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Persuasive Essay Format

Updated: Apr 22, 2016
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The Persuasive Essay should generally have:


• An Introduction Paragraph that includes a Thesis Statement – a statement put forward as the essay’s argument announcing the premise of the rest of the essay.

• At Least Three Body Paragraphs – which serve to support and effectively defend the Thesis Statement.

• A Conclusion Paragraph – ties the paper together; it also announces that the essay and its argument have come to a close, most times in an effort to solidify the argument made in the essay.


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See also:


Persuasive Essay

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay Sample



Persuasive essay format includes 5 paragraphs: introduction (with strong engaging topic sentence and a thesis statement), 3 body paragraphs (which support, evidence, explain and illustrate how the thesis statement is true) and conclusion (which summarizes the ideas presented in the body paragraphs)1. Introduction Paragraph – the first paragraph introducing the essay. It includes a strong, engaging topic sentence and, most importantly, a Thesis Statement – the paper’s premise that is to be argued or maintained throughout the essay, which in this case is a sentence or two explaining the student’s argument. It is generally accepted, encouraged, and even expected of the professor grading the essay, that the student, at least in this paragraph, lists the three main points they will use to illustrate in the rest of the essay that will ultimately defend their original Thesis Statement. By not starting off in this way, the student-writer leaves the reader in the dark about the purpose of their essay.

2. Body Paragraphs – the (minimum of) three body paragraphs that support, evidence, explain and illustrate how the Thesis Statement is true. Each body paragraph should begin with an appropriate Transitional Phrase – First of all, Secondly, Thirdly, Lastly – indicating to the reader that a new point (meaning one of the three main points) is being examined, put forth and expounded on. Again, every body paragraph will be defending the Thesis statement, with each one focusing on just one point at a time.


Also, before each body paragraph’s main point is illustrated in full, the student must remember to restate their Thesis – but not verbatim as it was stated originally in the Introduction Paragraph, but paraphrased or said in a different way – to keep the reader’s focus on the argument being made or put forth in the essay.

3. Conclusion Paragraph – serves to tie the paper together so the reader better understands and follows its argument, so that they are ultimately convinced that the paper’s argument is valid, correct and thoroughly defended; this paragraph summarizes the essay, from its original Thesis Statement to its supportive three main points (which were illustrated and expounded on in the body paragraphs, each point being addressed one paragraph at a time). The conclusion paragraph of the Persuasive Essay also, generally, begins with a transitional phrase to indicate the conclusion of the essay. Lastly, In conclusion, To sum it up, and Ultimately are the most appropriate ones to use in this case. This paragraph may end with the reader offering a counter-argument for their essay, one that may get the reader considering all possible angles, points and issues pertaining to the argument’s focus. Also, given the right opportunity, it may benefit the reader if the student-writer poses additional questions that maybe weren’t addressed in their essay, but ultimately gets the reader considering other issues, as well.


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