How to Write a Persuasive Essay? A Complete Guide for Students

How to write a persuasive essay that strikes? What to include in an argument paper? These are common questions for all college students. To persuade an audience that your ideas are important and make sense, you have to formulate your opinions clearly and know how to influence other people’s mind. At the same time, solid argumentation is about well-thought evidence supported with credible sources. However, the gift of gab and expression doesn’t always come naturally. In this guide, we will reveal some practical tips and recommendations on making your writing easier and better.

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Before we start, let’s discuss a crucial question about differences between argument and persuasive writing. As many other students, you might be struggling to grasp fundamental distinctions between these two paper types. Check this table to make things clear:

Argumentative essay Persuasive essay
Appeals to logic and facts Appeals to reader’s emotions
Considers opposite view on the problem May ignore opposite view on the problem
Needs a deep research Doesn’t require too much research
Writer doesn’t need to know their audience Writer should know their audience
Needs evidence and reasoning Doesn’t always need evidence
Has aim to prove that your position is valid Has aim to make the audience agree with your position
Appeals to audience’s intellect  Appeals to audience’s heart

Now you know that writing a persuasive essay and an argumentative one requires different approach. In the following article, we will review both cases. Check these argumentative and persuasive writing tips to compose an A-winning piece.

Writing an argumentative essay step by step

  • Step 1: Pre-writing techniques

There are endless ways for coming up with argument essay ideas. As rule of thumb, these are some controversial questions that can be discussed and debated. You can start your search with reviewing newspapers and journals. Also, check some lectures on the well-known resources like TED talks if you need something more academic. When you have found a problem that is suitable, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is that really so and why should we care about this?
  • What are reasons behind this problem?
  • What should be done about this?

If you can answer them all, then you have probably chosen a good topic.

  • Step 2: Come up with the structure

Writing persuasively means having strict structure. Remember that logic is your main instrument of argument writing and therefore you should keep your ideas consistent. All essays of this kind has the same structural pattern: introduction, body, and conclusion. Your task is revealing the argument gradually and let your readers follow it. Doing so, you should perform some previous reading and research. Don’t forget about taking notes while you review sources and compose  plan not to get lost in ideas. Now let’s see how the main parts of a paper should be written.

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  • Step 3: Write an introduction

All essays start with introduction. You should present your topic briefly, so certainly provide some background information in the opening paragraph. The way you compose an introduction decides whether your readers will continue reading or get bored from the very beginning, so pay special attention to this part. Don’t forget about stating your thesis (the main argument you are covering in your further writing).

  • Step 4: Construct body

Before you move to discussion, double check that you compose a background paragraph. Here you should present your sources used, explaining theories and terms. When you are done, move on to supporting paragraphs where you will prove that your claim is valid. Each of them must have a topic sentence and evidence that supports this statement. Use quotes to build a credibility of your arguments. Remember, each paragraph should contain one idea along with explanations and analysis. Include as many paragraphs as needed for covering all of your points.

  • Step 5: Create conclusion

Conclude the arguments you have presented before and restate the main claim (your thesis statement). Don’t give any new information here, just sum up what has been written already. Ultimately, you should suggest ideas for further research on your topic of focus.

  • Step 6: Finishing touch

Once you’ve finished writing, next move to revising and editing. Verify that paragraphs are arranged in a correct order: the strongest go first. Also, check if the order of arguments makes sense and reveal problems coherently. Then read and reread your work for a couple of times for eliminating errors and misprints. Establish that every letter is placed correctly.

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Helpful tips for writing a successful persuasive essay

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The persuasive essay structure is very similar to the one that uses an argumentative one. The basic elements for a persuasive essay: introduction, body, and conclusion. At the same time, there are some differences in how you approach the text. For example, persuasive paper has significant stylistic differences which should be viewed as another way for influencing an audience. Comparing these two types of writing, one can say that an argument essay is more like a scientific article while a persuasive is more like a speech. As you already know, only persuasive papers can be subjective, appealing to emotions. At the same time, argumentation papers are all about proofs, statistics, and solid arguments. Let’s see how to start a persuasive essay, making it more compelling.

  • Give reasons why

When you start writing, explain why people should care about the issue being discussed. This is a psychological moment: if you want them to follow your arguments, give them a reason.

  • Repeat and restate the central argument

This is another psychological trick of persuasion. As your main aim is making readers agree with your point, make sure that they do understand it and therefore repetition is important. However, repetition can be both good and bad. The good one is about presenting the same point in different ways. For instance, try stating it directly, then provide quotation, and then tell your story.

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  • Provide comparisons

As you know from the table provided above, persuasion essay writers should know the audience of their message. To sound more convincing, try relating your ideas to something that readers already accept as correct. However, make sure that your comparisons are relevant, avoiding comparing apples to oranges.

  • Make prognosis

One more efficient persuasion trick is making a suggestion about the future. If you can present possible outcomes of current problems addressed, then you have powerful instruments of influence. Make sure that your prognosis is credible. Be sure that you know your topic well, supporting your claims with grasp of subject and examples.

Summing up

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So to compose a winning argumentation paper, make sure that you choose a debatable topic, find enough relevant sources, provide sufficient arguments as well as evidence. Persuasive papers allow emotional appeal as well as subjective view, however, please remember: always keep your audience in mind. Follow the steps and consider these tips we have listed in this article to craft successful papers. Happy writing!