how do you write a persuasive essay?
What is a persuasive/argument essay?
Persuasive writing, also known as the argument essay, utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action. The argument must always use sound reasoning and solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples, and quoting experts.
When planning a persuasive essay, follow these steps
Choose your position. Which side of the issue or problem are you going to write about, and what solution will you offer? Know the purpose of your essay.
Analyze your audience. Decide if your audience agrees with you, is neutral, or disagrees with your position.
Research your topic. A persuasive essay must provide specific and convincing evidence. Often it is necessary to go beyond your own knowledge and experience. You might need to go to the library or interview people who are experts on your topic.
Structure your essay. Figure out what evidence you will include and in what order you will present the evidence. Remember to consider your purpose, your audience, and you topic.
The following criteria are essential to produce an effective argument
Be well informed about your topic. To add to your knowledge of a topic, read thoroughly about it, using legitimate sources. Take notes.
Test your thesis. Your thesis, i.e., argument, must have two sides. It must be debatable. If you can write down a thesis statement directly opposing your own, you will ensure that your own argument is debatable.
Disprove the opposing argument. Understand the opposite viewpoint of your position and then counter it by providing contrasting evidence or by finding mistakes and inconsistencies in the logic of the opposing argument.
Support your position with evidence. Remember that your evidence must appeal to reason.
The following are different ways to support your argument:
Facts – A powerful means of convincing, facts can come from your reading, observation, or personal experience.
Note: Do not confuse facts with truths. A “truth” is an idea believed by many people, but it cannot be proven.
Statistics – These can provide excellent support. Be sure your statistics come from responsible sources. Always cite your sources.
Quotes – Direct quotes from leading experts that support your position are invaluable.
Examples – Examples enhance your meaning and make your ideas concrete. They are the proof.
Writing a persuasive essay is very much like writing an ordinary paper. Of course, before you begin, you have to come up with a good solid view, a foundation which you can base your entire paper on. It’s best if you pick a topic which you strongly believe in. That way, you can defend your ideas better and make your paper sound a lot more convincing.
Start off your essay by stating your views. Don’t get too specific. Leave the details for later. Just lay out your main idea and opinion.
Next, you have your three paragraphs that make up the body of the paper. Each paragraph should cover a main point to back up your argument and idea. Each paragraph should include three smaller points defending each larger point. If this sounds confusing just look at the diagram:
1st sentence, Main point: Cats are easy to look after.
Second sentence, Minor point 1: They are very independent.
Third Sentence, Minor point 2: Cats are very clean and hygenic.
Fourth Sentence, Minor point 3: Cats are very intelligent.
Your last sentence would just be transitionary.
To conclude (last paragraph), basically finish it off, adding a couple of extra “fluff sentences”, and end the whole paper with a very well written sentence that leaves the reader with an imprint of the essay. Make it something that they won’t easily forget.
Make sure you know your audience. Stick to a certain tone, whether it’s formal, informal, funny, pleading, etc.
Be aware of the possible counter-arguments that would go against what you are trying to say. Only address these points in your essay if you have good ways to respond to them.
Don’t make it too long. Long papers are not always impressive, but just plain boring. Stick to a limit of 500 words or so.
Essential steps for writing a persuasive essay:
Identify your main idea or point of view. Your purpose will be to persuade your audience to accept this idea or point of view.
Identify your audience. To write an effective persuasive essay, try to understand your audience. For example, are your readers undecided about your issue? Or are your readers hostile to your point of view?
Considering your audience, identify the strongest supporting points for your persuasion.
Identify the most significant opposing view. Explaining and then refuting the opposing view strengthens the credibility and scope of your essay.
How to organize your persuasive essay:
Your introduction should hook your reader’s attention and provide background information on your topic or controversy.
The paragraph should end with a clear statement of your main idea or point of view.
Your body paragraphs should present the points in support of your main idea.
Each body paragraph should focus on one point.
Be sure to provide evidence or examples for each point.
After presenting your supporting points, develop one paragraph to accurately explain and then refute the most significant opposing view.
Creatively restate your main idea and supporting points.
Try to leave your audience even more connected to your topic and persuaded by your main idea or perspective.
Best Regards and GOOD LUCK