How to Write a Persuasive Essay
One of the more ubiquitous writing assignments given to undergraduate students is the Persuasive Essay. This writing assignment demonstrates to one’s professor or academic instructor that a student has a solid understanding of a topic, subject, text, etc. and that they can thoroughly analyze its content or relevance in the academic and/or working world. Also, in writing the Persuasive Essay the student exercises their writing and critical-thinking skills.
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The introduction of Persuasive Essays includes a Thesis Statement, the student’s pithy summary of the argument they are going to make in the rest of the paper; in many ways, it’s the paper’s main thought, theme, or angle. Each subsequent paragraph in this kind of essay defends the argument declared in the introductory paragraph, making a very strong, effective claim by the time the reader reaches the paper’s conclusion.
More about persuasive essay writing here:
- Step bu Step Guide for Writing a Persuasive Essay
- Persuasive Essay Sample
- Persuasive Essay Format Writing
- What Is a Persuasive Essay Graphic Organizer?
- Persuasive Essay Rubric
- The Most Powerful Persuasive Essay Topics and Ideas
Steps to Writing the Persuasive Essay
1. Choose a position, either FOR or AGAINST an issue. If a student is not given a text to analyze for this assignment (which is most often the case), more than likely they are given a topic, series of topics, or are pointed in some kind of general writing direction. In any case, the student should then choose their position based on their own attitude toward a subject, then gathering and organizing information, and evidence, to support their stance. Articles, journalistic and academic, essays, encyclopedias, online sources, can be incorporated into an academic paper to support the student’s argument.
2. Develop a Thesis Statement. Again, the Thesis Statement is the argument the student wants to make in their Persuasive Essay, where the student directly states their point of view on a subject, often in only one strong sentence. It should be expressed in a confident, assertive tone – “Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird illustrates the deeply rooted injustices of the American South.”
3. Create an outline for the Persuasive Essay. In this step, the student should create an outline with five crucial paragraphs (an introduction with a Thesis Statement, then three body paragraphs, each declaring the points supporting the argument – each with additional evidence to strengthen these points, and finally a conclusion paragraph tying the paper together). Keep in mind that stronger Persuasive Essays may call for more than five paragraphs – but should still be using at least three key points to support one’s argument.
4. Write a first draft of the Persuasive Essay. Simply turn the outline into a paper. Each paragraph should be comprised of at least five to six sentences, the three body paragraphs containing transitions to better move from point to point while further supporting and strengthening the overall paper’s argument. The conclusion paragraph should restate the Thesis Statement, providing an overview of the paper, further making a very strong impression on the reader.
5. Edit, do a peer review, revise, then submit the paper. In this step, the student needs to reread their first draft to identify (and then most importantly correct) mistakes in spelling and in punctuation, etc., as well as to confirm that their argument is strong and plausible. Also, it never hurts to have another student read one’s Persuasive Essay; if the paper does not make a strong argument, it is better for another student to identify, then communicate this, so the student-writer can make the appropriate changes before the essay is ultimately submitted to their professor for evaluation.
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