A Complete Guide on How to Write a Persuasive Essay

One of the best ways to learn how to persuade people is by writing persuasive essays. A persuasive essay is a type of essay in which you use logic and emotional appeal to convince readers that your point of view is correct. You can write to support a topic or to oppose it.

Persuasive essays begin with researching a topic, analyzing it, and forming an opinion. Then the writer makes a firm statement on the topic and supports it with research, data, and personal observations. During the discussion, the writer is keen to mention and discredit existing opposing arguments. This article will guide you on how to write effective persuasive essays.

Purpose of Persuasive writing

Persuasive writing is used both in academic writing and personal writing. It is a valuable skill to have. Persuasive writing helps to develop your ability to think critically, perform research, and make conclusions based on evidence. For students, these kinds of assignments keep them more engaged in their classwork

Difference between Persuasuasive and Argumentative Essay

Persuasive essays are easy to confuse with argumentive essays. Both types of essays use logic to persuade readers. Furthermore, a persuasive essay is often called an argumentive essay. However, a persuasive essay depends on emotions to sway the reader toward the author’s opinion. The argumentative essay, on the other hand, relies on facts to convince the reader.

Steps of Writing a Persuasive Essay

  1. Choose a topic

Unless you have been given a topic, you must choose one. Choose a topic you know about and are passionate about. It is easier to write about something if you are interested in it. Also, select a topic that has many contrasting opinions. However, avoid topics that are too broad. Topics such as abortion control cannot be exhausted in a regular-size essay. Narrow a broad topic to a smaller one that is easy to manage.

  1. Understand your audience

Now that you have your topic identify who your audience is. You must know who you are addressing to convince the readers to agree with your opinion. For example, if you explain why food vending machines should be banned in schools, your audience will be parents. You will need to work out ways to appeal to this group.

  1. Understand both Sides of the Argument

Research the topic thoroughly to know what opinions your audience hold. Understand the reasoning you want to influence. Learning both sides of the argument will enable you to counter the opposition effectively.

  1. Prepare an Outline

Before you jump into writing, write an outline of the essay. State the key points together with the evidence you have to support them. This activity is crucial because it helps you to organize your thoughts and to structure your essay.

  1. Write

A Persuasive essay must have an Introduction, Body, and Conclusion

Learning how to write these elements is key to producing clear and organized content.

  • Introduction: 

Write a strong introduction to capture the attention of the reader. The introduction paragraph will provide the background information and inform the reader what to expect in the rest of the paper. You can discuss the information you found in your research or your observation experience. Also, include a thesis statement. The thesis statement will contain 1 or 2 sentences that will mention what the paper will be about, and the rest of the paper will support it.

  • Body 

This is where you will write the main points of your essay together with relevant evidence to back them up. Give valid arguments and support them with facts, examples, and statistics. At the same time, be logical and interesting. You can write 3 to 5 paragraphs, each focusing on a different idea. Use the last body paragraph to discuss opposing opinions and explain why they should be discredited. Keep in mind that you must support any claims with credible information.

  • Conclusion

Finish with a conclusion paragraph that summarizes your content. Restate the thesis and give a summary of the main ideas and the supporting evidence you wrote. If you are looking for a reaction to the issue you’ve discussed, include your call of action here.

  1. Proofread

Proofread your work to avoid grammatical errors, typos, or distorted sentence structures. Where possible, ask another person to help you read it another time. It is easier to spot mistakes when you are not the one who wrote the work.

How to Argue in Persuasive Essays

You have to support your ideas with credible and verifiable arguments to persuade readers to agree with them. You will also have to appeal to their emotions and logic. For an article to be persuasive, it must have a good combination of these elements. Aristotle recommended Ethos, Pathos, and Logos as the critical elements to watch for when writing.

  • Ethos

It is a technique of persuasion through which an author or a speaker demonstrates their credibility and moral values. Readers are likely to believe in your opinion if they believe you are a credible author. However, it is not always that you have your Etho. In such a case, you can refer to other credible people’s opinions to strengthen your arguments.

  • Pathos

This element targets emotions. The writer focuses on the reader’s beliefs and morals to provoke emotions. By triggering emotions, the readers can connect with the author and agree with their opinions.

  • Logos

This is a technique that appeals to the reader’s reasoning. The writer states logical reasons and uses evidence to convince the reader to accept the stated opinion.

Format of a Persuasive Essay

  • A persuasive essay should have:
  • Easily readable fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia
  • Font size 12 for the text and size 16 for the headings
  • Justified alignment
  • Double space
  • Word count of 500 to 2000 words or according to the lecture’s instructions.

Checklist To Guide You

Before submitting your paper, reflect on these questions to ensure that your essay is perfect.

  • Is my essay according to the teacher’s instructions?
  • Have I provided sufficient evidence?
  • Have I structured my essay well?
  • Is it clear?
  • Have I corrected any errors?
  • Is the essay convincing?

Here is an example of a persuasive essay to give you a better understanding of the task.






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