Persuasive Essay Writing

Persuasive writing is a writing technique that students learn in school. It is a fun and exciting type of writing that endeavors to generate debate around a particular topic. Writing a persuasive essay challenges students to take a clear stand on a specific cause or topic and apply convincing arguments to convince readers that the writer’s perspective is correct. In academic terms, a persuasive essay is a writing task often given to students in colleges and universities. The student is required to persuade readers that a specific viewpoint is correct.

When creating a persuasive essay, the student should thoroughly research the topic, analyze it, and take a solid argumentative stand. Then, using convincing words and logical arguments, the student is required to dispel biases and convince readers that only the author has the correct point of view.

Elements of Persuasive Essay

An excellent persuasive essay has to contain three essential components referred to as modes of persuasion. The elements were coined by Aristotle, the philosopher, to collaborate to make compelling arguments that try to persuade others’ viewpoints.

  1. Ethos. This is an element of persuasionand argument where a speaker establishes their knowledge, credibility, and good moral character. Readers will most probably trust someone with personal experience, credible knowledge, or standing within a community. Incorporating ethos or ethics in a persuasive essay can help sell your standpoint.
  2. Pathos. This is an emotional appeal made to an audience to evoke feelings. Eliciting certain emotions in your audience help them connect with the narrator. This also offers a layer of interest to your readers, making your writing stickier and compelling.
  3. Logos. This is a persuasive or rhetorical appeal to the audience’s rationality and logic. Excellent persuasive writing lays a series of logical reasons to make the reader believe the writer’s argument.

How to Structure a Persuasive Essay

Many writers take different approaches to the persuasive essay writing process. However, several general guidelines exist when persuading the audience with your words. Use the following tips to write a persuasive essay.

  1. Choose a topic you are passionate about. You have better chances of persuading your readers if you argue for a cause you believe in. If you need to pick a topic, choose one that appeals to your sensibilities. But you will still have to do research, but it becomes easier when you are strongly opinionated about a subject.
  2. Learn your audience. You should first know your audience if you want to convince them to agree and believe in you. For instance, if you are arguing about removing standardized testing from school systems, parents are your likely audience. Bear that in mind when writing to your target demographic.
  3. Research both sides. To effectively convince readers to agree with you, you should find out the belief you are trying to dispute. Your audience may be true to their view, so being aware of both sides of the argument and how to successfully counter the opposition will moderate any follow-up questions the reader may have that may bring doubt to your position.
  4. Outline your argument. Setting an outline for your entire essay before you start to write can help organize your research and thoughts and lay out the essay structure. Detail all your major points and link them with relevant supporting evidence from credible sources.
  5. Write the introduction. A strong introduction is the first thing to include when writing a persuasive essay, and it should be the paper’s first paragraph. The primary purpose of the introduction is to provide the paper’s general premise, provide background information, appeal to the reader’s sensibilities, and grab their attention. You can achieve this using a personal anecdote from your life or information from the research.

The introductory paragraph should also provide a thesis statement for the essay. An excellent thesis statement works as a road map for the essay writing that lies ahead. It emphasizes a paper’s central point in one or two sentences, and the rest of the essay strengthens that.

  1. Write your body paragraphs. This is the place to include the ‘meat’ of your persuasive essay, using evidence and data to support your thesis and present your counterarguments. An excellent body paragraph has three main parts: a key sentence (or topic sentence), appropriate supporting sentences, and a transition (closing) sentence.

This writing structure keeps the paragraphs focused on the primary idea, presenting clear and concise information. The persuasive essay body is also the place to discuss any opposing views and the reason for discrediting them. So, ensure that your claims in the essay can be proven by relevant or credible information.

  1. Write a firm conclusion. This is the final part of writing an essay, research paper, or article that sums up the entire work. A conclusion paragraph should restate the thesis, summarize the main supporting points you discussed in the paper, and provide a final impression of the main idea. You should also include a call-to-action if you want to urgently convince your readers to take action on a particular issue.
  2. Proofread. Always go through your writing several times before presenting or submitting it. Grammatical errors, a few missed words, or problems with sentence structure can affect your credibility with your readers.

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