As a college student, essays are a necessary part of your academic curriculum. Love or hate them, to excel, you must understand the techniques behind writing essays. But before delving into the techniques, you need to know that not all essays are the same. There are different types of essays and students must understand the difference between each one. One of the most common types of essays that college students encounter is the persuasive essay.
Writing a persuasive essay is a lot like being the prosecutor in a courtroom. Your primary responsibility in these essays is to sell your audience an idea. Persuasive essays require that you convince your audience to accept your opinion through writing.
A common misconception about the persuasive essay format is that it is the same as that of an argumentative essay. Yes, both types of essays have certain similarities. However, they aren’t the same and we will discuss that in the next section of this article.
What is a Persuasive Essay?
The persuasive essay definition is that it is a piece of academic writing that clearly explains the writer’s point of view. Unlike other essays, this essay aims to make the reader see and understand the subject matter from the writer’s point of view. As such, the writer has to be as authoritative as possible when passing their points across.
People mistake this kind of essay to be the same as argumentative essays but it is not. An argumentative essay involves tackling an opposing point and making yours accepted. A persuasive essay simply requires that you explain your point of view to your audience in a convincing manner. This kind of essay requires you to nudge the reader into standing with you on a given topic.
The persuasive essay is more technical to write about than other essays. You need to do research and some other forms of presentation before you can make coherent and indisputable points. Little mistakes are all it will take to make you lose credibility in the eyes of your readers. More severe errors may render your essay completely useless.
In the later parts of this article, we are going to discuss how to write a persuasive essay.
Difference Between A Persuasive Essay and an Argumentative Essay
As stated earlier, we are going to discuss a little about the differences between a persuasive essay and an argumentative one. The major difference between these essays is that one is aimed at defending a standpoint while the other intends to convince without downplaying another’s opinion.
An argumentative essay needs a contradicting opinion or a counter-argument to exist. The contrasting opinion may be already in existence or it could have been brought to life specifically to write an essay on it. However, the general rule of thumb is that his kind of essay writing service is supposed to prove or defend a point at the expense of another point.
Although similar to the argumentative essay in that it seeks to make an audience agree with a point, a persuasive essay differs from it at its core. A persuasive essay is meant to convince the reader to see things the way the author sees them. This kind of essay aims to evoke the same emotions that the author felt.
How To Choose A Topic For A Persuasive Essay
Apart from gathering your points, one of the most stressful things about writing a persuasive essay is getting a suitable topic to write on. You may be unsure about which kind of topic will be sensible enough to write on. Here are a couple of tips to help you pick the ideal persuasive essay topic”
- Choose to write about something you have a strong opinion about
The best way to build a solid persuasive essay is by writing on something you are interested in. It makes it easier for you to convince others because you are already convinced. Your first line of action when considering a persuasive essay to write should be to pick a topic that you know enough about.
- Pick an issue you can see both sides of
When you are asked to write a persuasive essay, you have to pick a topic that allows you to see from multiple sides of the argument. Don’t pick a topic highlighting opinions that are bound to be similar to that which the general public shares.
- Avoid cliches
When choosing a topic, be creative and experiment! When you begin to think about whether or not the topic is politically correct, you won’t be able to choose a good topic. Do not pick the regular topics; think like there is no box. It doesn’t matter if your professor likes your stance on the topic or not. What is ideal is that it is ideal for you to breathe life and uniqueness into your writing.
Persuasive Essay Outline
Writing an outline is a vital part of writing a persuasive essay. Your essay outline helps you to arrange your thoughts from the start. It also guides you as you write so that you don’t stray from the original thought process.
A persuasive essay structure is quite similar to that of other essays. It consists of three elements including an introduction, body, and conclusion. Each of these elements plays a different role in the structure and development of the essay. You will need the persuasive essay format and cite it according to the common type of citation styles, either MLA or APA.
The introduction will include a thesis statement, a hook, and background information about the essay. This will make the reader get a glimpse of what to expect. If you are unsure of how to start a persuasive essay, go straight to the point, be coherent and engaging. If your introduction is not catchy, people will get bored and tune you out.
- Main body
The main body will consist of several paragraphs. Each paragraph will explain different points, backed by reliable research and verifiable references. Each paragraph should contain 3-7 sentences with each sentence containing 20 words. The main body is the major aspect of the essay and that is where people can see reasons with your viewpoint, so it must be logical.
The conclusion is a summary of the entire article. It is like the takeaway aspect of the entire article. It is usually the last section in the article but it is also strong enough to seal the deal for your audience. Therefore, they must be able to understand the entire article just from reading its conclusion. This section should contain summaries of key points that were already discussed in the main body.
The conclusion also is where people should be able to get a recap of the important things they might have missed. It should consolidate all the important aspects of the article and help you nail down your points. This section is supposed to contain a thesis restatement, additional information and something for your audience to meditate on.
For you to write a successful persuasive essay, you need to understand the techniques behind it. These techniques will guide your writing and convince your audience that you know what you are doing. The techniques serve not just to convince your audience but to grab and hold their attention too.
Four primary essay techniques help you get the attention you need from your readers. They are repetition, storytelling, dealing with dissent, a call to action.
Repetition is a persuasive technique that is mainly used by reporters, journalists, and advertisers. It is a kind of psychological manipulation through which constantly repeating things makes them seem true, even if they necessarily are not. People also tend to believe ideas they have become familiar with so when they see the same ideas over and over in your essay, they will be persuaded.
How do you apply this technique to your persuasive essay? Remember that you are trying to get people to believe/ agree with your perspective. When you repeat the same point(s) in different ways across the essay, they will seem more credible.
So how do you make it work?
- Use the same word or phrase repeatedly
- Use variations of the same word or phrase
- Use a refrain
- Restructure the sentence entirely while still maintaining its true meaning
There are times when this technique may come off as amateurish. It usually happens when you try too hard that you start contradicting yourself unintentionally. For repetition to work, the writer has to have deep-seated knowledge of the subject matter. They also need to time everything to perfection.
Stories are a great way to get people to understand your point. It is preferable if the stories are real or personal stories. With these kinds of stories in your arsenal, people are convinced that you have some degree of experience in the field you are discussing. This perception of experience greatly enhances a writer’s perceived credibility in such situations.
Storytelling does not have to always hinge on real events. Even if you decide to opt for fictional stories, make sure they are real and relatable. Both approaches generally achieve similar results.
Some of the reasons stories are so effective at helping a writer persuade their audience include:
- Stories are fun
People don’t want to get bored with bland, statistic-laden information. Even the most stoic of all readers would appreciate being entertained along the line. What better way is there to entertain them than with stories?
- Stories educate
Stories make it easier to appeal to people’s emotions while making your point. It can also help people learn about important concepts. You can tell a story while also adding important lessons to these stories. Finally, it goes without saying that if you copy someone else’s story, you should give them due credit.
- Dealing With Dissent
Similar to what one would expect from an argumentative essay, there would always be contradictory opinions to the one the writer shares in a persuasive essay. Dissenting views are normal. If a writer tries to avoid addressing those opinions, readers may become skeptical. This technique urges writers to use a section in their essay to address dissenting opinions.
- A call to action
Calls to action are almost synonymous with advertisements and publicizing. However, a call to action can also be utilized in persuasive essays. At the point when utilized, this technique allows the writer to request that the readers accomplish something Typical examples urge readers to reuse something, give to a good cause, sign an appeal, etc.
Persuasive Essay Examples
Having discussed what persuasive essays are all about, if you need extra help with drafting a persuasive essay for leisure or professional work, feel free to turn to examples. They are ideal guides for writers who are still learning the ropes or have run out of persuasive essay ideas. Some excellent examples are:
Persuasive Essay Writing Tips
For the best results when writing a persuasive essay, you should:
- Pick a subject you’re enthusiastic about
You’ll do your best convincing when it’s something you put stock in. If you have the choice to pick a subject, pick one that plays to your strengths. Having a mental and intellectual head start in your persuasive essay will give you an edge and help you lay to rest any dissenting opinions that the readers may have.
- Know your crowd
On the off chance that you need to persuade audiences to accept and concur with you, realize who you’re conversing with first. For instance, if you’re composing an essay concerning why state-administered testing should be removed from educational systems, your audience will probably be guardians. Remembering that when writing will be critical to impressing them.
- Explain your stance indisputably
A convincing essayist should give their assessment a revelatory explanation that communicates their perspective. They should have facts ready for use. Beginning with reality, research discoveries, or other proof will promptly give the audience the impression that they can believe you.
- Examine the two sides.
To persuade the audience to go with you, you need to understand what viewpoint(s) you are attempting to pull them away from. Your readers’ opinions might not be set in stone. Knowing and anticipating their counter-arguments will mitigate any uncertainties they may have. It will also make you appear smarter in their eyes.
- Be compassionate.
A powerful procedure is the utilization of sympathy. An audience is more disposed to trust you if they feel like you can identify with and relate to their encounters. Compassion is critical for a persuasive essay, as it focuses on the crowd’s sensitivities, while additionally explaining to them why their convictions should change.
- Throw in questions
Introducing questions that the audience will be compelled to respond to is a trick that works. These questions may even be intended for your reader to do some introspection. It is most effective when the data you present to help them believe you steadily support your assessment
- Emphasize your point
The utilization of distortion to communicate earnestness, eliteness, or just to make a point is another helpful procedure. Exaggerated points aren’t intended to be taken at face value, but are used instead to paint a significant picture. So place a lot of emphasis on the most important points so that your readers would notice them.
Some Persuasive Essay Topics For You
- Should forceful canines be euthanized or resocialized?
- Should betting be prohibited in the USA?
- Are felines preferred pets over canines?
- Should each family have a nitty-gritty endurance plan for cataclysmic events or circumstances?
- Should youngsters get an installment from their folks for doing home tasks?
- Are organic weapons moral?
- Should gay couples be permitted to embrace youngsters?
- Should early termination be restricted?
- Are gorgeous individuals being thought little of because they look great?
- Is design decent or something awful for society?
- On the off chance that God doesn’t exist, is everything permitted?
- Are there such things as great and insidiousness?
- Are on the whole individuals narrow-minded?
- Is truth general?
- Is human conduct controlled by hereditary qualities?
- Should kid molesters be euthanized?
- Should the public authority spend such an extensive amount of cash on the Olympic Games?
- Should therapists and ministers break their pledges when requested to affirm in court?
- Should individuals experience mental testing before being permitted to have youngsters?
- Should individuals with incapacities be encouraged not to have kids?
- Should football crews be blended as far as sexual orientation correspondence?
- Should governments use digital assaults to keep an eye on different nations?
- Ought there be borders between nations?
- Is ethnicity an advocated idea when the world is moving towards globalization?
- Should same-sex relationships be permitted or restricted in the USA?
- Is willful extermination barbarous?
- Is sex direction decided in youth?
Things To Avoid When Writing A Persuasive Essay
When writing a persuasive essay, there are pitfalls to avoid. Many of these mistakes are common among beginners while some can still be found in essays written by experts. Some of these errors to look out for include:
Try not to mislead your readers with unnecessary exaggerations especially when they could harm the integrity of your work. For example, if you contend that President Reagan’s monetary approaches harmed the American working class, don’t state “Ronald Reagan annihilated America and tossed our financial advancement back to the Stone Age.” It’s too sensational and just serves to sabotage your position. The reader will not believe the remainder of your article and will just assume that you are bluffing to attract attention.
Writing in the first-person perspective
A powerful exposition achieves its validity by accomplishing a specific degree of objectivity. Readers want factual reports and not emotional rants. By making it personal and using “I”, you make your points seem like a personal belief instead of a well-informed report.
Leaving out contrasting opinions
One of an enticing paper’s most prominent qualities is perceiving the contentions against your position. That way, you’re giving the reader the real factors and permitting them to pick which side they discover more legitimate. By overlooking the opposite side, you lose the chance to address it straightforwardly and ruin it with your contention.
Examining counter-assessment shows that you’re a specialist regarding the matter. Your audience will know that you’ve considered the two sides of the issue before settling on your choice. It could ultimately tip the scales in your favor.
Mean or discourteous statements
Avoid using verbally abusive words or swearing. Coarse speech and abuses will harm your standing, maybe even more than they do to your rivals. No one needs to be attacked, and employing hostile and forceful tactics will turn the reader against you.
Things You Should Do When Writing A Persuasive Essay
Cite reputable sources
Personal blogs that spew opinions by people who hold no degree in the subject they write about aren’t credible sources. Wikipedia is not a credible source. Only newspaper articles, reputable magazines and specialized publications should be used to support your ideas.
Organize your paragraphs
Structure your essay in a way that makes it easy to follow. Also, provide clear examples to support your thesis statement. As the article has already recommended, do not forget to recognize and handle opposing arguments.
Use transition words
Transition words can do wonders for the flow of your essay. A persuasive essay is not just about proving your point but making it easy for the reader to follow you. Words such as “moreover”, “furthermore”, “despite”, “however” serve as guides throughout your essay. They help to:
- Reinforce a point already made
- Point the reader to a contrasting statement
- Signal the introduction or conclusion of an idea
Take advantage of the conclusion
At the end of your essay, do not merely summarize the main points of your essay. Your audience already read your essay and knows what it says. The concluding paragraph is an opportunity for you to explore further questions to be answered about your subject and direct your readers’ next steps.
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