How to Write a Persuasive Essay

How to write a persuasive essay

There is an art to persuasive writing and many people seem to struggle to master it. While it comes naturally to some, for others a little practice may be required. The important thing to remember is that anyone can actually write persuasively, provided they follow a few basic guidelines.

A persuasive essay is written to convince the reader to accept a point of view. You may want them to sympathize with your cause or to take a particular course of action. Persuasive essays are often used in advertising and politics. Business proposals, applications for study grants, fundraising, debates etc. are all examples when persuasive writing may be beneficial. People who are good at this style of writing are in high demand.

If you are trying to convince someone to side with you, you’ll want to be thoroughly prepared. It doesn’t help if you have a list of excellent points but fail to pay attention to the weak arguments. By following the following simple steps, you should be able to come up with a strong case on which to build upon.

Planning and Preparation

Before you even begin writing a persuasive essay, it’s crucial that you take the time to do the preparation. Every aspect of your essay needs to be considered. Begin with deciding on your stance. Think about why you have chosen this position. What are the motivating factors? Do you have facts to support your case?

Another important consideration is understanding your audience. Who are they? Do they have strong opinions, or are they undecided? What are they looking for and what appeals to them? The more you can appeal to their needs and interests, the more persuasive you will be.

Finally, you need to research, research and do more research. You need to come across as a person who knows what he or she is talking about. If you have your facts wrong, it will weaken, if not destroy, your argument before you even begin. Don’t rely on just one source. The more information you are armed with, the greater your chances of shooting down any opposition.

Style and Structure

Any persuasive essay should follow a logical progression. The best way to do this is to begin with an introduction. Your introduction needs to immediately grab the readers’ attention. You should provide a brief overview of your argument and state why your case is worthy of merit.

The main body of your persuasive essay will detail the evidence in support of your case. Each section should deal with one piece of information, presented separately. It’s important to provide evidence in support of all your facts.

Before closing, you should highlight the major points of any counter argument. Again, it’s essential that you provide evidence that refutes opposition to your stance. You can make use of quotes from experts, can include real life examples or refer to relevant facts and statistics.

Your conclusion needs to be a short synopsis of what has already been stated. Your closing sentence should be dramatic. It should leave the audience wanting to take immediate action or to reflect deeply on what you propose. Provide solutions to problems and encourage the reader not to delay.

Revision

One aspect of writing a persuasive essay which is often omitted is the importance of revision. There are a few questions you should ask when revision your essay. Does the essay impart enough information? You shouldn’t expect your audience to know everything, so the more information you can provide them with will allow them to make an informed decision. Do your points contain compelling evidence in support of your argument? Making wild, unsubstantiated claims will set you up for failure. Each point of merit needs to be justified. Does the essay follow a logical path? Are words carefully chosen for maximum impact or is the essay difficult to read with little meaningful information? Does the essay present the strongest possible argument or does it require more facts?

Editing

Once you have finalized your persuasive essay, you need to make sure it is free from any typos, spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Ask a friend or relative to read through it, and ask them for their point of view. Remember, you’re not trying to convince yourself. You’re trying to convince others who may not have the same insights as you.

Presentation

Once everything is complete you’ll be faced with the task of presenting your essay. Make sure a good, easily readable font is used. Each section should be clearly identifiable with relevant headings. If you’re familiar and well versed with the content of your presentation, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to successfully persuade those who read your essay.

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10 comments

  1. I think everyone should learn how to write the basics of a persuasive essay. It’s a skill that will help any person throughout life. Understanding how to be persuasive is a talent that can greatly increase your potential earnings throughout your lifetime. This is basic information that everyone in school should know and practice.

  2. One of the best ways to be persuasive is to understand the opposing opinion’s arguments. If you can argue the opinion opposite your own with clarity and understanding, then you can argue yours as well. Too many people dismiss the other side’s arguments instead of trying to understand them. When you can argue both sides is when you truly become persuasive.

    1. This is so true. If you can understand and articulate the opposing opinion to your argument, you are in a much better position to be persuasive. Too many people believe that people will just agree with them because that’s the way they think. When you get to the point where you can understand the reasoning behind opinions you don’t necessarily agree with, you’re in a position to argue and persuade from a much stronger position. Even better, it may open your mind and get you to reflect on things in a different way than you had been in the past.

    2. It is always easier to write a persuasive essay about a topic that you know you a lot about because you need to be able to write with confidence as well. This article surely covers all the basis on how to write persuasive essays and it will surely be a great guideline.

  3. I, too, believe everybody should learn to write the fundamentals of the persuasive essay. Learning how to be persuasive is really a talent that may greatly improve your potential earnings during your lifetime. It may seem contrite to say this, but if you can persuade people, you are in the position to make a lot of money. That’s why good salespeople make so much.

  4. If you’re correct, then you will be persuasive. If you’re wrong, you won’t be persuasive. It really is as easy as that.

    1. You are completely wrong. Right and wrong have nothing to do with being persuasive. In fact, being able to be persuasive on a topic you don’t believe in is a great way to measure how good you are at this skill.

  5. Choose wisely when writing a persuasive essay. You don’t want to try to persuade people of something you don’t believe or can argue well.

  6. Persuasive writing definitely comes in handy in so many applications throughout our lives. When they first taught us this in school, I thought, “Why would I need this? What would I be trying to convince people of?” Well, it turns out that I have used this many times in my life. Writing petitions, trying to flip someone’s decision in regards to a job, a decision for benefits, etc. It can make a huge impact on your life.

  7. Well I think preparation is very important because if you are unprepared you will not be very persuasive. It is nearly impossible to do anything good if you are unprepared. Being persuasive can definitely help you in so many ways so I think it is important.

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