thesis of the essay. Topic Sentences.

  6. Persuasive Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

    A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that's designed to sway a reader to one point of view or another. They're often set by teachers with a question that allows you to pick a side. That way, you can argue the case that you believe in the most. A good persuasive essay is well researched, and takes into account the biases of the reader.

  7. 10.2 The Structure of a Persuasive Essay

    Section 5: Conclusion. Restate your thesis. Summarize your discussion points. Leave the reader with a strong impression; do not waiver here. May provide a "call for action". Tip: In a persuasive essay, the writer's point of view should be clearly expressed at the beginning of each paragraph in the topic sentence, which should contain the ...

  8. How to Write a Persuasive Essay to Draw Readers' Attention

    Ask yourself what the main point of any persuasive essay is. Regardless of a topic, it is to convince a reader to take your side, accept your position, and follow only your recommendations. A really successful paper will provide evidence, consider others' views, and finally present a conclusion which is strong.

  9. 1.7: The Persuasive Essay

    The Purpose of Persuasive Writing. The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince, motivate, or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion. The act of trying to persuade automatically implies that more than one opinion on the subject can be argued.

  10. Writing the Persuasive Essay

    2. Summarize the main points: The conclusion enables your reader to recall the main points of your position. In order to do this you can paraphrase the main points of your argument. 3. Write a personal comment or call for action. You can do this: o With a Prediction: This can be used with a narrative or a cause and effect discussion.

  11. The Persuasive Essay

    The Purpose of Persuasive Writing. The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince, motivate, or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion. The act of trying to persuade automatically implies more than one opinion on the subject can be argued. The idea of an argument often conjures up images of two people yelling and screaming ...

  12. 4.5 Persuasion

    The persuasive essay begins with an engaging introduction that presents the general issue. The role of this paragraph is to do the following: Create interest. Introduce a controversial topic. Include a thesis statement that clearly presents the writer's position on the chosen issue, and the major points to be discussed.

  13. What is a persuasive essay?

    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.

  14. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    The point of a persuasive essay is to disprove the opposing argument through providing detailed and compelling evidences. It will likely be necessary to undertake library-based research, intensive hunt for legitimate references and thorough examination of various examples. ... Bear in mind that the main goal of a persuasive essay is persuade ...

  15. Chapter 14: Argumentative (Persuasive) Essay

    The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince, motivate, or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion. The act of trying to persuade automatically implies more than one opinion on the subject can be argued. Therefore, any topic that you choose for an argumentative or persuasive essay needs to be debatable.

  16. Components of Writing a Persuasive Essay

    The same idea is true in writing. Persuasive writing, or argumentative writing, is an essay centered on an opinion. In this type of essay, the author is trying to convince the audience that his ...

  17. Narrative vs Persuasive Essays

    Narrative essays are factual, still have a thesis and follow a conventional essay structure. Short stories are often fictional, do not need a thesis statement or have introduction, body and conclusions. Persuasive essays convince readers to act or believe in something with emotive opinions. Argumentative essays go steps further by citing ...

  18. Different Types Of Persuasive Writing

    A persuasive essay or text aims to convince the person reading your words that a particular point is correct. It's one of the oldest forms of writing and has been used in politics, business, and religion over the years. Read on to learn more about the three main techniques used for persuasive writing and how to hone your writing skills to have people believe your point of view.

  19. Persuasive Writing Flashcards

    an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason. Rebuttal. the other side of the argument. Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like What is the purpose of persuasive writing?, What is the main sentence called that tells the main idea or point of view of the whole essay?, What are the components of a ...

  20. Persuasive Essay Guide: How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    The last time you wrote a persuasive essay may have been in high school or college, but the skill of writing a strong persuasive argument is always a useful one to have. Persuasive writing begins with a writer forming their own opinion on a topic, which they then attempt to convince their reader of this opinion by walking them through a number of logical and ethical arguments.

  21. Tips for Organizing Your Essay

    If you are used to writing essays that are similar to the five-paragraph essay (one claim and then three points that support that claim), it can be daunting to think about how to structure your ideas in a longer essay. ... Show what is persuasive about Sandel's claims about the problems with striving for perfection. ... Show why this main ...

  22. English 2 A

    sentence 4. The paragraph with sentences 5-12 uses ___. questions for emphasis and first-person point of view. Apparently, the author ___. does not like his name and thinks it is a common name. The paragraph of sentences 13-17 is about ___. using relatives' names that may be untimely or out of date.

  23. What is the main difference between a persuasive essay and a narrative

    The main difference between a persuasive essay and a narrative essay is: B. A persuasive essay makes its point through rhetoric and argument while a narrative essay makes its point through telling a story. A narrative essay simply narrates the events that has happened. Whereas, a persuasive essay uses a tone wherein it influences its readers ...

  24. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    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.

  25. 200 Ethical Topics for Your Essay by GradesFixer

    Use Real-world Examples: Illustrate your points with concrete examples. This not only strengthens your arguments but also helps to explain ethical topics in a relatable way. Structure Your Essay: Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. A well-structured essay makes it easier to present your analysis of ethical issues.

  26. What is the main point of persuasive essay?

    What is the main point of persuasive essay? Get the answers you need, now! See what teachers have to say about Brainly's new learning tools! ... The main purpose of a persuasive essay assignment is to… (Answer choices are in SS) pls help! verified. Verified answer.

  27. Major Points of Writing the Body in Persuasive Writing

    Using the tag line there are three important things that it must do in your persuasive letter: It must make the reader agree with you, or at least be better disposed to agreeing with you. It must magnify the points you made in the body. It puts your readers in the proper mood to agree with you.