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How to Write a Good Persuasive Essay for College

15 Nov 2018

If you ever tried to persuade people, you know it’s not that easy. That’s why assignment to write persuasive essay often becomes a very complicated and time-consuming challenge for a student. But skill of knowing how to write a persuasive essay can be useful for everyone.

Learn How to Write a Persuasive Essay

So, how to convince your reader? How to start a persuasive essay and how to end it? What are the key points to make your reader believe you? Read on this article to learn some useful tips and advice.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay vs Argumentative Essay

First of all, let’s study out difference between persuasive essay and argumentative essay. Take a look at the table below:

Persuasive essay

Argumentative essay

Aims to persuade reader to agree with writer’s point of view on a stated topic

Aims to acknowledge reader that writer’s point of view is valid and deserves consideration

Based on emotions and personal ideas

Based on logic and reason, facts and evidence

May ignore opposing opinions

Takes into consideration opposing opinions

Writer chooses side before he starts writing

Writer makes research first and then takes a side

Writer should know his audience

Writer doesn’t need to know audience

Now as we know these differences, let’s check some important steps you should take into account and look closer at persuasive essay structure.

Crucial Steps For Writing a Persuasive Essay

Step 1. Preparation

Before you start writing a persuasive essay you should think through the following:

  • Do proper research. Find out how to convince and engage your audience. Look for good examples to argue your position. Search for evidence, logical arguments, or quotes from experts to forestall the issues your reader might point out.

  • Choose a topic you have real opinion on. Persuasive essay depends heavily on emotional appeals. Pick a subject about which you’re quite sure and can give convincing reasons.

  • Choose your side and think of arguments to appeal to senses and reactions of your audience. Make sure you can justify your position.

Step 2. Structure your essay

Outline the arguments you will include. Plan the order of their presentation. Keep in mind, it must be logical.

A well-handled document must have three important elements:

  • Introduction

  • Body Paragraphs

  • Conclusion

Let’s take a closer look at those elements and proceed with the next step.

Step 3. Compose the Introduction

A strong persuasive essay introduction is very important. It must properly present both the topic and the writer’s argument to convince the reader that the argument is valid. Introductory paragraph is essential to the general success of the paper as it contains the thesis statement, or the key argument and main idea of the essay. When you start working on introduction, keep in mind the following points:

  • Provide background information about your argument.

  • Think of your hook, a first sentence that engages the reader. If you can’t find it immediately, come back to it after you’ve outlined your essay.

  • Make a clear and strong statement of your thesis at the end. It outlines the rest of your essay and gives the reader the concept of what you’ll be arguing.

Besides presenting the topic of your essay, your introduction also needs to disclose each of the arguments you will use in your body paragraphs. Thus, you will create kind of a guide map for your audience to have an idea of the points or arguments you will make later in your paper.

Step 4. Organize your body paragraphs

Creating a properly supported and explained body paragraph heavily depends on understanding the components that make it up. The bullet points below show the important tips to make a readable, well-argued body paragraph.

  • Introduce the argument for a body paragraph in its first sentence. Thus, you will let your audience know what the paragraph is going to argue.

  • Briefly explain each example, quote or fact and indicate what part of it is relevant to your argument, otherwise your reader may become puzzled or consider your point unconvincing.

  • Connect body paragraphs with transition sentences.

  • Provide useful and informative quotes from reliable sources (like books, journal articles, etc.) to support the argument.

  • Write 1-3 sentences that argue the significance of each quote.

  • Make sure that the information in these paragraphs is crucial to the thesis statement.

You can also use different persuasion techniques to catch on your readers. Learn some tricks and tools to become better writer. The most common techniques are:

  • Social validation. Use examples and quotations to prove that you’re not the only one who thinks so. Thus, people will be more likely to accept your viewpoint.

  • Pathos (emotion), Ethos (credibility), and Logos (logic). Combine these components to develop a strong argument.

  • Dramatization of the problem. Show your readers how bad things are, and then offer solutions.

  • Repetition. Keep telling what you want to tell, again and again. They'll get the point sooner or later.

Now, as you have your thesis statement well-argued, it’s time to make a conclusion.

Step 5. Revise the Conclusion

The conclusion is your final chance to point up the thesis statement and supporting arguments. The conclusion paragraph also should give the impression of completion. You need to emphasize the main idea for the last time, but avoid being annoying or introducing a totally new idea or subtopic.

Explain and sum up the importance of your argument. Conclude your essay with a blustering speech. Try to evoke imagination, suggest results or after-effect pertaining to your argument, or give a warning. Thus, your conclusion paragraph should be conclusive and even more captivating, so that your evidence will seem even more significant.

Step 6. Brush up Your Essay

Put your essay aside and let your mind rest for a couple of days. Then, read it with a clear mind. Ask yourself if your essay is written persuasively and logically. Will your argument convince your readers? Is there enough evidence, quotes, and examples?

Revise your essay thoroughly. Check your transitions, play around with paragraphs to achieve better flow, or even add new, more convincing piece of argument if necessary. Any change can make your essay better.

Useful Tips and Hints for Writing a Successful Persuasive Essay

We have some more persuasive writing tips and hints you may find useful to write a good essay:

  • Pay attention to how your body paragraphs collude with each other. Your essay must feel like integral whole. Connect body paragraphs with transition sentences. Try to make a natural transition from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next.

  • Sometimes to make your essay stronger, you may add a rebuttal or counterargument. Think of one or two arguments against your thesis and present a counterargument to rebut it.

  • Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or classmate you trust to look at your essay. Focus your revision on the points your helper doesn’t understand or finds unclear.

  • Always use the spell checker. Read through your essay aloud to catch proofreading errors. Print out your text and mark it up with a pen or pencil to pay attention in a new way. You must strive to catch even a letter that takes wrong place.

  • Keep in mind that good essays are the short ones. Don’t make a big word count just to have it.

Words Can Change the World

As you write your essay, keep in mind that the best way to persuade people is to make them think that was their own conclusion. You should play around with the arguments to make the readers agree with you. Each part of the essay should bring you closer to this goal. Keep this in mind while writing, and you’ll have a paper that will receive high grades.

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