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8.7: Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays

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The previous chapters in this section offer an overview of what it means to formulate an argument in an academic situation. The purpose of this chapter is to offer more concrete, actionable tips for drafting an academic persuasive essay. Keep in mind that preparing to draft a persuasive essay relies on the strategies for any other thesis-driven essay, covered by the section in this textbook, The Writing Process. The following chapters can be read in concert with this one:

  • Critical Reading and other research strategies helps writers identify the exigence (issue) that demands a response, as well as what kinds of research to use.
  • Generate Ideas covers prewriting models (such as brainstorming techniques) that allow students to make interesting connections and develop comprehensive thesis statements. These connections and main points will allow a writer to outline their core argument.
  • Organizing is important for understanding why an argument essay needs a detailed plan, before the drafting stage. For an argument essay, start with a basic outline that identifies the claim, reasoning, and evidence, but be prepared to develop more detailed outlines that include counterarguments and rebuttals, warrants, additional backing, etc., as needed.
  • Drafting introduces students to basic compositional strategies that they must be familiar with before beginning an argument essay. This current chapter offers more details about what kinds of paragraphs to practice in an argument essay, but it assumes the writer is familiar with basic strategies such as coherence and cohesion.

Classical structure of an argument essay

Academic persuasive essays tend to follow what’s known as the “classical” structure, based on techniques that derive from ancient Roman and Medieval rhetoricians. John D. Ramage, et. al outline this structure in Writing Arguments :

This very detailed table can be simplified. Most academic persuasive essays include the following basic elements:

  • Introduction that explains why the situation is important and presents your argument (aka the claim or thesis).
  • Reasons the thesis is correct or at least reasonable.
  • Evidence that supports each reason, often occurring right after the reason the evidence supports.
  • Acknowledgement of objections.
  • Response to objections.

Keep in mind that the structure above is just a conventional starting point. The previous chapters of this section suggest how different kinds of arguments (Classical/Aristotelian, Toulmin, Rogerian) involve slightly different approaches, and your course, instructor, and specific assignment prompt may include its own specific instructions on how to complete the assignment. There are many different variations. At the same time, however, most academic argumentative/persuasive essays expect you to practice the techniques mentioned below. These tips overlap with the elements of argumentation, covered in that chapter, but they offer more explicit examples for how they might look in paragraph form, beginning with the introduction to your essay.

Persuasive introductions should move from context to thesis

Since one of the main goals of a persuasive essay introduction is to forecast the broader argument, it’s important to keep in mind that the legibility of the argument depends on the ability of the writer to provide sufficient information to the reader. If a basic high school essay moves from general topic to specific argument (the funnel technique), a more sophisticated academic persuasive essay is more likely to move from context to thesis.

The great stylist of clear writing, Joseph W. Williams, suggests that one of the key rhetorical moves a writer can make in a persuasive introduction is to not only provide enough background information (the context), but to frame that information in terms of a problem or issue, what the section on Reading and Writing Rhetorically terms the exigence . The ability to present a clearly defined problem and then the thesis as a solution creates a motivating introduction. The reader is more likely to be gripped by it, because we naturally want to see problems solved.

Consider these two persuasive introductions, both of which end with an argumentative thesis statement:

A. In America we often hold to the belief that our country is steadily progressing. topic This is a place where dreams come true. With enough hard work, we tell ourselves (and our children), we can do anything. I argue that, when progress is more carefully defined, our current period is actually one of decline. claim

B . Two years ago my dad developed Type 2 diabetes, and the doctors explained to him that it was due in large part to his heavy consumption of sugar. For him, the primary form of sugar consumption was soda. hook His experience is echoed by millions of Americans today. According to the most recent research, “Sugary drink portion sizes have risen dramatically over the past forty years, and children and adults are drinking more soft drinks than ever,” while two out of three adults in the United States are now considered either overweight or obese. This statistic correlates with reduced life expectancy by many years. Studies have shown that those who are overweight in this generation will live a lot fewer years than those who are already elderly. And those consumers who don’t become overweight remain at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes (like my dad), known as one of the most serious global health concerns (“Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet”). problem In response to this problem, some political journalists, such as Alexandra Le Tellier, argue that sodas should be banned. On the opposite end of the political spectrum, politically conservative journalists such as Ernest Istook argue that absolutely nothing should be done because that would interfere with consumer freedom. debate I suggest something in between: a “soda tax,” which would balance concerns over the public welfare with concerns over consumer freedom. claim

Example B feels richer, more dramatic, and much more targeted not only because it’s longer, but because it’s structured in a “motivating” way. Here’s an outline of that structure:

  • Hook: It opens with a brief hook that illustrates an emerging issue. This concrete, personal anecdote grips the reader’s attention.
  • Problem: The anecdote is connected with the emerging issue, phrased as a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • Debate: The writer briefly alludes to a debate over how to respond to the problem.
  • Claim: The introduction ends by hinting at how the writer intends to address the problem, and it’s phrased conversationally, as part of an ongoing dialogue.

Not every persuasive introduction needs all of these elements. Not all introductions will have an obvious problem. Sometimes a “problem,” or the exigence, will be as subtle as an ambiguity in a text that needs to be cleared up (as in literary analysis essays). Other times it will indeed be an obvious problem, such as in a problem-solution argument essay.

In most cases, however, a clear introduction will proceed from context to thesis . The most attention-grabbing and motivating introductions will also include things like hooks and problem-oriented issues.

Here’s a very simple and streamlined template that can serve as rudimentary scaffolding for a persuasive introduction, inspired by the excellent book, They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing : Definition: Term

In discussions of __________, an emerging issue is _____________________. issue When addressing this issue, some experts suggest ________________. debate In my view, however, _______________________________. claim

Each aspect of the template will need to be developed, but it can serve as training wheels for how to craft a nicely structured context-to-thesis introduction, including things like an issue, debate, and claim. You can try filling in the blanks below, and then export your attempt as a document.

Define key terms, as needed

Much of an academic persuasive essay is dedicated to supporting the claim. A traditional thesis-driven essay has an introduction, body, and conclusion, and the support constitutes much of the body. In a persuasive essay, most of the support is dedicated to reasoning and evidence (more on that below). However, depending on what your claim does, a careful writer may dedicate the beginning (or other parts of the essay body) to defining key terms.

Suppose I wish to construct an argument that enters the debate over euthanasia. When researching the issue, I notice that much of the debate circles around the notion of rights, specifically what a “legal right” actually means. Clearly defining that term will help reduce some of the confusion and clarify my own argument. In Vancouver Island University’s resource “ Defining key terms ,” Ian Johnston offers this example for how to define “legal right” for an academic reader:

Before discussing the notion of a right to die, we need to clarify precisely what the term legal right means. In common language, the term “right” tends often to mean something good, something people ought to have (e.g., a right to a good home, a right to a meaningful job, and so on). In law, however, the term has a much more specific meaning. It refers to something to which people are legally entitled. Thus, a “legal” right also confers a legal obligation on someone or some institution to make sure the right is conferred. For instance, in Canada, children of a certain age have a right to a free public education. This right confers on society the obligation to provide that education, and society cannot refuse without breaking the law. Hence, when we use the term right to die in a legal sense, we are describing something to which a citizen is legally entitled, and we are insisting that someone in society has an obligation to provide the services which will confer that right on anyone who wants it.

As the example above shows, academics often dedicate space to providing nuanced and technical definitions that correct common misconceptions. Johnston’s definition relies on research, but it’s not always necessary to use research to define your terms. Here are some tips for crafting definitions in persuasive essays, from “Defining key terms”:

  • Fit the descriptive detail in the definition to the knowledge of the intended audience. The definition of, say, AIDS for a general readership will be different from the definition for a group of doctors (the latter will be much more technical). It often helps to distinguish between common sense or popular definitions and more technical ones.
  • Make sure definitions are full and complete; do not rush them unduly. And do not assume that just because the term is quite common that everyone knows just what it means (e.g., alcoholism ). If you are using the term in a very specific sense, then let the reader know what that is. The amount of detail you include in a definition should cover what is essential for the reader to know, in order to follow the argument. By the same token, do not overload the definition, providing too much detail or using far too technical a language for those who will be reading the essay.
  • It’s unhelpful to simply quote the google or dictionary.com definition of a word. Dictionaries contain a few or several definitions for important terms, and the correct definition is informed by the context in which it’s being employed. It’s up to the writer to explain that context and how the word is usually understood within it.
  • You do not always need to research a definition. Depending on the writing situation and audience, you may be able to develop your own understanding of certain terms.

Use P-E-A-S or M-E-A-L to support your claim

The heart of a persuasive essay is a claim supported by reasoning and evidence. Thus, much of the essay body is often devoted to the supporting reasons, which in turn are proved by evidence. One of the formulas commonly taught in K-12 and even college writing programs is known as PEAS, which overlaps strongly with the MEAL formula introduced by the chapter, “ Basic Integration “:

Point : State the reasoning as a single point: “One reason why a soda tax would be effective is that…” or “One way an individual can control their happiness is by…”

Evidence : After stating the supporting reason, prove that reason with related evidence. There can be more than one piece of evidence. “According to …” or “In the article, ‘…,’ the author shows that …”

Analysis : There a different levels of analysis. At the most basic level, a writer should clearly explain how the evidence proves the point, in their own words: “In other words…,” “What this data shows is that…” Sometimes the “A” part of PEAS becomes simple paraphrasing. Higher-level analysis will use more sophisticated techniques such as Toulmin’s warrants to explore deeper terrain. For more tips on how to discuss and analyze, refer to the previous chapter’s section, “ Analyze and discuss the evidence .”

Summary/So what? : Tie together all of the components (PEA) succinctly, before transitioning to the next idea. If necessary, remind the reader how the evidence and reasoning relates to the broader claim (the thesis argument).

PEAS and MEAL are very similar; in fact they are identical except for how they refer to the first and last part. In theory, it shouldn’t matter which acronym you choose. Both versions are effective because they translate the basic structure of a supporting reason (reasoning and evidence) into paragraph form.

Here’s an example of a PEAS paragraph in an academic persuasive essay that argues for a soda tax:

A soda tax would also provide more revenue for the federal government, thereby reducing its debt. point Despite Ernest Istook’s concerns about eroding American freedom, the United States has long supported the ability of government to leverage taxes in order to both curb unhealthy lifestyles and add revenue. According to Peter Ubel’s “Would the Founding Fathers Approve of a Sugar Tax?”, in 1791 the US government was heavily in debt and needed stable revenue. In response, the federal government taxed what most people viewed as a “sin” at that time: alcohol. This single tax increased government revenue by at least 20% on average, and in some years more than 40% . The effect was that only the people who really wanted alcohol purchased it, and those who could no longer afford it were getting rid of what they already viewed as a bad habit (Ubel). evidence Just as alcohol (and later, cigarettes) was viewed as a superfluous “sin” in the Early Republic, so today do many health experts and an increasing amount of Americans view sugar as extremely unhealthy, even addictive. If our society accepts taxes on other consumer sins as a way to improve government revenue, a tax on sugar is entirely consistent. analysis We could apply this to the soda tax and try to do something like this to help knock out two problems at once: help people lose their addiction towards soda and help reduce our government’s debt. summary/so what?

The paragraph above was written by a student who was taught the PEAS formula. However, we can see versions of this formula in professional writing. Here’s a more sophisticated example of PEAS, this time from a non-academic article. In Nicholas Carr’s extremely popular article, “ Is Google Making Us Stupid? “, he argues that Google is altering how we think. To prove that broader claim, Carr offers a variety of reasons and evidence. Here’s part of his reasoning:

Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice. But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking—perhaps even a new sense of the self. point “We are not only what we read,” says Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University and the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain . “We are how we read.” Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that puts “efficiency” and “immediacy” above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace. When we read online, she says, we tend to become “mere decoders of information.” evidence Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged. analysis

This excerpt only contains the first three elements, PEA, and the analysis part is very brief (it’s more like paraphrase), but it shows how professional writers often employ some version of the formula. It tends to appear in persuasive texts written by experienced writers because it reinforces writing techniques mentioned elsewhere in this textbook. A block of text structured according to PEA will practice coherence, because opening with a point (P) forecasts the main idea of that section. Embedding the evidence (E) within a topic sentence and follow-up commentary or analysis (A) is part of the “quote sandwich” strategy we cover in the section on “Writing With Sources.”

Use “they say / i say” strategies for Counterarguments and rebuttals

Another element that’s unique to persuasive essays is embedding a counterargument. Sometimes called naysayers or opposing positions, counterarguments are points of view that challenge our own.

Why embed a naysayer?

Recall above how a helpful strategy for beginning a persuasive essay (the introduction) is to briefly mention a debate—what some writing textbooks call “joining the conversation.” Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s They Say / I Say explains why engaging other points of view is so crucial:

Not long ago we attended a talk at an academic conference where the speaker’s central claim seemed to be that a certain sociologist—call him Dr. X—had done very good work in a number of areas of the discipline. The speaker proceeded to illustrate his thesis by referring extensively and in great detail to various books and articles by Dr. X and by quoting long pas-sages from them. The speaker was obviously both learned and impassioned, but as we listened to his talk we found ourselves somewhat puzzled: the argument—that Dr. X’s work was very important—was clear enough, but why did the speaker need to make it in the first place? Did anyone dispute it? Were there commentators in the field who had argued against X’s work or challenged its value? Was the speaker’s interpretation of what X had done somehow novel or revolutionary? Since the speaker gave no hint of an answer to any of these questions, we could only wonder why he was going on and on about X. It was only after the speaker finished and took questions from the audience that we got a clue: in response to one questioner, he referred to several critics who had vigorously questioned Dr. X’s ideas and convinced many sociologists that Dr. X’s work was unsound.

When writing for an academic audience, one of the most important moves a writer can make is to demonstrate how their ideas compare to others. It serves as part of the context. Your essay might be offering a highly original solution to a certain problem you’ve researched the entire semester, but the reader will only understand that if existing arguments are presented in your draft. Or, on the other hand, you might be synthesizing or connecting a variety of opinions in order to arrive at a more comprehensive solution. That’s also fine, but the creativity of your synthesis and its unique contribution to existing research will only be known if those other voices are included.

Aristotelian argumentation embeds counterarguments in order to refute them. Rogerian arguments present oppositional stances in order to synthesize and integrate them. No matter what your strategy is, the essay should be conversational.

Notice how Ana Mari Cauce opens her essay on free speech in higher education, “ Messy but Essential “:

Over the past year or two, issues surrounding the exercise of free speech and expression have come to the forefront at colleges around the country. The common narrative about free speech issues that we so often read goes something like this: today’s college students — overprotected and coddled by parents, poorly educated in high school and exposed to primarily left-leaning faculty — have become soft “snowflakes” who are easily offended by mere words and the slightest of insults, unable or unwilling to tolerate opinions that veer away from some politically correct orthodoxy and unable to engage in hard-hitting debate. counterargument

This is false in so many ways, and even insulting when you consider the reality of students’ experiences today. claim

The introduction to her article is essentially a counteragument (which serves as her introductory context) followed by a response. Embedding naysayers like this can appear anywhere in an essay, not just the introduction. Notice, furthermore, how Cauce’s naysayer isn’t gleaned from any research she did. It’s just a general, trendy naysayer, something one might hear nowadays, in the ether. It shows she’s attuned to an ongoing conversation, but it doesn’t require her to cite anything specific. As the previous chapter on using rhetorical appeals in arguments explained, this kind of attunement with an emerging problem (or exigence) is known as the appeal to kairos . A compelling, engaging introduction will demonstrate that the argument “kairotically” addresses a pressing concern.

Below is a brief overview of what counterarguments are and how you might respond to them in your arguments. This section was developed by Robin Jeffrey, in “ Counterargument and Response “:

Common Types of counterarguments

  • Could someone disagree with your claim? If so, why? Explain this opposing perspective in your own argument, and then respond to it.
  • Could someone draw a different conclusion from any of the facts or examples you present? If so, what is that different conclusion? Explain this different conclusion and then respond to it.
  • Could a reader question any of your assumptions or claims? If so, which ones would they question? Explain and then respond.
  • Could a reader offer a different explanation of an issue? If so, what might their explanation be? Describe this different explanation, and then respond to it.
  • Is there any evidence out there that could weaken your position? If so, what is it? Cite and discuss this evidence and then respond to it.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, that does not necessarily mean that you have a weak argument. It means, ideally and as long as your argument is logical and valid, that you have a counterargument. Good arguments can and do have counterarguments; it is important to discuss them. But you must also discuss and then respond to those counterarguments.

Responding to counterarguments

You do not need to attempt to do all of these things as a way to respond; instead, choose the response strategy that makes the most sense to you, for the counterargument that you have.

  • If you agree with some of the counterargument perspectives, you can concede some of their points. (“I do agree that ….”, “Some of the points made by ____ are valid…..”) You could then challenge the importance/usefulness of those points. “However, this information does not apply to our topic because…”
  • If the counterargument perspective is one that contains different evidence than you have in your own argument, you can explain why a reader should not accept the evidence that the counterarguer presents.
  • If the counterargument perspective is one that contains a different interpretation of evidence than you have in your own argument, you can explain why a reader should not accept the interpretation of the evidence that that your opponent (counterarguer) presents.
  • If the counterargument is an acknowledgement of evidence that threatens to weaken your argument, you must explain why and how that evidence does not, in fact invalidate your claim.

It is important to use transitional phrases in your paper to alert readers when you’re about to present an counterargument. It’s usually best to put this phrase at the beginning of a paragraph such as:

  • Researchers have challenged these claims with…
  • Critics argue that this view…
  • Some readers may point to…
  • A perspective that challenges the idea that . . .

Transitional phrases will again be useful to highlight your shift from counterargument to response:

  • Indeed, some of those points are valid. However, . . .
  • While I agree that . . . , it is more important to consider . . .
  • These are all compelling points. Still, other information suggests that . .
  • While I understand . . . , I cannot accept the evidence because . . .

Further reading

To read more about the importance of counterarguments in academic writing, read Steven D. Krause’s “ On the Other Hand: The Role of Antithetical Writing in First Year Composition Courses .”

When concluding, address the “so what?” challenge

As Joseph W. Williams mentions in his chapter on concluding persuasive essays in Style ,

a good introduction motivates your readers to keep reading, introduces your key themes, and states your main point … [but] a good conclusion serves a different end: as the last thing your reader reads, it should bring together your point, its significance, and its implications for thinking further about the ideas your explored.

At the very least, a good persuasive conclusion will

  • Summarize the main points
  • Address the So what? or Now what? challenge.

When summarizing the main points of longer essays, Williams suggests it’s fine to use “metadiscourse,” such as, “I have argued that.” If the essay is short enough, however, such metadiscourses may not be necessary, since the reader will already have those ideas fresh in their mind.

After summarizing your essay’s main points, imagine a friendly reader thinking,

“OK, I’m persuaded and entertained by everything you’ve laid out in your essay. But remind me what’s so important about these ideas? What are the implications? What kind of impact do you expect your ideas to have? Do you expect something to change?”

It’s sometimes appropriate to offer brief action points, based on the implications of your essay. When addressing the “So what?” challenge, however, it’s important to first consider whether your essay is primarily targeted towards changing the way people think or act . Do you expect the audience to do something, based on what you’ve argued in your essay? Or, do you expect the audience to think differently? Traditional academic essays tend to propose changes in how the reader thinks more than acts, but your essay may do both.

Finally, Williams suggests that it’s sometimes appropriate to end a persuasive essay with an anecdote, illustrative fact, or key quote that emphasizes the significance of the argument. We can see a good example of this in Carr’s article, “ Is Google Making Us Stupid? ” Here are the introduction and conclusion, side-by-side: Definition: Term

[Introduction] “Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?” So the supercomputer HAL pleads with the implacable astronaut Dave Bowman in a famous and weirdly poignant scene toward the end of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey . Bowman, having nearly been sent to a deep-space death by the malfunctioning machine, is calmly, coldly disconnecting the memory circuits that control its artificial “ brain. “Dave, my mind is going,” HAL says, forlornly. “I can feel it. I can feel it.”

I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. …

[Conclusion] I’m haunted by that scene in 2001 . What makes it so poignant, and so weird, is the computer’s emotional response to the disassembly of its mind: its despair as one circuit after another goes dark, its childlike pleading with the astronaut—“I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m afraid”—and its final reversion to what can only be called a state of innocence. HAL’s outpouring of feeling contrasts with the emotionlessness that characterizes the human figures in the film, who go about their business with an almost robotic efficiency. Their thoughts and actions feel scripted, as if they’re following the steps of an algorithm. In the world of 2001 , people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.

Instead of merely rehashing all of the article’s main points, Carr returns to the same movie scene from 2001 that he opened with. The final lines interpret the scene according to the argument he just dedicated the entire essay to presenting.

The entire essay should use rhetorical appeals strategically

The chapter “ Persuasive Appeals ” introduces students to logos, pathos, ethos, and kairos. Becoming familiar with each of those persuasive appeals can add much to an essay. It also reinforces the idea that writing argumentative essays is not a straightforward process of jotting down proofs. It’s not a computer algorithm.

  • Logos (appeals to evidence and reasoning) is the foundational appeal of an argument essay. Clearly identifying the claim, then supporting that claim with reasoning and evidence will appeal to the reader’s logos demands. As the previous chapter on argumentation mentions, however, what constitutes solid evidence will vary depending on the audience. Make sure your evidence is indeed convincing to your intended reader.
  • Pathos (appeals to emotion) are a crucial component and should permeate should every section of the essay. Personal anecdotes are an effective way to illustrate important ideas, and they connect with the reader at an emotional level. Personal examples also cultivate voice .
  • Ethos (appeals to character, image, and values) is essential to gaining the reader’s trust and assent. The tone of your essay (snarky, sincere, ironic, sarcastic, empathetic) is immensely important for its overall effect, and it helps build the reader’s image of you. A careful attention to high-quality research reinforces a sincere and empathetic tone. When supporting certain claims and sub-claims, it’s also important to identify implied beliefs (warrants) that your reader is most likely to agree with, and to undermine beliefs that might seem repugnant.
  • Kairos (appeals to timeliness) impresses the reader with your attunement to the situation. This should be practiced especially in the introduction, but it can appear throughout the essay as you engage with research and other voices that have recently weighed in on the topic.

All of these appeals are already happening, whether or not they’re recognized. If they are missed, the audience will often use them against you, judging your essay as not being personable enough (pathos), or not in touch with commonly accepted values (ethos), or out of touch with what’s going on (kairos). These non-logical appeals aren’t irrational. They are crucial components to writing that matters.

Argument Outline Exercise

To get started on your argument essay, practice adopting from of the outlines from this Persuasive Essay Outline worksheet .

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Tips and Tricks

Allison Bressmer

Allison Bressmer

How to write a persuasive essay

Most composition classes you’ll take will teach the art of persuasive writing. That’s a good thing.

Knowing where you stand on issues and knowing how to argue for or against something is a skill that will serve you well both inside and outside of the classroom.

Persuasion is the art of using logic to prompt audiences to change their mind or take action , and is generally seen as accomplishing that goal by appealing to emotions and feelings.

A persuasive essay is one that attempts to get a reader to agree with your perspective.

What is a persuasive essay?

Ready for some tips on how to produce a well-written, well-rounded, well-structured persuasive essay? Just say yes. I don’t want to have to write another essay to convince you!

How Do I Write a Persuasive Essay?

What are some good topics for a persuasive essay, how do i identify an audience for my persuasive essay, how do you create an effective persuasive essay, how should i edit my persuasive essay.

Your persuasive essay needs to have the three components required of any essay: the introduction , body , and conclusion .

That is essay structure. However, there is flexibility in that structure.

There is no rule (unless the assignment has specific rules) for how many paragraphs any of those sections need.

Although the components should be proportional; the body paragraphs will comprise most of your persuasive essay.

What should every essay include?

How Do I Start a Persuasive Essay?

As with any essay introduction, this paragraph is where you grab your audience’s attention, provide context for the topic of discussion, and present your thesis statement.

TIP 1: Some writers find it easier to write their introductions last. As long as you have your working thesis, this is a perfectly acceptable approach. From that thesis, you can plan your body paragraphs and then go back and write your introduction.

TIP 2: Avoid “announcing” your thesis. Don’t include statements like this:

  • “In my essay I will show why extinct animals should (not) be regenerated.”
  • “The purpose of my essay is to argue that extinct animals should (not) be regenerated.”

Announcements take away from the originality, authority, and sophistication of your writing.

Instead, write a convincing thesis statement that answers the question "so what?" Why is the topic important, what do you think about it, and why do you think that? Be specific.

How Many Paragraphs Should a Persuasive Essay Have?

This body of your persuasive essay is the section in which you develop the arguments that support your thesis. Consider these questions as you plan this section of your essay:

  • What arguments support your thesis?
  • What is the best order for your arguments?
  • What evidence do you have?
  • Will you address the opposing argument to your own?
  • How can you conclude convincingly?

The body of a persuasive essay

TIP: Brainstorm and do your research before you decide which arguments you’ll focus on in your discussion. Make a list of possibilities and go with the ones that are strongest, that you can discuss with the most confidence, and that help you balance your rhetorical triangle .

What Should I Put in the Conclusion of a Persuasive Essay?

The conclusion is your “mic-drop” moment. Think about how you can leave your audience with a strong final comment.

And while a conclusion often re-emphasizes the main points of a discussion, it shouldn’t simply repeat them.

TIP 1: Be careful not to introduce a new argument in the conclusion—there’s no time to develop it now that you’ve reached the end of your discussion!

TIP 2 : As with your thesis, avoid announcing your conclusion. Don’t start your conclusion with “in conclusion” or “to conclude” or “to end my essay” type statements. Your audience should be able to see that you are bringing the discussion to a close without those overused, less sophisticated signals.

The conclusion of a persuasive essay

If your instructor has assigned you a topic, then you’ve already got your issue; you’ll just have to determine where you stand on the issue. Where you stand on your topic is your position on that topic.

Your position will ultimately become the thesis of your persuasive essay: the statement the rest of the essay argues for and supports, intending to convince your audience to consider your point of view.

If you have to choose your own topic, use these guidelines to help you make your selection:

  • Choose an issue you truly care about
  • Choose an issue that is actually debatable

Simple “tastes” (likes and dislikes) can’t really be argued. No matter how many ways someone tries to convince me that milk chocolate rules, I just won’t agree.

It’s dark chocolate or nothing as far as my tastes are concerned.

Similarly, you can’t convince a person to “like” one film more than another in an essay.

You could argue that one movie has superior qualities than another: cinematography, acting, directing, etc. but you can’t convince a person that the film really appeals to them.

Debatable and non-debatable concepts

Once you’ve selected your issue, determine your position just as you would for an assigned topic. That position will ultimately become your thesis.

Until you’ve finalized your work, consider your thesis a “working thesis.”

This means that your statement represents your position, but you might change its phrasing or structure for that final version.

When you’re writing an essay for a class, it can seem strange to identify an audience—isn’t the audience the instructor?

Your instructor will read and evaluate your essay, and may be part of your greater audience, but you shouldn’t just write for your teacher.

Think about who your intended audience is.

For an argument essay, think of your audience as the people who disagree with you—the people who need convincing.

That population could be quite broad, for example, if you’re arguing a political issue, or narrow, if you’re trying to convince your parents to extend your curfew.

Once you’ve got a sense of your audience, it’s time to consult with Aristotle. Aristotle’s teaching on persuasion has shaped communication since about 330 BC. Apparently, it works.

Ethos, pathos and logos

Aristotle taught that in order to convince an audience of something, the communicator needs to balance the three elements of the rhetorical triangle to achieve the best results.

Those three elements are ethos , logos , and pathos .

Ethos relates to credibility and trustworthiness. How can you, as the writer, demonstrate your credibility as a source of information to your audience?

How will you show them you are worthy of their trust?

How to make your essay credible

  • You show you’ve done your research: you understand the issue, both sides
  • You show respect for the opposing side: if you disrespect your audience, they won’t respect you or your ideas

Logos relates to logic. How will you convince your audience that your arguments and ideas are reasonable?

How to use logic in essays

You provide facts or other supporting evidence to support your claims.

That evidence may take the form of studies or expert input or reasonable examples or a combination of all of those things, depending on the specific requirements of your assignment.

Remember: if you use someone else’s ideas or words in your essay, you need to give them credit.

ProWritingAid's Plagiarism Checker checks your work against over a billion web-pages, published works, and academic papers so you can be sure of its originality.

Find out more about ProWritingAid’s Plagiarism checks.

Pathos relates to emotion. Audiences are people and people are emotional beings. We respond to emotional prompts. How will you engage your audience with your arguments on an emotional level?

How to use emotion in essays

  • You make strategic word choices : words have denotations (dictionary meanings) and also connotations, or emotional values. Use words whose connotations will help prompt the feelings you want your audience to experience.
  • You use emotionally engaging examples to support your claims or make a point, prompting your audience to be moved by your discussion.

Be mindful as you lean into elements of the triangle. Too much pathos and your audience might end up feeling manipulated, roll their eyes and move on.

An “all logos” approach will leave your essay dry and without a sense of voice; it will probably bore your audience rather than make them care.

Once you’ve got your essay planned, start writing! Don’t worry about perfection, just get your ideas out of your head and off your list and into a rough essay format.

After you’ve written your draft, evaluate your work. What works and what doesn’t? For help with evaluating and revising your work, check out this ProWritingAid post on manuscript revision .

After you’ve evaluated your draft, revise it. Repeat that process as many times as you need to make your work the best it can be.

When you’re satisfied with the content and structure of the essay, take it through the editing process .

Grammatical or sentence-level errors can distract your audience or even detract from the ethos—the authority—of your work.

You don’t have to edit alone! ProWritingAid’s Realtime Report will find errors and make suggestions for improvements.

You can even use it on emails to your professors:

ProWritingAid's Realtime Report

Try ProWritingAid with a free account.

How Can I Improve My Persuasion Skills?

You can develop your powers of persuasion every day just by observing what’s around you.

  • How is that advertisement working to convince you to buy a product?
  • How is a political candidate arguing for you to vote for them?
  • How do you “argue” with friends about what to do over the weekend, or convince your boss to give you a raise?
  • How are your parents working to convince you to follow a certain academic or career path?

As you observe these arguments in action, evaluate them. Why are they effective or why do they fail?

How could an argument be strengthened with more (or less) emphasis on ethos, logos, and pathos?

Every argument is an opportunity to learn! Observe them, evaluate them, and use them to perfect your own powers of persuasion.

how to write a school persuasive essay

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Allison Bressmer is a professor of freshman composition and critical reading at a community college and a freelance writer. If she isn’t writing or teaching, you’ll likely find her reading a book or listening to a podcast while happily sipping a semi-sweet iced tea or happy-houring with friends. She lives in New York with her family. Connect at linkedin.com/in/allisonbressmer.

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Literacy Ideas

How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps

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WHAT IS A PERSUASIVE ESSAY?

What is a persuasive essay?

A persuasive text presents a point of view around a topic or theme that is backed by evidence to support it.

The purpose of a persuasive text can be varied.  Maybe you intend to influence someone’s opinion on a specific topic, or you might aim to sell a product or service through an advertisement.

The challenge in writing a good persuasive text is to use a mix of emotive language and, in some cases, images that are supported by hard evidence or other people’s opinions.

In a persuasive essay or argument essay, the student strives to convince the reader of the merits of their opinion or stance on a particular issue. The student must utilise several persuasive techniques to form a coherent and logical argument to convince the reader of a point of view or to take a specific action.

Persuasive essay | persuasive essays | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

PERSUADING PEOPLE REQUIRES A CONSISTENT APPROACH…

Persuasive texts are simple in structure.  You must clearly state your opinion around a specific topic and then repeatedly reinforce your opinions with external facts or evidence.  A robust concluding summary should leave little doubt in the reader’s mind.  ( Please view our planning tool below for a detailed explanation. )

TYPES OF PERSUASIVE TEXT

We cover the broad topic of writing a general persuasive essay in this guide, there are several sub-genres of persuasive texts students will encounter as they progress through school. We have complete guides on these text types, so be sure to click the links and read these in detail if required.

  • Argumentative Essays – These are your structured “Dogs are better pets than Cats” opinion-type essays where your role is to upsell the positive elements of your opinions to your audience whilst also highlighting the negative aspects of any opposing views using a range of persuasive language and techniques.
  • Advertising – Uses persuasive techniques to sell a good or service to potential customers with a call to action.
  • Debating Speeches – A debate is a structured discussion between two teams on a specific topic that a moderator judges and scores. Your role is to state your case, sell your opinions to the audience, and counteract your opposition’s opinions.
  • Opinion Articles, Newspaper Editorials. – Editorials often use more subtle persuasive techniques that blur the lines of factual news reporting and opinions that tell a story with bias. Sometimes they may even have a call to action at the end.
  • Reviews – Reviews exist to inform others about almost any service or product, such as a film, restaurant, or product. Depending on your experiences, you may have firm opinions or not even care that much about recommending it to others. Either way, you will employ various persuasive techniques to communicate your recommendations to your audience.
  • Please note a DISCUSSION essay is not a traditional persuasive text, as even though you are comparing and contrasting elements, the role of the author is to present an unbiased account of both sides so that the reader can make a decision that works best for them. Discussions are often confused as a form of persuasive writing.

A COMPLETE TEACHING UNIT ON PERSUASIVE WRITING SKILLS

Persuasive essay | opinion writing unit 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Teach your students to produce writing that  PERSUADES  and  INFLUENCES  thinking with this  HUGE  writing guide bundle covering: ⭐ Persuasive Texts / Essays ⭐ Expository Essays⭐ Argumentative Essays⭐ Discussions.

A complete 140 PAGE unit of work on persuasive texts for teachers and students. No preparation is required.

THE STRUCTURE OF A PERSUASIVE ESSAY

Persuasive essay | persuasive essay template | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

1. Introduction

In the introduction, the student will naturally introduce the topic. Controversial issues make for great topics in this writing genre. It’s a cliche in polite society to discourage discussions involving politics, sex, or religion because they can often be very divisive. While these subjects may not be the best topics of conversation for the dinner table at Thanksgiving, they can be perfect when deciding on a topic for persuasive writing. Obviously, the student’s age and abilities should be considered, as well as cultural taboos, when selecting a topic for the essay. But the point holds, the more controversial, the better.

Let’s take a look at some of the critical elements of the introduction when writing a persuasive essay:

Title: Tell your audience what they are reading.

This will often be posed as a question; for example, if the essay is on the merits of a vegetarian lifestyle, it may be called something like: To Eat Meat or Not?

Hook : Provide your audience with a reason to continue reading.

As with any genre of writing, capturing the reader’s interest from the outset is crucial. There are several methods of doing this, known as hooks. Students may open their essays with anecdotes, jokes, quotations, or relevant statistics related to the topic under discussion.

Background: Provide some context to your audience.

In this introductory section, students will provide the reader with some background on the topic. This will place the issue in context and briefly weigh some opinions on the subject.

Thesis statement: Let the audience know your stance.

After surveying the topic in the first part of the introduction, it is now time for the student writer to express their opinion and briefly preview the points they will make later in the essay.

2. Body Paragraphs

The number of paragraphs forming this essay section will depend on the number of points the writer chooses to make to support their opinion. Usually three main points will be sufficient for beginning writers to coordinate. More advanced students can increase the number of paragraphs based on the complexity of their arguments, but the overall structure will largely remain intact.

Be sure to check out our complete guide to writing perfect paragraphs here .

The TEEL acronym is valuable for students to remember how to structure their paragraphs.  Read below for a deeper understanding.

Topic Sentence:

The topic sentence states the central point of the paragraph. This will be one of the reasons supporting the thesis statement made in the introduction.

These sentences will build on the topic sentence by illustrating the point further, often by making it more specific.

These sentences’ purpose is to support the paragraph’s central point by providing supporting evidence and examples. This evidence may be statistics, quotations, or anecdotal evidence.

The final part of the paragraph links back to the initial statement of the topic sentence while also forming a bridge to the next point to be made. This part of the paragraph provides some personal analysis and interpretation of how the student arrived at their conclusions and connects the essay as a cohesive whole.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion weaves together the main points of the persuasive essay. It does not usually introduce new arguments or evidence but instead reviews the arguments made already and restates them by summing them up uniquely. It is important at this stage to tie everything back to the initial thesis statement. This is the writer’s last opportunity to drive home their point, to achieve the essay’s goal, to begin with – persuade the reader of their point of view.

Persuasive essay | 7 top 5 essay writing tips | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Ending an essay well can be challenging, but it is essential to end strongly, especially for persuasive essays. As with the hooks of the essay’s opening, there are many tried and tested methods of leaving the reader with a strong impression. Encourage students to experiment with different endings, for example, concluding the essay with a quotation that amplifies the thesis statement.

Another method is to have the student rework their ending in simple monosyllabic words, as simple language often has the effect of being more decisive in impact. The effect they are striving for in the final sentence is the closing of the circle.

Several persuasive writing techniques can be used in the conclusion and throughout the essay to amp up the persuasive power of the writing. Let’s take a look at a few.

ETHOS, PATHOS & LOGOS TUTORIAL VIDEO (2:20)

Persuasive essay | RHETORIC | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

TIPS FOR WRITING A GREAT PERSUASIVE ESSAY

Persuasive writing template and graphic organizer

PERSUASIVE TECHNIQUES

In this article, we have outlined a basic structure that will be helpful to students in approaching the organization of their persuasive writing. It will also be helpful for the students to be introduced to a few literary techniques that will help your students to present their ideas convincingly. Here are a few of the more common ones:

Repetition: There is a reason why advertisements and commercials are so repetitive – repetition works! Students can use this knowledge to their advantage in their persuasive writing. It is challenging to get the reader to fully agree with the writer’s opinion if they don’t fully understand it. Saying the same thing in various ways ensures the reader gets many bites at the ‘understanding’ cherry.

Repetition Example: “The use of plastic bags is not only bad for the environment, but it is also bad for our economy. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, meaning they will not decompose and will continue to take up space in landfills. Plastic bags are also not recyclable, meaning they will not be reused and will instead end up in landfills. Plastic bags are not only bad for the environment, but they are also bad for our economy as they are costly to dispose of and take up valuable space in landfills.”

In this example, the phrase “not only bad for the environment but also bad for our economy” is repeated multiple times to reinforce the idea that plastic bags are not just a problem for the environment but also the economy. The repetition of the phrase emphasizes the point and makes it more persuasive.

It is also important to note that repetition could be used differently, such as repeating a word or phrase to create rhythm or emphasis.

Storytelling: Humans tend to understand things better through stories. Think of how we teach kids important values through time-tested fables like Peter and the Wolf . Whether through personal anecdotes or references to third-person experiences, stories help climb down the ladder of abstraction and reach the reader on a human level.

Storytelling Example: “Imagine you are walking down the street, and you come across a stray dog clearly in need of food and water. The dog looks up at you with big, sad eyes, and you cannot help but feel a twinge of compassion. Now, imagine that same scenario, but instead of a stray dog, it’s a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk. The person is clearly in need of food and shelter, and their eyes also look up at her with a sense of hopelessness.

The point of this story is to show that just as we feel compelled to help a stray animal in need, we should also feel compelled to help a homeless person. We should not turn a blind eye to the suffering of our fellow human beings, and we should take action to address homelessness in our community. It is important to remember that everyone deserves a roof over their head and a warm meal to eat. The story is designed to elicit an emotional response in the reader and make the argument more relatable and impactful.

By using storytelling, this passage creates an image in the reader’s mind and creates an emotional connection that can be more persuasive than just stating facts and figures.

Persuasive essay | Images play an integral part in persuading an audience in advertisements | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Dissent: We live in a cynical age, so leaving out the opposing opinion will smack of avoidance to the reader. Encourage your students to turn to that opposing viewpoint and deal with those arguments in their essays .

Dissent Example: “Many people argue that students should not have to wear uniforms in school. They argue that uniforms stifle creativity and individuality and that students should be able to express themselves through their clothing choices. While these are valid concerns, I strongly disagree.

In fact, uniforms can actually promote individuality by levelling the playing field and removing the pressure to dress in a certain way. Furthermore, uniforms can promote a sense of community and belonging within a school. They can also provide a sense of discipline and structure, which can help to create a more focused and productive learning environment. Additionally, uniforms can save families money and eliminate the stress of deciding what to wear daily .

While some may argue that uniforms stifle creativity and individuality, the benefits of uniforms far outweigh the potential drawbacks. It is important to consider the impact of uniforms on the school as a whole, rather than focusing solely on individual expression.”

In this example, the writer presents the opposing viewpoint (uniforms stifle creativity and individuality) and then provides counterarguments to refute it. By doing so, the writer can strengthen their own argument and present a more convincing case for why uniforms should be worn in school.

A Call to Action: A staple of advertising, a call to action can also be used in persuasive writing. When employed, it usually forms part of the conclusion section of the essay and asks the reader to do something, such as recycle, donate to charity, sign a petition etc.

A quick look around reveals to us the power of persuasion, whether in product advertisements, newspaper editorials, or political electioneering; persuasion is an ever-present element in our daily lives. Logic and reason are essential in persuasion, but they are not the only techniques. The dark arts of persuasion can prey on emotion, greed, and bias. Learning to write persuasively can help our students recognize well-made arguments and help to inoculate them against the more sinister manifestations of persuasion.

Call to Action Example: “Climate change is a pressing issue that affects us all, and it’s important that we take action now to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet for future generations. As a society, we have the power to make a difference and it starts with small changes that we can make in our own lives.

I urge you to take the following steps to reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Reduce your use of single-use plastics
  • Use public transportation, carpool, bike or walk instead of driving alone.
  • Support clean energy sources such as solar and wind power
  • Plant trees and support conservation efforts

It’s easy to feel like one person can’t make a difference, but the truth is that every little bit helps. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and for the planet.

So, let’s take action today and make a difference for a better future, it starts with minor changes, but it all adds up and can make a significant impact. We need to take responsibility for our actions and do our part to protect the planet.”

In this example, the writer gives a clear and specific call to action and encourages the reader to take action to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the planet. By doing this, the writer empowers the reader to take action and enables them to change.

Now, go persuade your students of the importance of perfecting the art of persuasive writing!

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING FACT AND OPINION

Persuasive essay | fact and opinion unit 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

This  huge 120-page resource combines four different fact and opinion activities that you can undertake as a  WHOLE GROUP  or as  INDEPENDENT READING GROUP TASKS  in either  DIGITAL  or  PRINTABLE TASKS.

20 POPULAR PERSUASIVE ESSAY TOPICS FOR STUDENTS

Writing an effective persuasive essay demonstrates a range of skills that will be of great use in nearly all aspects of life after school.

Persuasive essay | persuasive essays | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

In essence, if you can influence a person to change their ideas or thoughts on a given topic through how you structure your words and thoughts, you possess a very powerful skill.

Be careful not to rant wildly.  Use facts and other people’s ideas who think similarly to you in your essay to strengthen your concepts.

Your biggest challenge in getting started may be choosing a suitable persuasive essay topic.  These 20 topics for a persuasive essay should make this process a little easier.

  • WHY ARE WE FASCINATED WITH CELEBRITIES AND WEALTHY PEOPLE ON TELEVISION AND SOCIAL MEDIA?
  • IS IT RIGHT FOR SCHOOLS TO RAISE MONEY BY SELLING CANDY AND UNHEALTHY FOODS TO STUDENTS?
  • SHOULD GIRLS BE ALLOWED TO PLAY ON BOYS SPORTING TEAMS?
  • IS TEACHING HANDWRITING A WASTE OF TIME IN THIS DAY AND AGE?
  • SHOULD THERE BE FAR GREATER RESTRICTIONS AROUND WHAT CAN BE POSTED ON THE INTERNET?
  • SHOULD PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES HAVE TO TAKE DRUG TESTS?
  • ARE TEENAGE PREGNANCY SHOWS A NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON VIEWERS?
  • SHOULD GAMBLING BE PROMOTED IN ANY WAY IN SPORTS EVEN THOUGH IT BRINGS IN LARGE AMOUNTS OF REVENUE?
  • SHOULD SPORTING TEAMS THAT LOSE BE REWARDED BY RECEIVING INCENTIVES SUCH AS HIGH DRAFT PICKS AND / OR FINANCIAL BENEFITS?
  • SHOULD SHARKS THAT ATTACK PEOPLE BE DESTROYED? SHOULD WE GET INVOLVED IN FOREIGN CONFLICTS AND ISSUES THAT DON’T DIRECTLY AFFECT OUR COUNTRY?
  • SHOULD WE GET INVOLVED IN FOREIGN CONFLICTS AND ISSUES THAT DON’T DIRECTLY AFFECT OUR COUNTRY?
  • COULD VIDEO GAMES BE CONSIDERED AS A PROFESSIONAL SPORT?
  • IF YOU WERE THE LEADER OF YOUR COUNTRY AND HAD A LARGE SURPLUS TO SPEND, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?
  • WHEN SHOULD A PERSON BE CONSIDERED AND TREATED AS AN ADULT?
  • SHOULD SMOKING BECOME AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY?
  • SHOULD THE VOTING AGE BE LOWERED?
  • DOES PROTECTIVE PADDING IN SPORTS MAKE IT MORE DANGEROUS?
  • SHOULD CELL PHONES BE ALLOWED IN THE CLASSROOM?
  • IS TEACHING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE A WASTE OF TIME?
  • SHOULD WE TEACH ETIQUETTE IN SCHOOLS?

PERSUASIVE PROMPTS FOR RELUCTANT WRITERS

If your students need a little more direction and guidance, here are some journal prompts that include aspects to consider.

  • Convince us that students would be better off having a three-day weekend .  There are many angles you could take with this, such as letting children maximize their childhood or trying to convince your audience that a four-day school week might actually be more productive.
  • Which is the best season?  And why?   You will really need to draw on the benefits of your preferred season and sell them to your audience.  Where possible, highlight the negatives of the competing seasons.  Use lots of figurative language and sensory and emotional connections for this topic.
  • Aliens do / or don’t exist?  We can see millions of stars surrounding us just by gazing into the night sky, suggesting alien life should exist, right? Many would argue that if there were aliens we would have seen tangible evidence of them by now.  The only fact is that we just don’t know the answer to this question.  It is your task to try and convince your audience through some research and logic what your point of view is and why.
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory? Do your research on this popular and divisive topic and make your position clear on where you stand and why.  Use plenty of real-world examples to support your thoughts and points of view.  
  • Should Smartphones be banned in schools?   Whilst this would be a complete nightmare for most students’ social lives, maybe it might make schools more productive places for students to focus and learn.  Pick a position, have at least three solid arguments to support your point of view, and sell them to your audience.

VISUAL JOURNAL PROMPTS FOR PERSUASIVE WRITING

Try these engaging, persuasive prompts with your students to ignite the writing process . Scroll through them.

Persuasive writing prompts

Persuasive Essay Examples (Student Writing Samples)

Below are a collection of persuasive essay samples.  Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail.  Please take a moment to read the persuasive texts in detail and the teacher and student guides highlight some of the critical elements of writing a persuasion.

Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of persuasive text writing.

We recommend reading the example either a year above or below, as well as the grade you are currently working with, to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.

Persuasive essay | year 4 persuasive text example 1536x1536 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

VIDEO TUTORIALS FOR PERSUASIVE WRITING

Persuasive essay | persuasive writing tutorial video | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

OTHER GREAT ARTICLES RELATED TO PERSUASIVE ESSAY WRITING

Persuasive essay | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

WHERE CAN I FIND A COMPLETE UNIT OF WORK ON HOW TO WRITE PERSUASIVE ESSAYS?

persuasive writing unit

We pride ourselves on being the web’s best resource for teaching students and teachers how to write a persuasive text. We value the fact you have taken the time to read our comprehensive guides to understand the fundamentals of writing skills.

We also understand some of you just don’t have the luxury of time or the resources to create engaging resources exactly when you need them.

If you are time-poor and looking for an in-depth solution that encompasses all of the concepts outlined in this article, I strongly recommend looking at the “ Writing to Persuade and Influence Unit. ”

Working in partnership with Innovative Teaching Ideas , we confidently recommend this resource as an all-in-one solution to teach how to write persuasively.

This unit will find over 140 pages of engaging and innovative teaching ideas.

PERSUASIVE ESSAY WRITING CHECKLIST AND RUBRIC BUNDLE

writing checklists

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (92 Reviews)

Persuasive essay | 1 STUDENts love to share their opinions | The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers

Persuasive essay | PersuasiveWritingSkills | Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students | literacyideas.com

Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students

Persuasive essay | persuasiveWriting | 5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers

Persuasive essay | persuasive writing prompts | 23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students | literacyideas.com

23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students

Persuasive essay | 1 reading and writing persuasive advertisements | How to Write an Advertisement: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

How to Write an Advertisement: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers

Persuasive essay | how to start an essay 1 | How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads | literacyideas.com

How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads

How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

Table of contents

how to write a school persuasive essay

Meredith Sell

You can make your essay more persuasive by getting straight to the point.

In fact, that's exactly what we did here, and that's just the first tip of this guide. Throughout this guide, we share the steps needed to prove an argument and create a persuasive essay.

This AI tool helps you improve your essay > This AI tool helps you improve your essay >

persuasive essay

Key takeaways: - Proven process to make any argument persuasive - 5-step process to structure arguments - How to use AI to formulate and optimize your essay

Why is being persuasive so difficult?

"Write an essay that persuades the reader of your opinion on a topic of your choice."

You might be staring at an assignment description just like this 👆from your professor. Your computer is open to a blank document, the cursor blinking impatiently. Do I even have opinions?

The persuasive essay can be one of the most intimidating academic papers to write: not only do you need to identify a narrow topic and research it, but you also have to come up with a position on that topic that you can back up with research while simultaneously addressing different viewpoints.

That’s a big ask. And let’s be real: most opinion pieces in major news publications don’t fulfill these requirements.

The upside? By researching and writing your own opinion, you can learn how to better formulate not only an argument but the actual positions you decide to hold. 

Here, we break down exactly how to write a persuasive essay. We’ll start by taking a step that’s key for every piece of writing—defining the terms.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is exactly what it sounds like: an essay that persuades . Over the course of several paragraphs or pages, you’ll use researched facts and logic to convince the reader of your opinion on a particular topic and discredit opposing opinions.

While you’ll spend some time explaining the topic or issue in question, most of your essay will flesh out your viewpoint and the evidence that supports it.

The 5 Must-Have Steps of a Persuasive Essay

If you’re intimidated by the idea of writing an argument, use this list to break your process into manageable chunks. Tackle researching and writing one element at a time, and then revise your essay so that it flows smoothly and coherently with every component in the optimal place.

1. A topic or issue to argue

This is probably the hardest step. You need to identify a topic or issue that is narrow enough to cover in the length of your piece—and is also arguable from more than one position. Your topic must call for an opinion , and not be a simple fact .

It might be helpful to walk through this process:

  • Identify a random topic
  • Ask a question about the topic that involves a value claim or analysis to answer
  • Answer the question

That answer is your opinion.

Let’s consider some examples, from silly to serious:

Topic: Dolphins and mermaids

Question: In a mythical match, who would win: a dolphin or a mermaid?

Answer/Opinion: The mermaid would win in a match against a dolphin.

Topic: Autumn

Question: Which has a better fall: New England or Colorado?

Answer/Opinion: Fall is better in New England than Colorado.

Topic: Electric transportation options

Question: Would it be better for an urban dweller to buy an electric bike or an electric car?

Answer/Opinion: An electric bike is a better investment than an electric car.

Your turn: Walk through the three-step process described above to identify your topic and your tentative opinion. You may want to start by brainstorming a list of topics you find interesting and then going use the three-step process to find the opinion that would make the best essay topic.

2. An unequivocal thesis statement

If you walked through our three-step process above, you already have some semblance of a thesis—but don’t get attached too soon! 

A solid essay thesis is best developed through the research process. You shouldn’t land on an opinion before you know the facts. So press pause. Take a step back. And dive into your research.

You’ll want to learn:

  • The basic facts of your topic. How long does fall last in New England vs. Colorado? What trees do they have? What colors do those trees turn?
  • The facts specifically relevant to your question. Is there any science on how the varying colors of fall influence human brains and moods?
  • What experts or other noteworthy and valid sources say about the question you’re considering. Has a well-known arborist waxed eloquent on the beauty of New England falls?

As you learn the different viewpoints people have on your topic, pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of existing arguments. Is anyone arguing the perspective you’re leaning toward? Do you find their arguments convincing? What do you find unsatisfying about the various arguments? 

Allow the research process to change your mind and/or refine your thinking on the topic. Your opinion may change entirely or become more specific based on what you learn.

Once you’ve done enough research to feel confident in your understanding of the topic and your opinion on it, craft your thesis. 

Your thesis statement should be clear and concise. It should directly state your viewpoint on the topic, as well as the basic case for your thesis.

Thesis 1: In a mythical match, the mermaid would overcome the dolphin due to one distinct advantage: her ability to breathe underwater.

Thesis 2: The full spectrum of color displayed on New England hillsides is just one reason why fall in the northeast is better than in Colorado.

Thesis 3: In addition to not adding to vehicle traffic, electric bikes are a better investment than electric cars because they’re cheaper and require less energy to accomplish the same function of getting the rider from point A to point B.

Your turn: Dive into the research process with a radar up for the arguments your sources are making about your topic. What are the most convincing cases? Should you stick with your initial opinion or change it up? Write your fleshed-out thesis statement.

3. Evidence to back up your thesis

This is a typical place for everyone from undergrads to politicians to get stuck, but the good news is, if you developed your thesis from research, you already have a good bit of evidence to make your case.

Go back through your research notes and compile a list of every …

… or other piece of information that supports your thesis. 

This info can come from research studies you found in scholarly journals, government publications, news sources, encyclopedias, or other credible sources (as long as they fit your professor’s standards).

As you put this list together, watch for any gaps or weak points. Are you missing information on how electric cars versus electric bicycles charge or how long their batteries last? Did you verify that dolphins are, in fact, mammals and can’t breathe underwater like totally-real-and-not-at-all-fake 😉mermaids can? Track down that information.

Next, organize your list. Group the entries so that similar or closely related information is together, and as you do that, start thinking through how to articulate the individual arguments to support your case. 

Depending on the length of your essay, each argument may get only a paragraph or two of space. As you think through those specific arguments, consider what order to put them in. You’ll probably want to start with the simplest argument and work up to more complicated ones so that the arguments can build on each other. 

Your turn: Organize your evidence and write a rough draft of your arguments. Play around with the order to find the most compelling way to argue your case.

4. Rebuttals to disprove opposing theses

You can’t just present the evidence to support your case and totally ignore other viewpoints. To persuade your readers, you’ll need to address any opposing ideas they may hold about your topic. 

You probably found some holes in the opposing views during your research process. Now’s your chance to expose those holes. 

Take some time (and space) to: describe the opposing views and show why those views don’t hold up. You can accomplish this using both logic and facts.

Is a perspective based on a faulty assumption or misconception of the truth? Shoot it down by providing the facts that disprove the opinion.

Is another opinion drawn from bad or unsound reasoning? Show how that argument falls apart.

Some cases may truly be only a matter of opinion, but you still need to articulate why you don’t find the opposing perspective convincing.

Yes, a dolphin might be stronger than a mermaid, but as a mammal, the dolphin must continually return to the surface for air. A mermaid can breathe both underwater and above water, which gives her a distinct advantage in this mythical battle.

While the Rocky Mountain views are stunning, their limited colors—yellow from aspen trees and green from various evergreens—leaves the autumn-lover less than thrilled. The rich reds and oranges and yellows of the New England fall are more satisfying and awe-inspiring.

But what about longer trips that go beyond the city center into the suburbs and beyond? An electric bike wouldn’t be great for those excursions. Wouldn’t an electric car be the better choice then? 

Certainly, an electric car would be better in these cases than a gas-powered car, but if most of a person’s trips are in their hyper-local area, the electric bicycle is a more environmentally friendly option for those day-to-day outings. That person could then participate in a carshare or use public transit, a ride-sharing app, or even a gas-powered car for longer trips—and still use less energy overall than if they drove an electric car for hyper-local and longer area trips.

Your turn: Organize your rebuttal research and write a draft of each one.

5. A convincing conclusion

You have your arguments and rebuttals. You’ve proven your thesis is rock-solid. Now all you have to do is sum up your overall case and give your final word on the subject. 

Don’t repeat everything you’ve already said. Instead, your conclusion should logically draw from the arguments you’ve made to show how they coherently prove your thesis. You’re pulling everything together and zooming back out with a better understanding of the what and why of your thesis. 

A dolphin may never encounter a mermaid in the wild, but if it were to happen, we know how we’d place our bets. Long hair and fish tail, for the win.

For those of us who relish 50-degree days, sharp air, and the vibrant colors of fall, New England offers a season that’s cozier, longer-lasting, and more aesthetically pleasing than “colorful” Colorado. A leaf-peeper’s paradise.

When most of your trips from day to day are within five miles, the more energy-efficient—and yes, cost-efficient—choice is undoubtedly the electric bike. So strap on your helmet, fire up your pedals, and two-wheel away to your next destination with full confidence that you made the right decision for your wallet and the environment.

3 Quick Tips for Writing a Strong Argument

Once you have a draft to work with, use these tips to refine your argument and make sure you’re not losing readers for avoidable reasons.

1. Choose your words thoughtfully.

If you want to win people over to your side, don’t write in a way that shuts your opponents down. Avoid making abrasive or offensive statements. Instead, use a measured, reasonable tone. Appeal to shared values, and let your facts and logic do the hard work of changing people’s minds.

Choose words with AI

how to write a school persuasive essay

You can use AI to turn your general point into a readable argument. Then, you can paraphrase each sentence and choose between competing arguments generated by the AI, until your argument is well-articulated and concise.

2. Prioritize accuracy (and avoid fallacies).

Make sure the facts you use are actually factual. You don’t want to build your argument on false or disproven information. Use the most recent, respected research. Make sure you don’t misconstrue study findings. And when you’re building your case, avoid logical fallacies that undercut your argument.

A few common fallacies to watch out for:

  • Strawman: Misrepresenting or oversimplifying an opposing argument to make it easier to refute.
  • Appeal to ignorance: Arguing that a certain claim must be true because it hasn’t been proven false.
  • Bandwagon: Assumes that if a group of people, experts, etc., agree with a claim, it must be true.
  • Hasty generalization: Using a few examples, rather than substantial evidence, to make a sweeping claim.
  • Appeal to authority: Overly relying on opinions of people who have authority of some kind.

The strongest arguments rely on trustworthy information and sound logic.

Research and add citations with AI

how to write a school persuasive essay

We recently wrote a three part piece on researching using AI, so be sure to check it out . Going through an organized process of researching and noting your sources correctly will make sure your written text is more accurate.

3. Persuasive essay structure

Persuasive essay structure

If you’re building a house, you start with the foundation and go from there. It’s the same with an argument. You want to build from the ground up: provide necessary background information, then your thesis. Then, start with the simplest part of your argument and build up in terms of complexity and the aspect of your thesis that the argument is tackling.

A consistent, internal logic will make it easier for the reader to follow your argument. Plus, you’ll avoid confusing your reader and you won’t be unnecessarily redundant.

The essay structure usually includes the following parts:

  • Intro - Hook, Background information, Thesis statement
  • Topic sentence #1 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Concluding sentence
  • Topic sentence #2 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Concluding sentence Topic sentence #3 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Conclusion - Thesis and main points restated, call to action, thought provoking ending

Are You Ready to Write?

Persuasive essays are a great way to hone your research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Approach this assignment well, and you’ll learn how to form opinions based on information (not just ideas) and make arguments that—if they don’t change minds—at least win readers’ respect. ‍

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how to write a school persuasive essay

What is a Persuasive Essay? Full Persuasive Essay Guide

how to write a school persuasive essay

In a world where effective communication is crucial, mastering persuasive writing is essential. It transcends simply expressing opinions by enabling you to influence others and clearly articulate your message. Say goodbye to difficulties in making your point; join us as we explore how to craft persuasive essays that are both informative and genuinely compelling in our guide!

Persuasive Essay Definition

This type of essay persuades the reader to agree with your viewpoint by presenting convincing arguments, research, and ideas. You rely on logic and reason to demonstrate why your perspective is more valid than others. You must present clear arguments supported by compelling facts. Several key elements should be included in these essays:

  • A clear thesis statement or main idea that guides your essay's focus.
  • An opening paragraph that introduces your thesis statement and sets the stage for your argument.
  • Body paragraphs that use specific research evidence to support your points.
  • Smooth transitions between paragraphs that connect ideas clearly and engagingly.
  • Addressing counterarguments to acknowledge and refute opposing viewpoints.
  • A conclusion that reinforces your central idea without repeating it word for word.

Elements of a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essays rely on three key elements called modes of persuasion . These were introduced by Aristotle, a famous philosopher, to help make arguments strong and convincing.

First, there's logos , which means using evidence and logical reasoning to support your points. It's crucial to clearly state your main argument and back it up with solid evidence. Remember, what counts as convincing evidence can vary depending on who you're trying to persuade.

Next up is pathos , which involves appealing to people's emotions. Sharing personal stories can be really effective here because they help readers connect emotionally with your argument. Plus, personal anecdotes can give your essay a unique voice.

Lastly, there's ethos , which is all about building trust and credibility with your audience. The way you write your essay—whether it's serious, funny, or sincere—can affect how readers see you. Using reliable sources and showing empathy can also help establish your credibility. And when you're making claims, it's important to consider what your readers already believe and try to address any doubts they might have.

Feeling overwhelmed by all this info? Just say - ' write my paper ,' and our expert writers will jump in to assist you right away!

persuasive methods

How to Write a Persuasive Essay in 7 Steps

Writing a persuasive essay usually follows a structured format: introduction, body, conclusion . Unlike argument essays, which involve discussing and attacking alternate views, persuasive essays aim to convince the reader of your argument's validity. They're a bit more gentle and understanding in tone. To craft a solid persuasive essay, follow the 7 steps in this section. And while you're at it, don't forget to explore our guide on how to write an argumentative essay , too. These two types of assignments are the most common in school and college.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay in 7 Steps

Step 1: Topic Selection and Research

Choosing a good topic is where you start when writing a persuasive essay. Think about things that really interest you and make you feel strongly. But it's not just about what you like; you also need to think about what matters to your readers. Do some digging to learn more about your topic. Look into different parts of it by checking out reliable sources like books, websites, and academic articles.

While you're doing your research, keep an eye out for different opinions and new ideas about your topic. This helps you get ready for arguments against your point of view. It's also important to see if there's enough evidence out there to back up what you believe. Having lots of evidence makes it easier to make a strong case.

For more help on picking a topic, check out our persuasive essay topics .

Step 2: Develop a Strong Thesis Statement

A well-developed thesis statement should be specific, concise, and debatable. Avoid saying things that are too vague or broad, as they won't give your essay a clear direction. Instead, try to come up with a thesis that clearly says what you believe and encourages people to think about it critically.

Make sure your thesis statement is backed up by the evidence you found in your research. Use facts, numbers, or opinions from experts to support what you're saying and make your argument stronger.

Also, think about how your thesis statement fits into your whole persuasive essay. It should not only outline your main argument but also give a hint about why it's important.

Step 3: Create an Outline

An academic persuasive essay outline typically follows the 'classical' structure, which is based on techniques used by ancient Roman rhetoricians. Here are the basic elements your outline should include:

Step 4: Write the Introduction

When writing a persuasive essay introduction, it should not only give background information but also frame it as a problem or issue, known as the exigence. Presenting a clearly defined problem and proposing the thesis as a solution makes for a compelling introduction, as readers naturally want to see problems solved.

Here's a breakdown of an effective persuasive essay introduction:

  • Hook : Begin with a brief anecdote that highlights an emerging issue, capturing the reader's attention.
  • Context : Provide background information related to the topic.
  • Problem : Connect the anecdote with the emerging issue, presenting it as a problem in need of addressing.
  • Debate : Mention briefly the existing debate surrounding how to respond to the problem.
  • Claim : Conclude the introduction by hinting at how you intend to address the problem, presented in a conversational tone as part of an ongoing dialogue.

Step 5: Delve into Body Paragraphs

The core of a persuasive essay lies in presenting a claim supported by reasoning and evidence. This means that much of the essay's body is dedicated to providing supporting reasons backed by evidence. A common approach taught in schools and colleges is the PEAS formula:

  • Point : Start by explaining your reason clearly. For example, 'Another reason why we need to recycle is because...'
  • Evidence : After explaining your reason, give proof that supports it. You can mention facts or share what experts say. You might say, ' I saw in a study that.. .' or ' Scientists have found that.. .'
  • Analysis : Explain how your proof supports your reason. You can say, ' This means that.. .' or ' This shows us that... '
  • Summary/So what? : Finish by quickly summarizing everything you said before. Then, explain why it's important or what it means for your argument.

Step 6: Address Counterarguments

When you're dealing with counterarguments, pick the response strategy that matches your argument.

support essay argument

  • If you agree with some points from the counterargument, acknowledge them and explain why they're not important for your topic. 
  • If the counterargument uses different evidence, say why it's not trustworthy. 
  • If the counterargument looks at evidence in a different way, explain why their understanding is wrong. 
  • If the counterargument weakens your point with evidence, explain why it doesn't actually disprove your argument.

Use phrases like these to introduce counterarguments:

  • Some researchers say...
  • Critics argue that...
  • Others might think...
  • There's a different view that...

And transition like this from counterargument to response:

  • While some of that makes sense, I still believe...
  • Even if that's true, it doesn't change the fact that...
  • Those points are interesting, but they don't affect my argument because...
  • I see where you're coming from, but I can't agree because...

Step 7: Conclude with a Call to Action or a Memorable Closing Statement

A good persuasive conclusion should do two things:

  • Summarize the main points of your essay. If it's a longer essay, using phrases like 'I have argued that' can help, but for shorter essays, it might not be needed since the reader will remember the main ideas.
  • Address the ' So what? ' or ' Now what? ' challenge. Imagine your reader asking, 'Okay, I'm convinced by your essay, but why are these ideas important? What should I do with them? Do you expect things to change?' Depending on whether your essay aims to change how people think or act, offer brief action points or insights into the implications of your ideas.

Consider ending with an anecdote, fact, or quote that highlights the significance of your argument.

Also, take a look at our guide on how to write a synthesis essay . It's a common type of assignment you'll encounter in school and college.

Take Your Persuasive Writing to the Next Level!

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Persuasive Essay Examples

Here are great examples of persuasive essays to inspire you. If you like the writing style of our authors, you can buy essay paper from them, who will ensure a high-quality document specifically tailored to your needs!

5 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay

Here are some additional tips to enhance your essay from our persuasive essay writing service :

  • Start with a Captivating Hook : Grab your reader's attention from the beginning with an engaging hook. Instead of using common approaches like surprising facts or quotes, try incorporating a unique angle or a suspenseful story related to your topic.
  • Build Your Credibility : It's crucial to establish your credibility to persuade your audience to trust your argument. In addition to presenting well-researched facts and statistics, share personal experiences or insights to demonstrate your expertise. Citing lesser-known experts or studies can also provide a fresh perspective and show a thorough exploration of the topic.
  • Clearly State Your Thesis: Craft a clear and concise thesis statement that effectively addresses the nuances of your argument. Take time to consider the wording of your thesis and how it aligns with your essay's direction. Provide a brief overview of the main points you'll cover to give readers a clear roadmap.
  • Use Persuasive Language : Choose words and phrases that evoke emotion and urgency, compelling the reader to take action. Experiment with rhetorical devices like parallelism or repetition to add depth to your argument. Maintain a tone that balances assertiveness with respect.
  • Appeal to Emotions and Logic : While emotional appeals can be powerful, support them with solid logic and evidence. Supplement personal anecdotes with relevant data, expert opinions, or logical reasoning for a well-rounded perspective. Anticipate and address potential counterarguments to demonstrate thorough consideration of the issue.

To bring it all together, you now understand the power of persuasion - it teaches you how to express your ideas clearly and convincingly. This means you can speak up for what you believe in, making society more active and informed. These skills are super useful not just in school but also in jobs and everyday life. And, if you want to make things easier, you can always check out our essay service . We'll save you time and give you some extra help with your writing!

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What are the 7 Tips for Persuasive Essays?

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Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

how to write a school persuasive essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • Rewrote the whole article except the samples which are good and new, and FAQs section
  • Added new writing steps
  • Researched new information overall

1. Gladd, J. (2020, August 18). Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays . Pressbooks. https://idaho.pressbooks.pub/write/chapter/structure-of-academic-persuasive-essays/

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40 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of interesting persuasive essay ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Essays
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top persuasive essay writing examples.

Professions for Women by Virginia Woolf

Sample lines: “Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different; she has still many ghosts to fight, many prejudices to overcome. Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?”

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Sample lines: “Methinks I hear some of you say, must a man afford himself no leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sample lines: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once.”

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board by Bobby Henderson

Sample lines: “I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. … Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. … We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.”

Open Letter to the United Nations by Niels Bohr

Sample lines: “Humanity will, therefore, be confronted with dangers of unprecedented character unless, in due time, measures can be taken to forestall a disastrous competition in such formidable armaments and to establish an international control of the manufacture and use of the powerful materials.”

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Union and the Strike, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It

Nike

The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports-star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Always ad showing a young girl holding a softball. Text reads

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife To Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (120+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Paper Types / How to Write a Persuasive Essay

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

The entire point of a persuasive essay is to persuade or convince the reader to agree with your perspective on the topic. In this type of essay, you’re not limited to facts. It’s completely acceptable to include your opinions and back them up with facts, where necessary.

Guide Overview

  • Be assertive
  • Use words that evoke emotion
  • Make it personal
  • Topic selection hints

Tricks for Writing a Persuasive Essay

In this type of writing, you’ll find it is particularly helpful to focus on the emotional side of things. Make your reader feel what you feel and bring them into your way of thinking. There are a few ways to do that.

Be Assertive

A persuasive essay doesn’t have to be gentle in how it presents your opinion. You really want people to agree with you, so focus on making that happen, even if it means pushing the envelope a little. You’ll tend to get higher grades for this, because the essay is more likely to convince the reader to agree. Consider using an Persuasive Essay Template to understand the key elements of the essay.

Use Words that Evoke Emotion

It’s easier to get people to see things your way when they feel an emotional connection. As you describe your topic, make sure to incorporate words that cause people to feel an emotion. For example, instead of saying, “children are taken from their parents” you might say, “children are torn from the loving arms of their parents, kicking and screaming.” Dramatic? Yes, but it gets the point across and helps your reader experience the

Make it Personal

By using first person, you make the reader feel like they know you. Talking about the reader in second person can help them feel included and begin to imagine themselves in your shoes. Telling someone “many people are affected by this” and telling them “you are affected by this every day” will have very different results.

While each of these tips can help improve your essay, there’s no rule that you have to actually persuade for your own point of view. If you feel the essay would be more interesting if you take the opposite stance, why not write it that way? This will require more research and thinking, but you could end up with a very unique essay that will catch the teacher’s eye.

Topic Selection Hints

A persuasive essay requires a topic that has multiple points of view. In most cases, topics like the moon being made of rock would be difficult to argue, since this is a solid fact. This means you’ll need to choose something that has more than one reasonable opinion related to it.

A good topic for a persuasive essay would be something that you could persuade for or against.

Some examples include:

  • Should children be required to use booster seats until age 12?
  • Should schools allow the sale of sugary desserts and candy?
  • Should marijuana use be legal?
  • Should high school students be confined to school grounds during school hours?
  • Should GMO food be labeled by law?
  • Should police be required to undergo sensitivity training?
  • Should the United States withdraw troops from overseas?

Some topics are more controversial than others, but any of these could be argued from either point of view . . . some even allow for multiple points of view.

As you write your persuasive essay, remember that your goal is to get the reader to nod their head and agree with you. Each section of the essay should bring you closer to this goal. If you write the essay with this in mind, you’ll end up with a paper that will receive high grades.

Finally, if you’re ever facing writer’s block for your college paper, consider WriteWell’s template gallery to help you get started.

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How to write a persuasive college essay.

BY BRETT CLAWSON

Whether you are in high school or college, you will need to write a persuasive essay at some point. A persuasive essay is a composition in which the writer presents a clear explanation and convincing evidence to persuade readers to share a viewpoint. Essay writing can bring either an opportunity or challenge. The goal is to write a compelling essay that perhaps convince the audience in the process.

Articulate Your Position

The only way to make the audience understand your goals and interpret the essay is to articulate your position. Writers should avoid ambiguous positions and use simple terminology, deliberate claims, and careful distinctions to cut through the confusion. You should use evidence and data to make readers understand your views.

Understand Your Audience

It’s crucial to know the interests and preferences of your audience when writing a persuasive paper. Your goal is not to prove to the teacher that you read an article or report facts to the targets. Instead, you want to persuade the teacher and readers to share your viewpoint. You might need to use different approaches for different audiences, so it’s crucial to know your target readers. Whether a writer wants to persuade a panel or class, the tone should adjust accordingly.

Organize Your Essay

The key to sticking to the crux of the argument throughout the essay is to get organized. Writers should use a thesis statement to preview the ideas they want to discuss. In short, a thesis statement helps writers to structure their subsequent paragraphs and lay out their supporting points. You could also use a thesis to lay out evidence that will backup your argument. Writers should start with making an outline that should include an introduction, thesis statement, and the body, which should incorporate the evidence gathered and a conclusion. Your conclusion should tie all the collected evidence and use insightful ways to restate the argument.

Persuade Audiences with Passion

It’s far easier to argue a topic that has a personal meaning persuasively. As such, it’s crucial to bring passion to an essay. Pick the most exciting topic if you have the freedom to make a choice. Choosing a fascinating subject matter can motivate a writer to dig deeper into the research and write with passion. It also allows writers to convey their feelings to the audience in an energetic way. In fact, readers are more likely to understand a viewpoint when writers channel their emotions into a rational argument. That makes readers receptive to the core argument of the essay.

Research Extensively

It is not enough to persuade readers with unfounded or inaccurate information. As such, writers need to familiarize themselves with all views of their chosen subject before starting to write an essay. You should research the best evidence for and against your argument. Note that only credible, legitimate sources such as peer-reviewed articles and journals can support a persuasive argument. It’s easier to write an exciting essay when one understands the strengths and weaknesses of different viewpoints. Researching will also enable authors to formulate a rational defense against scholars that will disagree with their perspective. It’s also easier to intensify an argument and prune distracting facts when one understands the subject matter well. In short, writers need to know what they will discuss before starting to write an essay.

Draw on Life Experiences

Part of the research process can and should include drawing back on life experiences. Living away from home and in a different country, for example, can be beneficial to your personal, academic, and social growth. Students could enroll in either structured or unstructured gap year programs and spend their holiday volunteering or traveling abroad. Some gap year benefits include acceleration of the transition from high school to college. It also ensures students experience life beyond school and apply real-life experiences in solving mathematical problems and writing essays. Below is a guide to writing a fantastic persuasive article.

Ideas in a persuasive essay often have consequences. Make sure you are aware of the implications of a topic that seems controversial in the public realm. You won’t worry about lawsuits if you write an essay responsibly and with integrity. Maintaining honesty and mindedness in a persuasive essay helps avoid descending into deceit and fallacy. Integrity is what distinguishes a compelling article from propaganda. As such, writers should be careful not to let their personal bias mischaracterize sound evidence or opposing views.

Brett Clawson is a writer and entrepreneur with a degree in Business Management. He enjoys researching emerging business trends and sharing their impact on business and the industry as a whole. He believes that the best way to influence others and share his knowledge with the world is through his writing.

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Amanda Green was born in a small town in the west of Scotland, where everyone knows everyone. I joined the Toastmasters 15 years ago, and I served in nearly every office in the club since then. I love helping others gain confidence and skills they can apply in every day life.

Writing a good persuasive essay can help convince others of a point that means a lot to you. It can be anything from an environmental crisis to something as simple as the importance of ebooks to the modern reader. But how do you write a persuasive essay? Where do you even start? Right here! I’ll explain everything you need to know and even show you an example of a persuasive essay.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

how to write a school persuasive essay

Persuasive essays are meant to convince someone or a group of people to agree with you on a certain topic or point of view. As the writer, you’ll use definitive evidence, simple reasoning, and even examples to support your argument and persuade them to understand the point of the essay.

Why Write a Persuasive Essay?

Believe it or not, you’ll have to form convincing arguments throughout real life. This could be in the form of college essays or academic essays, speeches for debate club that requires a valid argument, or even presenting an idea for change to your town council.

Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essay

An argumentative essay presents an argument on a specific topic and tries to persuade people to accept that argument as valid. It uses evidence, logic, and sometimes counterarguments to support the main point.

A persuasive essay is similar but presents an argument and focuses more on appealing to the reader’s emotions and values to convince them of your point of view. Think of it as convincing vs. persuading. And, yes, persuasive essays can also use evidence, but they often rely more on personal anecdotes and moral appeals to plead their case.

Let me give you an example. I’m a content writer, but I’m also a published author. If I were going to write an argumentative essay, I’d probably choose a topic like “Do you think authors should self-edit their work?”

But if I were doing a persuasive essay with a similar angle, the topic would look more like “The benefits of self-editing for authors.” Make sense?

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Basically, the main difference between argumentative and persuasive essays is all in the emphasis placed on logic and emotion.

How Many Paragraphs in a Persuasive Essay?

A decent persuasive essay should be around five or six paragraphs with double line spacing, depending on the topic, and can range from 500-2000 words in length. This includes your introduction and conclusion.

Introduction of a Persuasive Essay Example

Our world is facing a crisis, and that crisis is plastic pollution! Every day, a disgusting amount of plastic waste is just dumped into our oceans, killing and harming innocent marine life and ultimately affecting the entire food chain, including us.

Even though there is a clear and present danger that plastic presents, there are still a lot of people and corporations that continue to use single-use plastics with zero regards for their impact on our environment. It’s time for people to really look around and take some responsibility.

We can make a change by learning and using environmentally friendly alternatives in our everyday lives. So, in this essay, I’ll argue that using reusable bags, water bottles, and containers is not only necessary for the health of our precious planet but also a simple and effective way to make a real difference.

A Persuasive Essay Structure

As persuasive essay writers, you can write it however you like, but to follow a traditional persuasive essay structure, use this basic layout to get an effective paper:

  • An Introduction: You need a good hook to grab the reader’s attention, a thesis statement presenting the main argument, and a roadmap of the essay, so they know what to expect.
  • The Body Paragraphs: 2-3 paragraphs should suffice to provide strong evidence, examples, and any reasoning to support the thesis statement. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea. 
  • The Counterargument: This section acknowledges and refutes the opposing viewpoint, strengthening your argument but still without being as forward as an argumentative essay.
  • A Conclusion or Closing Statement: Here is where you would summarize the main points of the essay and a restatement of the thesis, including a call to action for the reader and/or a final thought.

In the end, a persuasive essay usually consists of 5-6 paragraphs and needs to be clear, concise, and logically structured to really persuade the reader on the point.

Tips for Persuasive Writing

how to write a school persuasive essay

  • Choose a strong, clear thesis statement that presents your argument well.
  • Know your audience and tailor your language and arguments to them. You’ll need a different approach if you’re speaking to a group of teenagers versus a team of adults.
  • Use credible and reliable sources to support your argument so no one can second guess your point.
  • Expect that people will have counterarguments and prepare a few talking points to address them.
  • Use strong pieces of evidence and back them up with facts, statistics, examples, and personal anecdotes. Putting a personal touch on it helps ground the essay and lets people know you’re serious about the topic.
  • Use an emotional appeal to engage the reader and make a personal connection to your argument. Basically, tug at their heartstrings and play into their guilt.
  • Use clear and concise wordage. Try and avoid confusing technical jargon that might confuse people, and maintain a consistent tone throughout the essay.
  • Make sure you’re confident and use an assertive tone but avoid being overly aggressive or confrontational. That will just spark a fight.
  • Finish up with a powerful call to action or a final thought that leaves a lasting impact on the reader or listener.
  • Use the same font throughout your essay, even for headings and titles. Go with easy-to-read fonts like Calibri, Times New Roman, or Garamond.
  • Proofread and edit your essay for clarity, grammar, and style. I cannot stress this one enough. If you’re not confident, use programs like Grammarly to help spot typos and inconsistencies.

Persuasive Essay Topic Ideas

If you’re stuck on some ideas of what to form your essay around, here’s a list of some popular topics to inspire you.

  • Importance of recycling and reducing waste in today’s climate.
  • The need for stricter gun control laws all over the world.
  • A paper on abortion rights in today’s age.
  • Benefits of alternative energy sources over fossil fuels and how we can be using them.
  • How social media has negative impacts on mental health in kids.
  • Key benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet and how it can help the planet.
  • The value of a college education.
  • Rise of plastic pollution on the environment and sea life and how it is affecting us.
  • Why physical exercise and leading an active lifestyle are important.
  • The dangers of texting while driving.
  • How our public schools need better funding.
  • Benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace both online and in-person.

Any of these could be used as logical arguments. Still, to make a persuasive argument from either of them, just follow the basic persuasive essay outline examples I’ve given you.

Example of a Persuasive Essay

Introduction.

In today’s age of ever-changing technology, the way we consume and experience books have changed dramatically in just a short time. While physical books were once the only option, ebooks have grown increasingly popular in recent years. In my essay, I’ll argue that, while we all still love paperbacks and hardcovers, ebooks offer so many benefits over physical books, making them the number one choice for most readers today.

Body Paragraph 1: Convenience

Ebooks are convenient; there’s just no denying it. They’re easily accessible through devices like smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, and they allow readers to carry hundreds of books with them at all times. This makes them perfect for traveling or heading to work, or even going to the gym. Readers can now have an entire library with them without the added weight of physical books. Plus, ebooks are easily bought online with just the click of a button, further adding to their convenience.

Body Paragraph 2: Customization

Ebooks offer a level of customization that physical books just can’t match. For one, the font size can be adjusted for easier reading, which is great for those who have eyesight problems. The background color can also be changed from light to dark to reduce eye strain. Personally, as someone who suffers from Meniere’s disease, this is a great feature. All of these options make ebooks a great choice for people with visual impairments, neurological disorders, or reading difficulties.

Body Paragraph 3: Affordability

Ebooks are often far cheaper than physical books, especially when purchased in bulk. You can get an entire series for a fraction of the cost of one paperback. This makes them a more accessible option for budget-conscious readers and people who simply don’t have the disposable funds for books. Also, tons of ebooks are available for free, which is a great option for readers that are looking for ways to save money but keep up with their reading habits.

Body Paragraph 4: Environmentally Friendly

626,000 tons of paper is used to produce all the books we see published every year. That’s a scary number when you consider the rate of deforestation and the state of our world in terms of global warming. We simply can’t afford to move ahead at a rate like that. Ebooks help tackle the issue because they require zero trees to produce.

In conclusion, ebooks offer endless benefits over physical books, including convenience, customization, and affordability. While physical books will always hold a special place in our hearts, you have to admit that the benefits of ebooks just can’t be ignored. For modern, busy, on-the-go readers, ebooks are the preferred choice. It’s time to embrace the digital age and make the switch to ebooks.

Now Write Your Persuasive Essay!

I hope this guide has helped you figure out persuasive essay writing and how to put together powerful arguments. Just stick to the facts and ease the reader into your point with gentle arguments that continue to prove your point. Don’t be afraid to get personal if it can help the essay and convince the reader.

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It's the night before the essay is due, and you haven't even started. Your mind is blank, and you have no idea what words will persuade your teacher. 

The good news is that some tips and tricks can make the process of writing a persuasive essay much easier.

In this blog, we'll break down the components of a persuasive essay and provide helpful tips and examples along the way. By the end, you should have all the guidelines to create a winning essay that will persuade your readers to see things your way.

Let's take a closer look at all these steps.

On This Page On This Page -->

What is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay presents logical arguments with emotional appeal.

Typically, persuasive essays begin with a question that the writer spends the essay arguing in favor of or opposition to. 

For example: should kids be allowed to play video games on weekdays? 

The writer would then spend the rest of the essay backing up their claim with reasons and evidence. 

Persuasive essays often include counterarguments. These arguments oppose the writer's position. 

By including counterarguments, persuasive essays become more interesting. They also force the writer to think critically about their position.

For example, an opponent of the previous argument might say that playing video games leads to poor grades. 

The original writer could deny this claim by pointing to studies that show no correlation between bad grades and playing video games.

The best persuasive essays are well-researched and use data to support their claims. 

However, persuasive essays are not just about logic. They also need to include emotional appeal. 

After all, people are more likely to be persuaded by an argument that speaks to their feelings. 

Elements of a Persuasive Essay 

When a persuasive essay is a task, you must keep these three greek terms in mind. They are:

  • Ethos (appeal to ethics) 
  • Pathos (appeal to emotion)
  • Logos (appeal to logic)

A good essay will use all of these elements to convince the reader that the argument presented is valid. 

Let's take a closer look at each one.

Ethos - the Credibility Element 

The persuasive power of ethos lies in the character or credibility of the person making the argument. 

For an argument to be persuasive, the person presenting it must be someone that the audience trusts. 

This could be because they are an expert on the subject or because they have first-hand experience with it. Either way, ethos establishes the speaker's credibility and makes the audience more likely to trust what they have to say.

Pathos -the Emotional Element 

While ethos deals with the character of the person making the argument, pathos has to do with the audience's emotions. A persuasive argument will tap into the audience's emotions and use them to sway their opinion.

This could be done through stories or anecdotes that evoke an emotional response or by using language that stirs certain feelings.

Logos - the Logical Element 

The final element of persuasion is logos, which appeals to logic. A persuasive argument will use sound reasoning and evidence to convince the audience that it is valid. This could be done through data or using persuasive techniques like cause and effect.

Using all these elements of a persuasive essay can make your argument much more effective. 

How To Write a Persuasive Essay

Writing persuasive essays can be challenging, but they don't have to be.

With the following simple steps, you can quickly turn an ordinary essay into one that will make a lasting impression. 

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How To Start a Persuasive Essay 

Here is a complete guide on how to start a persuasive essay. Follow them to compose a perfect essay every time. 

Brainstorm All Possible Angles 

The first step in writing a persuasive essay is brainstorming. You need to develop an angle for your essay that will make it unique and interesting. 

For example, let's say you're writing about the death penalty. A lot has been said on this topic, so it might be hard to find an angle that hasn't been covered already. 

But if you think about it, there are many different ways to approach the issue. 

Maybe you could write about the personal experiences of someone affected by the death penalty. Or maybe you could write about the economic costs of the death penalty. 

There are many possibilities here - it's all about thinking creatively.

Select Your Topic

Once you've brainstormed a few ideas, it's time to choose your topic. Pick the angle you think will most effectively persuade your reader. 

Once you've chosen your topic, it's time to research. Use statistics, expert opinions, and real-life examples to support your position. 

Choose Your Side

Now that you've researched, it's time to take a side in the debate. Remember, you must take a strong stance on one side of the issue. 

After deciding your stance, research and support it with evidence.

Appeal to Human Emotions 

One of the most effective ways to persuade someone is by appealing to their emotions. 

After all, we're not robots - we're human beings and always make decisions based on our feelings. 

Make your reader feel something, whether it's anger, sadness, empathy, or even amusement. You'll be well on convincing them of your point of view. 

Anticipate Possible Objections.

Of course, not everyone will agree, and that's okay! 

The important thing is that you anticipate some of those objections and address them head-on in your essay. 

This shows that you take your reader's objections seriously and are confident in your position. 

Organize Your Evidence 

Once you have all of your evidence collected, it's time to start organizing it into an outline for your essay.  

Organizing your essay is a key step in the writing process. It helps you keep track of all the evidence you've gathered and structure your argument in an organized way.

What Are The Steps To Write Your Persuasive Essay?

Now that you have your topic essay outline, it's time to move on to the actual writing.

Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Create a Compelling Introduction

You want to hook your readers with a great opening for your persuasive essay, so they'll want to keep reading.

Here are 3 tips for writing an attention-grabbing introduction for your next essay.

  • Use a strong hook statement

Your hook statement should immediately draw the reader in and make them want to learn more. 

A good hook statement will vary depending on whether you're writing for an academic or more casual audience. 

Still, some good options include a quote, an interesting statistic, or a rhetorical question.

  • Make sure your thesis statement is clear and concise

Your thesis statement is the main argument of your essay, so it needs to be stated clearly and concisely in your introduction.

 A good thesis statement will be specific and limit the scope of your argument so that it can be fully addressed in the body of your paper.

  • Use a transition

Transitions are important in writing for academic and non-academic audiences because they help guide the reader through your argument. 

A good transition will introduce the main point of your next paragraph while still maintaining the connection to the previous one.

Step 2: Write The Body Paragraphs

Here is a formula for structuring your body paragraphs in a persuasive essay. 

This formula will ensure that each body paragraph is packed with evidence and examples while still being concise and easy to read.

  • The Topic Sentence

Every body paragraph should start with a topic sentence. A topic sentence is a key sentence that sums up the paragraph's main point. 

It should be clear, concise, and direct. 

For example, if you were writing a paragraph about the importance of exercise, your topic sentence might be this:

"Regular exercise is essential for good physical and mental health."

See how that sentence gives a clear overview of what the rest of the paragraph will be about.

  • Relevant Supporting Sentences

Once your topic sentence is down, it's time to fill the rest of the paragraph with relevant supporting sentences. 

These sentences should provide evidence to support the claims made in the topic sentence. 

For the exercise example, we might use sentences like this:

"Exercise has been shown to improve heart health, reduce stress levels, and boost brain power."

"A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and type II diabetes."

See how each sentence ties back to the paragraph's main point. That's what you want your supporting sentences to do.

  • Closing Sentence

Last but not least, every body paragraph should end with a closing (or transition) sentence. This sentence should briefly summarize the main points of the paragraph and introduce the next point that will be discussed in the following paragraph. 

For the exercise example, the closing sentence might look like this:

"So, as you can see, there are many compelling reasons to make exercise a regular part of your routine."

How to End a Persuasive Essay

The end of your essay is just as important as the introduction. You must leave your readers with a lasting impression and ensure your argument convinces them. 

To do this, you'll want to craft a persuasive conclusion that ties together all the points you have made in the essay.

Here is a video explaining the body paragraphs in a persuasive essay. Check it out for more information. 

Step 1: Write a Persuasive Conclusion

Here are a few tips to help make sure your persuasive essay conclusion is as effective and persuasive as possible. 

  • Restate Your Thesis

Begin your essay conclusion by restating the thesis statement you began within your introduction. Doing so will remind readers of what you set out to prove and provide a sense of closure.

  • Summarize Your Arguments

 You can also use your conclusion to summarize the main points of your argument. This will help readers recall the evidence you presented and reinforce why it supports your thesis. 

  • Offer a Call to Action

Lastly, don't forget to include a call to action in your essay conclusion. This can be anything from a persuasive plea to a persuasive suggestion. 

Step 2:  Polish Up Your Essay

After you’re done with the essay, take a few minutes to read through it. Ensure that your persuasive points and evidence are clear, concise, and persuasive. 

Also, double-check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Ensure that all of your persuasive points are properly explained and make sense to the reader. 

If you’re not confident in your persuasive writing skills, you can enlist a friend or family member to read through it and provide feedback.

You can follow a proofreading checklist after completing your essay to ensure you are on track.

By following these steps, you’ll end up with a persuasive essay that will impress anyone who reads it!

Format Of A Persuasive Essay 

Once you have your persuasive essay topic, it's time to craft an essay structure. Crafting the perfect persuasive essay format is essential for ensuring your paper has maximum persuasive power.

Here are some tips for formatting an effective persuasive essay.

  • Increase the Readability of Your Text 

Ensure that you have adhered to all the paragraphing requirements of your instructor. 

Double-check that your margins are set properly. A margin of 1 inch (2.5 cm) on all sides is the standard for most written documents.

This makes it easier for readers to focus and extract important information quickly.

  • Use Easy-to-Read Font

Choose a font that is easy to read and professional. Stay away from script fonts or anything too fancy or difficult to read. Stick with basic fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri.

  • Keep a Defined Alignment

Align your persuasive essay to the left margin. This makes it easier for readers to follow along with your argument without having to do too much extra scrolling. 

By following these simple tips, you'll be able to craft the perfect persuasive essay format.

Persuasive Essay Examples

Here are some examples of persuasive essays that can help you get the gist of essay writing.

Persuasive essay on the preservation of nature

Persuasive essay examples pdf

Example of a persuasive essay about covid-19

Check out some more  persuasive essay examples  here for more inspiration.

Good Persuasive Essay Topics

The right persuasive essay topics can make or break your essay. Here are a few examples of persuasive essay topics that can help you. 

  • Should the government increase taxes on sugary foods to reduce obesity? 
  • Do standardized tests accurately measure student intelligence and aptitude? 
  • Should studying a foreign language be mandatory in schools? 
  • Should all high school students complete community service hours before graduating? 
  • Are video games affecting the concentration and cognitive development of children? 
  • Should genetically modified foods be labeled as such in stores? 
  • Are the current copyright laws protecting artists and content creators enough? 
  • Should college tuition be reduced for all students? 
  • Is the use of animals in medical research ethical? 
  • Should the use of drones be regulated by the government? 
  • Should college athletes receive payment for their performance? 
  • Should students be allowed to have cell phones in school? 
  • Is drug testing in schools an effective way to prevent substance abuse? 
  • Does social media promote a healthy lifestyle or contribute to cyber bullying? 
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

If you’re stuck with choosing topics, these are great  persuasive essay topics  to get you started! 

Pick one of these and craft an essay that will leave your readers thinking. 

Tips to Write a Compelling Persuasive Essay

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make a lasting impression on your reader:

Pick A Topic You're Passionate About

First, you need to choose a topic you're passionate about. It will be easier to write about the topic if you care about the essay. 

This will make it easier to develop persuasive arguments, and you'll be more motivated to do research.

Research Your Topic Thoroughly

After picking a persuasive essay topic, you need thorough research. This will help you gain a better understanding of the issue, which in turn will make your essay stronger. This will also ensure that you fully grasp all counterarguments on your topic.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience before writing is important. Are you writing to your classmates? Your teacher? The general public? Once you know your audience, you can tailor your argument to them. 

Knowing your audience will help determine the tone and approach of your essay.

Hook The Reader's Attention

The first few sentences of your essay are crucial - they must grab the reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. 

One way to do this is by starting with a shocking statistic or an interesting story. The reader will be instantly hooked and will be enticed to read more.

Research Both Sides 

A good persuasive essay will consider both sides of an issue and present a well-rounded view. This means researching both sides of the argument before taking a stance. 

Make sure to consider all the evidence before making up your mind - otherwise, your argument won't be as strong as it could be.

Ask Rhetorical Questions

Rhetorical questions are not meant to be answered but rather to make the reader think about the issue. 

For example, "How can we expect our children to succeed in school if they don't have enough resources?" 

Questions like this can help engage readers and get them thinking about solutions rather than just complaining about problems.

Emphasize Your Point

It's important to reiterate your main points throughout the essay so that readers don't forget what they are supposed to argue for or against by the time they reach the end of the paper.

Persuasive essays can be difficult to write, but following simple tips can help make the process easier. 

In this blog, we've outlined the components of a persuasive essay and provided some tips on how to write one. We also shared examples of persuasive essays that scored high marks on standardized tests. 

If you are looking for an essay writing service , look no further than CollegeEssay.org! Our experienced essay writer can provide the assistance you need to produce an essay that meets the highest standards.

Let our persuasive essay writer handle the hard work and get you started on your path to success.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Persuasive Essays

How long should a persuasive essay be.

Generally speaking, persuasive essays should be between 500-750 words. However, the length of your essay will depend on the instructions given by your teacher or professor.

What Techniques Are Used In Persuasive Essays?

Persuasive techniques include facts and statistics, emotion and logic, personal stories, analogies and metaphors, pathos, ethos, and logos.

How Do I Make My Persuasive Essay More Convincing?

To make your essay more convincing, cite reliable sources, use persuasive language, and provide strong evidence and arguments.

How Is Persuasive Writing Different From Argumentative Writing?

The main difference between persuasive and argumentative writing is that persuasive writing seeks to convince or persuade the reader. On the other hand, argumentative writing seeks to debate an issue.

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Essay Papers Writing Online

10 effective techniques to master persuasive essay writing and convince any audience.

Persuasive essay writing

As a skilled communicator, your ability to persuade others is crucial in many areas of life. Whether you’re presenting an argument, advocating for a cause, or simply trying to convince someone of your point of view, your persuasive essay can be a powerful tool. However, crafting an essay that truly convinces your reader requires more than just strong opinions and eloquent language. It requires a strategic approach that combines logical reasoning, emotional appeal, and effective writing techniques.

1. Craft a Compelling Introduction: Your introduction is the first impression you make on your reader, so it’s essential to capture their attention right from the start. Consider using a captivating anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a shocking statistic to engage your audience and set the tone for your essay. By immediately grabbing their interest, you increase the chances that they’ll continue reading and be open to your persuasive arguments.

2. Clearly Define Your Position: Before launching into the main body of your essay, make sure to clearly state your position on the topic. This will help your reader understand your stance and follow your line of reasoning throughout the essay. Use concise and assertive language to communicate your position, and consider reinforcing it with strong evidence or expert opinions that support your viewpoint.

3. Appeal to Emotions: While rational arguments are important, emotions often play a significant role in persuasive writing. Connect with your reader on an emotional level by using vivid descriptions, personal anecdotes, or powerful metaphors. By eliciting an emotional response, you can create a deeper connection with your audience and make your arguments more compelling.

Choose a compelling topic that ignites your passion

Choose a compelling topic that ignites your passion

When crafting a persuasive essay, it is crucial to select a topic that not only captivates and engages your readers but also resonates strongly with you. By choosing a compelling topic that ignites your passion, you will be able to infuse enthusiasm and conviction into your writing, making it more convincing and persuasive.

While it may be tempting to select a popular or trending topic, it is essential to choose something that you deeply care about and have a genuine interest in. Your passion for the subject matter will shine through in your writing, capturing the attention and interest of your readers.

  • Explore your hobbies and personal interests.
  • Reflect on societal issues that deeply affect you.
  • Consider topics that challenge conventional thinking.
  • Analyze current events and their impact on your community or society as a whole.
  • Look for subjects that inspire debate and differing opinions.
  • Examine topics that align with your values and beliefs.

By choosing a topic that you are not only knowledgeable about but also passionate about, you will have a stronger emotional connection to your writing. This emotional connection will allow you to effectively convey your argument, influence your readers’ perspectives, and ultimately convince them to see things from your point of view.

Remember, the key to writing a persuasive essay lies in your ability to convey your ideas convincingly. By selecting a compelling topic that ignites your passion, you will have a solid foundation for crafting a persuasive essay that will resonate with readers and leave a lasting impact. So, take the time to explore your interests and choose a topic that truly captivates you.

Conduct thorough research to gather supporting evidence

Gathering strong evidence is a vital step in writing a persuasive essay. Convincing your readers requires you to present compelling facts, statistics, expert opinions, and examples that support your arguments. To achieve this, it is crucial to conduct thorough research to collect relevant and reliable information.

Begin by determining the main points you want to convey in your essay. These points should align with your thesis statement and support your overall argument. Once you have a clear idea of what you are trying to communicate, start gathering supporting evidence.

Research various credible sources such as academic journals, books, reputable websites, and expert interviews. Look for information that directly relates to your topic and can be used to reinforce your arguments. Be sure to verify the credibility and reliability of your sources to ensure the accuracy of the information.

Take notes as you conduct your research, highlighting key points, supporting evidence, and any quotes or statistics that you may want to include in your essay. It is essential to organize your findings in a way that makes sense and flows logically in your essay.

When using statistics or data, make sure to cite the sources properly to give credit to the original authors and establish your credibility as a writer. This will also allow your readers to verify the information themselves if they wish to do so.

By conducting thorough research and gathering strong supporting evidence, you will be able to present a persuasive and well-supported argument in your essay. This will not only convince your readers but also showcase your knowledge, understanding, and dedication to the topic at hand.

Develop a clear and concise thesis statement

One of the most important aspects of writing a persuasive essay is developing a thesis statement that is clear, concise, and compelling. A thesis statement serves as the main argument or central idea of your essay. It sets the tone for the entire piece and helps to guide your reader through your argument.

When developing your thesis statement, it’s essential to choose a strong and persuasive statement that clearly states your position on the topic. Avoid vague or ambiguous language that can confuse your reader and weaken your argument. Instead, use strong and specific language that clearly conveys your main point.

Your thesis statement should be concise, meaning it should be expressed in a clear and straightforward manner. Avoid unnecessary words or phrases that can dilute your message and make it less powerful. Instead, focus on getting your point across in as few words as possible while still maintaining clarity and impact.

Additionally, your thesis statement should be compelling and persuasive. It should motivate your reader to continue reading and consider your argument. Use persuasive language and strong evidence to support your thesis statement and convince your reader of its validity.

In summary, developing a clear and concise thesis statement is crucial for writing a persuasive essay. Choose a strong statement that clearly conveys your position, use concise language to express your point, and make your statement compelling and persuasive. By doing so, you will create a strong foundation for your entire essay and increase your chances of convincing your reader.

Use persuasive language and rhetorical devices

Use persuasive language and rhetorical devices

When it comes to crafting a compelling persuasive essay, one must master the art of persuasive language and employ various rhetorical devices. The way you choose your words and structure your sentences can make all the difference in captivating and convincing your readers.

One effective technique is to use strong and powerful language that evokes emotion and creates a sense of urgency. The use of vivid and descriptive words can paint a picture in the minds of your readers, making your arguments more relatable and engaging.

Additionally, employing rhetorical devices such as metaphors, similes, and analogies can effectively convey your message and help your readers understand complex ideas. By drawing comparisons and creating associations, you can make abstract concepts more tangible and easier to grasp.

Another valuable device is repetition. By repeating key phrases or ideas throughout your essay, you can emphasize your points and reinforce your arguments. This technique can help make your arguments more memorable and leave a lasting impact on your readers.

Furthermore, using rhetorical questions can encourage your readers to think critically about your topic and consider your perspective. By posing thought-provoking questions, you can guide your readers towards your desired conclusions and make them actively engage with your essay.

Lastly, employing the use of anecdotes and personal stories can make your essay more relatable and establish a connection with your readers. By sharing real-life examples or experiences, you can offer concrete evidence to support your arguments and establish credibility.

In conclusion, mastering persuasive language and employing rhetorical devices can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your persuasive essay. By choosing your words carefully, using powerful language, and incorporating various rhetorical techniques, you can captivate your readers and present your arguments in a compelling and convincing manner.

Address counterarguments and refute them with strong evidence

When writing a persuasive essay, it is crucial to anticipate and address potential counterarguments to strengthen your argument. By acknowledging opposing viewpoints and then refuting them with strong evidence, you can demonstrate the credibility and validity of your own position.

One effective way to address counterarguments is to acknowledge them upfront and present them in an objective and unbiased manner. By doing so, you show that you have considered different perspectives and are willing to engage in a fair and balanced discussion. This approach also helps you connect with readers who may initially hold opposing views, as it shows respect for their opinions and demonstrates your willingness to engage in thoughtful debate.

To effectively refute counterarguments, it is important to use strong evidence that supports your own position. This can include data, statistics, expert opinions, research findings, and real-life examples. By providing convincing evidence, you can demonstrate the superiority of your argument and weaken the credibility of counterarguments. Be sure to cite credible sources and use persuasive language to present your evidence in a convincing way.

In addition to providing strong evidence, it is also important to anticipate and address potential weaknesses in your own argument. By acknowledging and addressing these weaknesses, you can show that you have thoroughly considered your stance and are able to respond to potential criticisms. This helps to build trust and credibility with your readers, as they can see that you are aware of the limitations of your argument and have taken steps to address them.

In conclusion, addressing counterarguments and refuting them with strong evidence is a crucial component of persuasive writing. By acknowledging opposing viewpoints and providing solid evidence to support your own position, you can strengthen your argument and convince readers to adopt your point of view. Remember to always approach counterarguments objectively, use persuasive language, and address any potential weaknesses in your own argument. By doing so, you can create a compelling and persuasive essay that will resonate with your readers.

Edit and proofread your essay for grammar and clarity

Once you’ve completed your persuasive essay, the work isn’t quite finished. It’s essential to go back and review your writing with a critical eye, focusing on grammar and clarity. This final step is crucial in ensuring that your arguments are effectively communicated and that your reader can easily understand and follow your points.

First and foremost, pay attention to grammar. Look for any errors in your sentence structure, verb tense, subject-verb agreement, and punctuation. Make sure that your sentences are clear and concise, without any unnecessary or confusing phrases. Correct any spelling mistakes or typos that may have slipped through the cracks.

Next, consider the overall clarity of your essay. Read through each paragraph and ensure that your ideas flow logically and cohesively. Are your arguments supported by evidence and examples? Are your transitions smooth and seamless? If necessary, revise or rearrange your paragraphs to strengthen the overall structure of your essay.

It’s also important to check for any ambiguous or vague language. Make sure that your words and phrases have precise meanings and can be easily understood by your reader. Consider whether there are any areas where you could provide more clarification or add further details to strengthen your points.

When editing and proofreading, it can be helpful to read your essay out loud. This can help you identify any awkward or convoluted sentences, as well as any areas where you may have used repetitive or redundant language. Reading aloud also allows you to hear the natural rhythm and flow of your writing, giving you a better sense of how your words will be perceived by the reader.

Finally, consider seeking feedback from others. Share your essay with a trusted friend, family member, or teacher and ask for their input. They may be able to offer valuable suggestions or catch any errors that you may have missed. Sometimes, a fresh set of eyes can provide a new perspective and help you improve your essay even further.

By taking the time to edit and proofread your essay for grammar and clarity, you can ensure that your persuasive arguments are presented in the most effective and compelling way possible. This attention to detail will not only demonstrate your strong writing skills, but it will also increase the chances of convincing your reader to see things from your perspective.

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

Have you ever tried to get somebody round to your way of thinking? Then you should know how daunting the task is. Still, if your persuasion is successful, the result is emotionally rewarding.

A persuasive essay is a type of writing that uses facts and logic to argument and substantiate such or another point of view. The purpose is to assure the reader that the author’s position is viable. In this article by Custom-writing experts, you can find a guide on persuasive writing, compelling examples, and outline structure. Continue reading and learn how to write a persuasive essay!

⚖️ Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essay

  • 🐾 Step-by-Step Writing Guide

🔗 References

An argumentative essay intends to attack the opposing point of view, discussing its drawbacks and inconsistencies. A persuasive essay describes only the writer’s opinion, explaining why it is a believable one. In other words, you are not an opponent; you are an advocate.

Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essays: in what Points Are They Similar and Different?

A persuasive essay primarily resorts to emotions and personal ideas on a deeper level of meaning, while an argumentative one invokes logic reasoning. Despite the superficial similarity of these two genres, argumentative speech presupposes intense research of the subject, while persuasive speech requires a good knowledge of the audience.

🐾 How to Write a Persuasive Essay Step by Step

These nine steps are the closest thing you will find to a shortcut for writing to persuade. With practice, you may get through these steps quickly—or even figure out new techniques in persuasive writing.

📑 Persuasive Essay Outline

Below you’ll find an example of a persuasive essay outline . Remember: papers in this genre are more flexible than argumentative essays are. You don’t need to build a perfectly logical structure here. Your goal is to persuade your reader.

Note that the next section contains a sample written in accordance with this outline.

Persuasive Essay Introduction

  • Hook: start with an intriguing sentence.
  • Background: describe the context of the discussed issue and familiarize the reader with the argument.
  • Definitions: if your essay dwells upon a theoretical subject matter, be sure to explain the complicated terms.
  • Thesis statement: state the purpose of your piece of writing clearly and concisely. This is the most substantial sentence of the entire essay, so take your time formulating it.

Persuasive Essay Body

Use the following template for each paragraph.

  • Topic sentence: linking each new idea to the thesis, it introduces a paragraph. Use only one separate argument for each section, stating it in the topic sentence.
  • Evidence: substantiate the previous sentence with reliable information. If it is your personal opinion, give the reasons why you think so.
  • Analysis: build the argument, explaining how the evidence supports your thesis.

Persuasive Essay Conclusion

  • Summary: briefly list the main points of the essay in a couple of sentences.
  • Significance: connect your essay to a broader idea.
  • Future: how can your argument be developed?

⭐ Persuasive Essay Examples

In this section, there are three great persuasive essay examples. The first one is written in accordance with the outline above, will the components indicated. Two others are downloadable.

Example #1: Being a Millionaire is a Bad Thing

Introduction, paragraph #1, paragraph #2, paragraph #3, example #2: teachers or doctors.

The importance of doctors in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to overstate. The well-being of the nation depends on how well doctors can fulfill their duties before society. The US society acknowledges the importance of doctors and healthcare, as it is ready to pay large sums of money to cure the diseases. However, during the lockdown, students and parents all around the world began to understand the importance of teachers.

Before lockdown, everyone took the presence of teachers for granted, as they were always available free of charge. In this country, it has always been the case that while doctors received praises and monetary benefits, teachers remained humble, even though they play the most important role for humanity: passing the knowledge through generations. How fair is that? The present paper claims that even in the period of the pandemic, teachers contribute more to modern society than doctors do.

Example #3: Is Online or Homeschool More Effective?

The learning process can be divided into traditional education in an educational institution and distance learning. The latter form has recently become widely popular due to the development of technology. Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving the increased interest in distance learning. However, there is controversy about whether this form of training is sufficient enough. This essay aims to examine online and homeschooling in a historical and contemporary context and to confirm the thesis that such activity is at least equivalent to a standard type of education.

Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Why do managers hate the performance evaluation?  
  • Why human cloning should be prohibited.  
  • Social media have negative physical and psychological effect on teenagers.  
  • Using cell phones while driving should be completely forbidden.  
  • Why is business ethics important? 
  • Media should change its negative representation of ageing and older people.  
  • What is going on with the world?  
  • Good communication skills are critical for successful business.  
  • Why capitalism is the best economic system.  
  • Sleep is extremely important for human health and wellbeing.  
  • Face-to-face education is more effective than online education.  
  • Why video games can be beneficial for teenagers.  
  • Bullies should be expelled from school as they encroach on the school safety.  
  • Why accountancy is a great occupation and more people should consider it as a future career.  
  • The reasons art and music therapy should be included in basic health insurance.  
  • Impact of climate change on the indoor environment.  
  • Parents should vaccinate their children to prevent the spread of deadly diseases.  
  • Why celebrities should pay more attention to the values they promote.  
  • What is wrong with realism?  
  • Why water recycling should be every government’s priority.  
  • Media spreads fear and panic among people.  
  • Why e-business is very important for modern organizations.  
  • People should own guns for self-protection.  
  • The neccessity of container deposit legislation. 
  • We must save crocodiles to protect ecological balance.  
  • Why we should pay more attention to renewable energy projects.  
  • Anthropology is a critically relevant science.  
  • Why it’s important to create a new global financial order.  
  • Why biodiversity is crucial for the environment?
  • Why process safety management is crucial for every organization.  
  • Speed limits must not be increased.  
  • What’s wrong with grades at school ?  
  • Why tattoos should be considered as a form of fine art.  
  • Using all-natural bath and body products is the best choice for human health and safety.  
  • What is cancel culture?  
  • Why the Internet has become a problem of modern society.  
  • Illegal immigrants should be provided with basic social services.  
  • Smoking in public places must be banned for people’s safety and comfort.  
  • Why it is essential to control our nutrition.  
  • How to stimulate economic growth?  
  • Why exercise is beneficial for people.  
  • Studying history is decisive for the modern world.  
  • We must decrease fuel consumption to stop global warming.  
  • Why fighting social inequality is necessary.  
  • Why should businesses welcome remote work?  
  • Social media harms communication within families.   
  • College athletes should be paid for their achievements.  
  • Electronic books should replace print books.  
  • People should stop cutting down rainforest .  
  • Why every company should have a web page.
  • Tips To Write An Effective Persuasive Essay: The College Puzzle, Stanford University
  • 31 Powerful Persuasive Writing Techniques: Writtent
  • Persuasive Essay Outline: Houston Community College System
  • Essays that Worked: Hamilton College
  • Argumentative Essays // Purdue Writing Lab
  • Persuasion – Writing for Success (University of Minnesota)
  • Persuasive Writing (Manitoba Education)
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Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing

how to write a school persuasive essay

  • Resources & Preparation
  • Instructional Plan
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Persuasive writing is an important skill that can seem intimidating to elementary students. This lesson encourages students to use skills and knowledge they may not realize they already have. A classroom game introduces students to the basic concepts of lobbying for something that is important to them (or that they want) and making persuasive arguments. Students then choose their own persuasive piece to analyze and learn some of the definitions associated with persuasive writing. Once students become aware of the techniques used in oral arguments, they then apply them to independent persuasive writing activities and analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques.

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From theory to practice.

  • Students can discover for themselves how much they already know about constructing persuasive arguments by participating in an exercise that is not intimidating.  
  • Progressing from spoken to written arguments will help students become better readers of persuasive texts.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Materials and Technology

  • Computers with Internet access  
  • PowerPoint  
  • LCD projector (optional)  
  • Chart paper or chalkboard  
  • Sticky notes  
  • Persuasive Strategy Presentation
  • Persuasion Is All Around You  
  • Persuasive Strategy Definitions  
  • Check the Strategies  
  • Check the Strategy  
  • Observations and Notes  
  • Persuasive Writing Assessment

Preparation

Student objectives.

Students will

  • Work in cooperative groups to brainstorm ideas and organize them into a cohesive argument to be presented to the class  
  • Gain knowledge of the different strategies that are used in effective persuasive writing  
  • Use a graphic organizer to help them begin organizing their ideas into written form  
  • Apply what they have learned to write a persuasive piece that expresses their stance and reasoning in a clear, logical sequence  
  • Develop oral presentation skills by presenting their persuasive writing pieces to the class  
  • Analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques

Session 1: The Game of Persuasion

Home/School Connection: Distribute Persuasion Is All Around You . Students are to find an example of a persuasive piece from the newspaper, television, radio, magazine, or billboards around town and be ready to report back to class during Session 2. Provide a selection of magazines or newspapers with advertisements for students who may not have materials at home. For English-language learners (ELLs), it may be helpful to show examples of advertisements and articles in newspapers and magazines.

Session 2: Analysis of an Argument

Home/School Connection: Ask students to revisit their persuasive piece from Persuasion Is All Around You . This time they will use Check the Strategies to look for the persuasive strategies that the creator of the piece incorporated. Check for understanding with your ELLs and any special needs students. It may be helpful for them to talk through their persuasive piece with you or a peer before taking it home for homework. Arrange a time for any student who may not have the opportunity to complete assignments outside of school to work with you, a volunteer, or another adult at school on the assignment.

Session 3: Persuasive Writing

Session 4: presenting the persuasive writing.

  • Endangered Species: Persuasive Writing offers a way to integrate science with persuasive writing. Have students pretend that they are reporters and have to convince people to think the way they do. Have them pick issues related to endangered species, use the Persuasion Map as a prewriting exercise, and write essays trying to convince others of their points of view. In addition, the lesson “Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues” can be adapted for your students as part of this exercise.  
  • Have students write persuasive arguments for a special class event, such as an educational field trip or an in-class educational movie. Reward the class by arranging for the class event suggested in one of the essays.

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • Compare your Observations and Notes from Session 4 and Session 1 to see if students understand the persuasive strategies, use any new persuasive strategies, seem to be overusing a strategy, or need more practice refining the use of a strategy. Offer them guidance and practice as needed.  
  • Collect both homework assignments and the Check the Strategy sheets and assess how well students understand the different elements of persuasive writing and how they are applied.  
  • Collect students’ Persuasion Maps and use them and your discussions during conferences to see how well students understand how to use the persuasive strategies and are able to plan their essays. You want to look also at how well they are able to make changes from the map to their finished essays.  
  • Use the Persuasive Writing Assessment to evaluate the essays students wrote during Session 3.
  • Calendar Activities
  • Strategy Guides
  • Lesson Plans
  • Student Interactives

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

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How to Write a Concluding Paragraph for a Persuasive Essay

Last Updated: February 13, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 188,460 times.

Jake Adams

Giving an Overview

Step 1 Re-read your paper or paper outline.

  • If it helps, print out a copy of the body of the paper and highlight the main points to be summarized.

Step 2 Summarize your main arguments.

  • For instance, "Gun laws should be changed to reflect the evolving needs of today's generations.”

Step 3 Avoid introducing any new ideas.

  • You can, however, create a call to action or end with a creative and engaging hook statement.

Step 4 Keep it brief.

  • Using the first sentence to restate the hypothesis in your introduction, in different wording
  • Writing the next 2-3 sentence to summarize the key arguments made in your paper
  • Having the last 1-2 sentences be a grand statement of conclusion, saying what your final findings are

Using Convincing Wording

Step 1 Try parallel sentences.

  • For instance, "Regular exercise reduces stress, improves your sleep, and promotes weight loss."

Step 2 Use strong, simple language.

  • For instance, instead of writing, "The traditional American Dream is not dead and gone," write, "The American Dream is not dead.”
  • However, keep in mind that in some cases, more elaborate wording may be necessary to drive home your point.

Step 3 Avoid being obvious.

Establishing the Relevance of Your Conclusion

Step 1 Use the

  • For example,"What will happen to small businesses as different industries continue to go digital?"

Step 2 Put out a call to action to engage your reader in a memorable way.

  • For example, "Being environmentally responsible is a necessary step for all people, in order to save the parts of nature that we have left."

Step 3 Present an ideal picture to improve your reader's relation to the text.

  • For example, "If this competitive nature of school work were replaced with a more community-based learning approach, we might see happier, healthier children."

Community Q&A

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Write a Reflection Paper

  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://opentextbc.ca/writingforsuccess/chapter/chapter-10-persuasion/
  • ↑ http://penandthepad.com/write-concluding-paragraph-persuasive-essay-college-1412.html
  • ↑ http://examples.yourdictionary.com/parallel-structure-examples.html
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/ending-essay-conclusions
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/conclusions.html

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a concluding paragraph for your persuasive essay, you’ll need to briefly summarize your main arguments. Use the first sentence to restate your hypothesis from your introduction in different words. Then, spend 2 or 3 sentences reminding the reader of the main arguments you made throughout the essay. Use strong, simple language to emphasize your conclusion. You can also add a call to action or tell the reader what you think should happen as a result of your conclusions. For example, "If this competitive nature of school work were replaced with a more community-based learning approach, we might see happier, healthier children." For more tips from our Teaching co-author, including how to position your arguments within the bigger picture, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essay generator.

how to write a school persuasive essay

People in general have strong opinions or have their personal stance about certain issues – be it substantial or trivial. Some advocate their stance in public like rallies or demonstrations where they deliver persuasive speeches to gain other people’s approval. Some people, on the other hand, opt to do it a subtle but poignant way, through writing. You may also see essay writings .

  • Samples of Formal Essays
  • Academic Essay Examples

Through the course of history, writing was used to start a revolution. Writing has its immense power of uniting the people to a specific cause. It can educate, entertain and persuade the readers. However, writing has many types, styles, techniques. etc. It is a very diverse field. You may also see short essay .

One of the most common types of writing is essay writing. According to Harvard University, “Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. ”

In other words, essay writing has been classified as a formal and informal form of writing. It gives the writer the avenue to give his/her own argument regarding a certain topic. However, it only topples one topic at a time and it is centered around a main topic. You may also see  Basic Guide on Essay Writing .

how to write a school persuasive essay

What is a Persuasive Essay?

Persuasive writing or also known as argument essay , explains a specific topic and attempts to persuade the readers that the writer’s stance is right or a certain idea is more valid than the other. It uses logic and reason to present that one idea is more correct than the other. Through persuasive writing , the reader must be able to discern and adapt a certain point of view and take a course of action.

The writer must take a position whether he/she is FOR or AGAINST an issue. He/she must do intensive research in order to provide evidences based on facts. The argument in the essay must always use rational reasoning and well-founded evidences by presenting facts, valid reasons, analytical examples and quoting experts. You may also see  argumentative essay

A persuasive essay could be about anything  you have an opinion of. As long as you can present compelling evidences that support your argument. People that have strong opinions about your stance should be persuaded or even accept the evidences you present as valid. You may also see persuasive speech .

Elements of a Persuasive Essay

A clear thesis or controlling idea.

This is the main focus of your essay. The flow of your paper revolves around your thesis. This establishes and sustains the focus of your paper. The thesis of your essay must be solid and distinct and avoid a vague and unsure thesis that you clearly have no background information about. You may also see free essay .

Opening paragraph

This is the introduction of your essay. It opens your whole paper to the readers and it introduces the topic of your paper. The introduction gives a short background about your essay. It gives a first impression, establishes credibility and prepares your readers to the content of your paper. It should immediately make your readers curious and interested. You may also see high school essay .

Body paragraphs

Your information or arguments are presented in the body of your essay. The body of your essay should be supported by research evidence you were able to gather. The body should contain all the information or argument you intend to convey to your readers. Do not leave room for unanswered questions in your body as it can make your essay inadequate or simply unclear. The body of your essay can be one or more than one paragraph long, depending on the length you would want to breakdown and organize your essay. Also see  Content Outline Writing Tips and Examples

Smooth transitions

The flow of your essay should be polished and refined. It should go from one point to another without breaking its coherence from each other. Your readers must be able to clearly understand that you are done explaining one point and you’re going onward with another. You may also see analytical essay .

Use of counterarguments

Using counterarguments are necessary in a persuasive essay. You use counterarguments to summarize and rebut opposing positions. It helps give emphasis on the position you have taken. It also helps make your essay a well-rounded and well-versed output. Also see  Debate Speech Examples

Your conclusion emphasizes the main point of your essay without being repetitive. Your conclusion must wrap up the main point of your essay with the help of the arguments you have presented beforehand. Although it is a ‘wrap up’ of your whole essay, you must avoid repeating words and thoughts you have already pointed out while presenting your idea. You may also see essay examples .

how to write a school persuasive essay

1. Take a stance

The stance you take, whether your FOR or AGAINST about an issue will dictate the direction of your essay. The information and arguments you will present in your essay will revolve around the stance you have chosen. Although it is subjective, avoid prejudice and logically explain your stance instead. Remember that your stance are to be supported by legitimate facts and evidences. You may also see scholarship essay .

2. Know your audience

Your readers have opinions of their own about a certain issue. Determine whether your audience may agree with your position and why they may not. In order to successfully contest your point of view, especially when trying to explain why a certain idea is more valid than the other, you must be able to understand both sides of the issue. You may also see student council speech .

3. Research

Thoroughly research about your topic. The point of a persuasive essay is to disprove the opposing argument through providing detailed and compelling evidences. It will likely be necessary to undertake library-based research, intensive hunt for legitimate references and thorough examination of various examples. You may also see  How to Write Definition Essay and Examples

4. Structure your essay

Organize the structure of your essay by determining the logical sequence of presenting your evidences. In order for your readers to fully understand the essence of your essay, determine the information you need to include and arrange them according to the hierarchy of its importance and/or relevance to your topic and stance. You may also see literacy essay .

5. Support your stance

As you may have done your research regarding your topic, avoid simply copy-pasting or plagiarizing supporting details. Follow proper citations in your evidences. Use hard-hitting facts that are not easily rebutted. Provide meaningful examples, verifiable statistics and one or two direct quotations from experts in order to strengthen your argument. You may also see reflective essay .

how to write a school persuasive essay

Without any confusion, your persuasive essay should be able to smoothly merge the following tasks:

1. First, define your key terms or ideas. It should clear up unnecessary confusion about other topics.

2. Second, describe and analyze specific examples used in your essay. It should be able to clearly explain the examples in a level the readers can easily comprehend. You may also see expository essay .

3. Third, it should be able to summarize   and evaluate   the opposing opinions on your topic; meaning, your essay should be able to weigh in on the essence of the opposing argument without invalidating it. It should just be presented but logically rebutted. You may also see comparative essay .

4. Fourth, it should compare   and contrast   your examples and their relation to your thesis. Analyze and state the correlation of your examples with your thesis.You may also see descriptive essay .

5. Lastly, your essay must be able to connect   your examples explicitly to your central idea and to each other. Directly connect the relationship of your examples with the thesis or central idea of your essay in order to prove their coherence. You may also see synthesis essay .

Persuasive Essay Example

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How to Support your Arguments

Do not confuse facts with truths. A “truth” is an idea many people believe but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. A fact, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a piece of information presented as having an objective reality. Facts have evidences that prove them to be true. It can easily be obtained through research on scholarly materials, observation or actual experience. You may also see informative essay .

2. Statistics

These provide excellent support to your argument. Statistics are a collection of quantitative data gathered or combined after intensive research and/or experiments. They provide numerical and visual evidences to your argument. Always make sure you get statistics from reliable resources and you cite your sources properly. You may also see descriptive essay .

A direct quote reproduces the words of another writer verbatim and is displayed in quotation marks. Although it is not recommended, paraphrasing the quote into your essay is a good way to support your argument. Find legitimate quotes from experts. Quotes can be found in published research papers, scholarly articles and books, and other research materials. You may also see travel essay .

4. Examples

Examples are closely similar cases that serves as a precedent or model, it illustrates what the idea is trying to convey. They add and improve your the meaning of the idea and at the same time, makes your idea actual and concrete. You may also see photo essay .

how to write a school persuasive essay

General Guidelines

Bear in mind that the main goal of a persuasive essay is persuade readers that the position you are going for is the most relevant position. You must have a firm opinion about an issue that you want your readers to accept. Before you start to write your persuasive essay, you must already have an opinion or a stance of your own. It is much better to have background information about certain topics before you choose what to write about. You may also see evaluation essay examples .

Always aim to grab the readers attention. You can start your essay with a grabber or hook. It can either be hard, cold facts or quotations from a reliable person that directly relates to your cause. You may also see college essay .

As it has been mentioned, a persuasive essay can be subjective, nevertheless, it still has to be objective. As much as it is about your opinion or position about the issue, it needs facts and evidences. Readers will claim your stance as false if they don’t see/read a credible source backing up your opinion. And lastly, conclude your essay with a restatement of what you want your readers to believe. Reaffirm that the statements you have presented are more valid than the other. You may also see personal narrative essay .

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Write a Persuasive Essay arguing for the adoption of renewable energy sources.

Convince your readers of the importance of maintaining biodiversity in a Persuasive Essay.

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5 strategies to unlock your winning college essay.

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CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 29: People walk through the gate on Harvard Yard at the Harvard ... [+] University campus on June 29, 2023 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that race-conscious admission policies used by Harvard and the University of North Carolina violate the Constitution, bringing an end to affirmative action in higher education. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

The college application season is upon us, and high school students everywhere are staring down at one of the most daunting tasks: the college essay. As someone who has guided countless applicants through the admissions process and reviewed admissions essays on an undergraduate admissions committee, I've pinpointed the essential ingredient to a differentiated candidacy—the core of your college admissions X-factor .

The essential ingredient to your college admissions X-factor is your intellectual vitality. Intellectual vitality is your passion for learning and curiosity. By demonstrating and conveying this passion, you can transform an average essay into a compelling narrative that boosts your chances of getting accepted to your top schools. Here are five dynamic strategies to achieve that goal.

Unleash Your Authentic Voice

Admissions officers sift through thousands of essays every year. What stops them in their tracks? An authentic voice that leaps off the page. Forget trying to guess what the admissions committee wants to hear. Focus on being true to yourself. Share your unique perspective, your passions, and your values. Authenticity resonates deeply with application reviewers, making your essay memorable and impactful. You need not have experienced trauma or tragedy to create a strong narrative. You can write about what you know—intellectually or personally—to convey your enthusiasm, creativity, and leadership. Intellectual vitality shines through when you write with personalized reflection about what lights you up.

Weave A Captivating Story

Everyone loves a good story, and your essay is the perfect place to tell yours. The Common Application personal statement has seven choices of prompts to ground the structure for your narrative. The most compelling stories are often about the smallest moments in life, whether it’s shopping at Costco or about why you wear socks that have holes. Think of the Common Application personal statement as a window into your soul rather than a dry list of your achievements or your overly broad event-based life story. Use vivid anecdotes to bring your experiences to life. A well-told story can showcase your growth, highlight your character, and illustrate how you've overcome challenges. Intellectual vitality often emerges in these narratives, revealing how your curiosity and proactive approach to learning have driven you to explore and innovate.

Reflect And Reveal Insights

It's not just about what you've done—it's about what you've learned along the way. When you are writing about a specific event, you can use the STAR framework—situation, task, action, and result (your learning). Focus most of your writing space on the “R” part of this framework to dive deeply into your experiences and reflect on how they've shaped your aspirations and identity.

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The most insightful college-specific supplement essays demonstrate depth of thought, and the ability to connect past experiences with your future life in college and beyond. Reflecting on your intellectual journey signals maturity and a readiness to embrace the college experience. It shows admissions officers that you engage deeply with your studies and are eager to contribute to the academic community.

Highlight Your Contributions—But Don’t Brag

Whether it's a special talent, an unusual hobby, or a unique perspective, showcasing what you can bring to the college environment can make a significant impact. Recognize that the hard work behind the accomplishment is what colleges are interested in learning more about—not retelling about the accomplishment itself. (Honors and activities can be conveyed in another section of the application.) Walk us through the journey to your summit; don’t just take us to the peak and expect us know how you earned it.

Intellectual vitality can be demonstrated through your proactive approach to solving problems, starting new projects, or leading initiatives that reflect your passion for learning and growth. These experiences often have a place in the college-specific supplement essays. They ground the reasons why you want to study in your major and at the particular college.

Perfect Your Prose

Great writing is essential. Anyone can use AI or a thesaurus to assist with an essay, but AI cannot write your story in the way that you tell it. Admissions officers don’t give out extra credit for choosing the longest words with the most amount of syllables.

The best essays have clear, coherent language and are free of errors. The story is clearly and specifically told. After drafting, take the time to revise and polish your writing. Seek feedback from teachers, mentors, or trusted friends, but ensure the final piece is unmistakably yours. A well-crafted essay showcases your diligence and attention to detail—qualities that admissions officers highly value. Intellectual vitality is also reflected in your writing process, showing your commitment to excellence and your enthusiasm for presenting your best self.

Crafting a standout college essay is about presenting your true self in an engaging, reflective, and polished manner while showcasing your intellectual vitality. Happy writing.

Dr. Aviva Legatt

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How Trump’s Team Blew It

Todd Blanche walking on a sidewalk.

By Renato Mariotti

Mr. Mariotti, a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in Chicago, is a former federal prosecutor.

The criminal trial of Donald Trump didn’t have to end this way.

The prosecution’s case had flaws that couldn’t be wallpapered over even with weeks of testimony, over 200 exhibits and a polished and persuasive presentation by Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, and his team. If Mr. Trump’s lawyers had played their cards right, they most likely would have ended up with a hung jury or a misdemeanor conviction.

The defense lost a winnable case by adopting an ill-advised strategy that was right out of Mr. Trump’s playbook. For years, he denied everything and attacked anyone who dared to take him on. It worked — until this case.

I have practiced criminal law for over 20 years, and I have tried and won cases as both a federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. I’ve almost never seen the defense win without a compelling counternarrative. Jurors often want to side with prosecutors, who have the advantage of writing the indictment, marshaling the witnesses and telling the story.

The defense needs its own story, and in my experience, the side that tells the simpler story at trial usually wins.

Instead of telling a simple story, Mr. Trump’s defense was a haphazard cacophony of denials and personal attacks. That may work for a Trump rally or a segment on Fox News, but it doesn’t work in a courtroom. Perhaps Mr. Trump’s team was also pursuing a political or press strategy, but it certainly wasn’t a good legal strategy. The powerful defense available to Mr. Trump’s attorneys was lost amid all the clutter.

At the beginning of the trial, Mr. Trump’s team had a clear path to victory. He was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to the cover-up of a $130,000 hush-money payment that was made to the porn star Stormy Daniels. Yet the only direct evidence of Mr. Trump’s knowledge was the testimony of Michael Cohen — who has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and charges of bank fraud, tax evasion and campaign finance violation — who hates Mr. Trump and makes money off his public commentary on Mr. Trump’s legal woes.

You don’t need to be a lawyer to see how this could be a powerful legal defense. The prosecution had to prove that Mr. Trump knew about and caused — or at least was an accomplice in creating — the false business records. But at the time the records were created, Mr. Trump was in the White House. The defense could argue that Mr. Cohen and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, who has pleaded guilty to lying under oath and tax fraud, came up with that scheme on their own. Mr. Trump, his lawyers could argue, was focused on his role as president.

Mr. Trump’s team did say something similar at various points in the trial, including during Todd Blanche’s roughly three-hour closing argument. The problem is that the defense made so many other points, and fought so many other things, that it failed to focus the jury on the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and instead tried to fight everything and everyone, even when it gained little by doing so.

Although the prosecution’s evidence of Mr. Trump’s personal approval of the falsification of business records was thin, the evidence for most of the other relevant facts was rock solid. Yet the defense destroyed its own credibility by denying the undeniable, like its laughable claim that the large lump-sum payments to Mr. Cohen really were payments for legal services, including the amount that he embezzled from Mr. Trump.

The trial dragged on for weeks largely because of Mr. Trump’s “deny everything” approach. A savvy defense counsel would have stipulated that Mr. Trump had an intimate affair with Stormy Daniels. Instead, the defense forced the prosecution to prove that the affair occurred and proceeded to aggressively attack Ms. Daniels, whom some of the jury likely found sympathetic in her testimony. That attack gained no ground legally for the defense — little turned on whether Mr. Trump had a sexual encounter with her — but distracted from his actual defense.

Similarly, the cross-examination of Mr. Cohen dragged on for days because the defense sought to confront him with every lie it could identify, seemingly every misdeed he ever committed and every potential line of attack it could come up with.

Because the defense denied everything and attacked Mr. Cohen on every point, prosecutors were able to focus on the many points where Mr. Cohen’s testimony was corroborated by documents, phone records, text messages and a recording. If the defense had narrowly focused on the key points on which that testimony was not corroborated, it could have undermined the prosecution’s advantage.

It may be that a not-guilty verdict was always a long shot. But if the defense had been more effective, one of the two lawyers on the jury might have voted to acquit, all that is needed for a hung jury. Or perhaps the jury would have compromised and rendered a verdict that Mr. Trump committed only a misdemeanor, which most defense attorneys would view as a win, given the circumstances.

But Mr. Trump’s team went for broke, deciding not to seek a jury instruction that would have permitted jurors to find that Mr. Trump committed a misdemeanor rather than a felony. It’s unclear whether that decision to deny the jury an option that would have given the defense a win was an act of hubris or a refusal to compromise, but both are characteristics of Mr. Trump that don’t translate well into a criminal trial.

Mr. Trump’s team was a reflection of its client, always attacking and never backing down. That playbook has worked for Mr. Trump again and again. For this trial and in a Manhattan courtroom, the attitude and strategy backfired.

Renato Mariotti, a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in Chicago, is a former federal prosecutor and a co-host with Asha Rangappa of the “It’s Complicated” podcast .

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .

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  5. 50 Free Persuasive Essay Examples (+BEST Topics) ᐅ TemplateLab

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COMMENTS

  1. 8.7: Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays

    This very detailed table can be simplified. Most academic persuasive essays include the following basic elements: Introduction that explains why the situation is important and presents your argument (aka the claim or thesis). Support/Body. Reasons the thesis is correct or at least reasonable.

  2. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Tips and Tricks

    TIP 1: Be careful not to introduce a new argument in the conclusion—there's no time to develop it now that you've reached the end of your discussion! TIP 2: As with your thesis, avoid announcing your conclusion. Don't start your conclusion with "in conclusion" or "to conclude" or "to end my essay" type statements.

  3. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    Harvard College Writing Center 5 Asking Analytical Questions When you write an essay for a course you are taking, you are being asked not only to create a product (the essay) but, more importantly, to go through a process of thinking more deeply about a question or problem related to the course. By writing about a

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    Thesis statement: Let the audience know your stance. After surveying the topic in the first part of the introduction, it is now time for the student writer to express their opinion and briefly preview the points they will make later in the essay. 2. Body Paragraphs.

  5. Persuasive Essay Guide: How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    The last time you wrote a persuasive essay may have been in high school or college, but the skill of writing a strong persuasive argument is always a useful one to have. Persuasive writing begins with a writer forming their own opinion on a topic, which they then attempt to convince their reader of this opinion by walking them through a number of logical and ethical arguments.

  6. How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

    The 5 Must-Have Steps of a Persuasive Essay. If you're intimidated by the idea of writing an argument, use this list to break your process into manageable chunks. Tackle researching and writing one element at a time, and then revise your essay so that it flows smoothly and coherently with every component in the optimal place. 1.

  7. What is a persuasive essay?

    Writing a persuasive essay usually follows a structured format: introduction, body, conclusion. Unlike argument essays, which involve discussing and attacking alternate views, persuasive essays aim to convince the reader of your argument's validity. ... These two types of assignments are the most common in school and college. Step 1: Topic ...

  8. A Comprehensive Guide on How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    How to Write a Persuasive Essay: The Main Components. 1. Introduction: Capturing Attention and Stating the Thesis. The introduction serves as the gateway to your persuasive essay. Begin by grabbing the reader's attention with a compelling hook—an anecdote, a surprising fact, or a thought-provoking question.

  9. How to Write a Persuasive Essay (with Pictures)

    Pick a topic that appeals to you. Because a persuasive essay often relies heavily on emotional appeals, you should choose to write on something about which you have a real opinion. Pick a subject about which you feel strongly and can argue convincingly. [3] 6. Look for a topic that has a lot of depth or complexity.

  10. 40 Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, and More)

    Harvey Milk's "The Hope" Speech. Sample lines: "Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide.

  11. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    As you write your persuasive essay, remember that your goal is to get the reader to nod their head and agree with you. Each section of the essay should bring you closer to this goal. If you write the essay with this in mind, you'll end up with a paper that will receive high grades. Finally, if you're ever facing writer's block for your ...

  12. How To Write A Persuasive College Essay

    Writers should start with making an outline that should include an introduction, thesis statement, and the body, which should incorporate the evidence gathered and a conclusion. Your conclusion should tie all the collected evidence and use insightful ways to restate the argument. Persuade Audiences with Passion.

  13. Persuasive Essay Outline

    As persuasive essay writers, you can write it however you like, but to follow a traditional persuasive essay structure, use this basic layout to get an effective paper: An Introduction: You need a good hook to grab the reader's attention, a thesis statement presenting the main argument, and a roadmap of the essay, so they know what to expect.

  14. Make It Perfect: The Definitive Guide to a Persuasive Essay

    Here are the steps you need to take: Step 1: Create a Compelling Introduction. You want to hook your readers with a great opening for your persuasive essay, so they'll want to keep reading. Here are 3 tips for writing an attention-grabbing introduction for your next essay. Use a strong hook statement.

  15. Writing a Persuasive Essay

    What are the steps to write a persuasive essay? Start by picking a good topic that can easily be argued. Write the title and the hook sentence to grab the reader's attention. Jot down the main ...

  16. How to Write a Persuasive Paragraph: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

    Download Article. 1. Choose a topic that has at least 2 opposing sides. A persuasive paragraph needs to convince your reader to agree with your position, so you need a topic that allows you to take a stance on an issue. Pick a topic that's debatable, meaning people can disagree about it.

  17. 10 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay That Will Convince Any Reader

    1. Craft a Compelling Introduction: Your introduction is the first impression you make on your reader, so it's essential to capture their attention right from the start. Consider using a captivating anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a shocking statistic to engage your audience and set the tone for your essay.

  18. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

    A great idea is to set a deadline for stopping research. Immerse yourself until then. This way, you can stay on pace to finish before your final deadline. By the end of this research process, you should crystalize your position on the topic. ️. Step 3: Focus on the Opinions in Favor of Your Position.

  19. Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing

    Persuasion Map: Students can use this online interactive tool to map out an argument for their persuasive essay.: Persuasive Strategy Presentation: This handy PowerPoint presentation helps students master the definition of each strategy used in persuasive writing.: Check the Strategies: Students can apply what they know about persuasive writing strategies by evaluating a persuasive piece and ...

  20. 3 Ways to Write a Concluding Paragraph for a Persuasive Essay

    2. Summarize your main arguments. Your concluding paragraph should repeat the main points that you made within your paper in different words. Briefly summarize the key arguments that make up the body of your essay in a clear and concise manner. Make sure to include important keywords from each point in your conclusion.

  21. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Make a claim. Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim. Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim) Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives. The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays.

  22. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    1. Take a stance. The stance you take, whether your FOR or AGAINST about an issue will dictate the direction of your essay. The information and arguments you will present in your essay will revolve around the stance you have chosen. Although it is subjective, avoid prejudice and logically explain your stance instead.

  23. 5 Strategies To Unlock Your Winning College Essay

    Forget trying to guess what the admissions committee wants to hear. Focus on being true to yourself. Share your unique perspective, your passions, and your values. Authenticity resonates deeply ...

  24. Persuasive writing

    Persuasive writing is a form of writing intended to convince or influence readers to accept a particular idea or opinion and to inspire action. ... Education Practices: Specific criticism is aimed at the educational practice of teaching the "persuasive essay format" in schools. This format often encourages students to remove hedge words and ...

  25. Opinion

    The powerful defense available to Mr. Trump's attorneys was lost amid all the clutter. At the beginning of the trial, Mr. Trump's team had a clear path to victory. He was charged with 34 ...

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    Share this article. SINGAPORE, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- EssayFlow has officially announced the launch of its cutting-edge AI essay writing tool that enables students to generate full-length ...