So you been given a persuasive essay to write and don’t know how to start it? Don’t worry we have put together a simple guide so that you will be done in no time!
What is a persuasive essay?
When writing a persuasive essay you are basically putting forward a case with the objective to win over the reader. This is done by stating evidence just like in a court of law and the reader is the jury which needs to be convinced of your position.
To be a good essay writer, it is necessary to do extensive research on the topic and have a deep understanding of both sides.
There are many ways to layout a paper and can be confusing to think about this, so here is a persuasive essay format to use that is clear to follow. Unless you have been asked to use a specific structure this will save you time.
Easy to use template:
[Insert title here relating to the topic]
This is where the overview of the argument is stated and open with the interesting ‘hook’ and then put the thesis statement here too. When thinking how to start a persuasive essay this is the best place to begin.
Body Paragraph 1
Include your evidence here to support your case and remember to backup all of your sentences with facts. Put forward the weakest point in favor of your argument and try to prioritize all your collected evidence so that you write in the correct order.
Body Paragraph 2
Make a different point that is stronger than the last to support your argument and back this up also with clear reasoning.
Body Paragraph 3
Provide a third reason and make this the strongest in the case also back this up with relevant detail.
The opposing view
Put forward the most solid points for the opposition and then clearly disprove them with supporting evidence.
Restate the thesis statement and include a summary of the core argumentative points with evidence. Also, create a final impression that is memorable.
Four steps to writing a persuasive essay
So to write an excellent persuasive essay, it's important to break down the analysis into different elements to consider. This helps to concentrate on one particular part and also better prepare the paper for the next stage. The best way to do this is to start with the prewriting stage.
Pre- writing tips
The prewriting stage of writing a persuasive essay is crucial. Throughout this section, students should plan every aspect of the paper:
- Choose a position. The writer should choose a side and promote this angle on the given topic.
- Understand the audience. It is imperative to see if there any preconceived bias to one side or is the reader undecided?
- Do the research. An essay depends heavily on substantial, convincing evidence. Go to the library and also ask fellow professionals and teachers for help. Do not use only one source of evidence and try to get as much information as possible.
- Identify the most convincing evidence, but also look at the opposing side’s case.
Now think about how you would outline a draft for the piece, at this stage, it is important to start putting down your initial thoughts and ideas into the relevant sections.
How to outline your work
Here is a layout to help you plan your writing correctly, which will enable you to write your paper easier.
It illustrates the basic elements to focus on and what needs to be included in each section. It is also a good idea to think about the different parts in this order too.
The infographic shows a way to look at the structure and then a brief description so you can concentrate on your persuasive essay ideas.
When writing the initial outline of the persuasive essay, think about the following:
To best format is to start the introductory paragraph with a strong hook that catches the reader's attention. Include an interesting statistic or fact, question or bold quote, or an emphatic statement. For example: “People that use drugs do not deserve to go to jail.”
When it comes to the thesis statement, it should be crystal clear where the writer’s stance lies.
Writing every body paragraph should include a new point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer significant evidence like first person examples, facts, or statistics. When stating the argument make it interesting, this can include using comparisons or describing a hypothetical situation.
It is best to assume the audience has little knowledge on the subject so explain terms and any background information to back up sentences.
Writers should make the concluding paragraph a summary of the most relevant documentation and prompt the reader to take a particular side. The final sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that requires the reader to take action or even a question that intrigues the audience to think further about the subject. This can also include challenging the reader to do further research into the given topic.
Revising your article
When reviewing your persuasive essay, it is important to review, modify or reorganize it to try and make it as pleasant to read as possible. Thus, these questions might help out while perfecting the assignment:
- Can the essay represent a firm position on the issue, supported by strong facts, quotes and figures?
- Is the opening thought provoking enough to keep the readers interested and continue reading?
- Can every paragraph offer well-planned evidence to support a point?
- Has the opposing point of view been well represented and disproved?
- Does the sentence structure vary? Has the best word choice been used? Are the transitions between sentences helpful to the reader?
- Can the concluding paragraph summarize the writer’s key points and position then persuade the reader to react in someway?
If the essay is still not meeting the mark, look back at thesis to see if it provides the strongest argument. One way to do this is to write a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint to test your stance. What can be observed from this, does it need to be a stronger argument? It is important to have the thesis as strong as possible, as the rest of the essay will fall into place and become easier to write.
Now, proofread and look for errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Also having a friend proofread the essay helps writers inspect the piece from a different perspective.
It’s important that an author shows how the different parts of the assignment are related to one another. This not only brings unity to a piece of writing but makes the writing itself flow smoothly.
Transition words like “consequently” and “therefore” show causal connections between ideas. Using keywords and concepts can also bridge paragraphs. As well as using transitions between sections and ideas it is also a good technique to have transitions within paragraphs. This can take the form of just single words and help inform the reader of what to expect before they read the paragraph.
Once you are happy with your work to publish it and share it too, so it reaches your desired audience.
Some commonly used tactics in persuasive writing can be broken down into three types from Aristotle's “ingredients of persuasion.” These should be adopted in your paper and include the following:
- Ethos - Ethics or morality (present yourself as a trustable character)
Ethos can be defined as ethics or morality, where you convince the reader that the persuader is creditable. This is human nature to accept the trust of someone we respect for their experience.
For example: “I am a teacher of 25 years, so I have in depth knowledge of this topic.”
- Logos - Logic (where you use indisputable facts and figures)
Also, another way to persuade the reader can be logos or logic. This is where you use reason or rationality to convince the audience. For example: “There are thousands of recorded deaths related to drunk driving how can say this is acceptable?”
- Pathos - Appeal to the audience's emotion (Opposite to logos without reason)
The third method utilizable in your persuasive essay is pathos which appeals to the public's emotions. This is contrary to logos because it shows an argument without using logic or reasoning. Love, fear, empathy and anger are considered by writers to have a strong influence over their audience. For example: “How many homeless people have you passed on the street this week? Can you imagine what it feels like to be cold and hungry on the street?”
Still need some help?
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Check out this sample persuasive essay!