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How to Write a persuasive essay

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❶Persuasive essay concluding part Read more. Close with a thesis statement that reveals the position to be argued.

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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. At a minimum, write three paragraphs for the body of the essay. Each paragraph should cover a single main point that relates back to a part of your argument. These body paragraphs are where you justify your opinions and lay out your evidence. Remember that if you don't provide evidence, your argument might not be as persuasive.

Make your evidence clear and precise. For example, don't just say: They are widely recognized as being incredibly smart. Multiple studies found that dolphins worked in tandem with humans to catch prey.

Very few, if any, species have developed mutually symbiotic relationships with humans. Agreed-upon facts from reliable sources give people something to hold onto. If possible, use facts from different angles to support one argument. This makes a case against the death penalty working as a deterrent. If the death penalty were indeed a deterrent, why wouldn't we see an increase in murders in states without the death penalty? You want to make sure that your argument feels like it's building, one point upon another, rather than feeling scattered.

Use the last sentence of each body paragraph to transition to the next paragraph. In order to establish flow in your essay, you want there to be a natural transition from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next. Here is one example: Add a rebuttal or counterargument. You might not be required to do this, but it makes your essay stronger.

Imagine you have an opponent who's arguing the exact opposite of what you're arguing. Think of one or two of their strongest arguments and come up with a counterargument to rebut it. However, consider the fact that middle schoolers are growing at an incredible rate.

Their bodies need energy, and their minds may become fatigued if they go for long periods without eating. Write your conclusion at the very end of your essay. As a general rule, it's a good idea to restate each of your main points and end the whole paper with a probing thought.

If it's something your reader won't easily forget, your essay will have a more lasting impression. Why does this argument or opinion mean something to me? What further questions has my argument raised? What action could readers take after reading my essay? Give yourself a day or two without looking at the essay. If you've planned ahead, this won't be hard. Then, come back to the essay after a day or two and look it over.

The rest will give you a fresh set of eyes and help you spot errors. Any tricky language or ideas that needed time might be revisited then. Read through your draft. A common error with many student writers is not spending enough time revisiting a first draft.

Read through your essay from start to finish. Is this position supported throughout with evidence and examples? Are paragraphs bogged down by extraneous information? Do paragraphs focus on one main idea? Are any counterarguments presented fairly, without misrepresentation? Are they convincingly dismissed? Are the paragraphs in an order that flows logically and builds an argument step-by-step?

Revision is more than simple proofreading. You may need to touch up your transitions, move paragraphs around for better flow, or even draft new paragraphs with new, more compelling evidence. Be willing to make even major changes to improve your essay. You may find it helpful to ask a trusted friend or classmate to look at your essay. Use the spell checker on your computer to check the spellings of the words if applicable.

Read through your essay aloud, reading exactly what is on the page. This will help you catch proofreading errors.

You may find it helpful to print out your draft and mark it up with a pen or pencil. Working with a physical copy forces you to pay attention in a new way. Make sure to also format your essay correctly. For example, many instructors stipulate the margin width and font type you should use.

Sample Persuasive Historical Essay. A hook -- an interesting fact, story, or quote -- is usually your best opening. You want the first sentence to grab someone immediately and get them to keep reading.

This is easier said than done, but if it interested you while researching or thinking it will likely interest other people. Not Helpful 16 Helpful Is it okay to write my arguments in the introduction and then define them in each paragraph? Yes, it is certainly okay to briefly list your arguments in your opening paragraph.

This can work well in longer essays, or if your points fit together in a way not immediately obvious to the reader. Be careful to not give too much away, though. Save the actual arguments for the body paragraphs. In general, try to have around three examples for each paragraph.

Keep in mind that most professors will prefer quality over quantity. Two good examples would be a lot better than three bad examples that either don't support your point or downright contradict it. Not Helpful 15 Helpful What are some of the transitional words to use for a persuasive essay? Adverbs, especially -ly words, are excellent transitional words.

It's also possible to use prepositional phrases at the beginning of your sentences to transition. Not Helpful 7 Helpful End your essay with a thorough conclusion that sums clearly up the points in your body paragraphs and leaves your reader with a final thought to muse on.

Get your title from the last sentence in your essay. Not Helpful 10 Helpful Should I provide a lot of information, or just basic facts in order to wow my readers? Just as the thesis sentence holds together your essay, the topic sentence is the glue binding each individual body paragraph.

It is important to keep in mind that the goal of the topic sentence is to advance your paper's argument, not just to describe the content of the paragraph. The first part in your thesis on page two states that fear of foreign influence in the Western Hemisphere had more influence on American foreign policy than did industry.

Thus, you need to elaborate on this point in your body paragraphs. An effective topic sentence for one of these paragraphs could be:. Subsequent body paragraphs might offer further evidence for the idea presented in this body paragraph. A good way to test the strength of both your topic sentences and your argument as a whole is to construct an outline of your paper using only your paper's thesis statement and topic sentences.

However, your conclusion should not simply be a copy of your introduction. An effective conclusion gives the reader reasons for bothering to read your paper. One of the most important functions of this paragraph is to bring in fresh insight. Some possible questions to consider when writing your conclusion are:. While the organization and structure described in this handout are necessary components of an effective persuasive essay, keep in mind that writing itself is a fluid process. There are no steadfast rules that you need to adhere to as you write.

Simply because the introduction is the first paragraph in your essay does not mean that you must write this paragraph before any other. Think of the act of writing as an exploration of ideas, and let this sense of exploration guide you as you write your essay. Additional Navigation About Us History. Seven Deadly Sins of Writing 1. Incorrect Punctuation of Two Independent Clauses. Misuse of the Apostrophe.

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Writing a persuasive essay is like being a lawyer arguing a case before a jury. The writer takes a stand on an issue—either “for” or “against”—and builds the strongest possible argument to win over the reader.

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Homepage > Writing Samples > Academic Writing Samples > Essay Samples > 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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The first step in writing an effective body paragraph is the construction of the first sentence of this paragraph, the topic sentence. Just as the thesis sentence holds together your essay, the topic sentence is the glue binding each individual body paragraph. Writing an persuasive essay is a part of common core standards, so it’s an important skill to have. However, beyond academic purposes, writing a persuasive essay is a skill that can help you in life.

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Writing persuasive essay is widespread assignment for high school students and common task of standardized tests at middle school level. Writing a persuasive essay at middle school for the first time can be really hard. A persuasive essay uses reason to demonstrate that certain ideas are more valid than others in academic writing. The purpose of such an essay is to encourage readers to accept a particular viewpoint or act in a particular way.