Persuasive writing is aimed at convincing or making an impressive effect on the audience being addressed. Today, it’s an integral part of any education process, so each student has to learn how to write a persuasive essay, which purpose is to argue for or against a certain topic. This means that one has to take a stand on an issue and build the strongest possible argument to win over the reader.
An effective persuasive essay requires in-depth research, writer’s awareness of the reader’s potential biases, and a strong understanding of both sides of the issue. Note that a decent paper demonstrates not only why the writer’s view is right, but also why the opposing opinion is mistaken.
Probably, the main rule in writing an outstanding persuasive essay is applying rhetoric principles. To be convincing, your paper must be based on logic and accurate evidence that back your argument. This way, the likelihood of accepting your viewpoint will be higher. But apart from that, there are some other tips you should stick to if you want to make your assignment excellent. Below you can find the detailed guidelines on how to write an effective persuasive essay, so keep reading!
1. Pick a side
First of all, you need to select a topic you are passionate about if possible. However, if it’s provided by your instructors, pick a view you believe in. Choosing a side you really like will make the entire process of researching, writing, and arguing your perspective more exciting. What’s more, it will be emotionally easier to defend your opinion in front of your class if asked. And last but not least, you’ll already know a great deal of information on the issue, so you won’t feel confused when researching the topic.
2. Learn more about the opposing views
One of the fundamental principles of rhetoric is that every argument has a counterargument. Thus, to persuade the reader to agree with you, you must be well-informed of the opposing opinion. Remember that it’s possible to develop strong supporting evidence only after studying the argument from different angles. So try to gather as much information as you can about both sides of the topic. For that, use various types of resources, like academic journals, videos, library books, and so on.
3. Conduct thorough research
Your success in writing a persuasive essay largely depends on the quality of your research. The more solid evidence you provide, the more convincing your paper will look. Obviously, you can persuade somebody to accept your point only if you provide enough supporting evidence and base logical reasoning upon it. Hence, you shouldn’t rely on a single source. Instead, pull information from multiple reference materials and consult teachers or some experts.
4. Formulate your thesis statement
One of the key elements of any persuasive essay is a thesis statement, which tells the reader what your viewpoint exactly is. It must be formulated in a clear precise way and placed at the end of the first paragraph. A thesis statement is a road map for the assignment that helps you deliver an effective argument. Besides, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the essay. As the foundation of your paper, a thesis statement must directly answer the question asked of you and make a claim that others might dispute.
5. Create an outline
To have a clear view of how to develop your paper, make an outline. Note that a typical persuasive essay structure or format includes an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Apart from presenting a thesis statement in your introduction, add a strong “hook” that grabs readers’ attention and makes them read further. This can be an extraordinary fact, an exciting statistic, an intriguing question, or a nice quote.
Think critically about your argument and decide where it would be most effective to introduce your strongest supporting evidence in the body. The experts in rhetoric say that it’s not wise to save the best for last. Also, make a list of all major claims you are going to include in a logical order and anchor each of them with evidence, analysis, and counterargument. An outline can help you get organized from the very beginning and make the writing process more straightforward.
6. Write a draft
Note that there will be time to proofread and edit your essay, so focus solely on writing. Don’t allow anything to stop the flow, just keep putting your thoughts into words. Provide sufficient supporting detail for your key points and use various persuasive techniques. For example,
point to an expert opinion on a subject, appeal to emotions, or use storytelling. Don’t pay too much attention to the mistakes you might make at this stage. Just leave all the errors for later.
7. Proofread and edit
Finally, it makes sense to proofread and edit your essay to eliminate all the errors. At this stage, you can modify and reorganize your work to create the best version of it. Check if your paper presents a firm position on the issue supported by relevant and valid evidence. Make sure that each paragraph offers compelling facts focused on a single point. It’s also important to edit your sentences so their structure varies, keeping smooth transitions between them. Think carefully if the word choice is precise and understandable for the reader. Note, this is your last chance to improve the essay’s style and clarity.
Writing a persuasive essay seems to be a nightmare for many students since it can be tricky, time-consuming, and energy-sapping. It may be quite difficult to convince a teacher to believe that your assertion or claims are valid, especially if you’re not good at essay writing.
College students are prone to using essay writing companies to escape the trouble of writing persuasive essays, and some of them use essay help sites like betterwritingservices.com to find an essay writer for all their writing assignments. However, not all students can afford to buy an essay online every single time they get assigned to write something. And since it’s impossible to absolutely avoid this type of assignment, you must learn how to complete it correctly. Hopefully, this article helped you gain some insight on how to make your essay excellent.