Having the skills to write a strong persuasive essay is always useful. Writing a persuasive essay begins with the writer formulating their own opinion on a topic, attempting to convince their readers of this opinion by walking them through several ethical and logical arguments.
What is a persuasive essay?
A persuasive essay presents numerous ethical and logical arguments with an emotional appeal and an objective of swaying readers to a particular point of view. Persuasive writing can be in the form of academic and personal writing and begins with a question that the writer uses to argue in favor of or against. For a personal persuasive essay, the writer makes a firm and bold statement backed with data, research, and scientific evidence. Then, from time to time, the writer will explore opposing arguments to discredit them.
Elements of a persuasive essay
Three basic modes of persuasion should characterize every persuasive essay. Philosopher Aristotle formulated these elements to enable a compelling argument to persuade the readers' point of view.
Ethos is an ingredient of argument and persuasion in which the writer establishes credibility, knowledge of the subject, and good moral character. As a result, it's more likely for the reader to trust someone with credible knowledge, personal experience, or standing within a community. In addition, the presence of ethos in your persuasive essay makes it easier to sell your point of view to the reader.
It is an appeal made to the readers' emotions to revoke feelings. Triggering particular emotions in your reader enables them to connect with you as a narrator. In addition, triggering emotions provides a layer of interest to your audience, making your writing more compelling and stickier.
Logos is a persuasive or rhetorical appeal to the readers' logic and rationality. An excellent persuasive essay outlines several logical reasons that enable the reader to believe the writer's arguments.
How to write a persuasive essay
Different writers approach the process of writing a persuasive essay differently. Still, there are some general guidelines to follow when the objective is to persuade your audience with your words. Below are some guidelines to follow when writing a persuasive essay.
- Select a topic you are passionate about.
It is important to write about a subject you are passionate about as you will be arguing about something you truly believe in. if the option presents itself of picking a topic, choose the one that appeals to your sensibilities. Also, having a strong opinion about your subject makes its defense easier.
- Know your audience
Before you try to convince your readers to believe what you are writing and be in agreement with your point of view, it's important to know your audience first. For example, if you are writing a persuasive essay about why corporal punishment should be abolished from the school system, your audience will likely be parents. Hence, when writing to your targeted demographic, you should keep that in mind.
- Do your research on both sides
To convince your audience to agree, you must know the opposing side of the argument and provide evidence to get them to disagree with opposing statements. Your audience may be completely stuck in their ways. Hence being knowledgeable of both sides of your arguments and how to effectively counter the opposition will assuage any follow-up questions your audience may have that can cast doubt on your position.
- Outline your argument
Before writing your persuasive essay, outline your entire essay to aid in organizing your thoughts, research, and lay out your essay structure. Then, detail all your main points and couple them with all of the relevant, supporting evidence from the cited sources.
- Write your introduction
All good persuasive essays start with a solid introductory statement, the first paragraph of a paper. The main objective of the introduction is to present the general premise of the paper, provide the necessary background information, appeal to the readers' emotions, and captivate their attention. As a writer, you can do this by a personal anecdote from your life experience or information from your research. You should also present the thesis statement for your essay in the introductory paragraph—a good thesis statement functions as a road map for the persuasive essay writing that lies ahead. The introduction articulates the essay's main point in one or two sentences, and the rest of the paper reinforces that point.
- Include the body paragraphs
The body paragraph is where the writer provides data and scientific evidence to back up your thesis and present your counterarguments. Every good body paragraph contains three main sections; a topic sentence (or key sentence), relevant supporting sentences, and a closing sentence (or transition). This structure keeps your paragraph focused on the main idea, providing clear, concise information. You will also discuss any opposing opinions in the body and why they should be discredited, so ensure your essay can be supported with credible or relevant information.
- Close the essay with a strong conclusion
A conclusion is the last piece of writing in a research paper, essay, or article that summarizes the entire work. The conclusion paragraph should restate your thesis, summarize the key supporting ideas you discussed throughout the work, and offer your final impression of the central idea. The conclusion is where you include your call to action if you are trying to urgently persuade your reader to take action over a particular issue quickly.
Before submitting your essay, always proofread your work a few times before submitting or presenting. Your essay credibility can be negatively impacted by a few missed words, grammatical errors, or sentence structure problems.
The ability to write an essay that is persuasive is a valuable skill that can be applied in a variety of contexts, including academic as well as personal. Writers can effectively present their arguments to their audiences and persuade their readers to adopt their point of view if they have a solid understanding of the elements of ethos, pathos, and logos. It is important to select a topic that is meaningful to the writer, comprehend the audience, research both sides of the argument, and organize the essay by outlining in order to write an effective persuasive essay. By adhering to these guidelines, writers will be able to produce an argumentative essay that is logically sound, emotionally engaging, and well supported.