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Here’s a dilemma: you work so hard on your persuasive essay, do in-depth research, develop strong arguments, but in the end, you get a low grade. And all this happens because your introduction isn’t convincing enough. As you can see, understanding how to start a persuasive essay in an effective manner is crucial. Fortunately, you are in the right place. Keep reading our guide to find useful tips on beginning a persuasive essay. From crafting an irresistible hook to formulating your main statement, you will find plenty of helpful suggestions. By the way, we’ve got some good examples to share. So let’s get started.  

Importance of Knowing How to Start a Persuasive Essay

Before discussing how to start off a persuasive essay, you should keep in mind that you must hook your audience from the very beginning. Your reader should understand what you are going to say and why it is important. Still, you shouldn’t lay all your cards on the table and reveal your arguments. Your main thesis statement should be presented after some context. An introduction is used to convince the reader not just of your opinion, but of the entire paper being worth reading. Therefore, one should take an especially reasonable approach. Further, we will share some helpful tips on drawing up a good introduction and give real examples.  But first, be sure to prepare a persuasive essay outline template .

How to Start a Good Persuasive Essay: Main Elements

Before starting a persuasive essay, you should think about its structure in detail. An introduction will be effective if you compile it based on our scheme. When drawing up an introductory part, you should include such elements:

  • Background information (context)
  • Main definitions (if there are any)
  • Topic-related thesis.

This structure makes it possible to convey any idea in a concise way. Remember: An opening paragraph should be short while writing a persuasive essay . All you need is to present a clear idea which will potentially hook the reader. Giving some hint on the gist of writing will be enough.

Starting a Persuasive Essay with a Hook

One idea that always works is starting a persuasive essay with a hook. You should make it clear about your topic in advance. Thus, you will attract reader’s attention. You should choose a strong sentence that will hook your addressee and may give them a particular idea. You can start persuasive essays with any question related to your topic or with an interesting fact. Quite often students use statistical data or quotes of some experts in their field of knowledge. This is the first step towards persuasion. It demonstrates that the subsequent text won’t be inferior. But just having an effective hook won’t be sufficient, so you should gradually prepare your reader. And we will learn more about this in the next section. In the meantime, have you already considered hiring a persuasive essay writer ? Our writers are academic-savvy and can create a great persuasive essay quickly and efficiently. 

Background Information in Persuasive Essay

In an introductory paragraph of a persuasive essay after the hook, we recommend outlining some topic’s context. Focus reader’s attention on background information. Here’s what you can include to develop your topic further:

  • Historical or geographical facts
  • Key characteristics.

This section should not only familiarize your readers with some background facts that you have researched. You also should smoothly lead to a thesis statement.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay Thesis

Your writing should begin with a strong persuasive essay thesis statement. Your thesis should introduce the topic and offer your viewpoint on some matter. Besides, it should list several arguments you are going to discuss in the main body. This statement will complete an introduction. Then, you will proceed to presenting the gist of an essay. Keep in mind several things that make a persuasive essay thesis stronger. First of all, a claim that you make should be debatable. This means that other people may have an opposing viewpoint. Secondly, your thesis statement should have a reasonable scope. Don’t make it too narrow, and, yet, this statement should be focused. Now that you know what elements should be included in your persuasive essay introduction, let’s discuss some writing tips.  

How to Start a Strong Persuasive Essay: Main Tips

While working on your text, you will surely need tips on how to start a persuasive essay. By following our hacks, you will be able to convey important information to readers. Based on our experience in preparing academic texts, we have developed some recommendations. Our writing tips will make your persuasive essay introduction as informative and attractive as possible. Meanwhile, some of these suggestions may be applied to other types of academic writing.  

Tip 1: Brainstorm Your Topic Before Starting a Persuasive Essay

Don’t rush to start writing right away – you should think about some good persuasive essay topics to begin your essay. The most effective way is to work on any topic in line with the purpose that you have set for yourself. Focus on any subject that you are genuinely interested in and do preliminary research. Make sure you have enough supporting facts that prove your opinion. Follow these steps to make your persuasive essay topic irresistible:  

  • Summarize well-known facts on your topic.
  • Highlight controversial points.
  • Prepare points for further argumentation.

This way, you will know whether you should conduct any additional research. Besides, you will know if there is enough information that can convince readers of your point of view.

Tip 2: Provide a Hook for Your Persuasive Essay Introduction

An introduction of persuasive essay won’t be complete without a hook. If you fail to include it, such paper will unlikely captivate reader’s attention. A catchy hook helps to break the ice between your writing and readers. In turn, an increased attention ensures that your audience understands your topic well. Here are several things you may include in your hook to make it more effective:  

  • Quotes It’s a good idea if they relate to the topic and bring readers to the main subject.
  • Joke It is a great opportunity to dilute this formal environment and create some positive vibe.
  • Question It is good when it’s rhetorical and makes readers think. In fact, this will help you involve readers in an action or some kind of dialogue.
  • Statistics It works, if numbers are related to your research. Choose the most relevant data.
  • Counterargument Starting with an opposite opinion is a great way to refute this counterargument from the very beginning. This technique helps you intrigue readers at an early stage.

These recommendations may help you create a good hook that will attract readers, so use them wisely.

Tip 3: Create a Context for Your Persuasive Essay

When working on your persuasive essay introduction, be sure that you provide some background on the topic. Put readers in some context. You are more than welcome to use any statistical facts, numbers or in-depth definition. Historical or biographical details will work as well. Your task is to set an exact direction of thoughts. But don’t reveal any arguments and proofs in this section – you will do that later. Mention why this problem should be investigated, with more precise explanations being provided in body paragraphs. With the clear context, it will be much easier to perceive any idea. On top of that, given the proper background, there should be no doubts about your argument. Consider our best college essay writing services to speed the process up.

Tip 4: Write a Thesis Statement for Your Persuasive Essay Intro

How to start a persuasive essay thesis? It is easy: just write 1-2 sentences that clearly describe your main claim. Remember that your whole essay will be based on this statement. So, when crafting the thesis statement, make sure that you will be able to prove it. Make it sound logical – your statement shouldn’t be based on some blind guesses. Readers should understand your point and what they will find in the following paragraphs. Feel free to list your arguments, but don’t overdo it with extra details. Save more room for in-depth thoughts that will be covered in body paragraphs.  

Tip 5: Start Persuasive Essay Briefly

Start a persuasive essay with some brief information on what one will learn from the text. Choose the main theses, provide them in a concise way, so as not to overload the reader’s mind. Mention the importance of your topic – your reader should be convinced that this essay is worth reading. Although your opinion should be arguable, this doesn’t mean that you can write vague sentences. Refer to those facts that resonate with your central statement. Long story short, be concise and stay on point. Buy essay online  that may be of help to you if anything seems too vague right now.  

Tip 6: Be Convincing in Your Persuasive Essay Introduction

When you try to start a persuasive essay, chances are that you will come across advice to use credible references. While this is all good and well, we suggest focusing more on the convincing arguments – your personal opinion. Indicate that your paper has been written based on personal experience and resulted from your own research. With this approach, the fact that it includes your thoughts won’t surprise anyone. You shouldn’t write about the truths known to everyone interested in this topic. You should better provide your ideas on why your thesis is correct. Explain why you have decided on this position. This is a polemical style that will trigger a number of debates.  

Persuasive Essay Introduction Examples

If you don’t know how to start a persuasive essay, examples will surely be useful for you. After all, this is a good opportunity to get acquainted with successful patterns and include the best of them in your text. For instance, you can see ways of structuring arguments in an actual example and use it as the basis for your own essay. Still, you should choose your own arguments related to the topic. It all may sound complicated. For this reason, we will introduce an example of what a convincing introduction structure may be like.  

How to Start a Persuasive Essay About a Book: Example

Before finding out how to start a persuasive essay about a book, decide on the literature. However, regardless of any genre and author, your topic will be dedicated to providing your opinion. Focus on your position and provide 3 arguments that you will discuss further. Our example will help you make it clear.

Example of essay introduction about a book

Persuasive Essay Introduction on Gun Control: Example

Your opinion on such an important topic as gun control should sound convincing. Before deciding on how to start a persuasive essay on gun control, make readers believe you have chosen some weighty thesis to develop further. Let’s look at an example.  

Example of persuasive essay introduction on gun control

How to Start Off a Persuasive Essay About Debates: Example

It is not difficult to work out the topic of debates. But before you find out how to start off a persuasive essay about debates, highlight the thesis that you support. You should specify the purpose of an essay in an introduction and avoid unsupported value judgments.  

Example of persuasive essay introduction about debates

Starting a Persuasive Essay on Too Much Homework: Example

Before deciding on how to  write a persuasive essay  on too much homework, you should keep in mind that this topic is quite unusual. To define your position, you should prepare strong arguments; statistics will make an especially good hook.  

Example of persuasive essay introduction about too much homework

Writing a Persuasive Essay on Starting a Colony: Template

To write an introduction of a persuasive essay on starting a colony, you should take on a strong stance on this matter. Be clear and convey the need for this action. Give general arguments, referring to historical practice – this will convince an audience to accept your point.

Example of introduction of a persuasive essay on starting a colony

Final Thoughts

An introduction of a persuasive essay should be effective. After all, it’s the first thing that the readers will see. So, to make a persuasive essay introduction informative and convincing, you should make arguments clear and prepare your arguments. Include such elements in your introduction:

  • Hook to attract the readers’ attention
  • Personal opinion and proprietary research
  • Thesis statement.

By using the above-listed recommendations, you will create a really high-quality introduction for an essay, where you will specify your position and convince readers of the topic's importance. BTW, a free essay maker might help you generate a persuasive essay. Use it to simplify the process.

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If you are struggling with your persuasive essay, entrust this task to our academic writers. Share your requirements and our experts will work miracles in a timely manner.

FAQ About Persuasive Essay Introductions

1. what comes first in a persuasive essay.

When writing a persuasive essay introduction, you should indicate the problem you are going to cover. Specify some types and characters that are important to readers. Don’t forget about presenting your personal achievements and opinions. But make sure that you don’t dilute your first paragraph. An introduction should be to the point, just like the rest of writing.

2. How to start a persuasive essay about littering?

Before deciding on how to start a persuasive essay about littering, you should  outline  the issue. In our case, this is litter that pollutes our planet, with its influence having already been proven by hundreds of studies. Highlight the fact that litter doesn’t only harm our planet in general, but also does affect us directly. Prove it by an argument that it accumulates in the environment. These can be the places we work, live and have fun in, which is harmful to our health.  

3. How can I create a hook for an essay about refugees?

Many people ask how to start a persuasive essay with a hook when it comes to writing a paper about refugees. We recommend describing some feelings and loneliness that this category of people experiences. Make an emotional hook to evoke the readers’ moral side. This will work, and you will get readers interested. After all, this is the most important aspect of any type of writing.

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Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Tips and Tricks

Allison Bressmer

Allison Bressmer

How to write a persuasive essay

Most composition classes you’ll take will teach the art of persuasive writing. That’s a good thing.

Knowing where you stand on issues and knowing how to argue for or against something is a skill that will serve you well both inside and outside of the classroom.

Persuasion is the art of using logic to prompt audiences to change their mind or take action , and is generally seen as accomplishing that goal by appealing to emotions and feelings.

A persuasive essay is one that attempts to get a reader to agree with your perspective.

What is a persuasive essay?

Ready for some tips on how to produce a well-written, well-rounded, well-structured persuasive essay? Just say yes. I don’t want to have to write another essay to convince you!

How Do I Write a Persuasive Essay?

What are some good topics for a persuasive essay, how do i identify an audience for my persuasive essay, how do you create an effective persuasive essay, how should i edit my persuasive essay.

Your persuasive essay needs to have the three components required of any essay: the introduction , body , and conclusion .

That is essay structure. However, there is flexibility in that structure.

There is no rule (unless the assignment has specific rules) for how many paragraphs any of those sections need.

Although the components should be proportional; the body paragraphs will comprise most of your persuasive essay.

What should every essay include?

How Do I Start a Persuasive Essay?

As with any essay introduction, this paragraph is where you grab your audience’s attention, provide context for the topic of discussion, and present your thesis statement.

TIP 1: Some writers find it easier to write their introductions last. As long as you have your working thesis, this is a perfectly acceptable approach. From that thesis, you can plan your body paragraphs and then go back and write your introduction.

TIP 2: Avoid “announcing” your thesis. Don’t include statements like this:

  • “In my essay I will show why extinct animals should (not) be regenerated.”
  • “The purpose of my essay is to argue that extinct animals should (not) be regenerated.”

Announcements take away from the originality, authority, and sophistication of your writing.

Instead, write a convincing thesis statement that answers the question "so what?" Why is the topic important, what do you think about it, and why do you think that? Be specific.

How Many Paragraphs Should a Persuasive Essay Have?

This body of your persuasive essay is the section in which you develop the arguments that support your thesis. Consider these questions as you plan this section of your essay:

  • What arguments support your thesis?
  • What is the best order for your arguments?
  • What evidence do you have?
  • Will you address the opposing argument to your own?
  • How can you conclude convincingly?

The body of a persuasive essay

TIP: Brainstorm and do your research before you decide which arguments you’ll focus on in your discussion. Make a list of possibilities and go with the ones that are strongest, that you can discuss with the most confidence, and that help you balance your rhetorical triangle .

What Should I Put in the Conclusion of a Persuasive Essay?

The conclusion is your “mic-drop” moment. Think about how you can leave your audience with a strong final comment.

And while a conclusion often re-emphasizes the main points of a discussion, it shouldn’t simply repeat them.

TIP 1: Be careful not to introduce a new argument in the conclusion—there’s no time to develop it now that you’ve reached the end of your discussion!

TIP 2 : As with your thesis, avoid announcing your conclusion. Don’t start your conclusion with “in conclusion” or “to conclude” or “to end my essay” type statements. Your audience should be able to see that you are bringing the discussion to a close without those overused, less sophisticated signals.

The conclusion of a persuasive essay

If your instructor has assigned you a topic, then you’ve already got your issue; you’ll just have to determine where you stand on the issue. Where you stand on your topic is your position on that topic.

Your position will ultimately become the thesis of your persuasive essay: the statement the rest of the essay argues for and supports, intending to convince your audience to consider your point of view.

If you have to choose your own topic, use these guidelines to help you make your selection:

  • Choose an issue you truly care about
  • Choose an issue that is actually debatable

Simple “tastes” (likes and dislikes) can’t really be argued. No matter how many ways someone tries to convince me that milk chocolate rules, I just won’t agree.

It’s dark chocolate or nothing as far as my tastes are concerned.

Similarly, you can’t convince a person to “like” one film more than another in an essay.

You could argue that one movie has superior qualities than another: cinematography, acting, directing, etc. but you can’t convince a person that the film really appeals to them.

Debatable and non-debatable concepts

Once you’ve selected your issue, determine your position just as you would for an assigned topic. That position will ultimately become your thesis.

Until you’ve finalized your work, consider your thesis a “working thesis.”

This means that your statement represents your position, but you might change its phrasing or structure for that final version.

When you’re writing an essay for a class, it can seem strange to identify an audience—isn’t the audience the instructor?

Your instructor will read and evaluate your essay, and may be part of your greater audience, but you shouldn’t just write for your teacher.

Think about who your intended audience is.

For an argument essay, think of your audience as the people who disagree with you—the people who need convincing.

That population could be quite broad, for example, if you’re arguing a political issue, or narrow, if you’re trying to convince your parents to extend your curfew.

Once you’ve got a sense of your audience, it’s time to consult with Aristotle. Aristotle’s teaching on persuasion has shaped communication since about 330 BC. Apparently, it works.

Ethos, pathos and logos

Aristotle taught that in order to convince an audience of something, the communicator needs to balance the three elements of the rhetorical triangle to achieve the best results.

Those three elements are ethos , logos , and pathos .

Ethos relates to credibility and trustworthiness. How can you, as the writer, demonstrate your credibility as a source of information to your audience?

How will you show them you are worthy of their trust?

How to make your essay credible

  • You show you’ve done your research: you understand the issue, both sides
  • You show respect for the opposing side: if you disrespect your audience, they won’t respect you or your ideas

Logos relates to logic. How will you convince your audience that your arguments and ideas are reasonable?

How to use logic in essays

You provide facts or other supporting evidence to support your claims.

That evidence may take the form of studies or expert input or reasonable examples or a combination of all of those things, depending on the specific requirements of your assignment.

Remember: if you use someone else’s ideas or words in your essay, you need to give them credit.

ProWritingAid's Plagiarism Checker checks your work against over a billion web-pages, published works, and academic papers so you can be sure of its originality.

Find out more about ProWritingAid’s Plagiarism checks.

Pathos relates to emotion. Audiences are people and people are emotional beings. We respond to emotional prompts. How will you engage your audience with your arguments on an emotional level?

How to use emotion in essays

  • You make strategic word choices : words have denotations (dictionary meanings) and also connotations, or emotional values. Use words whose connotations will help prompt the feelings you want your audience to experience.
  • You use emotionally engaging examples to support your claims or make a point, prompting your audience to be moved by your discussion.

Be mindful as you lean into elements of the triangle. Too much pathos and your audience might end up feeling manipulated, roll their eyes and move on.

An “all logos” approach will leave your essay dry and without a sense of voice; it will probably bore your audience rather than make them care.

Once you’ve got your essay planned, start writing! Don’t worry about perfection, just get your ideas out of your head and off your list and into a rough essay format.

After you’ve written your draft, evaluate your work. What works and what doesn’t? For help with evaluating and revising your work, check out this ProWritingAid post on manuscript revision .

After you’ve evaluated your draft, revise it. Repeat that process as many times as you need to make your work the best it can be.

When you’re satisfied with the content and structure of the essay, take it through the editing process .

Grammatical or sentence-level errors can distract your audience or even detract from the ethos—the authority—of your work.

You don’t have to edit alone! ProWritingAid’s Realtime Report will find errors and make suggestions for improvements.

You can even use it on emails to your professors:

ProWritingAid's Realtime Report

Try ProWritingAid with a free account.

How Can I Improve My Persuasion Skills?

You can develop your powers of persuasion every day just by observing what’s around you.

  • How is that advertisement working to convince you to buy a product?
  • How is a political candidate arguing for you to vote for them?
  • How do you “argue” with friends about what to do over the weekend, or convince your boss to give you a raise?
  • How are your parents working to convince you to follow a certain academic or career path?

As you observe these arguments in action, evaluate them. Why are they effective or why do they fail?

How could an argument be strengthened with more (or less) emphasis on ethos, logos, and pathos?

Every argument is an opportunity to learn! Observe them, evaluate them, and use them to perfect your own powers of persuasion.

best way to start persuasive essay

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Allison Bressmer is a professor of freshman composition and critical reading at a community college and a freelance writer. If she isn’t writing or teaching, you’ll likely find her reading a book or listening to a podcast while happily sipping a semi-sweet iced tea or happy-houring with friends. She lives in New York with her family. Connect at linkedin.com/in/allisonbressmer.

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  • EXPLORE Random Article

How to Begin a Persuasive Essay

Last Updated: January 31, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 335,670 times.

The goal of a persuasive essay is to convince your readers of a certain perspective on a topic. To do this, you'll have to get them hooked with a well-crafted, engaging introductory section that leads into a developed thesis statement. The best opening, however, will depend on the issue at hand, the argument you are trying to make about it, and the audience you are trying to persuade. Before you can write an amazing introduction, you need to do some initial research so that you can tailor your introduction to the needs of the essay, your argument, and your audience.

Brainstorming and Outlining Introduction Ideas

Woman thinking about the topic for her persuasive essay.

  • For example, if you want to write about juvenile crime, choose a narrow section of it, such as the practice of trying juveniles as adults in certain cases.
  • Try to choose a topic that’s really interesting to you. It will make the essay much more fun to write!
  • The subject of your essay might be predetermined if, for example, you’re writing an essay for class or are sending it to a senator or a newspaper about a certain topic.

Step 2 Choose an angle that seems the most interesting to write.

  • Ask yourself what is at stake regarding the issue you are researching. Why does the issue matter and why should others care? Once you can identify that, it will be easier to frame your argument.
  • For example, if your topic is factory farming, your angle could be that factory farming releases large amounts of methane gas, which contribute to climate change and the global epidemic of unpredictable and increasingly violent weather. You could frame it as both an environmental and a public safety issue.

Step 3 Do some research...

  • Use scholarly search engines such as Google Scholar, EBSCO, or JSTOR, rather than regular searches, and try to use trustworthy sites like news agencies and .edu URLs.

Step 4 Come up with 3-5 pieces of evidence to support your argument.

  • You’ll be hinting at your evidence in your introductory paragraph, so it’s important that you know what it is before you start writing.
  • A piece of evidence that appeals to the reader’s ethics is one that comes from a trustworthy source. For example, if you’re writing an essay on the use of euthanasia, you could cite works or quotations from doctors or end-of-life caregivers who have direct experience working with it.
  • In a paper persuading people to decrease their water use, a piece of evidence that appeals to your sense of logic could be something like, “Using more water not only wastes more of this resource, but also increases your utilities bill.”
  • In a paper persuading people to adopt animals from the shelter, you could use an emotional appeal like, “Milo, a golden retriever puppy, was found on the side of the road when he was just 4 weeks old. If he’s not adopted soon from his overcrowded shelter, he’ll have to be put down.”

Step 5 Sketch out a...

  • For example, if you started with the angle that capital punishment should be illegal worldwide, you could expand that into a thesis like, “Capital punishment should be banned all over the world for humanitarian reasons alone, but also because of its lack of efficacy as a crime deterrent.”

Step 6 Organize your ideas...

  • Your paper can go longer than this, but try not to go any shorter, since you won’t be able to include all of the evidence you’ll need.
  • You can organize your outline with Roman numerals, regular numbers, or bullet points—whatever feels most comfortable to you.

Crafting Your Hook

Step 1 Use a startling fact or quote to pique your reader’s interest.

  • For example, in a paper persuading people to support prison reform, you could start off with something like, “The United States has the largest prison population in the entire world. The country that comes closest, China, has a prison population that is a full 25% lower.” [3] X Research source
  • To introduce a paper about capital punishment, you could use a quote like, “When discussing capital punishment, two quotes are often brought up: ‘an eye for an eye,’ and ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
  • If you use one of these approaches, remember to include a brief, 1-sentence explanation of why you’re including it. Don’t just start off with a quote or statistic, then jump straight into your background information.

Step 2 Begin with a brief anecdote to make the topic relatable.

  • For example, in a paper on reforming the juvenile justice system, you could say something like, “Joseph Creedwell was only 14 years old when he was first sent to a juvenile detention facility. His crime? Stealing a pack of gum from the convenience store across from his school.”
  • If you’re using a personal anecdote, first make sure that this format is appropriate for first-person narration. If it’s an essay for a class, ask your teacher.

Step 3 Start with a broad generalization, then zoom in on your topic.

  • For example, in an essay about conserving water use, you could say something like, “Even before science showed just how necessary water was for human survival, people understood the crucial importance, and even sanctity, of this resource.”
  • Try to avoid cliches like "Since the beginning of time," or "The dictionary defines _____ as..."

Step 4 Use a rhetorical question to get your reader thinking.

  • For example, in an essay on animal protection, you could write, “Many people know that animal species are going extinct, but have you ever wondered exactly how many species have died out since you’ve been born?”

Step 5 Present a counter-argument first to make an interesting switch.

  • In an essay against the use of euthanasia, for example, you could write, for example, “According to its supporters, euthanasia is a merciful and painless way to end a life that is no longer wanted, and they have a point.”

Introducing Your Topic and Thesis

Step 1 Write 1-2 sentences introducing your specific topic.

  • For example, in an essay against capital punishment, you could say something like, “Capital punishment directly affects a very small percentage of the population, but its ripple effects—the effects on the person’s family and friends, on the people who read about it and hear of it—are much larger. In an even greater sense, capital punishment is a statement about the society we live in.”

Step 2 Provide any necessary background the reader will need.

  • For example, in a persuasive essay on gun control, you could write, “Gun control laws have a long and fraught history in the United States, and understanding the nature of their back-and-forth growth and decline is crucial for understanding the current state of weapons law.”
  • Depending on your paper, your background information could take up anywhere from 2-3 sentences to a whole paragraph.

Step 3 Clearly state your position in your thesis statement.

  • For example, in an essay persuading people to oppose a new park project, you could write, “As much as a new park benefits a city’s residents, natural green space is vital to the environmental life of a community. Besides serving as an interesting insight into what the area was like before development, it provides crucial habitat for native plants and animals that may otherwise turn to residential space and face endangerment in urban an environment.”

Step 4 Hint at your evidence to transition into your first body paragraph.

  • For example, in an essay supporting the use of euthanasia, you could write, “Nowhere is the efficacy of euthanasia more visible than in the cases of patients with painful, terminal diseases.” This kind of sentence could either go at the end of your introduction paragraph or at the beginning of the first body paragraph.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Step 1 Avoid presenting and analyzing evidence in the introduction.

  • For example, in an essay against drunk driving, it’s fine to use an eye-catching statistic, like, “Every 2 minutes, one person is injured in a drunk driving crash.” But avoid analyzing that statistic with something like, “It’s likely that everyone knows at least one person affected by a drunk driving incident, meaning that the issue has wide-ranging consequences. In many places, one effect is a growing numbness towards the issue at all. Police officers report that...” [10] X Research source

Step 2 Keep your argument clear, but present it in a smooth, subtle way.

  • For example, avoid writing something like, “I am going to prove to you that…” or “This essay will show that…” These kinds of phrases are typically jarring and unnecessary.

Step 3 Leave out unnecessary details.

  • For example, a fact you picked up about bee flight patterns might be interesting, but isn’t relevant to a paper on why the world needs to protect its bee population.
  • You may also want to leave out “book report” information, such as the full title, author, or year of publication of a book you’re writing your persuasive essay about, unless that information is for a specific purpose. You’ll be able to cite your sources in full in your bibliography or works cited page.

Step 4 Steer clear of extremely broad introductions.

  • For example, in an essay about vegetarianism, avoid saying something like, “People have killed and eaten animals since the beginning of time.” While this may be true, it’s not catching the reader’s attention or adding anything to the essay that they didn’t already know.

Writing Help

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  • It’s OK if your introduction isn’t perfect just yet. Write out the rest of your essay, then go back to revise and polish when you’re in a fresh state of mind. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/introductions/
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baxDMu_1M0c&feature=youtu.be&t=1m19s
  • ↑ https://www.georgebrown.ca/uploadedFiles/TLC/_documents/Hooks%20and%20Attention%20Grabbers.pdf
  • ↑ https://education.seattlepi.com/write-good-argumentative-essay-introduction-1484.html
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baxDMu_1M0c&feature=youtu.be&t=1m44s
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baxDMu_1M0c&feature=youtu.be&t=1m59s
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baxDMu_1M0c&feature=youtu.be&t=41s
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baxDMu_1M0c&feature=youtu.be&t=47s
  • ↑ https://www.madd.org/statistics/

About this article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To begin a persuasive essay, start with a hook to catch the reader’s attention, such as a startling statistic, a question, or an intriguing anecdote. Next, briefly explain why they should care about the topic and provide some background information to help them feel comfortable with it. Then, present your thesis statement, which is a short, concise explanation of your perspective and why it’s the right one. Lastly, hint at your opening pieces of evidence before going on to your first paragraph! For tips on how to organize your essay and avoid common errors, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

Table of contents

best way to start persuasive essay

Meredith Sell

You can make your essay more persuasive by getting straight to the point.

In fact, that's exactly what we did here, and that's just the first tip of this guide. Throughout this guide, we share the steps needed to prove an argument and create a persuasive essay.

This AI tool helps you improve your essay > This AI tool helps you improve your essay >

persuasive essay

Key takeaways: - Proven process to make any argument persuasive - 5-step process to structure arguments - How to use AI to formulate and optimize your essay

Why is being persuasive so difficult?

"Write an essay that persuades the reader of your opinion on a topic of your choice."

You might be staring at an assignment description just like this 👆from your professor. Your computer is open to a blank document, the cursor blinking impatiently. Do I even have opinions?

The persuasive essay can be one of the most intimidating academic papers to write: not only do you need to identify a narrow topic and research it, but you also have to come up with a position on that topic that you can back up with research while simultaneously addressing different viewpoints.

That’s a big ask. And let’s be real: most opinion pieces in major news publications don’t fulfill these requirements.

The upside? By researching and writing your own opinion, you can learn how to better formulate not only an argument but the actual positions you decide to hold. 

Here, we break down exactly how to write a persuasive essay. We’ll start by taking a step that’s key for every piece of writing—defining the terms.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is exactly what it sounds like: an essay that persuades . Over the course of several paragraphs or pages, you’ll use researched facts and logic to convince the reader of your opinion on a particular topic and discredit opposing opinions.

While you’ll spend some time explaining the topic or issue in question, most of your essay will flesh out your viewpoint and the evidence that supports it.

The 5 Must-Have Steps of a Persuasive Essay

If you’re intimidated by the idea of writing an argument, use this list to break your process into manageable chunks. Tackle researching and writing one element at a time, and then revise your essay so that it flows smoothly and coherently with every component in the optimal place.

1. A topic or issue to argue

This is probably the hardest step. You need to identify a topic or issue that is narrow enough to cover in the length of your piece—and is also arguable from more than one position. Your topic must call for an opinion , and not be a simple fact .

It might be helpful to walk through this process:

  • Identify a random topic
  • Ask a question about the topic that involves a value claim or analysis to answer
  • Answer the question

That answer is your opinion.

Let’s consider some examples, from silly to serious:

Topic: Dolphins and mermaids

Question: In a mythical match, who would win: a dolphin or a mermaid?

Answer/Opinion: The mermaid would win in a match against a dolphin.

Topic: Autumn

Question: Which has a better fall: New England or Colorado?

Answer/Opinion: Fall is better in New England than Colorado.

Topic: Electric transportation options

Question: Would it be better for an urban dweller to buy an electric bike or an electric car?

Answer/Opinion: An electric bike is a better investment than an electric car.

Your turn: Walk through the three-step process described above to identify your topic and your tentative opinion. You may want to start by brainstorming a list of topics you find interesting and then going use the three-step process to find the opinion that would make the best essay topic.

2. An unequivocal thesis statement

If you walked through our three-step process above, you already have some semblance of a thesis—but don’t get attached too soon! 

A solid essay thesis is best developed through the research process. You shouldn’t land on an opinion before you know the facts. So press pause. Take a step back. And dive into your research.

You’ll want to learn:

  • The basic facts of your topic. How long does fall last in New England vs. Colorado? What trees do they have? What colors do those trees turn?
  • The facts specifically relevant to your question. Is there any science on how the varying colors of fall influence human brains and moods?
  • What experts or other noteworthy and valid sources say about the question you’re considering. Has a well-known arborist waxed eloquent on the beauty of New England falls?

As you learn the different viewpoints people have on your topic, pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of existing arguments. Is anyone arguing the perspective you’re leaning toward? Do you find their arguments convincing? What do you find unsatisfying about the various arguments? 

Allow the research process to change your mind and/or refine your thinking on the topic. Your opinion may change entirely or become more specific based on what you learn.

Once you’ve done enough research to feel confident in your understanding of the topic and your opinion on it, craft your thesis. 

Your thesis statement should be clear and concise. It should directly state your viewpoint on the topic, as well as the basic case for your thesis.

Thesis 1: In a mythical match, the mermaid would overcome the dolphin due to one distinct advantage: her ability to breathe underwater.

Thesis 2: The full spectrum of color displayed on New England hillsides is just one reason why fall in the northeast is better than in Colorado.

Thesis 3: In addition to not adding to vehicle traffic, electric bikes are a better investment than electric cars because they’re cheaper and require less energy to accomplish the same function of getting the rider from point A to point B.

Your turn: Dive into the research process with a radar up for the arguments your sources are making about your topic. What are the most convincing cases? Should you stick with your initial opinion or change it up? Write your fleshed-out thesis statement.

3. Evidence to back up your thesis

This is a typical place for everyone from undergrads to politicians to get stuck, but the good news is, if you developed your thesis from research, you already have a good bit of evidence to make your case.

Go back through your research notes and compile a list of every …

… or other piece of information that supports your thesis. 

This info can come from research studies you found in scholarly journals, government publications, news sources, encyclopedias, or other credible sources (as long as they fit your professor’s standards).

As you put this list together, watch for any gaps or weak points. Are you missing information on how electric cars versus electric bicycles charge or how long their batteries last? Did you verify that dolphins are, in fact, mammals and can’t breathe underwater like totally-real-and-not-at-all-fake 😉mermaids can? Track down that information.

Next, organize your list. Group the entries so that similar or closely related information is together, and as you do that, start thinking through how to articulate the individual arguments to support your case. 

Depending on the length of your essay, each argument may get only a paragraph or two of space. As you think through those specific arguments, consider what order to put them in. You’ll probably want to start with the simplest argument and work up to more complicated ones so that the arguments can build on each other. 

Your turn: Organize your evidence and write a rough draft of your arguments. Play around with the order to find the most compelling way to argue your case.

4. Rebuttals to disprove opposing theses

You can’t just present the evidence to support your case and totally ignore other viewpoints. To persuade your readers, you’ll need to address any opposing ideas they may hold about your topic. 

You probably found some holes in the opposing views during your research process. Now’s your chance to expose those holes. 

Take some time (and space) to: describe the opposing views and show why those views don’t hold up. You can accomplish this using both logic and facts.

Is a perspective based on a faulty assumption or misconception of the truth? Shoot it down by providing the facts that disprove the opinion.

Is another opinion drawn from bad or unsound reasoning? Show how that argument falls apart.

Some cases may truly be only a matter of opinion, but you still need to articulate why you don’t find the opposing perspective convincing.

Yes, a dolphin might be stronger than a mermaid, but as a mammal, the dolphin must continually return to the surface for air. A mermaid can breathe both underwater and above water, which gives her a distinct advantage in this mythical battle.

While the Rocky Mountain views are stunning, their limited colors—yellow from aspen trees and green from various evergreens—leaves the autumn-lover less than thrilled. The rich reds and oranges and yellows of the New England fall are more satisfying and awe-inspiring.

But what about longer trips that go beyond the city center into the suburbs and beyond? An electric bike wouldn’t be great for those excursions. Wouldn’t an electric car be the better choice then? 

Certainly, an electric car would be better in these cases than a gas-powered car, but if most of a person’s trips are in their hyper-local area, the electric bicycle is a more environmentally friendly option for those day-to-day outings. That person could then participate in a carshare or use public transit, a ride-sharing app, or even a gas-powered car for longer trips—and still use less energy overall than if they drove an electric car for hyper-local and longer area trips.

Your turn: Organize your rebuttal research and write a draft of each one.

5. A convincing conclusion

You have your arguments and rebuttals. You’ve proven your thesis is rock-solid. Now all you have to do is sum up your overall case and give your final word on the subject. 

Don’t repeat everything you’ve already said. Instead, your conclusion should logically draw from the arguments you’ve made to show how they coherently prove your thesis. You’re pulling everything together and zooming back out with a better understanding of the what and why of your thesis. 

A dolphin may never encounter a mermaid in the wild, but if it were to happen, we know how we’d place our bets. Long hair and fish tail, for the win.

For those of us who relish 50-degree days, sharp air, and the vibrant colors of fall, New England offers a season that’s cozier, longer-lasting, and more aesthetically pleasing than “colorful” Colorado. A leaf-peeper’s paradise.

When most of your trips from day to day are within five miles, the more energy-efficient—and yes, cost-efficient—choice is undoubtedly the electric bike. So strap on your helmet, fire up your pedals, and two-wheel away to your next destination with full confidence that you made the right decision for your wallet and the environment.

3 Quick Tips for Writing a Strong Argument

Once you have a draft to work with, use these tips to refine your argument and make sure you’re not losing readers for avoidable reasons.

1. Choose your words thoughtfully.

If you want to win people over to your side, don’t write in a way that shuts your opponents down. Avoid making abrasive or offensive statements. Instead, use a measured, reasonable tone. Appeal to shared values, and let your facts and logic do the hard work of changing people’s minds.

Choose words with AI

best way to start persuasive essay

You can use AI to turn your general point into a readable argument. Then, you can paraphrase each sentence and choose between competing arguments generated by the AI, until your argument is well-articulated and concise.

2. Prioritize accuracy (and avoid fallacies).

Make sure the facts you use are actually factual. You don’t want to build your argument on false or disproven information. Use the most recent, respected research. Make sure you don’t misconstrue study findings. And when you’re building your case, avoid logical fallacies that undercut your argument.

A few common fallacies to watch out for:

  • Strawman: Misrepresenting or oversimplifying an opposing argument to make it easier to refute.
  • Appeal to ignorance: Arguing that a certain claim must be true because it hasn’t been proven false.
  • Bandwagon: Assumes that if a group of people, experts, etc., agree with a claim, it must be true.
  • Hasty generalization: Using a few examples, rather than substantial evidence, to make a sweeping claim.
  • Appeal to authority: Overly relying on opinions of people who have authority of some kind.

The strongest arguments rely on trustworthy information and sound logic.

Research and add citations with AI

best way to start persuasive essay

We recently wrote a three part piece on researching using AI, so be sure to check it out . Going through an organized process of researching and noting your sources correctly will make sure your written text is more accurate.

3. Persuasive essay structure

Persuasive essay structure

If you’re building a house, you start with the foundation and go from there. It’s the same with an argument. You want to build from the ground up: provide necessary background information, then your thesis. Then, start with the simplest part of your argument and build up in terms of complexity and the aspect of your thesis that the argument is tackling.

A consistent, internal logic will make it easier for the reader to follow your argument. Plus, you’ll avoid confusing your reader and you won’t be unnecessarily redundant.

The essay structure usually includes the following parts:

  • Intro - Hook, Background information, Thesis statement
  • Topic sentence #1 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Concluding sentence
  • Topic sentence #2 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Concluding sentence Topic sentence #3 , with supporting facts or stats
  • Conclusion - Thesis and main points restated, call to action, thought provoking ending

Are You Ready to Write?

Persuasive essays are a great way to hone your research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Approach this assignment well, and you’ll learn how to form opinions based on information (not just ideas) and make arguments that—if they don’t change minds—at least win readers’ respect. ‍

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Persuasive Essay: A Guide for Writing

best way to start persuasive essay

Ever found yourself wrestling with the challenge of convincing others through your writing? Look no further – our guide is your go-to roadmap for mastering the art of persuasion. In a world where effective communication is key, this article unveils practical tips and techniques to help you produce compelling arguments that captivate your audience. Say goodbye to the struggles of conveying your message – let's learn how to make your persuasive essay informative and truly convincing.

What Is a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essays are a form of writing that aims to sway the reader's viewpoint or prompt them to take a specific action. In this genre, the author employs logical reasoning and compelling arguments to convince the audience of a particular perspective or stance on a given topic. The persuasive essay typically presents a clear thesis statement, followed by well-structured paragraphs that provide evidence and examples supporting the author's position. The ultimate goal is to inform and influence the reader's beliefs or behavior by appealing to their emotions, logic, and sense of reason. If you need urgent help with this assignment, use our persuasive essay writing service without hesitation.

Which Three Strategies Are Elements of a Persuasive Essay

Working on a persuasive essay is like building a solid argument with three friends: ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos is about trustworthiness, like when someone vouches for your credibility before making a point. Picture it as your introduction, earning trust from the get-go. Then comes pathos, your emotional storyteller. It's all about making your readers feel something, turning your essay into an experience rather than just a bunch of words. Lastly, logos is your logical thinker, using facts and solid reasoning to beef up your argument. These three work together to engage both the heart and mind of your audience. So, let's see how this trio can take your arguments from so-so to memorable.

In a persuasive essay, ethos functions much like introducing your friend as the go-to expert in their field before they share their insights with a new group. It's about showcasing the writer's credibility, expertise, and trustworthiness through a mix of personal experience, professional background, and perhaps even endorsements. Readers are more likely to buy into an argument when they believe the person presenting it knows their stuff and has a solid ethical standing, creating a foundation of trust. Does this information seem a bit confusing? Then simply type, ‘ write my paper ,’ and our writers will help you immediately.

Now, let's consider pathos – the emotional connection element. Imagine a movie that entertains and makes you laugh, cry, or feel a rush of excitement. Pathos in a persuasive essay aims to tap into your emotions to make you feel something. It's the storyteller in the essay weaving narratives that resonate personally. By sharing relatable anecdotes, vivid imagery, or emotionally charged language, writers can create a powerful connection with readers, turning a dry argument into a compelling human experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Lastly, logos is the cool-headed, logical friend who always has the facts straight. In a persuasive essay, logos presents a strong, well-reasoned argument supported by evidence, data, and solid reasoning. The backbone holds the essay together, appealing to the reader's sense of logic and reason. This might include citing research studies, providing statistical evidence, or employing deductive reasoning to build a solid case. So, think of ethos as your trustworthy friend, pathos as the emotional storyteller, and logos as the rational thinker – together, they create a persuasive essay that speaks to the heart and stands up to critical scrutiny. Choose the persuasive essay format accordingly, depending on how you’d like to approach your readers.

persuasive methods

Persuasive Essay Outline

Creating an outline for persuasive essay is like sketching a plan for your argument, which is the GPS to help your readers follow along smoothly. Start with an engaging intro that grabs attention and states your main point. Then, organize your body paragraphs, each focusing on one important aspect or evidence backing up your main idea. Mix in ethos (credibility), pathos (emotion), and logos (logic) throughout to make your argument strong. Don't forget to address opposing views and show why your stance is the way to go. Finally, wrap things up with a strong conclusion that reinforces your main points. Here’s a general outline for a persuasive essay:

How to start a persuasive essay? Introduction. 

  • Hook. Start with a captivating anecdote, surprising fact, or thought-provoking question to grab the reader's attention.
  • Background. Provide context for the issue or topic you're addressing.
  • Thesis Statement. Clearly state your main argument or position.

Body Paragraphs

Paragraph 1

  • Topic Sentence. Introduce the first key point supporting your thesis.
  • Supporting Evidence. Include facts, statistics, or examples that back up your point.
  • Ethos, Pathos, Logos. Incorporate elements of persuasion to strengthen your argument.

Paragraph 2

  • Topic Sentence. Introduce the second key point supporting your thesis.
  • Supporting Evidence. Provide relevant information or examples to bolster your argument.
  • Ethos, Pathos, Logos. Continue integrating persuasive elements for a well-rounded appeal.

Paragraph 3

  • Topic Sentence. Introduce the third key point supporting your thesis.
  • Supporting Evidence. Present compelling evidence or examples.
  • Ethos, Pathos, Logos. Ensure a balanced use of persuasive strategies.

Counterargument

  • Address opposing views. Acknowledge and counter opposing arguments.
  • Refutation. Explain why the counterargument is invalid or less convincing.
  • Summarize main points. Recap the key arguments from the body paragraphs.
  • Call to Action. Encourage readers to take a specific stance, consider your perspective, or engage in further discussion.

Closing Statement

  • Leave a lasting impression. End with a powerful statement that reinforces your thesis and strongly impacts the reader.

We recommend you study our guide on how to write an argumentative essay as well, as these two types of assignments are the most common in school and college.

support essay argument

Take Your Persuasive Writing to the Next Level!

Give us your task to amaze your readers with our tried-and-true methods

How to WritHow to Write a Persuasive Essay

Writing a persuasive essay typically follows a structured format that begins with a compelling introduction, where the writer captures the reader's attention with a hook, provides background information on the topic, and presents a clear thesis statement outlining the main argument. The body paragraphs delve into supporting evidence and key points, each focusing on a specific aspect of the argument and incorporating persuasive elements such as ethos, pathos, and logos. Counterarguments are addressed and refuted to strengthen the overall stance. The conclusion briefly summarizes the main points, reiterates the thesis, and often includes a call to action or a thought-provoking statement to leave a lasting impression on the reader. Follow these tips if you want to learn how to write a good persuasive essay up to the mark: 

Choose a Strong Topic

Selecting a compelling topic is crucial for a persuasive essay. Consider issues that matter to your audience and elicit strong emotions. A well-chosen topic captures your readers' interest and provides a solid foundation for building a persuasive argument. If you’re low on ideas, check out a collection of persuasive essay topics from our experts.

Research Thoroughly

Thorough research is the backbone of a persuasive essay. Dive into various sources, including academic journals, reputable websites, and books. Ensure that your information is current and reliable. Understanding the counterarguments will help you anticipate objections and strengthen your position.

Brainstorm a Solid Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement serves as the central point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and specific, outlining your stance. Consider it a guideline for your readers, guiding them through your argument. A strong thesis statement sets the tone for the entire essay and helps maintain focus.

Organize Your Thoughts

A rigid persuasive essay structure is key to creating a desired effect on readers. Begin with an engaging introduction that introduces your topic, provides context, and ends with a clear thesis statement. The body paragraphs should each focus on a single point that supports your thesis, providing evidence and examples. Transition smoothly between paragraphs to ensure a cohesive flow. Conclude with a powerful summary that reinforces your main points and leaves a lasting impression.

Develop Compelling Arguments

Each body paragraph should present a persuasive argument supported by evidence. Clearly articulate your main points and use examples, statistics, or expert opinions to strengthen your claims. Make sure to address potential counterarguments and refute them, demonstrating the robustness of your position.

  • Use Persuasive Language

Employ language that is strong, clear, and persuasive. Be mindful of your tone, avoiding overly aggressive or confrontational language. Appeal to your audience's emotions, logic, and credibility. Use rhetorical devices like anecdotes or powerful metaphors to make your writing more engaging and memorable.

Revise and Edit

The final step is revising and editing your essay. Take the time to review your work for clarity, coherence, and grammar. Ensure that your arguments flow logically and eliminate any unnecessary repetition. Consider seeking feedback from peers or mentors to gain valuable perspectives on the strength of your persuasive essay. You should also explore the guide on how to write a synthesis essay , as you’ll be dealing with it quite often as a student.

Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay

The most important aspect of writing a persuasive essay is constructing a compelling and well-supported argument. A persuasive essay's strength hinges on the clarity and persuasiveness of the main argument, encapsulated in a robust thesis statement. This central claim should be clearly articulated and supported by compelling evidence, logical reasoning, and an understanding of the target audience. Here are more tips for you to consider:

  • Write a Compelling Hook

Begin your essay with a captivating hook that grabs the reader's attention. This could be a surprising fact, a thought-provoking question, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. A strong opening sets the tone for the rest of the essay.

  • Establish Credibility

Build your credibility by demonstrating your expertise on the topic. Incorporate well-researched facts, statistics, or expert opinions that support your argument. Establishing credibility enhances the persuasiveness of your essay.

  • Clearly Articulate Your Thesis

Craft a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your main argument. This statement should convey your position on the issue and provide a path for the reader to follow throughout the essay. Note that if you use custom essay writing services , a thesis is automatically included in the assignment.

  • Organize Your Arguments Effectively

Structure your essay with a logical flow. Each paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis. Use transitional phrases to guide the reader smoothly from one idea to the next. This organizational clarity enhances the persuasive impact of your essay.

  • Address Counterarguments

Anticipate and address potential counterarguments to strengthen your position. Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and provide compelling reasons why your stance is more valid. This demonstrates a thorough understanding of the topic and reinforces the credibility of your argument.

Choose words and phrases that evoke emotion and engage your reader. Employ rhetorical devices, such as metaphors, similes, or vivid language, to make your argument more compelling. Pay attention to tone, maintaining a respectful and persuasive demeanor.

  • Appeal to Emotions and Logic

Strike a balance between emotional appeal and logical reasoning. Use real-life examples, personal stories, or emotional anecdotes to connect with your audience. Simultaneously, support your arguments with logical reasoning and evidence to build a robust case.

  • Create a Strong Conclusion

Summarize your main points in the conclusion and restate the significance of your thesis. End with a powerful call to action or a thought-provoking statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. A strong conclusion reinforces the persuasive impact of your essay.

Persuasive Essay Examples

Explore the persuasive essay examples provided below to gain a deeper comprehension of crafting this type of document.

Persuasive Essay Example: Are Women Weaker Than Men Today?

Students should explore persuasive essay examples as they provide valuable insights into effective argumentation, organizational structure, and the art of persuasion. Examining well-crafted samples allows students to grasp various writing techniques, understand how to present compelling evidence, and observe the nuanced ways in which authors address counterarguments. Additionally, exposure to diverse examples helps students refine their own writing style and encourages critical thinking by showcasing the diversity of perspectives and strategies. Here are two excellent persuasive essay examples pdf for your inspiration. If you enjoy the work of our writers, buy essay paper from them and receive an equally quality document prepared individually for you.

Example 1: “The Importance of Incorporating Financial Literacy Education in High School Curriculum”

This essay advocates for the imperative inclusion of financial literacy education in the high school curriculum. It emphasizes the critical role that early exposure to financial concepts plays in empowering students for lifelong success, preventing cycles of debt, fostering responsible citizenship, adapting to technological advancements, and building a more inclusive society. By arguing that financial literacy is a practical necessity and a crucial step towards developing informed and responsible citizens, the essay underscores the long-term societal benefits of equipping high school students with essential financial knowledge and skills.

Example 2: “Renewable Energy: A Call to Action for a Sustainable Future”

This persuasive essay argues for the urgent adoption of renewable energy sources as a moral imperative and a strategic move towards mitigating climate change, fostering economic growth, achieving energy independence, and driving technological innovation. The essay emphasizes the environmental, economic, and societal benefits of transitioning from conventional energy to renewable alternatives, asserting that such a shift is not just an environmentally conscious choice but a responsible investment in the sustainability and well-being of the planet for current and future generations.

Knowing how to write a persuasive essay is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it cultivates critical thinking and analytical skills, requiring students to evaluate and organize information effectively to support their arguments. This process enhances their ability to assess different perspectives and make informed decisions. The persuasive essay format also equips students with valuable communication skills, teaching them to articulate ideas clearly and convincingly. As effective communicators, students can advocate for their viewpoints, contributing to a more engaged and informed society. This proficiency extends beyond academic settings, proving crucial in various professional and personal scenarios. If you’d like to expedite the process, consider using our essay service , which saves time and brings positive grades.

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Last Updated: December 17, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 4,276,574 times.

A persuasive essay is an essay used to convince a reader about a particular idea or focus, usually one that you believe in. Your persuasive essay could be based on anything about which you have an opinion or that you can make a clear argument about. Whether you're arguing against junk food at school or petitioning for a raise from your boss, knowing how to write a persuasive essay is an important skill that everyone should have.

Sample Persuasive Essays

best way to start persuasive essay

How to Lay the Groundwork

Step 1 Read the prompt carefully.

  • Look for language that gives you a clue as to whether you are writing a purely persuasive or an argumentative essay. For example, if the prompt uses words like “personal experience” or “personal observations,” you know that these things can be used to support your argument.
  • On the other hand, words like “defend” or “argue” suggest that you should be writing an argumentative essay, which may require more formal, less personal evidence.
  • If you aren’t sure about what you’re supposed to write, ask your instructor.

Step 2 Give yourself time.

  • Whenever possible, start early. This way, even if you have emergencies like a computer meltdown, you’ve given yourself enough time to complete your essay.

Step 3 Examine the rhetorical situation.

  • Try using stasis theory to help you examine the rhetorical situation. This is when you look at the facts, definition (meaning of the issue or the nature of it), quality (the level of seriousness of the issue), and policy (plan of action for the issue).
  • To look at the facts, try asking: What happened? What are the known facts? How did this issue begin? What can people do to change the situation?
  • To look at the definition, ask: What is the nature of this issue or problem? What type of problem is this? What category or class would this problem fit into best?
  • To examine the quality, ask: Who is affected by this problem? How serious is it? What might happen if it is not resolved?
  • To examine the policy, ask: Should someone take action? Who should do something and what should they do?

Step 4 Consider your audience.

  • For example, if you are arguing against unhealthy school lunches, you might take very different approaches depending on whom you want to convince. You might target the school administrators, in which case you could make a case about student productivity and healthy food. If you targeted students’ parents, you might make a case about their children’s health and the potential costs of healthcare to treat conditions caused by unhealthy food. And if you were to consider a “grassroots” movement among your fellow students, you’d probably make appeals based on personal preferences.

Step 5 Pick a topic that appeals to you.

  • It also should present the organization of your essay. Don’t list your points in one order and then discuss them in a different order.
  • For example, a thesis statement could look like this: “Although pre-prepared and highly processed foods are cheap, they aren’t good for students. It is important for schools to provide fresh, healthy meals to students, even when they cost more. Healthy school lunches can make a huge difference in students’ lives, and not offering healthy lunches fails students.”
  • Note that this thesis statement isn’t a three-prong thesis. You don’t have to state every sub-point you will make in your thesis (unless your prompt or assignment says to). You do need to convey exactly what you will argue.

Step 11 Brainstorm your evidence.

  • A mind map could be helpful. Start with your central topic and draw a box around it. Then, arrange other ideas you think of in smaller bubbles around it. Connect the bubbles to reveal patterns and identify how ideas relate. [5] X Research source
  • Don’t worry about having fully fleshed-out ideas at this stage. Generating ideas is the most important step here.

Step 12 Research, if necessary.

  • For example, if you’re arguing for healthier school lunches, you could make a point that fresh, natural food tastes better. This is a personal opinion and doesn’t need research to support it. However, if you wanted to argue that fresh food has more vitamins and nutrients than processed food, you’d need a reliable source to support that claim.
  • If you have a librarian available, consult with him or her! Librarians are an excellent resource to help guide you to credible research.

How to Draft Your Essay

Step 1 Outline your essay.

  • An introduction. You should present a “hook” here that grabs your audience’s attention. You should also provide your thesis statement, which is a clear statement of what you will argue or attempt to convince the reader of.
  • Body paragraphs. In 5-paragraph essays, you’ll have 3 body paragraphs. In other essays, you can have as many paragraphs as you need to make your argument. Regardless of their number, each body paragraph needs to focus on one main idea and provide evidence to support it. These paragraphs are also where you refute any counterpoints that you’ve discovered.
  • Conclusion. Your conclusion is where you tie it all together. It can include an appeal to emotions, reiterate the most compelling evidence, or expand the relevance of your initial idea to a broader context. Because your purpose is to persuade your readers to do/think something, end with a call to action. Connect your focused topic to the broader world.

Step 2 Come up with your hook.

  • For example, you could start an essay on the necessity of pursuing alternative energy sources like this: “Imagine a world without polar bears.” This is a vivid statement that draws on something that many readers are familiar with and enjoy (polar bears). It also encourages the reader to continue reading to learn why they should imagine this world.
  • You may find that you don’t immediately have a hook. Don’t get stuck on this step! You can always press on and come back to it after you’ve drafted your essay.

Step 3 Write an introduction....

  • Put your hook first. Then, proceed to move from general ideas to specific ideas until you have built up to your thesis statement.
  • Don't slack on your thesis statement . Your thesis statement is a short summary of what you're arguing for. It's usually one sentence, and it's near the end of your introductory paragraph. Make your thesis a combination of your most persuasive arguments, or a single powerful argument, for the best effect.

Step 4 Structure your body paragraphs.

  • Start with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point of your paragraph.
  • Make your evidence clear and precise. For example, don't just say: "Dolphins are very smart animals. They are widely recognized as being incredibly smart." Instead, say: "Dolphins are very smart animals. Multiple studies found that dolphins worked in tandem with humans to catch prey. Very few, if any, species have developed mutually symbiotic relationships with humans."
  • "The South, which accounts for 80% of all executions in the United States, still has the country's highest murder rate. This makes a case against the death penalty working as a deterrent."
  • "Additionally, states without the death penalty have fewer murders. If the death penalty were indeed a deterrent, why wouldn't we see an increase in murders in states without the death penalty?"
  • Consider how your body paragraphs flow together. You want to make sure that your argument feels like it's building, one point upon another, rather than feeling scattered.

Step 5 Use the last sentence of each body paragraph to transition to the next paragraph.

  • End of the first paragraph: "If the death penalty consistently fails to deter crime, and crime is at an all-time high, what happens when someone is wrongfully convicted?"
  • Beginning of the second paragraph: "Over 100 wrongfully convicted death row inmates have been acquitted of their crimes, some just minutes before their would-be death."

Step 6 Add a rebuttal or counterargument.

  • Example: "Critics of a policy allowing students to bring snacks into the classroom say that it would create too much distraction, reducing students’ ability to learn. However, consider the fact that middle schoolers are growing at an incredible rate. Their bodies need energy, and their minds may become fatigued if they go for long periods without eating. Allowing snacks in the classroom will actually increase students’ ability to focus by taking away the distraction of hunger.”
  • You may even find it effective to begin your paragraph with the counterargument, then follow by refuting it and offering your own argument.

Step 7 Write your conclusion at the very end of your essay.

  • How could this argument be applied to a broader context?
  • Why does this argument or opinion mean something to me?
  • What further questions has my argument raised?
  • What action could readers take after reading my essay?

How to Write Persuasively

Step 1 Understand the conventions of a persuasive essay.

  • Persuasive essays, like argumentative essays, use rhetorical devices to persuade their readers. In persuasive essays, you generally have more freedom to make appeals to emotion (pathos), in addition to logic and data (logos) and credibility (ethos). [13] X Trustworthy Source Read Write Think Online collection of reading and writing resources for teachers and students. Go to source
  • You should use multiple types of evidence carefully when writing a persuasive essay. Logical appeals such as presenting data, facts, and other types of “hard” evidence are often very convincing to readers.
  • Persuasive essays generally have very clear thesis statements that make your opinion or chosen “side” known upfront. This helps your reader know exactly what you are arguing. [14] X Research source
  • Bad: The United States was not an educated nation, since education was considered the right of the wealthy, and so in the early 1800s Horace Mann decided to try and rectify the situation.

Step 2 Use a variety of persuasion techniques to hook your readers.

  • For example, you could tell an anecdote about a family torn apart by the current situation in Syria to incorporate pathos, make use of logic to argue for allowing Syrian refugees as your logos, and then provide reputable sources to back up your quotes for ethos.
  • Example: Time and time again, the statistics don't lie -- we need to open our doors to help refugees.
  • Example: "Let us not forget the words etched on our grandest national monument, the Statue of Liberty, which asks that we "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” There is no reason why Syrians are not included in this.
  • Example: "Over 100 million refugees have been displaced. President Assad has not only stolen power, he's gassed and bombed his own citizens. He has defied the Geneva Conventions, long held as a standard of decency and basic human rights, and his people have no choice but to flee."

Step 3 Be authoritative and firm.

  • Good: "Time and time again, science has shown that arctic drilling is dangerous. It is not worth the risks environmentally or economically."
  • Good: "Without pushing ourselves to energy independence, in the arctic and elsewhere, we open ourselves up to the dangerous dependency that spiked gas prices in the 80's."
  • Bad: "Arctic drilling may not be perfect, but it will probably help us stop using foreign oil at some point. This, I imagine, will be a good thing."

Step 4 Challenge your readers.

  • Good: Does anyone think that ruining someone’s semester, or, at least, the chance to go abroad, should be the result of a victimless crime? Is it fair that we actively promote drinking as a legitimate alternative through Campus Socials and a lack of consequences? How long can we use the excuse that “just because it’s safer than alcohol doesn’t mean we should make it legal,” disregarding the fact that the worst effects of the drug are not physical or chemical, but institutional?
  • Good: We all want less crime, stronger families, and fewer dangerous confrontations over drugs. We need to ask ourselves, however, if we're willing to challenge the status quo to get those results.
  • Bad: This policy makes us look stupid. It is not based in fact, and the people that believe it are delusional at best, and villains at worst.

Step 5 Acknowledge, and refute, arguments against you.

  • Good: While people do have accidents with guns in their homes, it is not the government’s responsibility to police people from themselves. If they're going to hurt themselves, that is their right.
  • Bad: The only obvious solution is to ban guns. There is no other argument that matters.

How to Polish Your Essay

Step 1 Give yourself a day or two without looking at the essay.

  • Does the essay state its position clearly?
  • Is this position supported throughout with evidence and examples?
  • Are paragraphs bogged down by extraneous information? Do paragraphs focus on one main idea?
  • Are any counterarguments presented fairly, without misrepresentation? Are they convincingly dismissed?
  • Are the paragraphs in an order that flows logically and builds an argument step-by-step?
  • Does the conclusion convey the importance of the position and urge the reader to do/think something?

Step 3 Revise where necessary.

  • You may find it helpful to ask a trusted friend or classmate to look at your essay. If s/he has trouble understanding your argument or finds things unclear, focus your revision on those spots.

Step 4 Proofread carefully.

  • You may find it helpful to print out your draft and mark it up with a pen or pencil. When you write on the computer, your eyes may become so used to reading what you think you’ve written that they skip over errors. Working with a physical copy forces you to pay attention in a new way.
  • Make sure to also format your essay correctly. For example, many instructors stipulate the margin width and font type you should use.

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

You Might Also Like

Write an Essay

  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-a-persuasive-essay/
  • ↑ https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/persuasive-essays
  • ↑ https://www.hamilton.edu/writing/writing-resources/persuasive-essays
  • ↑ https://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/sites/default/files/docs/learningguide-mindmapping.pdf
  • ↑ https://examples.yourdictionary.com/20-compelling-hook-examples-for-essays.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/transitions/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/rebuttal_sections.html
  • ↑ http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson56/strategy-definition.pdf
  • ↑ https://stlcc.edu/student-support/academic-success-and-tutoring/writing-center/writing-resources/pathos-logos-and-ethos.aspx
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/revising-drafts/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_suggestions.html

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a persuasive essay, start with an attention-grabbing introduction that introduces your thesis statement or main argument. Then, break the body of your essay up into multiple paragraphs and focus on one main idea in each paragraph. Make sure you present evidence in each paragraph that supports the main idea so your essay is more persuasive. Finally, conclude your essay by restating the most compelling, important evidence so you can make your case one last time. To learn how to make your writing more persuasive, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Paper Types / How to Write a Persuasive Essay

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

The entire point of a persuasive essay is to persuade or convince the reader to agree with your perspective on the topic. In this type of essay, you’re not limited to facts. It’s completely acceptable to include your opinions and back them up with facts, where necessary.

Guide Overview

  • Be assertive
  • Use words that evoke emotion
  • Make it personal
  • Topic selection hints

Tricks for Writing a Persuasive Essay

In this type of writing, you’ll find it is particularly helpful to focus on the emotional side of things. Make your reader feel what you feel and bring them into your way of thinking. There are a few ways to do that.

Be Assertive

A persuasive essay doesn’t have to be gentle in how it presents your opinion. You really want people to agree with you, so focus on making that happen, even if it means pushing the envelope a little. You’ll tend to get higher grades for this, because the essay is more likely to convince the reader to agree. Consider using an Persuasive Essay Template to understand the key elements of the essay.

Use Words that Evoke Emotion

It’s easier to get people to see things your way when they feel an emotional connection. As you describe your topic, make sure to incorporate words that cause people to feel an emotion. For example, instead of saying, “children are taken from their parents” you might say, “children are torn from the loving arms of their parents, kicking and screaming.” Dramatic? Yes, but it gets the point across and helps your reader experience the

Make it Personal

By using first person, you make the reader feel like they know you. Talking about the reader in second person can help them feel included and begin to imagine themselves in your shoes. Telling someone “many people are affected by this” and telling them “you are affected by this every day” will have very different results.

While each of these tips can help improve your essay, there’s no rule that you have to actually persuade for your own point of view. If you feel the essay would be more interesting if you take the opposite stance, why not write it that way? This will require more research and thinking, but you could end up with a very unique essay that will catch the teacher’s eye.

Topic Selection Hints

A persuasive essay requires a topic that has multiple points of view. In most cases, topics like the moon being made of rock would be difficult to argue, since this is a solid fact. This means you’ll need to choose something that has more than one reasonable opinion related to it.

A good topic for a persuasive essay would be something that you could persuade for or against.

Some examples include:

  • Should children be required to use booster seats until age 12?
  • Should schools allow the sale of sugary desserts and candy?
  • Should marijuana use be legal?
  • Should high school students be confined to school grounds during school hours?
  • Should GMO food be labeled by law?
  • Should police be required to undergo sensitivity training?
  • Should the United States withdraw troops from overseas?

Some topics are more controversial than others, but any of these could be argued from either point of view . . . some even allow for multiple points of view.

As you write your persuasive essay, remember that your goal is to get the reader to nod their head and agree with you. Each section of the essay should bring you closer to this goal. If you write the essay with this in mind, you’ll end up with a paper that will receive high grades.

Finally, if you’re ever facing writer’s block for your college paper, consider WriteWell’s template gallery to help you get started.

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best way to start persuasive essay

Writing a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essays convince readers to accept a certain perspective. Writing a persuasive essay therefore entails making an argument that will appeal to readers, so they believe what you say has merit. This act of appealing to readers is the art of persuasion, also known as rhetoric. In classical rhetoric, persuasion involves appealing to readers using ethos, pathos, and logos.

In this tutorial, we refer to the sample persuasive draft and final paper written by fictional student Maggie Durham.

THE ART OF PERSUASION

Ethos refers to establishing yourself as a credible source of information. To convince an audience of anything, they must first trust you are being earnest and ethical. One strategy to do this is to write a balanced discussion with relevant and reliable research that supports your claims. Reliable research would include quoting or paraphrasing experts, first-hand witnesses, or authorities. Properly citing your sources, so your readers can also retrieve them, is another factor in establishing a reliable ethos. When writing for academic purposes, expressing your argument using unbiased language and a neutral tone will also indicate you are arguing fairly and with consideration of others having differing views.

When you appeal to your readers’ emotions, you are using pathos. This appeal is common in advertising that convinces consumers they lack something and buying a certain product or service will fulfill that lack. Emotional appeals are subtler in academic writing; they serve to engage a reader in the argument and inspire a change of heart or motivate readers toward a course of action. The examples you use, how you define terms, any comparisons you draw, as well as the language choices you use can draw readers in and impact their willingness to go along with your ideas.

Consider that one purpose of persuasion is to appeal to those who do not already agree with you, so it will be important to show that you understand other points of view. You will also want to avoid derogatory or insulting descriptions or remarks about the opposition. You wouldn’t want to offend the very readers you want to persuade.

Establishing an appeal of logos is to write a sound argument, one that readers can follow and understand. To do this, the facts and evidence you use should be relevant, representative, and reliable, and the writing as a whole should be well organized, developed, and edited.

STEPS FOR WRITING PERSUASIVELY

Step one: determine the topic.

The first step in writing a persuasive essay is to establish the topic. The best topic is one that interests you. You can generate ideas for a topic by prewriting, such as by brainstorming whatever comes to mind, recording in grocery-list fashion your thoughts, or freewriting in complete sentences what you know or think about topics of interest.

Whatever topic you choose, it needs to be:

  • Interesting : The topic should appeal both to you and to your intended readers.
  • Researchable : A body of knowledge should already exist on the topic.
  • Nonfiction : The information about the topic should be factual, not based on personal opinions or conspiracy theories.
  • Important : Your reader should think the topic is relevant to them or worthy of being explored and discussed.

Our sample student Maggie Durham has selected the topic of educational technology. We will use Maggie’s sample persuasive draft and final paper as we discuss the steps for writing a persuasive essay.

Step Two: Pose a Research Question

Once you have a topic, the next step is to develop a research question along with related questions that delve further into the first question. If you do not know what to ask, start with one of the question words: What? Who? Where? When? Why? and How? The research question helps you focus or narrow the scope of your topic by identifying a problem, controversy, or aspect of the topic that is worth exploration and discussion. Some general questions about a topic would be the following:

  • Who is affected by this problem and how?
  • Have previous efforts or polices been made to address this problem? – What are they?
  • Why hasn’t this problem been solved already?

For Maggie’s topic of educational technology, potential issues or controversies range from data privacy to digital literacy to the impact of technology on learning, which is what Maggie is interested in. Maggie’s local school district has low literacy rates, so Maggie wants to know the following:

  • Are there advantages and/or disadvantages of technology within primary and secondary education?
  • Which types of technology are considered the best in terms of quality and endurance?
  • What types of technology and/or programs do students like using and why?
  • Do teachers know how to use certain technologies with curriculum design, instruction, and/or assessment?

Step Three: Draft a Thesis

A thesis is a claim that asserts your main argument about the topic. As you conduct your research and draft your paper, you may discover information that changes your mind about your thesis, so at this point in writing, the thesis is tentative. Still, it is an important step in narrowing your focus for research and writing.

The thesis should

1. be a complete sentence,

2. identify the topic, and

3. make a specific claim about that topic.

In a persuasive paper, the thesis is a claim that someone should believe or do something. For example, a persuasive thesis might assert that something is effective or ineffective. It might state that a policy should be changed or a plan should be implemented. Or a persuasive thesis might be a plea for people to change their minds about a particular issue.

Once you have figured out your research question, your thesis is simply the answer. Maggie’s thesis is “Schools should supply technology aids to all students to increase student learning and literacy rates.” Her next step is to find evidence to support her claim.

Step Four: Research

Once you have a topic, research question, and thesis, you are ready to conduct research. To find sources that would be appropriate for an academic persuasive essay, begin your search in the library. The Purdue Global Library has a number of tutorials on conducting research, choosing search teams, types of sources, and how to evaluate information to determine its reliability and usefulness. Remember that the research you use will not only provide content to prove your claim and develop your essay, but it will also help to establish your credibility as a reliable source (ethos), create a logical framework for your argument (logos), and appeal to your readers emotionally (pathos).

Step Five: Plan Your Argument; Make an Outline

Once you have located quality source information—facts, examples, definitions, knowledge, and other information that answers your research question(s), you’ll want to create an outline to organize it. The example outline below illustrates a logical organizational plan for writing a persuasive essay. The example outline begins with an introduction that presents the topic, explains the issue, and asserts the position (the thesis). The body then provides the reasoning for the position and addresses the opposing viewpoints that some readers may hold. In your paper, you could modify this organization and address the opposing viewpoints first and then give the reasoning for your viewpoints, or you can alternate and give one opposing viewpoint then counter that with your viewpoint and then give another opposing viewpoint and counter that with your viewpoint.

The outline below also considers the alternatives to the position—certainly, there are other ways to think about or address the issue or situation. Considering the alternatives can be done in conjunction with looking at the opposing viewpoints. You do not always have to disagree with other opinions, either. You can acknowledge that another solution could work or another belief is valid. However, at the end of the body section, you will want to stand by your original position and prove that in light of all the opposing viewpoints and other perspectives, your position has the most merit.

Sample Outline of a Persuasive Argument

  • 1. Introduction: Tell them what you will tell them.
  • a. Present an interesting fact or description to make the topic clear and capture the reader’s attention.
  • b. Define and narrow the topic using facts or descriptions to illustrate what the situation or issue is (and that is it important).
  • c. Assert the claim (thesis) that something should be believed or done about the issue. (Some writers also briefly state the reasons behind this claim in the thesis as Maggie does in her paper when she claims that schools should supply tablets to students to increase learning , engagement, and literacy rates ).
  • 2. Body: Tell them.
  • a. Defend the claim with logical reasons and practical examples based on research.
  • b. Anticipate objections to the claim and refute or accommodate them with research.
  • c. Consider alternate positions or solutions using examples from research.
  • d. Present a final point based on research that supports your claim in light of the objections and alternatives considered.
  • 3. Conclusion: Tell them what you told them.
  • a. Recap the main points to reinforce the importance of the issue.
  • b. Restate the thesis in new wording to reinforce your position.
  • c. Make a final remark to leave a lasting impression, so the reader will want to continue this conversation and ideally adopt the belief or take the action you are advocating.

In Maggie’s draft, she introduced the topic with facts about school ratings in Texas and then narrowed the topic using the example of her local school district’s literacy rates. She then claimed the district should provide each student a tablet in order to increase learning (and thus, literacy rates).

Maggie defends her claim with a series of examples from research that proved how access to tablets, technology-integrated curriculums, and “flipped classrooms” have improved literacy rates in other districts. She anticipates objections to her proposal due to the high cost of technology and counter argues this with expert opinions and examples that show partnerships with businesses, personalized curriculums that technology makes possible, and teacher training can balance the costs. Maggie included an alternative solution of having students check out tablets from the library, but her research showed that this still left students needing Wi-Fi at home while her proposal would include a plan for students to access Wi-Fi.

Maggie concluded her argument by pointing out the cost of not helping the students in this way and restated her thesis reaffirming the benefits, and then left the reader with a memorable quote.

Click here to see Maggie’s draft with feedback from her instructor and a peer. Sample Persuasive Draft

Feedback, Revision, and Editing

After you write a draft of your persuasive essay, the next step is to have a peer, instructor, or tutor read it and provide feedback. Without reader feedback, you cannot fully know how your readers will react to your argument. Reader feedback is meant to be constructive. Use it to better understand your readers and craft your argument to more appropriately appeal to them.

Maggie received valuable feedback on her draft from her instructor and classmate. They pointed to where her thesis needed to be even more specific, to paragraphs where a different organization would make her argument more convincing, to parts of the paper that lacked examples, sentences that needed revision and editing for greater clarity, and APA formatting that needed to be edited.

Maggie also took a critical look at her paper and looked back at her writing process. One technique she found helpful was to read her paper aloud because it let her know where her wording and organization were not clear. She did this several times as she revised and again as she edited and refined her paper for sentence level clarity and concision.

In the end, Maggie produced a convincing persuasive essay and effective argument that would appeal to readers who are also interested in the way technology can impact and improve student learning, an important topic in 2014 when this paper was written and still relevant today.

Click here to see Maggie’s final draft after revising and editing. Sample Persuasive Revised

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

#scribendiinc

Helpful tips for writing a successful persuasive essay

Last updated: May 19, 2016

A persuasive essay uses reason to demonstrate that certain ideas are more valid than others in academic writing . The purpose of such an essay is to encourage readers to accept a particular viewpoint or act in a particular way. A persuasive essay must be based on sound logic and must contain factual evidence to support the argument.

How to write a persuasive essay

Take a stance. What do you think about the issue? What side will you take? Be aware of any prejudices you might have that could color your argument. What resolution will you suggest?

Know your audience. Determine if your audience will agree with your position and why they may not. You must be able to understand both sides of the issue in order to successfully argue your point of view.

Thoroughly research your topic. The point of a persuasive essay is to provide detailed and compelling evidence—you should be able to disprove the opposing argument. It will likely be necessary to undertake library-based research in order to accomplish this.

Think about the structure of your essay. Determine what evidence you will include and the order in which you will present it. Remember, it must be logical.

Support your argument . Use hard facts . You can gather these from your research, observations, or personal experiences. But be careful! In order to avoid plagiarism , you must cite your sources. You should always use verifiable statistics. It is important to be able to back up your argument with data. In order to further strengthen the argument in your persuasive essay, try using one or two direct quotes from experts on the topic. Finally, provide meaningful examples to enhance and clearly illustrate your argument.

How to organize your persuasive essay

A male student points to a persuasive essay on his laptop; he is trying to persuade a female student to see his argument.

The introduction. The introduction in your persuasive essay should grab the readers' attention and provide background information about your subject. It should end with a clear statement of your thesis.

The body. The body should consist of all the arguments that support your thesis. Each paragraph should focus on one particular point. Next, include one or two paragraphs to succinctly explain and refute the most compelling opposing argument.

The conclusion. The conclusion should restate the main argument and supporting points. After all, the point of a persuasive essay is to convert your readers to your point of view.

Take a breather

Take a day or two off. Let your essay sit and your mind rest. Then, read your persuasive essay with fresh eyes. Ask yourself if your essay is logical and convincing. Will your readers be persuaded by your argument? Did you provide enough evidence in the way of facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?

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How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps

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WHAT IS A PERSUASIVE ESSAY?

What is a persuasive essay?

A persuasive text presents a point of view around a topic or theme that is backed by evidence to support it.

The purpose of a persuasive text can be varied.  Maybe you intend to influence someone’s opinion on a specific topic, or you might aim to sell a product or service through an advertisement.

The challenge in writing a good persuasive text is to use a mix of emotive language and, in some cases, images that are supported by hard evidence or other people’s opinions.

In a persuasive essay or argument essay, the student strives to convince the reader of the merits of their opinion or stance on a particular issue. The student must utilise several persuasive techniques to form a coherent and logical argument to convince the reader of a point of view or to take a specific action.

Persuasive essay | persuasive essays | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

PERSUADING PEOPLE REQUIRES A CONSISTENT APPROACH…

Persuasive texts are simple in structure.  You must clearly state your opinion around a specific topic and then repeatedly reinforce your opinions with external facts or evidence.  A robust concluding summary should leave little doubt in the reader’s mind.  ( Please view our planning tool below for a detailed explanation. )

TYPES OF PERSUASIVE TEXT

We cover the broad topic of writing a general persuasive essay in this guide, there are several sub-genres of persuasive texts students will encounter as they progress through school. We have complete guides on these text types, so be sure to click the links and read these in detail if required.

  • Argumentative Essays – These are your structured “Dogs are better pets than Cats” opinion-type essays where your role is to upsell the positive elements of your opinions to your audience whilst also highlighting the negative aspects of any opposing views using a range of persuasive language and techniques.
  • Advertising – Uses persuasive techniques to sell a good or service to potential customers with a call to action.
  • Debating Speeches – A debate is a structured discussion between two teams on a specific topic that a moderator judges and scores. Your role is to state your case, sell your opinions to the audience, and counteract your opposition’s opinions.
  • Opinion Articles, Newspaper Editorials. – Editorials often use more subtle persuasive techniques that blur the lines of factual news reporting and opinions that tell a story with bias. Sometimes they may even have a call to action at the end.
  • Reviews – Reviews exist to inform others about almost any service or product, such as a film, restaurant, or product. Depending on your experiences, you may have firm opinions or not even care that much about recommending it to others. Either way, you will employ various persuasive techniques to communicate your recommendations to your audience.
  • Please note a DISCUSSION essay is not a traditional persuasive text, as even though you are comparing and contrasting elements, the role of the author is to present an unbiased account of both sides so that the reader can make a decision that works best for them. Discussions are often confused as a form of persuasive writing.

A COMPLETE TEACHING UNIT ON PERSUASIVE WRITING SKILLS

Persuasive essay | opinion writing unit 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Teach your students to produce writing that  PERSUADES  and  INFLUENCES  thinking with this  HUGE  writing guide bundle covering: ⭐ Persuasive Texts / Essays ⭐ Expository Essays⭐ Argumentative Essays⭐ Discussions.

A complete 140 PAGE unit of work on persuasive texts for teachers and students. No preparation is required.

THE STRUCTURE OF A PERSUASIVE ESSAY

Persuasive essay | persuasive essay template | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

1. Introduction

In the introduction, the student will naturally introduce the topic. Controversial issues make for great topics in this writing genre. It’s a cliche in polite society to discourage discussions involving politics, sex, or religion because they can often be very divisive. While these subjects may not be the best topics of conversation for the dinner table at Thanksgiving, they can be perfect when deciding on a topic for persuasive writing. Obviously, the student’s age and abilities should be considered, as well as cultural taboos, when selecting a topic for the essay. But the point holds, the more controversial, the better.

Let’s take a look at some of the critical elements of the introduction when writing a persuasive essay:

Title: Tell your audience what they are reading.

This will often be posed as a question; for example, if the essay is on the merits of a vegetarian lifestyle, it may be called something like: To Eat Meat or Not?

Hook : Provide your audience with a reason to continue reading.

As with any genre of writing, capturing the reader’s interest from the outset is crucial. There are several methods of doing this, known as hooks. Students may open their essays with anecdotes, jokes, quotations, or relevant statistics related to the topic under discussion.

Background: Provide some context to your audience.

In this introductory section, students will provide the reader with some background on the topic. This will place the issue in context and briefly weigh some opinions on the subject.

Thesis statement: Let the audience know your stance.

After surveying the topic in the first part of the introduction, it is now time for the student writer to express their opinion and briefly preview the points they will make later in the essay.

2. Body Paragraphs

The number of paragraphs forming this essay section will depend on the number of points the writer chooses to make to support their opinion. Usually three main points will be sufficient for beginning writers to coordinate. More advanced students can increase the number of paragraphs based on the complexity of their arguments, but the overall structure will largely remain intact.

Be sure to check out our complete guide to writing perfect paragraphs here .

The TEEL acronym is valuable for students to remember how to structure their paragraphs.  Read below for a deeper understanding.

Topic Sentence:

The topic sentence states the central point of the paragraph. This will be one of the reasons supporting the thesis statement made in the introduction.

These sentences will build on the topic sentence by illustrating the point further, often by making it more specific.

These sentences’ purpose is to support the paragraph’s central point by providing supporting evidence and examples. This evidence may be statistics, quotations, or anecdotal evidence.

The final part of the paragraph links back to the initial statement of the topic sentence while also forming a bridge to the next point to be made. This part of the paragraph provides some personal analysis and interpretation of how the student arrived at their conclusions and connects the essay as a cohesive whole.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion weaves together the main points of the persuasive essay. It does not usually introduce new arguments or evidence but instead reviews the arguments made already and restates them by summing them up uniquely. It is important at this stage to tie everything back to the initial thesis statement. This is the writer’s last opportunity to drive home their point, to achieve the essay’s goal, to begin with – persuade the reader of their point of view.

Persuasive essay | 7 top 5 essay writing tips | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Ending an essay well can be challenging, but it is essential to end strongly, especially for persuasive essays. As with the hooks of the essay’s opening, there are many tried and tested methods of leaving the reader with a strong impression. Encourage students to experiment with different endings, for example, concluding the essay with a quotation that amplifies the thesis statement.

Another method is to have the student rework their ending in simple monosyllabic words, as simple language often has the effect of being more decisive in impact. The effect they are striving for in the final sentence is the closing of the circle.

Several persuasive writing techniques can be used in the conclusion and throughout the essay to amp up the persuasive power of the writing. Let’s take a look at a few.

ETHOS, PATHOS & LOGOS TUTORIAL VIDEO (2:20)

Persuasive essay | RHETORIC | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

TIPS FOR WRITING A GREAT PERSUASIVE ESSAY

Persuasive writing template and graphic organizer

PERSUASIVE TECHNIQUES

In this article, we have outlined a basic structure that will be helpful to students in approaching the organization of their persuasive writing. It will also be helpful for the students to be introduced to a few literary techniques that will help your students to present their ideas convincingly. Here are a few of the more common ones:

Repetition: There is a reason why advertisements and commercials are so repetitive – repetition works! Students can use this knowledge to their advantage in their persuasive writing. It is challenging to get the reader to fully agree with the writer’s opinion if they don’t fully understand it. Saying the same thing in various ways ensures the reader gets many bites at the ‘understanding’ cherry.

Repetition Example: “The use of plastic bags is not only bad for the environment, but it is also bad for our economy. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, meaning they will not decompose and will continue to take up space in landfills. Plastic bags are also not recyclable, meaning they will not be reused and will instead end up in landfills. Plastic bags are not only bad for the environment, but they are also bad for our economy as they are costly to dispose of and take up valuable space in landfills.”

In this example, the phrase “not only bad for the environment but also bad for our economy” is repeated multiple times to reinforce the idea that plastic bags are not just a problem for the environment but also the economy. The repetition of the phrase emphasizes the point and makes it more persuasive.

It is also important to note that repetition could be used differently, such as repeating a word or phrase to create rhythm or emphasis.

Storytelling: Humans tend to understand things better through stories. Think of how we teach kids important values through time-tested fables like Peter and the Wolf . Whether through personal anecdotes or references to third-person experiences, stories help climb down the ladder of abstraction and reach the reader on a human level.

Storytelling Example: “Imagine you are walking down the street, and you come across a stray dog clearly in need of food and water. The dog looks up at you with big, sad eyes, and you cannot help but feel a twinge of compassion. Now, imagine that same scenario, but instead of a stray dog, it’s a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk. The person is clearly in need of food and shelter, and their eyes also look up at her with a sense of hopelessness.

The point of this story is to show that just as we feel compelled to help a stray animal in need, we should also feel compelled to help a homeless person. We should not turn a blind eye to the suffering of our fellow human beings, and we should take action to address homelessness in our community. It is important to remember that everyone deserves a roof over their head and a warm meal to eat. The story is designed to elicit an emotional response in the reader and make the argument more relatable and impactful.

By using storytelling, this passage creates an image in the reader’s mind and creates an emotional connection that can be more persuasive than just stating facts and figures.

Persuasive essay | Images play an integral part in persuading an audience in advertisements | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Dissent: We live in a cynical age, so leaving out the opposing opinion will smack of avoidance to the reader. Encourage your students to turn to that opposing viewpoint and deal with those arguments in their essays .

Dissent Example: “Many people argue that students should not have to wear uniforms in school. They argue that uniforms stifle creativity and individuality and that students should be able to express themselves through their clothing choices. While these are valid concerns, I strongly disagree.

In fact, uniforms can actually promote individuality by levelling the playing field and removing the pressure to dress in a certain way. Furthermore, uniforms can promote a sense of community and belonging within a school. They can also provide a sense of discipline and structure, which can help to create a more focused and productive learning environment. Additionally, uniforms can save families money and eliminate the stress of deciding what to wear daily .

While some may argue that uniforms stifle creativity and individuality, the benefits of uniforms far outweigh the potential drawbacks. It is important to consider the impact of uniforms on the school as a whole, rather than focusing solely on individual expression.”

In this example, the writer presents the opposing viewpoint (uniforms stifle creativity and individuality) and then provides counterarguments to refute it. By doing so, the writer can strengthen their own argument and present a more convincing case for why uniforms should be worn in school.

A Call to Action: A staple of advertising, a call to action can also be used in persuasive writing. When employed, it usually forms part of the conclusion section of the essay and asks the reader to do something, such as recycle, donate to charity, sign a petition etc.

A quick look around reveals to us the power of persuasion, whether in product advertisements, newspaper editorials, or political electioneering; persuasion is an ever-present element in our daily lives. Logic and reason are essential in persuasion, but they are not the only techniques. The dark arts of persuasion can prey on emotion, greed, and bias. Learning to write persuasively can help our students recognize well-made arguments and help to inoculate them against the more sinister manifestations of persuasion.

Call to Action Example: “Climate change is a pressing issue that affects us all, and it’s important that we take action now to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet for future generations. As a society, we have the power to make a difference and it starts with small changes that we can make in our own lives.

I urge you to take the following steps to reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Reduce your use of single-use plastics
  • Use public transportation, carpool, bike or walk instead of driving alone.
  • Support clean energy sources such as solar and wind power
  • Plant trees and support conservation efforts

It’s easy to feel like one person can’t make a difference, but the truth is that every little bit helps. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and for the planet.

So, let’s take action today and make a difference for a better future, it starts with minor changes, but it all adds up and can make a significant impact. We need to take responsibility for our actions and do our part to protect the planet.”

In this example, the writer gives a clear and specific call to action and encourages the reader to take action to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the planet. By doing this, the writer empowers the reader to take action and enables them to change.

Now, go persuade your students of the importance of perfecting the art of persuasive writing!

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING FACT AND OPINION

Persuasive essay | fact and opinion unit 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

This  huge 120-page resource combines four different fact and opinion activities that you can undertake as a  WHOLE GROUP  or as  INDEPENDENT READING GROUP TASKS  in either  DIGITAL  or  PRINTABLE TASKS.

20 POPULAR PERSUASIVE ESSAY TOPICS FOR STUDENTS

Writing an effective persuasive essay demonstrates a range of skills that will be of great use in nearly all aspects of life after school.

Persuasive essay | persuasive essays | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

In essence, if you can influence a person to change their ideas or thoughts on a given topic through how you structure your words and thoughts, you possess a very powerful skill.

Be careful not to rant wildly.  Use facts and other people’s ideas who think similarly to you in your essay to strengthen your concepts.

Your biggest challenge in getting started may be choosing a suitable persuasive essay topic.  These 20 topics for a persuasive essay should make this process a little easier.

  • WHY ARE WE FASCINATED WITH CELEBRITIES AND WEALTHY PEOPLE ON TELEVISION AND SOCIAL MEDIA?
  • IS IT RIGHT FOR SCHOOLS TO RAISE MONEY BY SELLING CANDY AND UNHEALTHY FOODS TO STUDENTS?
  • SHOULD GIRLS BE ALLOWED TO PLAY ON BOYS SPORTING TEAMS?
  • IS TEACHING HANDWRITING A WASTE OF TIME IN THIS DAY AND AGE?
  • SHOULD THERE BE FAR GREATER RESTRICTIONS AROUND WHAT CAN BE POSTED ON THE INTERNET?
  • SHOULD PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES HAVE TO TAKE DRUG TESTS?
  • ARE TEENAGE PREGNANCY SHOWS A NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON VIEWERS?
  • SHOULD GAMBLING BE PROMOTED IN ANY WAY IN SPORTS EVEN THOUGH IT BRINGS IN LARGE AMOUNTS OF REVENUE?
  • SHOULD SPORTING TEAMS THAT LOSE BE REWARDED BY RECEIVING INCENTIVES SUCH AS HIGH DRAFT PICKS AND / OR FINANCIAL BENEFITS?
  • SHOULD SHARKS THAT ATTACK PEOPLE BE DESTROYED? SHOULD WE GET INVOLVED IN FOREIGN CONFLICTS AND ISSUES THAT DON’T DIRECTLY AFFECT OUR COUNTRY?
  • SHOULD WE GET INVOLVED IN FOREIGN CONFLICTS AND ISSUES THAT DON’T DIRECTLY AFFECT OUR COUNTRY?
  • COULD VIDEO GAMES BE CONSIDERED AS A PROFESSIONAL SPORT?
  • IF YOU WERE THE LEADER OF YOUR COUNTRY AND HAD A LARGE SURPLUS TO SPEND, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?
  • WHEN SHOULD A PERSON BE CONSIDERED AND TREATED AS AN ADULT?
  • SHOULD SMOKING BECOME AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY?
  • SHOULD THE VOTING AGE BE LOWERED?
  • DOES PROTECTIVE PADDING IN SPORTS MAKE IT MORE DANGEROUS?
  • SHOULD CELL PHONES BE ALLOWED IN THE CLASSROOM?
  • IS TEACHING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE A WASTE OF TIME?
  • SHOULD WE TEACH ETIQUETTE IN SCHOOLS?

PERSUASIVE PROMPTS FOR RELUCTANT WRITERS

If your students need a little more direction and guidance, here are some journal prompts that include aspects to consider.

  • Convince us that students would be better off having a three-day weekend .  There are many angles you could take with this, such as letting children maximize their childhood or trying to convince your audience that a four-day school week might actually be more productive.
  • Which is the best season?  And why?   You will really need to draw on the benefits of your preferred season and sell them to your audience.  Where possible, highlight the negatives of the competing seasons.  Use lots of figurative language and sensory and emotional connections for this topic.
  • Aliens do / or don’t exist?  We can see millions of stars surrounding us just by gazing into the night sky, suggesting alien life should exist, right? Many would argue that if there were aliens we would have seen tangible evidence of them by now.  The only fact is that we just don’t know the answer to this question.  It is your task to try and convince your audience through some research and logic what your point of view is and why.
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory? Do your research on this popular and divisive topic and make your position clear on where you stand and why.  Use plenty of real-world examples to support your thoughts and points of view.  
  • Should Smartphones be banned in schools?   Whilst this would be a complete nightmare for most students’ social lives, maybe it might make schools more productive places for students to focus and learn.  Pick a position, have at least three solid arguments to support your point of view, and sell them to your audience.

VISUAL JOURNAL PROMPTS FOR PERSUASIVE WRITING

Try these engaging, persuasive prompts with your students to ignite the writing process . Scroll through them.

Persuasive writing prompts

Persuasive Essay Examples (Student Writing Samples)

Below are a collection of persuasive essay samples.  Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail.  Please take a moment to read the persuasive texts in detail and the teacher and student guides highlight some of the critical elements of writing a persuasion.

Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of persuasive text writing.

We recommend reading the example either a year above or below, as well as the grade you are currently working with, to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.

Persuasive essay | year 4 persuasive text example 1536x1536 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

VIDEO TUTORIALS FOR PERSUASIVE WRITING

Persuasive essay | persuasive writing tutorial video | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

OTHER GREAT ARTICLES RELATED TO PERSUASIVE ESSAY WRITING

Persuasive essay | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

WHERE CAN I FIND A COMPLETE UNIT OF WORK ON HOW TO WRITE PERSUASIVE ESSAYS?

persuasive writing unit

We pride ourselves on being the web’s best resource for teaching students and teachers how to write a persuasive text. We value the fact you have taken the time to read our comprehensive guides to understand the fundamentals of writing skills.

We also understand some of you just don’t have the luxury of time or the resources to create engaging resources exactly when you need them.

If you are time-poor and looking for an in-depth solution that encompasses all of the concepts outlined in this article, I strongly recommend looking at the “ Writing to Persuade and Influence Unit. ”

Working in partnership with Innovative Teaching Ideas , we confidently recommend this resource as an all-in-one solution to teach how to write persuasively.

This unit will find over 140 pages of engaging and innovative teaching ideas.

PERSUASIVE ESSAY WRITING CHECKLIST AND RUBRIC BUNDLE

writing checklists

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (92 Reviews)

Persuasive essay | 1 STUDENts love to share their opinions | The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers

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Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students

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5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers

Persuasive essay | persuasive writing prompts | 23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students | literacyideas.com

23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students

Persuasive essay | 1 reading and writing persuasive advertisements | How to Write an Advertisement: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

How to Write an Advertisement: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers

Persuasive essay | how to start an essay 1 | How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads | literacyideas.com

How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads

How to Begin an Essay: 13 Engaging Strategies

ThoughtCo / Hugo Lin

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

An effective introductory paragraph both informs and motivates. It lets readers know what your essay is about and it encourages them to keep reading.

There are countless ways to begin an essay effectively. As a start, here are 13 introductory strategies accompanied by examples from a wide range of professional writers.

State Your Thesis Briefly and Directly

But avoid making your thesis a bald announcement, such as "This essay is about...". 

"It is time, at last, to speak the truth about Thanksgiving, and the truth is this. Thanksgiving is really not such a terrific holiday...." (Michael J. Arlen, "Ode to Thanksgiving." The Camera Age: Essays on Television . Penguin, 1982)

Pose a Question Related to Your Subject

Follow up the question with an answer, or an invitation for your readers to answer the question.

"What is the charm of necklaces? Why would anyone put something extra around their neck and then invest it with special significance? A necklace doesn't afford warmth in cold weather, like a scarf, or protection in combat, like chain mail; it only decorates. We might say, it borrows meaning from what it surrounds and sets off, the head with its supremely important material contents, and the face, that register of the soul. When photographers discuss the way in which a photograph reduces the reality it represents, they mention not only the passage from three dimensions to two, but also the selection of a point de vue that favors the top of the body rather than the bottom, and the front rather than the back. The face is the jewel in the crown of the body, and so we give it a setting." (Emily R. Grosholz, "On Necklaces." Prairie Schooner , Summer 2007)

State an Interesting Fact About Your Subject

" The peregrine falcon was brought back from the brink of extinction by a ban on DDT, but also by a peregrine falcon mating hat invented by an ornithologist at Cornell University. If you cannot buy this, Google it. Female falcons had grown dangerously scarce. A few wistful males nevertheless maintained a sort of sexual loitering ground. The hat was imagined, constructed, and then forthrightly worn by the ornithologist as he patrolled this loitering ground, singing, Chee-up! Chee-up! and bowing like an overpolite Japanese Buddhist trying to tell somebody goodbye...." (David James Duncan, "Cherish This Ecstasy." The Sun , July 2008)

Present Your Thesis as a Recent Discovery or Revelation

"I've finally figured out the difference between neat people and sloppy people. The distinction is, as always, moral. Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people." (Suzanne Britt Jordan, "Neat People vs. Sloppy People." Show and Tell . Morning Owl Press, 1983)

Briefly Describe the Primary Setting of Your Essay

"It was in Burma, a sodden morning of the rains. A sickly light, like yellow tinfoil, was slanting over the high walls into the jail yard. We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages. Each cell measured about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water. In some of them brown silent men were squatting at the inner bars, with their blankets draped round them. These were the condemned men, due to be hanged within the next week or two." (George Orwell, "A Hanging," 1931)

Recount an Incident That Dramatizes Your Subject

"One October afternoon three years ago while I was visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She had just poured me a cup of Earl Grey from her Japanese iron teapot, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two cardinals splashed in the birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. “Please help me get Jeff’s pacemaker turned off,” she said, using my father’s first name. I nodded, and my heart knocked." (Katy Butler, "What Broke My Father's Heart." The New York Times Magazine , June 18, 2010)

Use the Narrative Strategy of Delay

The narrative strategy of delay allows you to put off identifying your subject just long enough to pique your readers' interest without frustrating them. 

"They woof. Though I have photographed them before, I have never heard them speak, for they are mostly silent birds. Lacking a syrinx, the avian equivalent of the human larynx, they are incapable of song. According to field guides the only sounds they make are grunts and hisses, though the Hawk Conservancy in the United Kingdom reports that adults may utter a croaking coo and that young black vultures, when annoyed, emit a kind of immature snarl...." (Lee Zacharias, "Buzzards." Southern Humanities Review , 2007)

Use the Historical Present Tense

An effective method of beginning an essay is to use historical present tense to relate an incident from the past as if it were happening now. 

"Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of his mother’s station wagon. We face glowing white headlights of cars following us, our sneakers pressed against the back hatch door. This is our joy—his and mine—to sit turned away from our moms and dads in this place that feels like a secret, as though they are not even in the car with us. They have just taken us out to dinner, and now we are driving home. Years from this evening, I won’t actually be sure that this boy sitting beside me is named Ben. But that doesn’t matter tonight. What I know for certain right now is that I love him, and I need to tell him this fact before we return to our separate houses, next door to each other. We are both five." (Ryan Van Meter, "First." The Gettysburg Review , Winter 2008)

Briefly Describe a Process That Leads Into Your Subject

"I like to take my time when I pronounce someone dead. The bare-minimum requirement is one minute with a stethoscope pressed to someone’s chest, listening for a sound that is not there; with my fingers bearing down on the side of someone’s neck, feeling for an absent pulse; with a flashlight beamed into someone’s fixed and dilated pupils, waiting for the constriction that will not come. If I’m in a hurry, I can do all of these in sixty seconds, but when I have the time, I like to take a minute with each task." (Jane Churchon, "The Dead Book." The Sun , February 2009)

Reveal a Secret or Make a Candid Observation

"I spy on my patients. Ought not a doctor to observe his patients by any means and from any stance, that he might the more fully assemble evidence? So I stand in doorways of hospital rooms and gaze. Oh, it is not all that furtive an act. Those in bed need only look up to discover me. But they never do." ( Richard Selzer , "The Discus Thrower." Confessions of a Knife . Simon & Schuster, 1979)

Open with a Riddle, Joke, or Humorous Quotation

You can use a riddle , joke, or humorous quotation to reveal something about your subject. 

" Q: What did Eve say to Adam on being expelled from the Garden of Eden? A: 'I think we're in a time of transition.' The irony of this joke is not lost as we begin a new century and anxieties about social change seem rife. The implication of this message, covering the first of many periods of transition, is that change is normal; there is, in fact, no era or society in which change is not a permanent feature of the social landscape...." (Betty G. Farrell, Family: The Making of an Idea, an Institution, and a Controversy in American Culture . Westview Press, 1999)

Offer a Contrast Between Past and Present

"As a child, I was made to look out the window of a moving car and appreciate the beautiful scenery, with the result that now I don't care much for nature. I prefer parks, ones with radios going chuckawaka chuckawaka and the delicious whiff of bratwurst and cigarette smoke." (Garrison Keillor, "Walking Down The Canyon." Time , July 31, 2000)

Offer a Contrast Between Image and Reality

A compelling essay can begin with a contrast between a common misconception and the opposing truth. 

"They aren’t what most people think they are. Human eyes, touted as ethereal objects by poets and novelists throughout history, are nothing more than white spheres, somewhat larger than your average marble, covered by a leather-like tissue known as sclera and filled with nature’s facsimile of Jell-O. Your beloved’s eyes may pierce your heart, but in all likelihood they closely resemble the eyes of every other person on the planet. At least I hope they do, for otherwise he or she suffers from severe myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or worse...." (John Gamel, "The Elegant Eye." Alaska Quarterly Review , 2009)

  • 'Whack at Your Reader at Once': Eight Great Opening Lines
  • What Is a Compelling Introduction?
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • Writing a Descriptive Essay
  • Hookers vs. Chasers: How Not to Begin an Essay
  • Development in Composition: Building an Essay
  • Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs
  • How To Write an Essay
  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • How to Write a Great Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • How to Develop and Organize a Classification Essay
  • Contrast Composition and Rhetoric
  • 6 Steps to Writing the Perfect Personal Essay
  • A Guide to Using Quotations in Essays
  • What Is Expository Writing?

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

Have you ever tried to get somebody round to your way of thinking? Then you should know how daunting the task is. Still, if your persuasion is successful, the result is emotionally rewarding.

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A persuasive essay is a type of writing that uses facts and logic to argument and substantiate such or another point of view. The purpose is to assure the reader that the author’s position is viable. In this article by Custom-writing experts, you can find a guide on persuasive writing, compelling examples, and outline structure. Continue reading and learn how to write a persuasive essay!

⚖️ Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essay

  • 🐾 Step-by-Step Writing Guide

🔗 References

An argumentative essay intends to attack the opposing point of view, discussing its drawbacks and inconsistencies. A persuasive essay describes only the writer’s opinion, explaining why it is a believable one. In other words, you are not an opponent; you are an advocate.

Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essays: in what Points Are They Similar and Different?

A persuasive essay primarily resorts to emotions and personal ideas on a deeper level of meaning, while an argumentative one invokes logic reasoning. Despite the superficial similarity of these two genres, argumentative speech presupposes intense research of the subject, while persuasive speech requires a good knowledge of the audience.

🐾 How to Write a Persuasive Essay Step by Step

These nine steps are the closest thing you will find to a shortcut for writing to persuade. With practice, you may get through these steps quickly—or even figure out new techniques in persuasive writing.

📑 Persuasive Essay Outline

Below you’ll find an example of a persuasive essay outline . Remember: papers in this genre are more flexible than argumentative essays are. You don’t need to build a perfectly logical structure here. Your goal is to persuade your reader.

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Note that the next section contains a sample written in accordance with this outline.

Persuasive Essay Introduction

  • Hook: start with an intriguing sentence.
  • Background: describe the context of the discussed issue and familiarize the reader with the argument.
  • Definitions: if your essay dwells upon a theoretical subject matter, be sure to explain the complicated terms.
  • Thesis statement: state the purpose of your piece of writing clearly and concisely. This is the most substantial sentence of the entire essay, so take your time formulating it.

Persuasive Essay Body

Use the following template for each paragraph.

  • Topic sentence: linking each new idea to the thesis, it introduces a paragraph. Use only one separate argument for each section, stating it in the topic sentence.
  • Evidence: substantiate the previous sentence with reliable information. If it is your personal opinion, give the reasons why you think so.
  • Analysis: build the argument, explaining how the evidence supports your thesis.

Persuasive Essay Conclusion

  • Summary: briefly list the main points of the essay in a couple of sentences.
  • Significance: connect your essay to a broader idea.
  • Future: how can your argument be developed?

⭐ Persuasive Essay Examples

In this section, there are three great persuasive essay examples. The first one is written in accordance with the outline above, will the components indicated. Two others are downloadable.

Example #1: Being a Millionaire is a Bad Thing

Introduction, paragraph #1, paragraph #2, paragraph #3, example #2: teachers or doctors.

The importance of doctors in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to overstate. The well-being of the nation depends on how well doctors can fulfill their duties before society. The US society acknowledges the importance of doctors and healthcare, as it is ready to pay large sums of money to cure the diseases. However, during the lockdown, students and parents all around the world began to understand the importance of teachers.

Before lockdown, everyone took the presence of teachers for granted, as they were always available free of charge. In this country, it has always been the case that while doctors received praises and monetary benefits, teachers remained humble, even though they play the most important role for humanity: passing the knowledge through generations. How fair is that? The present paper claims that even in the period of the pandemic, teachers contribute more to modern society than doctors do.

Example #3: Is Online or Homeschool More Effective?

The learning process can be divided into traditional education in an educational institution and distance learning. The latter form has recently become widely popular due to the development of technology. Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving the increased interest in distance learning. However, there is controversy about whether this form of training is sufficient enough. This essay aims to examine online and homeschooling in a historical and contemporary context and to confirm the thesis that such activity is at least equivalent to a standard type of education.

Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Why do managers hate the performance evaluation?  
  • Why human cloning should be prohibited.  
  • Social media have negative physical and psychological effect on teenagers.  
  • Using cell phones while driving should be completely forbidden.  
  • Why is business ethics important? 
  • Media should change its negative representation of ageing and older people.  
  • What is going on with the world?  
  • Good communication skills are critical for successful business.  
  • Why capitalism is the best economic system.  
  • Sleep is extremely important for human health and wellbeing.  
  • Face-to-face education is more effective than online education.  
  • Why video games can be beneficial for teenagers.  
  • Bullies should be expelled from school as they encroach on the school safety.  
  • Why accountancy is a great occupation and more people should consider it as a future career.  
  • The reasons art and music therapy should be included in basic health insurance.  
  • Impact of climate change on the indoor environment.  
  • Parents should vaccinate their children to prevent the spread of deadly diseases.  
  • Why celebrities should pay more attention to the values they promote.  
  • What is wrong with realism?  
  • Why water recycling should be every government’s priority.  
  • Media spreads fear and panic among people.  
  • Why e-business is very important for modern organizations.  
  • People should own guns for self-protection.  
  • The neccessity of container deposit legislation. 
  • We must save crocodiles to protect ecological balance.  
  • Why we should pay more attention to renewable energy projects.  
  • Anthropology is a critically relevant science.  
  • Why it’s important to create a new global financial order .  
  • Why biodiversity is crucial for the environment?  
  • Why process safety management is crucial for every organization.  
  • Speed limits must not be increased.  
  • What’s wrong with grades at school ?  
  • Why tattoos should be considered as a form of fine art.  
  • Using all-natural bath and body products is the best choice for human health and safety.  
  • What is cancel culture?  
  • Why the Internet has become a problem of modern society.  
  • Illegal immigrants should be provided with basic social services.  
  • Smoking in public places must be banned for people’s safety and comfort.  
  • Why it is essential to control our nutrition .  
  • How to stimulate economic growth?  
  • Why exercise is beneficial for people.  
  • Studying history is decisive for the modern world.  
  • We must decrease fuel consumption to stop global warming.  
  • Why fighting social inequality is necessary.  
  • Why should businesses welcome remote work?  
  • Social media harms communication within families.   
  • College athletes should be paid for their achievements.  
  • Electronic books should replace print books.  
  • People should stop cutting down rainforest .  
  • Why every company should have a web page .  
  • Tips To Write An Effective Persuasive Essay: The College Puzzle, Stanford University
  • 31 Powerful Persuasive Writing Techniques: Writtent
  • Persuasive Essay Outline: Houston Community College System
  • Essays that Worked: Hamilton College
  • Argumentative Essays // Purdue Writing Lab
  • Persuasion – Writing for Success (University of Minnesota)
  • Persuasive Writing (Manitoba Education)
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Easy Steps to Writing a Persuasive Essay

Adela B.

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If you’ve ever found yourself in a heated debate, passionately arguing a point, you already understand the essence of a persuasive essay. But let's clarify - what exactly is a persuasive essay? In simple terms, it's a piece of writing that takes a stand on a particular issue, and then uses facts, logic, and persuasion to convince the reader to agree with the author's viewpoint. Sounds challenging? It can be, especially if you're just starting out in the world of essay writing.

But why is learning to write persuasive essays so important? Well, these essays are not just assignments you complete for a grade. They're exercises in critical thinking, research, and communication. They help you refine your ability to argue a point convincingly, a skill that's invaluable in many career fields and everyday life situations.

As with any new skill, beginners might stumble over a few hurdles. It's completely normal. Crafting a persuasive essay that truly resonates requires a good understanding of your topic, strong arguments, a knack for counter-arguments, and of course, a dash of writing flair. Some common challenges beginners face include finding a compelling topic, structuring the essay properly, presenting strong arguments, and effectively addressing counter-arguments. It may feel like a lot, but don't worry. This guide is here to break it down step-by-step and make the process more manageable.

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Up next, we'll delve into the key elements of a persuasive essay and how you can master them. Whether you're writing for a class assignment, a debate team, or just want to convince your friends why your favorite show is the best, these tips will come in handy. And for those who might still struggle, remember: there's always help available - like the expert essay writing services at Writers Per Hour that can guide you through every step of the process.

Intrigued? Keep reading. It’s time to dive into the nuts and bolts of persuasive essay writing.

Understanding Persuasive Essays

KEY POINTS : " A persuasive essay comprises a thesis statement that declares your stance, supporting arguments that back up your viewpoint, counterarguments that tackle potential objections, and a firm conclusion that restates your thesis and arguments. The key to effective persuasion lies not only in a solid argument but also in understanding and appealing to your audience's interests and viewpoints. "

Persuasive essays might seem like an uphill battle, especially if you're new to the game. Don't fret, though! Understanding what makes a persuasive essay tick is the first significant stride you'll take on this journey. So let's break it down.

At the heart of every persuasive essay are a few key components. First up, we have the thesis statement . This is where you clearly state your viewpoint on the topic at hand. It's the flag you plant in the ground, the stand you're taking. For example, if you're writing about the merits of adopting a plant-based diet, your thesis statement might be, "Adopting a plant-based diet is beneficial for health, the environment, and animal welfare."

Then come your supporting arguments. These are the pillars that hold up your thesis statement. If the thesis statement is your claim, the supporting arguments are your evidence. Sticking with our plant-based diet example, you might argue that this diet is healthier because it's lower in saturated fats, helps the environment by reducing the demand for animal agriculture, and promotes animal welfare by reducing reliance on factory farming.

However, any good persuasive essay also addresses counterarguments . This is where you anticipate objections to your viewpoint and refute them. You might address counterarguments like the belief that plant-based diets lack sufficient protein or the notion that they are more expensive, offering evidence and arguments to the contrary.

Finally, your persuasive essay will conclude with a strong conclusion that reinforces your thesis statement and supporting arguments, refutes key counterarguments, and leaves your reader convinced of your viewpoint.

Another key element to consider when writing a persuasive essay is the audience . Knowing who your readers are, what they care about, and how they might react to your arguments is crucial to persuading them effectively. It’s not enough to have strong arguments—you also need to present them in a way that resonates with your audience.

As we venture into the steps of writing a persuasive essay, keep these elements in mind. They'll be your compass guiding you through the process. And if you're feeling lost, remember, the expert services at Writers Per Hour can offer guidance every step of the way.

5 Steps to Writing a Persuasive Essay

So, you've got a grasp on what a persuasive essay is and the key components it needs. Great! Now it's time to dive into the nitty-gritty - the step-by-step process of crafting your persuasive masterpiece.

Step 1: Topic Selection

This is where it all starts. Select a topic for your persuasive essay that's both debatable and interesting to you. If you're invested in the topic, your passion will shine through in your writing, making your arguments more convincing.

Step 2: Research

Once you've chosen your topic, it's time to hit the books (or the internet). Look for reliable sources that provide strong evidence to support your arguments. Remember, quality over quantity. It's better to have a few strong, well-sourced arguments than a pile of weak, unsupported ones.

Step 3: Outline Creation

Now, let's get organized. An outline helps you structure your essay and ensures that every argument has its place. Start with your thesis statement , list out your main arguments, anticipate potential counterarguments, and plan your conclusion. An outline doesn't just keep your writing on track; it can also help you spot weak points in your argument before you begin writing.

Step 4: Drafting the Essay

With your outline in hand, it's time to start writing. Begin with a compelling introduction that hooks your reader and presents your thesis statement. Then, move onto the body of your essay, where you'll lay out your arguments and address counterarguments. Finally, wrap everything up with a strong conclusion that reinforces your thesis and arguments.

Step 5: Revising and Editing

Once you've got your draft, it's time for the hard (but necessary) work of revising and editing. Check for clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness. Make sure your arguments are solid and your evidence is strong. And of course, proofread for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.

Each of these steps plays a vital role in crafting a persuasive essay that hits the mark. It's a process that requires time, effort, and patience, but the end result is worth it: a persuasive essay that can sway even the most stubborn of minds.

And remember, if you ever feel stuck or overwhelmed, don't hesitate to seek help. Services like Writers Per Hour are available to assist you through every step of this process, from topic selection to final revisions.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Persuasive Essay Writing

As with any skill, mastering persuasive essay writing comes with its own set of challenges, especially when you're a beginner. Here, we'll address some of the most common hurdles and how to overcome them.

Selecting a Compelling Topic : One of the first obstacles beginners often face is choosing a topic that's both interesting and debatable. If you're struggling with this, consider what issues you feel passionate about. Then, think about whether these issues have multiple perspectives that can be argued.

Structuring the Essay : Crafting a persuasive essay isn't just about making compelling arguments; it's also about presenting them in an organized, logical way. If structuring your essay feels daunting, creating a detailed outline before you start writing can be a game-changer. This helps ensure your arguments flow logically and makes the writing process smoother.

Crafting Strong Arguments : Persuasive writing hinges on the strength of your arguments. Beginners often struggle with making their arguments compelling and credible. Overcome this by conducting thorough research, using reliable sources, and making sure each argument directly supports your thesis.

Addressing Counterarguments : It can be intimidating to think about someone disagreeing with your viewpoint, but addressing counterarguments is a crucial part of persuasive writing. Practice empathy and try to understand the other perspective. This can help you refute counterarguments effectively and make your essay more persuasive.

Remember, every writer faces challenges, especially when they're just starting out. It's part of the learning process. But with patience, practice, and a little help when needed (like from the professional persuasive writing services at Writers Per Hour), you can overcome these hurdles and become a persuasive essay pro.

Learning to craft a compelling persuasive essay is an invaluable skill that extends beyond just academic writing. It equips you with the ability to argue your viewpoint convincingly, a skill that's useful in various career fields and everyday life situations.

In this guide, we've broken down the key components of a persuasive essay and provided a step-by-step approach to crafting your own. We've also touched upon the common challenges beginners face and how to overcome them. But remember, as with any skill, mastering persuasive essay writing requires practice and patience. Don't be discouraged if your first few attempts don't turn out as you hoped. Every essay is a learning opportunity.

And of course, if you ever find yourself stuck or overwhelmed, remember that you're not alone. Professional services like Writers Per Hour are here to provide guidance and assistance at every step of the way.

From selecting a compelling topic and researching reliable sources, to drafting your arguments and refining your final draft, writing a persuasive essay is a journey. We hope this guide has illuminated the path and made the journey a little less daunting.

Additional Resources

As you embark on your persuasive essay writing journey, it's helpful to have a toolbox of resources at your disposal. Here are a few online resources that can further enhance your understanding and improve your persuasive writing skills:

1. Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) : Purdue OWL is a fantastic resource for all things related to writing. Their section on Argumentative Essays offers in-depth guidance on writing persuasive essays.

2. The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill : The Writing Center provides a detailed guide on Argument Essays that includes strategies, examples, and tips for effective persuasive writing.

3. Khan Academy : Known for its extensive range of free online courses, Khan Academy offers a comprehensive course on Grammar that can help refine your writing skills.

4. TED-Ed : TED-Ed's YouTube channel features a useful video on "How to Make Your Writing More Persuasive" that offers a quick overview of persuasive writing techniques.

Remember, writing is a skill that improves over time and with practice. Utilize these resources, alongside the tips and strategies we've discussed in this guide, to hone your persuasive writing skills. And as always, if you need additional help, the professional writing services at Writers Per Hour are just a click away.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 perfect persuasive essay topics for any assignment.

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Do you need to write a persuasive essay but aren’t sure what topic to focus on? Were you thrilled when your teacher said you could write about whatever you wanted but are now overwhelmed by the possibilities? We’re here to help!

Read on for a list of 113 top-notch persuasive essay topics, organized into ten categories. To help get you started, we also discuss what a persuasive essay is, how to choose a great topic, and what tips to keep in mind as you write your persuasive essay.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

In a persuasive essay, you attempt to convince readers to agree with your point of view on an argument. For example, an essay analyzing changes in Italian art during the Renaissance wouldn’t be a persuasive essay, because there’s no argument, but an essay where you argue that Italian art reached its peak during the Renaissance would be a persuasive essay because you’re trying to get your audience to agree with your viewpoint.

Persuasive and argumentative essays both try to convince readers to agree with the author, but the two essay types have key differences. Argumentative essays show a more balanced view of the issue and discuss both sides. Persuasive essays focus more heavily on the side the author agrees with. They also often include more of the author’s opinion than argumentative essays, which tend to use only facts and data to support their argument.

All persuasive essays have the following:

  • Introduction: Introduces the topic, explains why it’s important, and ends with the thesis.
  • Thesis: A sentence that sums up what the essay be discussing and what your stance on the issue is.
  • Reasons you believe your side of the argument: Why do you support the side you do? Typically each main point will have its own body paragraph.
  • Evidence supporting your argument: Facts or examples to back up your main points. Even though your opinion is allowed in persuasive essays more than most other essays, having concrete examples will make a stronger argument than relying on your opinion alone.
  • Conclusion: Restatement of thesis, summary of main points, and a recap of why the issue is important.

What Makes a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?

Theoretically, you could write a persuasive essay about any subject under the sun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Certain topics are easier to write a strong persuasive essay on, and below are tips to follow when deciding what you should write about.

It’s a Topic You Care About

Obviously, it’s possible to write an essay about a topic you find completely boring. You’ve probably done it! However, if possible, it’s always better to choose a topic that you care about and are interested in. When this is the case, you’ll find doing the research more enjoyable, writing the essay easier, and your writing will likely be better because you’ll be more passionate about and informed on the topic.

You Have Enough Evidence to Support Your Argument

Just being passionate about a subject isn’t enough to make it a good persuasive essay topic, though. You need to make sure your argument is complex enough to have at least two potential sides to root for, and you need to be able to back up your side with evidence and examples. Even though persuasive essays allow your opinion to feature more than many other essays, you still need concrete evidence to back up your claims, or you’ll end up with a weak essay.

For example, you may passionately believe that mint chocolate chip ice cream is the best ice cream flavor (I agree!), but could you really write an entire essay on this? What would be your reasons for believing mint chocolate chip is the best (besides the fact that it’s delicious)? How would you support your belief? Have enough studies been done on preferred ice cream flavors to support an entire essay? When choosing a persuasive essay idea, you want to find the right balance between something you care about (so you can write well on it) and something the rest of the world cares about (so you can reference evidence to strengthen your position).

It’s a Manageable Topic

Bigger isn’t always better, especially with essay topics. While it may seem like a great idea to choose a huge, complex topic to write about, you’ll likely struggle to sift through all the information and different sides of the issue and winnow them down to one streamlined essay. For example, choosing to write an essay about how WWII impacted American life more than WWI wouldn’t be a great idea because you’d need to analyze all the impacts of both the wars in numerous areas of American life. It’d be a huge undertaking. A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible.

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List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics

Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you’ll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, “should fracking be legal?” you’d decide whether you believe fracking should be legal or illegal, then you’d write an essay arguing all the reasons why your audience should agree with you.

Arts/Culture

  • Should students be required to learn an instrument in school?
  • Did the end of Game of Thrones fit with the rest of the series?
  • Can music be an effective way to treat mental illness?
  • With e-readers so popular, have libraries become obsolete?
  • Are the Harry Potter books more popular than they deserve to be?
  • Should music with offensive language come with a warning label?
  • What’s the best way for museums to get more people to visit?
  • Should students be able to substitute an art or music class for a PE class in school?
  • Are the Kardashians good or bad role models for young people?
  • Should people in higher income brackets pay more taxes?
  • Should all high school students be required to take a class on financial literacy?
  • Is it possible to achieve the American dream, or is it only a myth?
  • Is it better to spend a summer as an unpaid intern at a prestigious company or as a paid worker at a local store/restaurant?
  • Should the United States impose more or fewer tariffs?
  • Should college graduates have their student loans forgiven?
  • Should restaurants eliminate tipping and raise staff wages instead?
  • Should students learn cursive writing in school?
  • Which is more important: PE class or music class?
  • Is it better to have year-round school with shorter breaks throughout the year?
  • Should class rank be abolished in schools?
  • Should students be taught sex education in school?
  • Should students be able to attend public universities for free?
  • What’s the most effective way to change the behavior of school bullies?
  • Are the SAT and ACT accurate ways to measure intelligence?
  • Should students be able to learn sign language instead of a foreign language?
  • Do the benefits of Greek life at colleges outweigh the negatives?
  • Does doing homework actually help students learn more?
  • Why do students in many other countries score higher than American students on math exams?
  • Should parents/teachers be able to ban certain books from schools?
  • What’s the best way to reduce cheating in school?
  • Should colleges take a student’s race into account when making admissions decisions?
  • Should there be limits to free speech?
  • Should students be required to perform community service to graduate high school?
  • Should convicted felons who have completed their sentence be allowed to vote?
  • Should gun ownership be more tightly regulated?
  • Should recycling be made mandatory?
  • Should employers be required to offer paid leave to new parents?
  • Are there any circumstances where torture should be allowed?
  • Should children under the age of 18 be able to get plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons?
  • Should white supremacy groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
  • Does making abortion illegal make women more or less safe?
  • Does foreign aid actually help developing countries?
  • Are there times a person’s freedom of speech should be curtailed?
  • Should people over a certain age not be allowed to adopt children?

Government/Politics

  • Should the minimum voting age be raised/lowered/kept the same?
  • Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood?
  • Should the United States build a border wall with Mexico?
  • Who should be the next person printed on American banknotes?
  • Should the United States’ military budget be reduced?
  • Did China’s one child policy have overall positive or negative impacts on the country?
  • Should DREAMers be granted US citizenship?
  • Is national security more important than individual privacy?
  • What responsibility does the government have to help homeless people?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?
  • Should the US increase or decrease the number of refugees it allows in each year?
  • Should privately-run prisons be abolished?
  • Who was the most/least effective US president?
  • Will Brexit end up helping or harming the UK?

body-sparkler-us-flag

  • What’s the best way to reduce the spread of Ebola?
  • Is the Keto diet a safe and effective way to lose weight?
  • Should the FDA regulate vitamins and supplements more strictly?
  • Should public schools require all students who attend to be vaccinated?
  • Is eating genetically modified food safe?
  • What’s the best way to make health insurance more affordable?
  • What’s the best way to lower the teen pregnancy rate?
  • Should recreational marijuana be legalized nationwide?
  • Should birth control pills be available without a prescription?
  • Should pregnant women be forbidden from buying cigarettes and alcohol?
  • Why has anxiety increased in adolescents?
  • Are low-carb or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • What caused the destruction of the USS Maine?
  • Was King Arthur a mythical legend or actual Dark Ages king?
  • Was the US justified in dropping atomic bombs during WWII?
  • What was the primary cause of the Rwandan genocide?
  • What happened to the settlers of the Roanoke colony?
  • Was disagreement over slavery the primary cause of the US Civil War?
  • What has caused the numerous disappearances in the Bermuda triangle?
  • Should nuclear power be banned?
  • Is scientific testing on animals necessary?
  • Do zoos help or harm animals?
  • Should scientists be allowed to clone humans?
  • Should animals in circuses be banned?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets?
  • What’s the best way to reduce illegal poaching in Africa?
  • What is the best way to reduce the impact of global warming?
  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Is there legitimate evidence of extraterrestrial life?
  • Should people be banned from owning aggressive dog breeds?
  • Should the United States devote more money towards space exploration?
  • Should the government subsidize renewable forms of energy?
  • Is solar energy worth the cost?
  • Should stem cells be used in medicine?
  • Is it right for the US to leave the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • Should athletes who fail a drug test receive a lifetime ban from the sport?
  • Should college athletes receive a salary?
  • Should the NFL do more to prevent concussions in players?
  • Do PE classes help students stay in shape?
  • Should horse racing be banned?
  • Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
  • Should children younger than 18 be allowed to play tackle football?
  • Are the costs of hosting an Olympic Games worth it?
  • Can online schools be as effective as traditional schools?
  • Do violent video games encourage players to be violent in real life?
  • Should facial recognition technology be banned?
  • Does excessive social media use lead to depression/anxiety?
  • Has the rise of translation technology made knowing multiple languages obsolete?
  • Was Steve Jobs a visionary or just a great marketer?
  • Should social media be banned for children younger than a certain age?
  • Which 21st-century invention has had the largest impact on society?
  • Are ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft good or bad for society?
  • Should Facebook have done more to protect the privacy of its users?
  • Will technology end up increasing or decreasing inequality worldwide?

feature_information_technology

Tips for Writing a Strong Persuasive Essay

After you’ve chosen the perfect topic for your persuasive essay, your work isn’t over. Follow the three tips below to create a top-notch essay.

Do Your Research

Your argument will fall apart if you don’t fully understand the issue you’re discussing or you overlook an important piece of it. Readers won’t be convinced by someone who doesn’t know the subject, and you likely won’t persuade any of them to begin supporting your viewpoint. Before you begin writing a single word of your essay, research your topic thoroughly. Study different sources, learn about the different sides of the argument, ask anyone who’s an expert on the topic what their opinion is, etc. You might be tempted to start writing right away, but by doing your research, you’ll make the writing process much easier when the time comes.

Make Your Thesis Perfect

Your thesis is the most important sentence in your persuasive essay. Just by reading that single sentence, your audience should know exactly what topic you’ll be discussing and where you stand on the issue. You want your thesis to be crystal clear and to accurately set up the rest of your essay. Asking classmates or your teacher to look it over before you begin writing the rest of your essay can be a big help if you’re not entirely confident in your thesis.

Consider the Other Side

You’ll spend most of your essay focusing on your side of the argument since that’s what you want readers to come away believing. However, don’t think that means you can ignore other sides of the issue. In your essay, be sure to discuss the other side’s argument, as well as why you believe this view is weak or untrue. Researching all the different viewpoints and including them in your essay will increase the quality of your writing by making your essay more complete and nuanced.

Summary: Persuasive Essay Ideas

Good persuasive essay topics can be difficult to come up with, but in this guide we’ve created a list of 113 excellent essay topics for you to browse. The best persuasive essay ideas will be those that you are interested in, have enough evidence to support your argument, and aren’t too complicated to be summarized in an essay.

After you’ve chosen your essay topic, keep these three tips in mind when you begin writing:

  • Do your research
  • Make your thesis perfect
  • Consider the other side

What's Next?

Need ideas for a research paper topic as well? Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you.

Thinking about taking an AP English class? Read our guide on AP English classes to learn whether you should take AP English Language or AP English Literature (or both!)

Deciding between the SAT or ACT? Find out for sure which you will do the best on . Also read a detailed comparison between the two tests .

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Barbara Walters Did the Work

In “The Rulebreaker,” Susan Page pays tribute to a pioneering journalist who survived being both a punchline and an icon.

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The image portrays a seated Barbara Walters in 1976, wearing a striped lavender and pink cardigan, with a microphone clipped to the shirt.

By Lisa Schwarzbaum

Lisa Schwarzbaum is a former critic for Entertainment Weekly.

THE RULEBREAKER: The Life and Times of Barbara Walters, by Susan Page

Much of the material in “The Rulebreaker: The Life and Times of Barbara Walters” has been told before, with persuasive narrative control, by the late television journalist herself in her dishy 2008 memoir, “Audition.” Don’t let that stop the reader of this thorough, compassionate biography by Susan Page: It’s a valuable document, sobering where “Audition” aimed for sassy.

If anything, the 16 long years between autobiography and biography endow the two books, taken together, with a memento mori gravitas for any student of Walters, or of television journalism, or of the past, present and future of women in the TV workplace — or, for that matter, of Monica Lewinsky. More on her in a moment.

Walters called her autobiography “Audition” to emphasize the need she always felt to prove herself, pushing her way to professional success in a world that never made it easy for her. Nearly 80 then and still in the game, she acknowledged that personal contentment — love, marriage, meaningful family connections — lagged far behind. She wrote of being the daughter of an erratic father, who bounced — sometimes suicidally — between flush times and financial failure as a nightclub owner and impresario.

She told of her fearful mother, and of the mentally disabled older sister to whose welfare she felt yoked. She wrote of the three unsatisfying marriages, and of her strained relationship with the daughter she adopted as an infant.

She breezily acknowledged the ease she felt throughout her life with complicated men of elastic ethics like Roy Cohn and Donald Trump. She leaned into her reputation as a “pushy cookie.”

Page, the Washington bureau chief of USA Today, who has also written books about Barbara Bush and Nancy Pelosi, tells many of the same stories. (“Audition” is an outsize presence in the endnotes.) But in placing the emphasis on all the rule-breaking Barbara Jill Walters had to do over her long life — she died in 2022 at 93 — the biographer pays respect to a toughness easy to undervalue today, when the collective memory may see only the well-connected woman with the instantly recognizable (thanks to Gilda Radner’s “SNL” impression) speech impediment.

There was no one like her — not Diane, not Katie, not Judy, not Connie, not Gwen, not Christiane. Not Ellen. Not Oprah. Having created her niche, Walters fought all her life to protect it. Because no one else would. Would that be the case today? Discuss.

“At age 35,” Page writes, “she had finally found her place, a space that bridged journalism and entertainment and promotion. Traditionalists viewed the combination with consternation. She ignored their doubts as she redefined their industry. She saw herself as a journalist, albeit of a new and evolving sort. In some ways, she would make herself a leader in the news business by changing what, exactly, that could include.”

Walters broke rules to save her father from debt and jail. She broke rules to secure on-air status — and salary — equal to that of the often hostile men around her. Walters broke rules to land scoops, gain access and bag interviews.

The account of the driven competition she felt with her fellow TV journalist Diane Sawyer is both fun and silly/sad in its evocation of a catty rumble: Isn’t such competition the everyday reality of the bookers working for the famous men who currently host late-night talk shows? Aren’t those late-night hybrids now the closest thing we have to influential news interviews — except, perhaps, on the women-talking daytime show “The View,” invented in large part by Barbara Walters?

Walters didn’t break rules to get the first on-air interview with Monica Lewinsky — she just worked her tuchis off, from the day the news of an affair broke to the night of March 3, 1999 — watched by 74 million Americans.

Walters was nearly 70 and famous; Lewinsky was a private 25-year-old woman whose affair with her married boss had thrown a country into hypocritical hysterics. The process of establishing trust could not be rushed.

The older woman asked the younger woman a chain of tough questions about sex and intimacy and character and judgment that no human should have to endure on national television. The younger woman answered with a dignity currently out of fashion both in celebrity self-presentation and on the floor of the U.S. Congress.

In the quarter-century since that extraordinary event — the essence of a Barbara Walters Interview — Lewinsky has demonstrated an inspiring power to live on her own terms and not on the assumptions of others. The achievement required rules to be broken, and has come with a price.

Barbara Walters knew what that was like.

THE RULEBREAKER : The Life and Times of Barbara Walters | By Susan Page | Simon & Schuster | 444 pp. | $30.99

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IMAGES

  1. 50 Free Persuasive Essay Examples (+BEST Topics) ᐅ TemplateLab

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  2. 4+ Persuasive Speech Outline Templates

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  3. 50 Free Persuasive Essay Examples (+BEST Topics) ᐅ TemplateLab

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  4. Stunning How To Start Off A Persuasive Essay ~ Thatsnotus

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  5. 💋 Persuasive essay introduction examples. 13+ Outstanding Persuasive

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  6. Ways to start an essay

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VIDEO

  1. How do you write a Persuasive Essay? (with example)

  2. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

  3. How to Write a Persuasive Essay (tips & tricks)

  4. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

  5. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

  6. How to write a good essay: Paraphrasing the question

COMMENTS

  1. How to Start a Persuasive Essay: Best Tips and Tricks

    Tip 5: Start Persuasive Essay Briefly. Start a persuasive essay with some brief information on what one will learn from the text. Choose the main theses, provide them in a concise way, so as not to overload the reader's mind. Mention the importance of your topic - your reader should be convinced that this essay is worth reading.

  2. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Tips and Tricks

    TIP 1: Be careful not to introduce a new argument in the conclusion—there's no time to develop it now that you've reached the end of your discussion! TIP 2: As with your thesis, avoid announcing your conclusion. Don't start your conclusion with "in conclusion" or "to conclude" or "to end my essay" type statements.

  3. How to Begin a Persuasive Essay (with Pictures)

    4. Come up with 3-5 pieces of evidence to support your argument. As you sift through your research, start to coalesce the most accurate and striking arguments you see into pieces of supporting evidence. In a persuasive essay, this supporting evidence can appeal to the reader's sense of reason (logos), ethics (ethos), or emotions (pathos).

  4. How to Write a Persuasive Essay (This Convinced My Professor!)

    The 5 Must-Have Steps of a Persuasive Essay. If you're intimidated by the idea of writing an argument, use this list to break your process into manageable chunks. Tackle researching and writing one element at a time, and then revise your essay so that it flows smoothly and coherently with every component in the optimal place. 1.

  5. Persuasive Essay: Definition, Writing Tips, and Examples

    The persuasive essay typically presents a clear thesis statement, followed by well-structured paragraphs that provide evidence and examples supporting the author's position. The ultimate goal is to inform and influence the reader's beliefs or behavior by appealing to their emotions, logic, and sense of reason.

  6. Persuasive Essay Guide: How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    The last time you wrote a persuasive essay may have been in high school or college, but the skill of writing a strong persuasive argument is always a useful one to have. Persuasive writing begins with a writer forming their own opinion on a topic, which they then attempt to convince their reader of this opinion by walking them through a number of logical and ethical arguments.

  7. How to Write a Persuasive Essay (with Pictures)

    Pick a topic that appeals to you. Because a persuasive essay often relies heavily on emotional appeals, you should choose to write on something about which you have a real opinion. Pick a subject about which you feel strongly and can argue convincingly. [3] 6. Look for a topic that has a lot of depth or complexity.

  8. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    As you write your persuasive essay, remember that your goal is to get the reader to nod their head and agree with you. Each section of the essay should bring you closer to this goal. If you write the essay with this in mind, you'll end up with a paper that will receive high grades. Finally, if you're ever facing writer's block for your ...

  9. Writing a Persuasive Essay

    The thesis should. 1. be a complete sentence, 2. identify the topic, and. 3. make a specific claim about that topic. In a persuasive paper, the thesis is a claim that someone should believe or do something. For example, a persuasive thesis might assert that something is effective or ineffective.

  10. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    A persuasive essay uses reason to demonstrate that certain ideas are more valid than others in academic writing. The purpose of such an essay is to encourage readers to accept a particular viewpoint or act in a particular way. A persuasive essay must be based on sound logic and must contain factual evidence to support the argument.

  11. How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps

    Thesis statement: Let the audience know your stance. After surveying the topic in the first part of the introduction, it is now time for the student writer to express their opinion and briefly preview the points they will make later in the essay. 2. Body Paragraphs.

  12. 13 Engaging Ways to Begin an Essay

    Use the Historical Present Tense. An effective method of beginning an essay is to use historical present tense to relate an incident from the past as if it were happening now. "Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of his mother's station wagon.

  13. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

    A great idea is to set a deadline for stopping research. Immerse yourself until then. This way, you can stay on pace to finish before your final deadline. By the end of this research process, you should crystalize your position on the topic. ️. Step 3: Focus on the Opinions in Favor of Your Position.

  14. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Step 4: Drafting the Essay. With your outline in hand, it's time to start writing. Begin with a compelling introduction that hooks your reader and presents your thesis statement. Then, move onto the body of your essay, where you'll lay out your arguments and address counterarguments.

  15. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Expert Guide

    2 Steps to Write a Persuasive Essay. 2.1 Prepare for Writing Your Persuasive Essay. 2.2 Conduct Advanced Academic Research. 2.3 Outline Your Essay. 2.4 How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Introduction. 2.5 Write the Body of the Essay. 2.6 Make a Solid Conclusion. 2.7 Edit and Proofread Your Essay.

  16. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  17. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Make a claim. Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim. Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim) Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives. The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays.

  18. How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

    When you're writing a persuasive essay, you need more than just an opinion to make your voice heard. Even the strongest stance won't be compelling if it's not structured properly and reinforced with solid reasoning and evidence. Learn what elements every argumentative essay should include and how to structure it depending on your audience in this easy step-by-step guide.

  19. 113 Perfect Persuasive Essay Topics for Any Assignment

    List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics. Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you'll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, "should fracking be legal?" you'd decide whether you believe fracking should ...

  20. Book Review: 'The Rulebreaker,' by Susan Page

    Don't let that stop the reader of this thorough, compassionate biography by Susan Page: It's a valuable document, sobering where "Audition" aimed for sassy. If anything, the 16 long years ...