How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Posted by Splice, Essay Tips Chief Writer

How to Write a Persuasive Essay. To write a persuasive essay is basically to write arguments that will prove your claim. Writing a persuasive essay requires the ability to win your readers to your side. To do so, you should be able to write your strongest arguments and to identify the weaknesses of the points raised against your claim. A persuasive essay can be compared to an advertisement. TV commercials show why a product is better than anything else out in the market. Similarly, persuasive essays show why a certain claim or position is better than all the rest. Here are some tips on how to write a persuasive essay.

Before writing your persuasive essay, consider these three important elements: position, audience, and main opposing view. First, identify your position on your topic. For example, if your topic is death penalty, ask yourself "am I for death penalty or against it?". Next, identify your audience. Again, ask yourself, "are they on my side or are they against my position?" Another relevant question is "who is my audience" or "who are my readers?". This will help you write your persuasive essay in a way that strategically adopts to the sentiments of your audience so that you will be able to convince them more easily. Finally, you have to identify the main opposing view against your claim. Anticipating the chief objection against your argument in your persuasive essay can help you prepare your rebuttal. With these things in mind, you are now ready to write a persuasive essay.
  • Begin your persuasive essay with an intriguing fact or a startling data. Of course, this depends on your general claim. If, for instance, the topic of your persuasive essay is "death penalty should be adopted," start by saying that "heinous crimes have increased by 70% over the last 2 years". The purpose is to capture the attention of your readers right at the start. Without getting their attention, it will be difficult to persuade them. The challenge, therefore, is to maintain their attention throughout the persuasive essay.

  • List down your reasons for your claim. In a persuasive essay, each "reason" is actually a supporting argument or premise to your position. Write each reason as a declarative sentence, such as "Death penalty should be adopted because it is a crime deterrent". Use each of these declarative sentences as your topic sentence or the first sentence in your body paragraphs. Follow each topic sentence with minor supporting arguments or evidence. This method helps structure your persuasive essay efficiently and maintains the smooth flow of your key points.

  • Provide evidence such as statistics, quotations and examples. Doing so gives credibility to your arguments in your persuasive essay. However, keep in mind that your evidence should be relevant to your argument. Also, don't forget to use credible sources of information such as peer-reviewed journals and books. Remember to properly cite your sources in your persuasive essay.

  • Respond to the main opposing view. Show why your position is better or why the opposing view is unacceptable. There are several ways of rebutting criticisms against your arguments. A discussion of rebuttals can be found here.

  • Conclude with a bang! In other words, do not simply restate your position in your conclusion. Rather, end your persuasive essay in an unconventional manner. You can do this by giving an illustration of what may happen if your audience will reject your main argument. Consider citing a particular scene in a movie, a famous novel, or an actual event, whether historical or current, that shows exactly what might happen if your audience finds your position too difficult to accept. This way, your persuasive essay will leave its marks on your readers' minds. Who knows? They might rethink their objections even after they have already read your persuasive essay.
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