A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that should convince the reader of a particular idea, most often the one in which you believe. Your theme can be based on your point of view about anything. The difference between a persuasive and an argumentative essay is that the second is based on facts, but other must convince the reader of something, there may be opinions or eesssmotions. Everyone should be able to write such essays because this skill can be useful for writing a petition against malnutrition in schools, and for writing a letter to the chief about raising your salary.
Carefully read the assignment. As a rule, such an essay is written on the instructions of the teacher:
- Pay attention to the words that will help you understand what kind of essay should be. If the phrase “personal experience” or “personal observations” occurs in the assignment, be aware that you can use your beliefs to support the arguments.
- If the words “protect” or “prove” are found in the text, it means that you need to write an argumentative essay in which only facts will be important.
- If you are not sure what is expected of you, ask the teacher.
Give yourself time. If you have such an opportunity, consider the arguments that you should to defend. Hurry will only prevent you. Give yourself time to brainstorm, write and test.
Start writing as soon as possible. In such case, you will have a time reserve if something goes wrong.
Consider the rhetorical situation with five basic elements: the text (that is, the composition), the author (you), the readers, the purpose of the message and the environment (situation):
- The text should be understandable and reasoned (it is possible to include opinions if it is not forbidden).
- You will need to examine the topic, clearly formulate the main points of the statement and reinforce them with facts that do not distort reality.
- The purpose of the message is to convince readers that your point of view is correct.
Remember what should be included in the essay. If only the text of the assignment does not indicate something different, you will need to write an essay on the classical scheme:
- In this type of essay, rhetorical persuasion tools are used. You will have the opportunity to address emotions, not just logic and proven facts.
- Use a variety of justifications, but very carefully. The most persuasive is accurate data, facts and other types of information are difficult to counter something.
- In the persuasive essay, exact formulations are usually given, and the side to which the author adheres is unambiguous. This allows the reader to understand from the very beginning what you are trying to convey to him.
Think about your audience. What seems persuasive to one will not convince the other. It’s important to think who your target audience is. Of course, your teacher will be the main reader, but you should think about who else your arguments seem persuasive.
For example, if you write an essay in which you protest against unpleasant school meals, you should consider who will first read this text. It can be written for the school administration, and then the example will need to bring the dependence on student productivity on nutrition. If you write for the parents of students, you will need to emphasize health risks and the possible costs of treating diseases caused by malnutrition. Focus on personal preferences if you are writing for the same students like yourself.
Think about the theme of the composition. The topic may be given to you as a task, but if you were offered to choose it yourself, here are some tips:
- Choose what you like. Since it is possible to address emotions in such essays, it is better to choose a topic according to which you have your own opinion. Write on a topic that is important to you and in which you are well versed.
- Look for a complicated topic. Perhaps you like pizza, but writing about it an exciting composition will be not such easy. You will need a problem that has more depth – for example, cruel treatment of animals or misuse of budget funds.
- Analyze the opposite points of view. If you feel that it will be difficult for you to come up with arguments, you most likely chose the wrong topic. Also, if your point of view is contrasted with many counter-arguments that you will find challenging to reflect, it is also better to choose something else.
- Think about whether you can defend your point of view. You must take into account the counterarguments and find a way to convince the readers that your point of view is more correct. Choose a topic to which you can prepare well and think through all possible objections. (For this reason, it is better not to take topics such as religion, since it is complicated to convince someone that his religious beliefs are wrong).
- The topic should not be too extensive. Your essay will be short – only five paragraphs or several pages, so the topic should be narrow. For example, do not write about the fact that war is bad because it is a vast topic. It is better to choose a small part of this question – for example, striking with drones. This will allow you to explore the issue more in-depth.
State the basic position. Your opinion or belief should be reflected in plain language. It is usually placed at the end of the first introductory paragraph. It is essential to write the basic position correctly; otherwise readers will not know what to expect from your work:
- In the basic position, the whole essence of your work should be. You can not list your arguments in one order, and then start talking about them in detail in another.
- For example, the basic proposition can be formulated as follows: “Although semi-finished products are very cheap, they are not suitable for schoolchildren.” Schools should have fresh and healthy dishes, even if they cost more. “Proper nutrition at school affects the state of students, and the lack of a good food negatively affects their health.”
- Note that you do not need to list all the subitems unless otherwise specified in the task.
Think about all the facts and arguments. Choosing a topic, better prepare to write an essay. You will need to evaluate your opinion and decide what arguments seem to be optimal for you. You should also think about possible counterarguments that can knock you off:
- Try to present all the information figuratively. Circle the key topic in a circle, and write all the additional questions as small circles around the big one. Link the circles together to understand how different aspects of the problem interact.
- Do not worry if at this stage you will only have sketches. It is important to think about what to talk about.
If necessary, examine the topic. When you have a few ideas, you will need to go into them and study each of them. It is crucial to investigate all available material before starting to write an essay:
- For example, if you are writing about useful school food, just say that fresh food tastes better. This is a personal opinion, and it does not need to be supported by research. But if you want to say that there are more vitamins and nutrients in useful food, you will need to find a reliable source of this information.
- If you have this opportunity, ask the librarian to help you – he or she is very good at books.
Draft of the Persuasive Essay
Outline the plan. In the works, the structure is usually clearly traced, and this will allow you to present the information consistently and interestingly:
- Introduction. You need to interest the reader, get his attention. It is also necessary to place the main idea of the work, which will be developed below.
- Basic paragraphs. In essays consisting of five paragraphs, three items are basic. Other essays can contain more or fewer paragraphs. No matter how many of them, in each of them it is important to talk about one aspect of the topic and give the right reasons. In these paragraphs, you can also refute counter-arguments.
- The conclusion. In conclusion, you bring everything together. Here you can address emotions, repeat the brightest argument or expand the original idea. Since your goal is to convince the reader to do something or to think about something, you should end up calling for action.
Think of a catchy first phrase. The first sentence should captivate the reader. This can be a question or a quote, a fact, a story, a definition or a humorous sketch. If the reader wants to read further or if the introductory phrases correctly describe the situation, consider that you coped with the task:
- For example, you can start an essay on the importance of using alternative energy sources: “Imagine a world without polar bears.” This is a bright image that will draw people’s attention to what they like – to white bears. This will also cause the reader to become interested and want to know why it is necessary to represent such a world.
- Perhaps you will not be able to come up with a start right away. Do not worry! You can always go back to the beginning when the draft of the composition is ready.
Write an introduction. Many believe that the introduction is the most important part of the composition because it either manages to attract the attention of the audience or not. If the entry is written well, it will interest the reader with the topic, and he will want to read further:
- First, place a catchphrase. Then go from general facts to private ones and formulate the basic idea.
- With all responsibility, approach the formulation of the basic proposition. The main position is a summary of what you will talk about. Usually, this is one sentence, and most often it is located closer to the end of the entry. Include in the main position your most persuasive arguments or just one argument.
Mark the paragraphs. You must have at least three paragraphs, and each should deal with one aspect of the problem related to the previous one. You justify your opinion and give arguments in these sections. Remember that if you do not have arguments, the text will not be persuasive:
- Begin each paragraph with simple sentences that reveal the essence of the following text.
- The arguments must be clear and precise. Do not write this: “Dolphins are very intelligent animals. They are considered incredibly smart.” It’s better to write this: “Dolphins are very intelligent animals. According to numerous studies, dolphins were able to unite with people for prey hunting. Few species were able to form symbiotic relationships with people.”
- If possible, use the facts as arguments. Proven facts from reliable sources make strong arguments. It is better to use information from different sources. For example: “In the south of the United States, which accounts for 80% of all death sentences in America, the highest level of murder, which means that the death penalty does not stop the perpetrators of their intentions;”; “In addition, there are fewer deaths in states where the death penalty is prohibited.” If the death penalty served as a deterrent to crimes, would not we have seen an increase in the number of murders in states where the death penalty is not applied?
- Think about how the paragraphs will be linked together. Each subsequent paragraph should add new information to the already stated step by step, rather than chaotically.
The last sentence of each paragraph should lead to the next paragraph. The text should have smooth transitions from one section to the next to make the composition easy to read. For example:
- The end of the first paragraph: “If the death penalty does not stop the criminals, and the crime rate is now higher than ever before, what will happen if someone is convicted wrongly?”
- The beginning of the second paragraph: “More than a hundred people who were convicted wrongly, were released from the penalty of death, and some of them – a few minutes before the execution.”
Do include counterarguments into the text. Perhaps this will not be required, but this will make the work more profound. Imagine that you have an opponent with the opposite point of view. Think about what might be his most cogent arguments, and think through the objections:
- For example: “Opponents of eating from home at school believe that it distracts students from the educational process, but it is worth noting that many pupils of secondary school age are growing very fast.” Growing organisms need energy, and if children do not eat for a long time, their brains overwork The ability to eat something brought from home in the class improves the concentration of attention, distracting the child from hunger.”
- Perhaps you even want to start a paragraph with a counterargument, and then refute it and bring your arguments.
Write a conclusion at the end of the essay. As a rule, the key ideas are repeated in conclusion, and then the text ends with a meaningful phrase. It should be formulated so that the reader will remember both her and the composition itself. Do not just repeat the basic idea – better think how it will be more correct to finish the essay. Reflect on the following:
- Can I apply my findings to a broader context?
- Why is the subject of the essay vital for me?
- What new questions arose from the analysis of the problem?
- What actions can readers take after they become acquainted with the composition?
Persuasive Paper Final Touches
Do not reread the essay day or two. If you do everything in advance, it will be easy. Then go back to the essay and reread it. With a fresh head, you will quickly notice errors. Now you can read complicated places and rethink any concepts.
Read the draft. Many students don’t have enough time to clean out the draft. Read it from beginning to end. Think about the following:
- Is the position of the author expressed in the composition?
- Do weighty arguments and examples reinforce this position?
- Is there any unnecessary information in the text? Are the thoughts in the paragraphs clear enough?
- Are the counterarguments right? Are they persuasively refuted?
- Are logical paragraphs arranged in a logical order? Are the transitions between them smooth?
- Does the conclusion emphasize the importance of the chosen position and the need for the reader to think about or do something?
Check the text. It is important not only to correct spelling mistakes – but you may also have to fix transitions between semantic parts, swap paragraphs, or even write a new text, giving more weighty arguments. Be prepared to make even significant amendments.
Ask a friend or classmate to read your essay. Pay special attention to problem areas if he does not understand what your position is, or decides that something is written not enough.
Correct spelling mistakes and typos. Using the automatic spelling check function in a text editor, correct the errors in the words. Read the text aloud. This will allow you to detect the mistakes:
- Perhaps you should print a draft and make corrections with a pencil or pen. If you write on a computer, your eyes can read what you think you wrote, and miss the mistakes. Reading a printed copy allow you to look at the text in a new way.
- Pay attention to the formatting.
Persuasive Essay Writer Advice
- Do not use complicated words to look smart. Usually, they do more harm than they help. Write in simple and understandable language.
- Read other essays on similar subjects to understand which language to use.
- Understand your position. Do not rush from side to side and do not contradict yourself.
- Remember that you need to convince someone of something, and not complain.
- Make each sentence meaningful. Adding extra meaning will only take you away from the main topic. The essay should be concise and understandable.
- Avoid personal pronouns (for example, “I” or “you”). With them, your essay will look less professional.
- Take into account possible counterarguments. You will need to think about how to defend yourself, in advance. Make a list of potential objections and think over the answers to them.