A persuasive essay is a type of argumentative essay that seeks to convince a reader about a particular cause or standpoint. It is that essay that is believable! Persuasive essay is opinion and emotional based, hence, one can argue about anything that they have an opinion about and does not call for any facts.
Persuasive essays thus, involve assuming a position either “against” or “for” a cause and building a supportive argument to convince your readers. This means that when writing a persuasive essay, one has to come up with evidence to support their view point, consider the view contrary to their opinion and ensure the conclusion is strongly presented. Many students often seek help writing essays but this is a skill that you can easily master. Essentially, writing persuasive essays steps can be classified into three as follows:
Laying of groundwork
- Carefully read and understand the prompt – more often than not, one will be given a unique assignment for the persuasive essay hence need to be thorough in reading the prompt. In this step, you analyze the language that directs on whether you are taking up a persuasive or argumentative essay. Words “own view” should direct a person to recognize that the essay is persuasive while “support” suggests that the essay is argumentative. When not sure, it is wise seek clarification from your professor.
- Take time to prepare– this will ensure that you have ample time to brain storm and be composed. If done in a hurry, a persuasive essay may not serve its purpose. Starting working on a persuasive essay early enough gives the author ample time to complete an essay and even tackle emergency cases such as computer system breakdown.
- Analyze the rhetorical situation in question– every kind of writing aims at unveiling a certain situation. The basic elements of the rhetorical situation are the author, the audience, the communication purpose and the setting.The essay should be clear with supported evidence. The author also needs to retain originality by doing thorough research and clearly stating their stand by using arguments that do not misinterpret facts. This will help achieve the author’s objective which is convincing them that your approach on the situation is the correct one. In persuasive writing, the aim is to convince the reader that the authors view on the topic is the best. The setting may vary thou mostly persuasive essays are for academic presentation for a grade award.
- Observe the convectional way of writing persuasive essays– Persuasive essays besides facts and logic, gives the author the freedom to make emotional appeals. Also, vivid thesis statements that make the readers understand your view promptly should be used. The writer ought to use a range of evidence types carefully when writing a persuasive essay. Data presentation, logical appeals and facts make readers essays more persuasive to readers. Of course, I appreciate the fact that convectional way of writing essays may be a little challenging and it is completely normal to feel like “can I hire someone to write my essay for me?” Resist the urge, if you must!
- Consider the audience– The audience differ, and so do their preference. Basically, what may convince one person, may not convince the other. The target audience determines which direction of the essay and the choice of words. For this reason, it’s important to consider the other target audience, despite the tutor who is the primary audience.
- Evaluate the topic and come up with thesis statements – If not chosen for you, pick an interesting topic that you are familiar with and that gives you a chance to come up with real views. The topic should be desirably deep or complex to allow for its exploration. At this stage, the author should also be contemplating on the possible opposing viewpoints. If it troubles to come up with counterarguments on the topic, then the topic is not controversial enough to fit to a persuasive essay. Nevertheless, a topic with many counterarguments will be tough to tackle. In persuasive essay, to remain balanced, the author ought to capture the arguments against and convince the readers against making their opinion outstanding.
- Develop a thesis statement – This is a statement clearly representing one’s argument. Essentially, it fits at the end of the introductory paragraph. A thesis statement is very crucial in persuasive essays hence should be stated in a simple and clear language. This is to ensure that the readers immediately understand what the author stands for. The statement should give a clue on the order of your persuasive essay. The order of the points as per the thesis statement should the order in the body paragraphs. The statement however, does not have to reveal exactly what the author will argue. If you have challenge with writing thesis, consult your instructor for helpful resources.
- Brainstorm your evidence – After picking a persuasive essay topic, a lot of preparation is required before writing an essay. This is self-examination on why one holds a certain opinion on a topic, and what that compelling evidence to support that opinion is. Here, a mind map is helpful, where one starts the major topic and then come up with smaller ideas revolving around it. If the ideas generated don’t appear fully-fleshed out, the most important thing is the generation of ideas.
- Research where necessary-this comes after idea compilation. Some of them may not be self-sufficient hence need for research before persuasive writing kicks off. Research step eases the persuasive essay writing
- Outline the essay– Generally, persuasive essays have very clear format that assist presentation of the argument clear and compelling. The essay introduction should capture the reader by use of a captivating hook statement. The body paragraph mainly has five paragraphs though more are allowed. The most important thing is not the number of paragraphs but the fact that each paragraph presents one main idea and the supportive evidence to it. It is within these paragraphs that the counterpoints discovered are refuted. At the conclusion, you recapture the most compelling evidence and expound on the importance of your initial stand broadly. The whole essay is summarized and ensure you persuade the reader by ending up with a call to action.
- Pick on your hook – This is the very first statement in the persuasive essay that captures the mind of the reader. It can take the form of a rhetorical question, an anecdote or a fact that makes the reader want to read more. It simply does the stage setting. If it is hectic to get a hook, one can write on and embark on it later.
- Make an introduction– It is the introduction that grabs or loses the reader’s attention. Therefore there is need to make it good enough to draw the reader’s attention. The first step is fitting the hook, the build the supporting ideas from the known to the unknown (general to specific) until the thesis statement is built. The thesis being a summary of the persuasive essay argument, it should be a combination of the most compelling arguments or one single powerful one for the best effect.
- Structure the body paragraphs – The minimum recommended number of paragraphs is three. Each of them should be driving one main point home, justifying it and laying out your evidence to support the particular situation. Therefore, starting each paragraph of the persuasive essay with a topic sentence that is clear is very crucial. It then shall be followed by precise support sentences. The paragraph body should be organized such that the argument flows. The points should not be scattered. If so, the persuasive essay would suffer clarity which is a very important feature of persuasive essays.
- Use the last sentence of the last paragraph to start the next – This way the persuasive essay will exhibit a natural transition from one paragraph to the other. This means that two consecutive paragraphs should have a connection that is forced but natural.
- Add a counter argument– This is not a compulsory step, however, it makes the persuasive essay stronger. This needs understanding of the opponent’s strongest points and then coming up with strong counterarguments against them. The counterargument might even make a very strong paragraph beginning, then follow by arguing against it by offering your argument.
- Make a conclusion at the end of the persuasive essay– This is where you restate each of the major points at the end of the essay including an investigative thought. The thought should be fascinating that the reader will not easily forget, this way, the persuasive essay will have lasting impression. In concluding a persuasive essay, the writer should consider how the argument is applicable broadly, why they had to stand by the opinion, the possible reactions of the audience after reading the essay and the possible questions that the argument may raise.
- Stay away for several days without glimpsing at the essay – After a day or two, revisiting the persuasive essay will give a new fresh eye set that helps you note any possible writing errors. It is also an ample chance to revisit tricky language and idea that required time.
- Reading through the draft – Most writers do not spend time to revisit their first essay draft exhaustively. A good persuasive essay ensures the following
- The essay states it role clearly
- The position is supported by evidence and example all through
- Each paragraph concentrates and build on one main idea.
- Counterarguments if any are fairly represented without factual misrepresentation.
- The conclusion awakes the reader to think in the intended path.
- Revise the persuasive essay where necessary– Revision should not be mistaken for the common proofreading. Revision may call for alteration in transitions, alternating the paragraphs for a smooth flow or developing new paragraphs for more convincing evidence. At this stage, major changes are allowed to make the persuasive essay what it is supposed to be. Involving your friends to have a look at the essay. If they find trouble understanding the persuasive essay, then revision on that area is necessary.
- Careful proofreading– Here, the persuasive essay writer makes use of the available tool such the spell checker to correct spelling mistakes. Reading your essay aloud helps capture the proofreading errors easily. Printing the essay and use of a pen to mark too is helpful, one maybe used to the document on the computer making it difficult to capture errors. Correct formatting of the persuasive essay as stipulated should be observed at this stage.
Further tips in the writing of a persuasive essay are:
- Avoid the use of jargon to make yourself look “smart”. In fact, they do more harm than good to the argument. Simple, clear and precise language should be used instead.
- It is important to read other persuasive essays to get the convectional language used. Consistency in the argument is crucial. This ensures that one has a clear side on the argument without contradicting one’s stand. The persuasive essay is supposed to convince someone to think in a certain direction and not to complain to them about a particular situation. In a persuasive essay, every sentence should count and help drive a point home. Persuasive essays should be concise and concrete!
- Personal pronouns such as “I” or “you”. This takes away persuasive essay writing’s professional touch. Also, you should beware of the possible counterarguments and plan ahead to tackle oppositions. Thus, listing them and their counters is a noble step.
About the Author
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