There will be times in your academic career when you will be required to write a persuasive essay as your homework assignment. When writing an essay you have to advocate either for or against the topic. The main purpose of writing an essay is to convince your reader to accept your side of the argument.
Writing a persuasive essay: Here’s the trick
For an essay to be convincing, the argument should be logical and backed by facts. Ensure that there are no prejudices in your mind before you begin writing the essay. An effective essay should start with a strong introduction and end with an insightful conclusion with well-organized paragraphs in between. Persuasive writing is a great tool used to influence people into forming opinions, taking action, and making decisions.
Pick your position
The first step when writing a persuasive essay is to pick what side you are on. Decide whether you want to support the topic or write against it. Choose the stand you believe in and are passionate about. Picking a position will make research work for the essay easier.
Understand your audience
When you write an essay you aim to sway your audience to share your opinion or viewpoint. For that knowledge about your readers is important as it can help you in deciding on the approach and framing your arguments for the essay. Your arguments and words should connect with the readers at an emotional level to convince them to agree with you. When you understand your audience you can also anticipate the objects that can come your way and prepare counterarguments in advance. Thus you can discredit any arguments or information that does not support your thesis statement.
Do thorough research
A persuasive essay needs a thorough research before you begin writing. Carry out research both for and against the topic. You not only have to make your readers agree with you but also make them disagree with the other side of the argument. Find out facts, logical arguments, opinions from experts, etc. to strengthen your position.
Create an outline
You have to keep your thoughts and writing organized. No matter how compelling your arguments are if they are all over the place they will lose their impact. Once you have your facts, figures, and justifications prepared after diligent research, you need to prepare an outline of how your essay should look. Define the part of the essay and decide what needs to be included in each part or section of the essay. Decide on the word limit for each section and the time you wish to devote to each section separately.
Follow a structure
Your writing should follow a structure that is logical and clear. Generally, an essay starts with an introduction which is followed by the body and ends with a conclusion. The Introduction is as the name suggests where you introduce the topic to the reader. It starts with the title of the essay. You can begin the essay with a statistic, an anecdote, or even a joke so that the interest of the audience can be piqued at the beginning itself. This can be followed by providing the background of the topic where you can compare the different opinions on the subject briefly.
After this draft your thesis statement which gives an overview of the argument. The thesis statement should inform your readers what is the argument that you are trying to convince them to support and how do plan to do that.
After stating your thesis, start writing the body of the essay. The body of the essay should be written in simple language and be clear and easy to understand. The number of paragraphs in the essay body depends upon the number of evidence and facts you have to support your argument. Depending upon the complexity of the argument you can increase or decrease the number of paragraphs. Each point should support the stand you take in the essay. After explaining the points that support your argument you can include one or two paragraphs to refute the opposing arguments.
Conclude the essay by reviewing all the arguments made in the previous section. No new ideas or arguments should be introduced in the conclusion section of the essay. Restate and sum up the arguments to convince the readers. You can also conclude the essay with a quotation to leave your audience with an impactful ending.
Review and revise
Proofreading and editing your essay are crucial. Once you are done writing the essay take out some time to review it. Ideally, take two or three days in between so that you can view the essay with a set of fresh eyes. This will help you in correcting inadvertent factual and grammatical errors in the essay. Going through the essay multiple times will also give you the chance of coming up with better reasoning to support your stance. You can also check whether the evidence and facts given are sufficient enough to sway the audience.
Stay away from plagiarism
Copying someone else’s work without giving them credit can land you in trouble with your professors. The thought and words that go into your essay should be your own. You can take inspiration from great speakers and writers for writing compelling arguments. But do not copy their words else you will be accused of plagiarism. Plagiarism can cause not only embarrassment but also potential suspension or expulsion from a course.
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