Essays occupy a significant part of every student’s life. Teachers assign them for many reasons. While assessing one’s own understanding of a particular topic may be a central motive, learning effective and persuasive writing skills is no less important.
Knowing how to convince others through writing is a valuable skill. Students can use it throughout their lives, whether in their personal relationships or professional careers. However, to acquire this skill, one must learn the basics.
To help you with this, we decided to put together a persuasive essay writing guide for beginners. From the vital elements of a persuasive essay to practical tips, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of the entire process. Keep reading to find out more!
What Is a Persuasive Essay?
Writing persuasive essay is no easy task for a beginner. Yet, learning the definition of a persuasive essay may help you understand how to write one.
As the name implies, a persuasive essay is one that tries to sway the reader into the author’s beliefs or opinion on the subject. A number of instruments are used throughout this process to back up the statement. These include arguments, facts, logical connections, and research data.
In addition to research-based statements and logical reasoning, the author must also find a way to influence the reader emotionally. When these two elements are in balance, you can engage the audience and convince them to see things your way.
A well-written persuasive essay should start with a question or a strong statement that will make the reader curious about the topic. The author must also provide arguments in favor of their claim along the text. Plus, they should not forget about the counterarguments. With the right presentation, you can discredit them and strengthen the argument.
The Key Purpose of a Persuasive Essay
We’ve already covered the question, “What is persuasive essay writing?” Now, you should learn its main purpose. It will allow you to better understand how to write a persuasive essay and effortlessly influence your readers.
Any persuasive essay is written to make the reader adopt a certain belief or viewpoint. In academic writing, teachers assign persuasive essays to students to assess their ability to form and articulate arguments.
In personal writing, persuasive essays have a slightly different purpose. These essays help people express their opinions in a persuasive manner. Unlike academic essays, persuasive personal essays focus on topics that are important to the writer. These can be social issues, political beliefs, or personal experiences.
The goal of a persuasive essay in personal writing is to touch the reader emotionally. It can be achieved through personal stories and experiences. If done correctly, you can validate your perspective in the readers’ eyes and create a sense of empathy.
4 Types of Persuasive Essays
Before we get into our tips on writing a persuasive essay, there are also a few important things you should get familiarized with—types of such essays. This knowledge can help you come up with the most effective writing approach.
As the name suggests, an argumentative essay is one filled with arguments that are bound to influence the reader’s beliefs. The writer’s job is to present facts in a logical way to support their claims. However, it is equally important to recognize any opposing viewpoints. All of it serves to ensure a well-rounded argument.
Unlike an argumentative essay, a discursive essay doesn’t involve a writer’s opinion on the subject. Their job is to explore and present different perspectives on a particular topic or issue without any bias.
An exegetical essay is one that communicates a deeper meaning or importance of a particular text in an impartial way. At the same time, it includes the writer’s interpretations of the text.
An expository essay, another type of persuasive writing essay, is written to explain a certain topic or idea without any personal bias. Its main goal is to share information with the reader, not impose the writer’s views.
3 Vital Elements of a Persuasive Essay
Developed by Aristotle, the three elements of persuasion are ethos, pathos, and logos. They play a crucial role in persuasive essay writing. Understanding these elements will make any writer a pro.
By following the steps to writing a persuasive essay and incorporating ethos, pathos, and logos, novice writers can elevate their persuasive skills and produce A-grade essays.
Ethos is the first element of persuasive writing. It is used to establish credibility in the eyes of the reader. This is usually achieved by utilizing data from credible and reputable sources or citing experts in the field. The author can also use personal experience to establish ethos.
Unlike ethos, the second element of persuasive writing–pathos–doesn’t aim to establish credibility. Instead, pathos is designed to appeal to the reader’s emotions and feelings. To evoke the right emotions, a writer uses certain words and language that are likely to resonate with the reader.
The third element of persuasive writing–logos–must appeal to the reader’s logic. This is achieved by using logical reasoning, clear connections between ideas, and coherent writing. The author can also present facts and statistics to convince the reader.
How to Write a Persuasive Essay in 4 Easy Steps
At this point, you should be well familiar with the persuasive essay definition, types, and essential elements. Once you grasp the basics, you can now take the next step—writing an actual essay. To make this process less overwhelming, we’ve decided to present you with persuasive essay writing tips.
While all writers have different approaches to writing, there are four basic steps that can guide anyone in writing a persuasive essay. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to write a persuasive essay outline and ultimately create one.
Step 1: Draft Your Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is an essential component of every essay. In most cases, this is one sentence that outlines the main idea or argument of the essay. A thesis statement should reflect your own or research-based perspective. By starting with a forceful thesis statement, you can interest the reader and set the tone for the rest of your essay.
When writing a persuasive essay, include the main claim or argument that you will be defending throughout the essay in a thesis statement. This will allow the reader to understand what to expect further in the text.
Step 2: Create an Outline
One of the crucial processes in persuasive writing is the creation of an essay plan. This essential step will help you organize your thoughts and express them in a structured manner. The process of outlining your essay will also show you your weak spots and areas that need more research.
Formalized and well-written main points of your outline will also serve you as persuasive essay writing prompts. With their help, you’ll find it easier to make clear connections between your ideas. They can also push you to move in the right direction and show the reader where the essay is headed.
Step 3: Write a Rough Copy
Many people experience writer’s block in an attempt to create a perfect text on the first try. To avoid this, we recommend writing a rough copy of your essay. Any beginner writer will find it easier to craft an imperfect essay and edit it later.
Step 4: Proofread and Polish Your Work
Writing a good persuasive essay always entails editing and proofreading your work. All of it is done to ensure that it is free from any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or poor phrasing. Writing errors can impact your credibility in the reader’s eyes. That’s why you should proofread your writing thoroughly before submitting it to your professor.
If you want to ensure that your work is ideal, outsource the proofreading task to other people. You can ask other students or colleagues to read your essay and indicate any errors, complex sentences, or hard-to-follow ideas. Alternatively, you can pay professionals at essay writing services to proofread your work.
Optional Step: Publish Your Essay
The main purpose of writing a persuasive essay can only be achieved if it reaches the right audience. And the only way to do that is to publish your essay. You can choose from a few publishing options depending on your goal.
The first option is to submit your persuasive essay to academic journals or publications in your field. This way, you can get feedback from the experts and/or receive recognition for your work.
Another option is to share your essay online. You can choose between many platforms. These could be social media or blogs. This action will help you reach a wider audience and generate more buzz around your essay.
Frequently Asked Questions About Persuasive Essay Writing
We’ve tried to describe persuasive essay writing in as much detail as possible. Yet, we understand that some of you may still have questions. To address them, we’ve created this useful section. Read on to learn more.
What are the 3 main steps in writing a persuasive essay?
To craft a persuasive essay, any writer should undertake three simple steps. To begin with, you should create a forceful thesis statement. This will form the basis of your essay and help you stay focused on your main argument as you write. Writing a persuasive essay outline should follow the previous step. Lastly, you must write, edit, and proofread your essay.
What makes a strong persuasive essay?
A strong persuasive essay is based on easy-to-follow arguments that are supported by credible evidence. It should also feature a forceful thesis statement that vividly communicates the writer’s position.
Just as described in our persuasive essay writing tips, three crucial elements–ethos, pathos, and logos–are used to create a strong persuasive essay. When paired with well-structured writing and logical flow, these elements can strengthen the argument and influence the reader’s beliefs.
What persuasive techniques are used in essay writing?
Using modes of persuasion is the most popular technique employed in persuasive writing. They were coined by Aristotle and are called ethos, logos, and pathos. Each of them touches on different aspects of persuasion and helps convince the reader more effectively.
What words to use in persuasive writing?
It’s no secret that some words and phrases sound more convincing. Therefore, you should use them to persuade your readers more easily. These include high-modality words such as always, must, will, need, never, important, vital, obvious, integral, and evident. You can also utilize words like ultimately, totally, absolutely, definitely, extremely, certainly, unquestionably, clearly, thoroughly, and positively.
What is an example of a persuasive paragraph?
You can find some of the best persuasive essay writing examples on reputable academic websites such as Owl Purdue or Khan Academy. Some educational journals, like “Education Week” or “Journal of Educational Psychology,” also publish persuasive essays that can serve as references for beginner writers.
Knowing how to compose a persuasive essay is an invaluable skill that can be applied in various aspects of life. We believe that our guide allowed you to better understand the persuasive essay definition, types, and essential elements. Hopefully, it also provided you with the right tools that will help you write a high-quality essay.
In the process of writing, we were inspired by several pieces from our colleagues. We want to thank them for their professionalism, creativity, and insight and credit their work. These include articles:
- How to Write a Persuasive Essay by Grammarly
- Writing a Persuasive Essay by Hamilton
- How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps by Literacy Ideas
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