Persuasive Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

Posted: May 25, 2017 - to Guide
Content how to write a persuasive essay

A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that looks to sway the reader to your point of view. It's a style of writing that's seen all around us, especially in advertising. If you've been tasked with writing such an essay, this guide has everything you need to get started.

What is a persuasive essay?

A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that's designed to sway a reader to one point of view or another. They're often set by teachers with a question that allows you to pick a side. That way, you can argue the case that you believe in the most.

A good persuasive essay is well researched, and takes into account the biases of the reader.

Structure

Here's what a regular persuasive essay will look like:

  • Introduction: This is where you'll introduce the topic at hand. Talk about why the subject is so divisive or important, and why a decision needs to be made.
  • Thesis: Introduce your point of view. Make sure you research thoroughly before writing, to ensure that your writing is well informed and useful to the reader.
  • Main body: Use each paragraph to introduce a new point to support your thesis. Once you've introduced your point, make sure to use evidence to back up what you're saying. Link your paragraphs together so they flow properly, and create a bigger picture.
  • Conclusion: Use this section to tie all of your main arguments together. Nothing new should be introduced here.

Steps for writing

Firstly, go do some research. Use what you find to help you form an opinion. Which way will you argue in your essay question?

Next, create an outline. Use the above section to help you. Fill in the main points you want to make, and how they will fit together. You can do this on cards if you like, so you can move sections around and see how they fit.

Now, you'll need to actually sit down and write. If you have a good outline, it'll just be a case of filling in the blanks. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get this done.

Finally, edit and proofread your essay. Make sure it's totally polished before you hand it in.

Topics

Topics for this kind of essay usually focus on 'Should x happen?' For example, you could be asked 'Should 16-17 year olds be allowed to vote?' It's a question with a yes/no answer, that you can delve into deeper to find out why.

Examples of a persuasive essay

If you want to try writing an argumentative essay yourself, try using one of these example questions:

  • 'Should the driving age be raised?'
  • 'Should teens be allowed to buy violent video games?'
  • 'Should students be paid for having good grades?'

Look into both sides of the argument, and come up with good justifications for your answer.

A good persuasive essay is well researched and written with both points of view in mind. Try the sample essay titles, and practice your writing skills.

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