Essay Series: Persuasive Essay – Write to Convince
Persuasion is an art, especially in writing. From blogs to newspapers editorials, writing to convince is an important skill. One of the types that you’ll meet in academia is the persuasive essay. Some call it the argumentative essay.
Here, we’ll learn how to write a persuasive essay. By the end of this post, you’ll know how to:
- Plan for your essay;
- Research your arguments;
- Structure your essay.
What’s a persuasive essay?
It’s writing that uses reason to argue for a position (or, against). Do you remember the way people say, “Talk is cheap”? That’s because there’s a difference between opinion and fact. You need to substantiate your claims in an argumentative essay.
One of the means to do this is involves using statistics. Data and quotes from authority sources will give your writing the backing it needs. But also, it will show that you’ve done your research. And all these are a plus for your academic writing.
And just like the other essays, you’ll write the sections that include:
Planning for the essay
First, take sides. See, the Persuasive essay topics you get will make this easy to do. Take this question, for example:
Should a workweek be short?
To you, working long hours may not be a sure way of being productive. Yet, there exist studies that prove otherwise. It doesn’t matter whether the basis of your choice would be logical or emotional. The key in this step is a conviction.
Second, decide whom you aim to address with your essay. This is important because it informs the tone and level of detail you’ll get into. In high school, your audience is just your English teacher. But for other platforms, that could be as broad as a group of peers.
Third, do your research. Many novice writers consider research a chore. Yet, without a good grasp of the topic’s background, arguments become half-hearted—half-baked even.
Know this: research should make up the bulk of your preparations. It’s a skill all on itself, so be patient if you find yourself struggling in this phase.
Fourth, create your essay’s outline. Though it’s just a ‘sketch’ of how the final draft will look like, it prepares you mentally. And it gives you an idea of what you might have left out while doing research.
With the preparations almost complete, assess whether you are ready to start writing. You need a checklist.
- Have you become familiar with the topic?
Now that your persuasive essay ideas are at hand, you should reflect on them. Ask yourself if you can explain to a layman what the debate is about.
The workweek, for example, is a concern for HR departments. Thus, by choosing that topic, you should argue like an HR expert.
- Do you have a thesis?
What’s your assumption on the paper’s arguments? Remember, a thesis is a premise. Without it, you’d be as good as a fence sitter. And what good would it do your essay, if you don’t have a theory to prove?
Back to the above example: how is a short workweek beneficial? Does it put the employees under less pressure? Does it improve their health?
If you were still on course, you’d give strong claims about the topic by now.
- Can you argue for the opposing position?
To test yourself further, you should assess the topic from the opposite angle. Yes, it might sound self-contradicting, but it works.
By wearing the other hat, you can strengthen your own ideas on the debate. As well as giving you a fuller perspective, it exercises your reasoning capacity.
- Can you provide the relevant evidence?
Supporting your claims is the basis of writing a good persuasive essay. But, without the preceding steps, it would be an exercise in futility. And here’s why:
- With a better understanding of a topic, you can look for related evidence.
- Without an assumption, you can’t decide on the nature of proof to find.
- By appreciating opposing views, you can settle on the type of proof to use.
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Writing the essay
After gathering your sources, this should be the easier part. Your writing should have a strong opening and a call for action (the conclusion). Between the two, the body should contain all the necessary persuasions.
To grab the reader’s attention, this part needs a creative hook. According to your persuasive essay ideas, make it unique and powerful.
An anecdote, for example, could work well. Still, you should explore other tactics like using eye-catching statistics.
Whatever you do, just make sure the reader will want to go on to find out what you have to say.
Yes, this is where the majority of your points will develop. Yet, it’s where you should make counter claims to common opposing views too.
Give it all you have at this stage. Quotes from experts, statistics, and facts should pepper your body to give it authority.
The conclusion will have three components:
- A summary
- The recall of the thesis statement
- A call for action
The ‘call’ should be your personal closing. After all, persuasive essay topics need you to take a personal position. So, prescribe a solution to the topic in question to show how deep you care.
Are you persuasive enough?
As a persuasive essay sample shows, you should be assertive in your arguments. It’s a matter of making the reader care enough about what you have to say to side with you.
Thus, you might put outrageous statements in your essay to grab the reader’s attention. But take care; the angle you take should be logical. While exaggerations can give your essay some weight, they can also water it down.
Still, the easiest way to show that you know your stuff is the through use of evidence. As your skills improve, you’ll find that some sources can give your writing the credence it needs.
Help from an expert
As we’ve seen, a persuasive essay is an involving form of writing. It takes practice to become great at it. Of course, the best way to start is by analyzing a good persuasive essay sample.
But, with help from our writers at Handmade Writings, it can be a painless journey. We have experience in different essay forms. And, we would be glad to show you how to make your writing, persuasive