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How To Write A Persuasive Essay

Leilani Bradley, Contributor

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Writing a persuasive essay is like being a lawyer arguing a case before a jury. The writer takes a stand on an issue—either “for” or “against”—and builds the strongest possible argument to win over the reader.

In a persuasive essay, it’s the writer’s job to convince the reader to accept a particular point of view or take a specific action. Persuasive essays require good research, awareness of the reader’s biases, and a solid understanding of both sides of the issue. A good persuasive essay demonstrates not only why the writer’s opinion is correct, but also why the opposing view is incorrect.

  • Choose a position. Students should think about the issue and pick the side they wish to advocate.
  • Do the research. A persuasive essay depends upon solid, convincing evidence. Don’t rely on a single source. Go to the library and enlist the help of the librarian. Speak with community experts and teachers. Read and take notes.
  • Identify the most convincing evidence, as well as the key points for the opposing view.

Organizing the Persuasive Essay: Outline and Structure: Next, create an outline. Organize the evidence to build the strongest possible argument. If the teacher has specified an essay structure, incorporate it into the outline. Typically, the persuasive essay comprises five or six paragraphs.

Drafting the Persuasive Essay: When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions: The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement.

  • The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
  • Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
  • Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
  • The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action.

Revising the Persuasive Essay: In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:

  • Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
  • Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
  • Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
  • Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
  • Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?

4. Editing the Persuasive Essay: Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.

Website: http://www.time4writing.com/writing-resources/writing-resourcespersuasive-essay/

 

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