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Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay

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This, I imagine, will be a good thing. Persuasion is about upending commonly held thoughts and forcing the reader to reevaluate. While you never want to be crass or confrontational, you need to poke into the reader's potential concerns.

Is it fair that we actively promote drinking as a legitimate alternative through Campus Socials and a lack of consequences? We all want less crime, stronger families, and fewer dangerous confrontations over drugs. We need to ask ourselves, however, if we're willing to challenge the status quo to get those results. This policy makes us look stupid. It is not based in fact, and the people that believe it are delusional at best, and villains at worst.

Acknowledge, and refute, arguments against you. While the majority of your essay should be kept to your own argument, you'll bullet-proof your case if you can see and disprove the arguments against you. Save this for the second to last paragraph, in general.

If they're going to hurt themselves, that is their right. The only obvious solution is to ban guns. There is no other argument that matters. Read the prompt carefully. In most cases, you will be given a specific assignment for your persuasive essay. Look for language that gives you a clue as to whether you are writing a purely persuasive or an argumentative essay.

If you can, make the time to craft an argument you'll enjoy writing. Allow yourself enough time to brainstorm, write, and edit. Whenever possible, start early. Examine the rhetorical situation. All writing has a rhetorical situation, which has five basic elements: This is when you look at the facts, definition meaning of the issue or the nature of it , quality the level of seriousness of the issue , and policy plan of action for the issue. To look at the facts, try asking: What are the known facts?

How did this issue begin? What can people do to change the situation? To look at the definition, ask: What is the nature of this issue or problem? What type of problem is this?

What category or class would this problem fit into best? To examine the quality, ask: Who is affected by this problem? How serious is it? What might happen if it is not resolved? To examine the policy, ask: Should someone take action? Who should do something and what should they do? Obviously, your instructor is your primary audience, but consider who else might find your argument convincing.

You might target the school administrators, in which case you could make a case about student productivity and healthy food. 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. Look for a topic that has a lot of depth or complexity. You may feel incredibly passionate about pizza, but it may be difficult to write an interesting essay on it. A subject that you're interested in but which has a lot of depth — like animal cruelty or government earmarking — will make for better subject material.

Consider opposing viewpoints when thinking about your essay. If you think it will be hard to come up with arguments against your topic, your opinion might not be controversial enough to make it into a persuasive essay. On the other hand, if there are too many arguments against your opinion that will be hard to debunk, you might choose a topic that is easier to refute. Make sure you can remain balanced.

A good persuasive essay will consider the counterarguments and find ways to convince readers that the opinion presented in your essay is the preferable one. Keep your focus manageable. Your essay is likely to be fairly short; it may be 5 paragraphs or several pages, but you need to keep a narrow focus so that you can adequately explore your topic.

For example, an essay that attempts to persuade your readers that war is wrong is unlikely to be successful, because that topic is huge. Choosing a smaller bit of that topic -- for example, that drone strikes are wrong -- will give you more time to delve deeply into your evidence.

Come up with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement presents your opinion or argument in clear language. It is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph.

For example, a thesis statement could look like this: It is important for schools to provide fresh, healthy meals to students, even when they cost more. You do need to convey exactly what you will argue. Once you have chosen your topic, do as much preparation as you can before you write your essay.

This means you need to examine why you have your opinion and what evidence you find most compelling. Start with your central topic and draw a box around it. Then, arrange other ideas you think of in smaller bubbles around it. Connect the bubbles to reveal patterns and identify how ideas relate. Generating ideas is the most important step here.

Once you have your ideas together, you may discover that some of them need research to support them. If you have a librarian available, consult with him or her! Librarians are an excellent resource to help guide you to credible research.

Persuasive essays generally have a very clear format, which helps you present your argument in a clear and compelling way. Here are the elements of persuasive essays: You should also provide your thesis statement, which is a clear statement of what you will argue or attempt to convince the reader of.

In other essays, you can have as many paragraphs as you need to make your argument. Regardless of their number, each body paragraph needs to focus on one main idea and provide evidence to support it. Your conclusion is where you tie it all together. It can include an appeal to emotions, reiterate the most compelling evidence, or expand the relevance of your initial idea to a broader context.

Connect your focused topic to the broader world. Come up with your hook. Your hook is a first sentence that draws the reader in. Your hook can be a question or a quotation, a fact or an anecdote, a definition or a humorous sketch. As long as it makes the reader want to continue reading, or sets the stage, you've done your job.

It also encourages the reader to continue reading to learn why they should imagine this world. Many people believe that your introduction is the most important part of the essay, because it either grabs or loses the reader's attention. A good introduction will tell the reader just enough about your essay to draw them in and make them want to continue reading. Then, proceed to move from general ideas to specific ideas until you have built up to your thesis statement. Don't slack on your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement is a short summary of what you're arguing for. It's usually one sentence, and it's near the end of your introductory paragraph.

Make your thesis a combination of your most persuasive arguments, or a single powerful argument, for the best effect. Structure your body paragraphs. Typically, the persuasive essay comprises five or six paragraphs:. The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing. In the revision phase , students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:.

If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.

Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective. Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.

Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher.

Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay , teach students the fundamentals of writing essays, including the persuasive essay. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing , focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay. They are the proof. Here are some ideas of popular persuasive essay topics:.

These essay topic examples are debatable, it is important to choose the topic that is interesting for you. When planning a persuasive essay, follow these steps Choose your position. Which side of the issue or problem are you going to write about, and what solution will you offer?

Know the purpose of your essay. Decide if your audience agrees with you, is neutral, or disagrees with your position. A persuasive essay must provide specific and convincing evidence. Often it is necessary to go beyond your own knowledge and experience.

You might need to go to the library or interview people who are experts on your topic. Figure out what evidence you will include and in what order you will present the evidence.


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Persuasive Essay What is a persuasive/argument essay? Persuasive writing, also known as the argument essay, utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea.

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Persuasive Essay Samples Since this is the most common type of essay, it is important to be familiar with its requirements and style. Check out our persuasive essay samples to get acquainted with this popular form of essay.

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Help your child write a persuasive essay in every grade and learn tips on persuasive writing. Structure and organization are integral components of an effective persuasive essay. No matter how intelligent the ideas, a paper lacking a strong introduction, well-organized body paragraphs and an insightful conclusion is not an effective paper.

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Are you waiting for the exam soon, or do you have a persuasive essay assignment? Then you are interested in learning how to compose persuasive paper. Persuasion essays are a bit like argument essays, but they tend to be a little kinder and gentler. Argument essays require that you discuss and attack an alternate view, while persuasive essays are often more like attempts to convince the reader that you have a believable argument.