Persuasive Essay Writing Guide

Need to write a persuasive essay but don’t know where to start? Read this guide, and discover the secrets of convincing the reader.

Writing Persuasive Essays: Beginner’s Guide

A persuasive essay is the one that is written to persuade the reader of some idea. In most cases, it’s the author’s personal idea or a common idea that he or she supports. If you were required to write a persuasive essay in school or college and if you want to do it well enough to receive a high grade, you should learn a few things first.

A Secrets of Persuasive Writing

Before you find out some powerful tips, note that persuasive writing, just like writing itself, is a skill, meaning it’s something you can develop even if you have no natural talent towards it. Now, let’s get to the tips:

  • Start with a convincing statement. The opening lines of any paper are your best tool to grab the reader’s attention and introduce your position firmly. When writing the first thesis statement, you need to stand strong and show your definite position about the issue you’re going to discuss. Unlike comparative essays that are built around the ambiguous nature of all things and concepts, persuasive essays require you to defend only one side of the problem and make the reader believe that you are right. So, start with letting everyone know which side you represent and what you want them to believe in.
  • Power your thesis in each topic sentence. As you probably know, essays have a certain structure, which includes body paragraphs, each starting with a topic sentence. If you find it hard to stay persuasive in every new paragraph, think of each first sentence as a new smaller thesis you need to introduce. Topic sentences are used to help you maintain the logical flow of thought and step by step lead the reader to the final goal – the conclusion they need to make. A bad topic sentence is the one that is vague or repeats the topic sentence of another paragraph.
  • Back up your words with facts. This may sound simple, but using proper sources in a search for facts can be tricky. You’d rather not use just random facts the popped up on the Google results page. Check everything you want to claim. Also, don’t use facts that are difficult to check for others as this will make you sound less authoritative. In case you really need to use something that you have hardly managed to find and that you doubt others will find, you should add references, citing the direct sources you have used in your research.
  • Keep it brief and clear. Besides choosing the facts to use, you should obviously choose the words to use very carefully. You may want to express a genius idea but fail to do so because of using the wrong words for that. There is a helpful tip to deal with wordiness: Read and re-read what you have written several times. It’s better to have some rest after you’ve managed to write one piece and get back to it a bit later with a refreshed mind. Thus, you will be more likely to see if your words sound bad.
  • Don’t neglect to use special techniques. Persuasive writing is not only a skill you can learn; it’s also an art you can master. There’s a number of persuasive techniques that have been around for ages since Greek orators had introduced them. For example, you can focus on the bad situation caused by the issue you’re discussing. And by focusing, we mean agitating the problem and showing how terrible things currently are. Another simple thing you can do to hook the reader is to repeat your key idea whenever it’s appropriate. However, make sure your whole essay is not just a repetition of the same sentence.
  • Be an expert. It would be more appropriate to say that you rather need to sound like an expert. It’s all about your tone. Present each your thought as if you know what you’re talking about. Imagine that your reader is the most skeptical person on earth, but he or she is open to listening to your opinion now. So, just say everything the way it is – be confident and maybe even a little aggressive (depending on the subject you’re talking about).
  • Infect the reader with your passion. Persuasion is all about inducing people to feel the way you feel and think the way you think. Tell them what they want to hear – a common truth. Tell them a few well-known facts they would agree with, and they will agree with anything you say next. Give them a challenging idea to think over or ask them brave and straightforward questions that have the answers in them. Thus, they will not even notice how your ideas settle in their heads.
  • Disprove other arguments. Although your own argument must be the focus of your paper, it’s still a good idea to study the opposing arguments in order to be able to disprove them. You will look like an expert even more if you show your awareness about the opposing opinions. Acknowledge them before the reader even starts thinking about them. And then refute. For example, if you’re writing about banning the weapon, you may acknowledge the fact that guns might be used as a means of protection. But then, you have to repeat your main idea again and convince the reader that guns are more dangerous than protective.
  • Use emotional language. When writing a persuasive essay, the key thing you should keep in your mind is that people are emotional. If you manage to evoke an emotion, you will succeed in persuading them. Turn to their hearts, making them feel angry, sorry, pathetic, passionate, interested, doubtful, controversial. Choosing the topic that lies within the circle of your own interests will help you feel the emotion yourself and convey this emotion to the reader.

Having learned these tips (and after some practice, of course), you will be able to write amazing, powerful persuasive essays. If you feel these were not enough, you can get some more recommendations on how to write a persuasive paper here:

We hope you’ll like these tips and make use of them. Feel free to express your thoughts on this article below.