How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Tips for Students

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Whether you are a college or university student, at some point, you will be assigned to come up with at least one persuasive essay. It is a paper which is aimed to persuade the reader to share your standpoint by providing convincing evidence and a clear explanation that efficiently supports your opinion. In this article, we suggest several persuasive essay tips to help you manage the task.

State Your Position

We all love good stories, but the kind of essay you are now going to write does not involve this. To create a qualitative persuasive paper, you should avoid equivoke, uncertainty, and unexpected endings. The reader has to clearly understand from the very beginning where you stand and what you are going to argue. If they have to guess your viewpoint, you have made a mistake already. Explain your position clearly from the start, and restate it further. Include a strong and explicit thesis statement in the introduction, and then refer to it while developing the argument.

Getting Organized Is the Key for Writing a Good Persuasive Essay

To make the reader persuaded with your argument, you must make them able to follow it. If you lack organization in the paper, they will face difficulties with it. As it was mentioned above, the organization intends a clear and argumentative thesis statement. Your aim is developing a logical argument, supported with evidence, providing analysis, and including counter-argument. Do not attempt to do this before preliminary preparation. Create an outline, identify the thesis, list key points, cite the evidence, and jot down something about potential counter-arguments. Such an outline will be helpful in the writing process. If you have any uncertainty about how to start, ask your tutor for advice.

Get Interested about the Topic

This concerns all kinds of assignments. It is known that we do our best work in the fields we are passionate about. If you have an option to choose the topic, pick the one you are interested in. If the topic is assigned by the teacher, it is okay, too. In this case, your aim is to research the issue, find out how to connect it to your interests and develop a real sense of ownership in the argument. It is also vital to keep your emotions in check. Do not allow prejudgment to get in the way of a strong argument.

Consider the Reader

Knowing the audience is what makes a good persuasive essay. Of course, your professor will read the essay, but he/she is not actually the potential audience for it. Before you start writing, think about who this essay is for. Who are you trying to persuade? Keep in mind your readers' unique needs and wants. What works well with one audience completely fails with another. Your aim is to dream up a hypothetical audience and strive to persuade them instead of your tutor. By using such a strategy, you will come up with an argument that could function in the real world, as well.

Do Thorough Research

A well-thought-out argument inherently involves solid evidence. Therefore, if you want to come up with an effective persuasive argument, devote enough time and effort to do the research. Do everything that depends on you to get the full understanding of the issue, besides, you have to include in your essay ample evidence for your claims and foresee potential counter-arguments. Therefore, look for information everywhere, including historical examples, ethical news media, expert opinions, etc.

Support Your Arguments

You must realize that viewpoints are not arguments. But arguments arise from standpoints. For this reason, we construct arguments first, as we have standpoints. The key is that you have to support your argument with thorough research, logic, and organization. You should not simply state some point and expect it to persuade the reader. Provide solid argument, support it with evidence that is carefully analyzed, and then develop a sense of how all this together makes your opinion the right one.

Write with Integrity

Any effective argument is built on three important rhetorical components: logos (logical reasoning); pathos (passionate reasoning); and ethos (ethical reasoning). Above, we have already described the key points of logos and pathos. Talking about ethos, when your goal is to make a persuasive argument, your ethical obligation is not to manipulate or mislead the potential reader. It means that you must construct the argument precisely, avoid relying on mistaken beliefs, fear tactics, etc. that might somehow trick the readers into sharing your standpoints. You must establish trust with the readers.

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