Persuasive Essay Writing
The Persuasive Essay may be one of the college writing assignment that benefits students the most long after they have graduated and entered the real world. It teaches them – trains them – to put forth a substantial argument using concrete evidence. This can be used in so many aspects of their career to their benefit.
Like the five-paragraph essay, the Persuasive Essay is generally composed of five or more paragraphs all working toward defending one very simple sentence – the introduction paragraph’s Thesis Statement, which defines what the essay is ultimately about.
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The introduction paragraph first engages the reader, grabs them, pulls them in, and traditionally begins with a topical sentence that gets the reader thinking about a certain subject and its correlating issues. In the few sentences of the initial paragraph lies the Thesis Statement, which, again, is the student-writer’s declaration of the argument they going to make in the rest of the paper. What generally follows the Thesis Statement is about three or four points the student-writer will expound on in the rest of the essay, in the three or more body paragraphs.
The next three or so body paragraphs – the body of the essay – deal with validating the essay’s argument one point at a time, each one dissecting a point, then demonstrating how this point confirms the essay’s original argument. Each body paragraph restates the original Thesis Statement, reminding the reader the focus and point of the essay.
Lastly, the conclusion paragraph – the essay’s last paragraph – of the Persuasive Essay serves to bring the entire essay together, tying together the Thesis Statement and expounded points. It reminds the reader of what the essay was about, restates the original Thesis Statement, and ends with the objective of tying up all loose ends so that the reader is convinced of this argument by the time they are done reading the essay.
STEPS TO WRITING A PERSUASIVE ESSAY
1. Take Time to Understand the Assignment
Most times the student-writer will be given the Persuasive Essay as an assignment – and rarely as part of an exam or quiz. Because they have time to work on their essay, the student has ample opportunities to plan out their essay, rather than writing one off the cuff as they would in an exam. Of course, to write a Persuasive Essay worthy of a high grade, the student must understand the assignment, what it calls for and what their objective is in completing it, and be able to write the essay in the context of the course in which they assignment is given.
Since the student-writer is making an argument in their Persuasive Essay, they generally want to choose to expound on something they feel very passionate about. Without a fire to defend something they believe in, the student-writer risks writing an essay dried up with banality. Whether it’s addressing social or political issues, arguing for a better way of life or how picking up certain habits can be beneficial to one’s success, for example, the Persuasive Essay should cover things about which the student has immense convictions.
Planning is half the battle with most things. The same goes for writing the Persuasive Essay. The more the student-writer plans their essay, the easier it will be to write. This means it will generally convey a more effective argument to the reader. The outline should generally trace each paragraph, the points they make, and the objectives they seek to accomplish.
4. Write First Draft
Using the outline as a guide, the student-writer must to write the first draft of their essay. Of course this may be a very raw form of the essay; but that’s not a problem: the real work comes in the editing process.
5. Edit, Proofread, Then Submit for a Graded Evaluation
Once the first draft of the Persuasive Essay is completed, if the student-writer has the time, they should give themselves a day or so before returning to it for editing. This will give them some added perspective in how they convey their argument and make their point. Once they return to their essay, the student-writer will want to read it to make sure that it illustrated a very concrete argument, one that is focused and direct all the way through. Then they need to read their essay to proofread for mistakes in not only grammar and spelling, but in logic and flow, too. Finally, if they feel the essay is the best it can possibly be, the student-writer must remember to hand in their essay for a grade.
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