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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Five Parts: Writing Persuasively Laying the Groundwork Drafting Your Essay Polishing Your Essay Sample Persuasive Essays Community Q&A

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 a skill that everyone should have.


Part 1

Writing Persuasively

  1. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 12

    Understand the conventions of a persuasive essay. Unless your prompt or assignment states otherwise, you’ll need to follow some basic conventions when writing your 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). [1]
    • 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. [2]
    • 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. [3]
  2. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 5

    Use a variety of persuasion techniques to hook your readers. The art of persuasion has been studied since ancient Greece. While it takes a lifetime to master, learning the tricks and tools will make you a better writer almost immediately. For example, on a paper about allowing Syrian refugees, you could use:

    • Pathos, Ethos, and Logos: These are the 3 cornerstones of rhetoric . Pathos is about emotion, ethos is about credibility, and logos is about logic. These 3 components work together to help you develop a strong argument.

      • 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.
    • Repetition: Keep hammering on your thesis. Tell them what you’re telling them, tell them it, then tell them what you told them. They’ll get the point by the end.

      • Example: Time and time again, the statistics don’t lie — we need to open our doors to help refugees.
    • Social Validation: Quotations reinforce that you aren’t the only one making this point. It tells people that, socially, if they want to fit in, they need to consider your viewpoint.

      • 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.
    • Agitation of the Problem: Before offering solutions, show them how bad things are. Give them a reason to care about your argument. [4]

      • 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 by to flee.”
  3. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 6

    Be authoritative and firm. You need to sound an expert, and like you should be trustworthy. Cut out small words or wishy-washy phrase to adopt a tone of authority. [5]

    • 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.”
  4. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 7

    Challenge your readers. Persuasion is about upending commonly held thoughts and forcing the reader to reevaluate. While you never want to be crass or confrontational, you need to poke into the reader’s potential concerns.

    • 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.
  5. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 8

    Acknowledge, and refute, arguments against you. While the majority of your essay should be kept to your own argument, you’ll bullet-proof your case if you can see and disprove the arguments against you. Save this for the second to last paragraph, in general.

    • 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.

Part 2

Laying the Groundwork

  1. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 9

    Read the prompt carefully. In most cases, you will be given a specific assignment for your persuasive essay. It’s important to read the prompt carefully and thoroughly.

    • 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. [6]
    • 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.
  2. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 10

    Give yourself time. If you can, make the time to craft an argument you’ll enjoy writing. A rushed essay isn’t likely to persuade anyone. Allow yourself enough time to brainstorm, write, and edit.

    • 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.
  3. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 11

    Examine the rhetorical situation. All writing has a rhetorical situation, which has five basic elements: the text (here, your essay), the author (you), the audience, the purpose of the communication, and the setting. [7]

    • 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? [8]
  4. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 13

    Consider your audience. What’s persuasive to one person may not be persuasive to another. For this reason, it’s crucial to consider to whom you are targeting your essay. Obviously, your instructor is your primary audience, but consider who else might find your argument convincing. [9]

    • 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.
  5. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 14

    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.

  6. 6
    Look for a topic that has a lot of depth or complexity. You may feel incredibly passionate about pizza, but it may be difficult to write an interesting essay on it. A subject that you’re interested in but which has a lot of depth — like animal cruelty or government earmarking — will make for better subject material.
  7. 7
    Consider opposing viewpoints when thinking about your essay. If you think it will be hard to come up with arguments against your topic, your opinion might not be controversial enough to make it into a persuasive essay. On the other hand, if there are too many arguments against your opinion that will be hard to debunk, you might choose a topic that is easier to refute.
  8. 8
    Make sure you can remain balanced. A good persuasive essay will consider the counterarguments and find ways to convince readers that the opinion presented in your essay is the preferable one. Make sure you choose a topic about which you’re prepared to thoroughly, fairly consider counterarguments. (For this reason, topics such as religion usually aren’t a good idea for persuasive essays, because you’re incredibly unlikely to persuade someone away from their own religious beliefs.)
  9. 9
    Keep your focus manageable. Your essay is likely to be fairly short; it may be 5 paragraphs or several pages, but you need to keep a narrow focus so that you can adequately explore your topic. For example, an essay that attempts to persuade your readers that war is wrong is unlikely to be successful, because that topic is huge. Choosing a smaller bit of that topic — for example, that drone strikes are wrong — will give you more time to delve deeply into your evidence. [10]
  10. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 15

    Come up with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement presents your opinion or argument in clear language. It is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph. For a persuasive essay, it’s especially important that you present your argument in clear language that lets your readers know exactly what to expect. [11]

    • 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.
  11. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 16

    Brainstorm your evidence. Once you have chosen your topic, do as much preparation as you can before you write your essay. This means you need to examine why you have your opinion and what evidence you find most compelling. Here’s also where you look for counterarguments that could refute your point. [12]

    • 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. [13]
    • Don’t worry about having fully fleshed-out ideas at this stage. Generating ideas is the most important step here.
  12. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 17

    Research, if necessary. Once you have your ideas together, you may discover that some of them need research to support them. Doing your research before you begin “writing” your essay will make the writing process go smoothly.

    • For example, if you’re arguing for healthier school lunches, you could make a point that fresh, natural food tastes better. This is 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.

Part 3

Drafting Your Essay

  1. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 18

    Outline your essay. Persuasive essays generally have a very clear format, which helps you present your argument in a clear and compelling way. Here are the elements of persuasive essays:

    • 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.
  2. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 19

    Come up with your hook. Your hook is a first sentence that draws the reader in. Your hook can be a question or a quotation, a fact or an anecdote, a definition or a humorous sketch. As long as it makes the reader want to continue reading, or sets the stage, you’ve done your job. [14]

    • 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.
  3. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 20

    Write an introduction . Many people believe that your introduction is the most important part of the essay, because it either grabs or loses the reader’s attention. A good introduction will tell the reader just enough about your essay to draw them in and make them want to continue reading. [15]

    • 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.
  4. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 21

    Structure your body paragraphs. At a minimum, write three paragraphs for the body of the essay. Each paragraph should cover a single main point that relates back to a part of your argument. These body paragraphs are where you justify your opinions and lay out your evidence. Remember that if you don’t provide evidence, your argument might not be as persuasive. [16]

    • 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.”
    • When you can, use facts as your evidence. Agreed-upon facts from reliable sources give people something to hold onto. If possible, use facts from different angles to support one argument. For example:
      • “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.
  5. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 22

    Use the last sentence of each body paragraph to transition to the next paragraph. In order to establish flow in your essay, you want there to be a natural transition from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next. Here is one example: [17]

    • 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.”
  6. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 23

    Add a rebuttal or counterargument. You might not be required to do this, but it makes your essay stronger. Imagine you have an opponent who’s arguing the exact opposite of what you’re arguing. Think of one or two of their strongest arguments and come up with a counterargument to rebut it.

    • 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.
  7. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 24

    Write your conclusion at the very end of your essay. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to restate each of your main points and end the whole paper with a probing thought. If it’s something your reader won’t easily forget, your essay will have a more lasting impression. Don’t just restate the thesis; think about how you will leave your reader. [18] Here are some things to consider: [19]

    • 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?

Part 4

Polishing Your Essay

  1. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 25

    Give yourself a day or two without looking at the essay. If you’ve planned ahead, this won’t be hard. Then, come back to the essay after a day or two and look it over. The rest will give you a fresh set of eyes and help you spot errors. Any tricky language or ideas that needed time might be revisited then.

  2. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 26

    Read through your draft. A common error with many student writers is not spending enough time revisiting a first draft. Read through your essay from start to finish. Consider the following: [20]

    • 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?
  3. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 27

    Revise where necessary. Revision is more than simple proofreading. You may need to touch up your transitions, move paragraphs around for better flow, or even draft new paragraphs with new, more compelling evidence. Be willing to make even major changes to improve your essay.

    • 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.
  4. Image titled Write a Persuasive Essay Step 28

    Proofread carefully. Use the spell checker on your computer to check the spellings of the words (if applicable). Read through your essay aloud, reading exactly what is on the page. This will help you catch proofreading errors.

    • 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.

Sample Persuasive Essays

Community Q&A


Add New Question

  • Question
    How should I start my essay?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    A hook — an interesting fact, story, or quote — is usually your best opening. You want the first sentence to grab someone immediately and get them to keep reading. This is easier said than done, but if it interested you while researching or thinking it will likely interest other people.

    Not Helpful 16
    Helpful 129

  • Question
    Is it okay to write my arguments in the introduction and then define them in each paragraph?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Yes, it is certainly okay to (briefly) list your arguments in your opening paragraph. This can work well in longer essays, or if your points fit together in a way not immediately obvious to the reader. Be careful to not give too much away, though. Save the actual arguments for the body paragraphs.

    Not Helpful 16
    Helpful 82

  • Question
    How many examples should I have in each paragraph?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    In general, try to have around three examples for each paragraph. Keep in mind that most professors will prefer quality over quantity. Two good examples would be a lot better than three bad examples that either don’t support your point or downright contradict it.

    Not Helpful 15
    Helpful 75

  • Question
    What are some of the transitional words to use for a persuasive essay?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Adverbs, especially -ly words, are excellent transitional words. It’s also possible to use prepositional phrases at the beginning of your sentences to transition. Some examples: additionally, consequently, similarly, moreover, however, on the other hand, finally, in sum, in conclusion.

    Not Helpful 7
    Helpful 40

  • Question
    How should I end my essay?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    End your essay with a thorough conclusion that sums clearly up the points in your body paragraphs and leaves your reader with a final thought to muse on. Get your title from the last sentence in your essay.

    Not Helpful 10
    Helpful 50

  • Question
    Should I provide a lot of information, or just basic facts in order to wow my readers?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    You should provide an equal amounts of both.

    Not Helpful 8
    Helpful 39

  • Question
    What do I do if I have to write an essay in class and don’t have access to any information or know the topic ahead of time?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Instead of statistic-based arguments and evidence, use common sense and “most people believe” arguments. If you don’t have access to information, your instructor will not expect an essay with strong fact-based evidence.

    Not Helpful 12
    Helpful 49

  • Question
    How many paragraphs do I need?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    As many as you want! There is no right or wrong number to use. In general, just think of each paragraph as a mini-argument or point. Use as many as you need to convince someone.

    Not Helpful 22
    Helpful 63

  • Question
    What should I do if I cannot search for information?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    If you can’t search for the information online, you should go to a library instead. You can also find someone who knows about the information you’re looking for, and ask them questions.

    Not Helpful 20
    Helpful 58

  • Question
    What is a good way to end a persuasive essay?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    End it with a climax to your main point. Perhaps relate it to a reader’s daily life.

    Not Helpful 12
    Helpful 25

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    Quick Summary

    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.

    Did this summary help you?

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    Sources and Citations

    1. http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson56/strategy-definition.pdf
    2. https://www.hamilton.edu/writing/writing-resources/persuasive-essays
    3. http://www.studygs.net/wrtstr4.htm
    4. http://www.copyblogger.com/persuasive-writing/
    5. http://writtent.com/blog/17-powerful-persuasive-writing-techniques/
    6. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/2/52/
    7. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/625/02/
    8. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/stasis_theory/stasis_introduction.html
    9. http://www.aims.edu/student/online-writing-lab/process/determining-audience
    10. http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/awolaver/term1.htm
    11. https://www.hamilton.edu/writing/writing-resources/persuasive-essays
    12. http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/awolaver/term1.htm
    13. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/2/53/
    14. http://www.time4writing.com/writing-resources/writing-resourcespersuasive-essay/
    15. https://www.hamilton.edu/writing/writing-resources/persuasive-essays
    16. https://www.hamilton.edu/writing/writing-resources/persuasive-essays
    17. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/05/
    18. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/05/
    19. https://www.hamilton.edu/writing/writing-resources/persuasive-essays
    20. http://www.time4writing.com/writing-resources/writing-resourcespersuasive-essay/

    Show more… (17)

    Article Info

    Categories: Persuasive Essays

    In other languages:

    Italiano:  Scrivere un Testo Convincente , Español:  escribir un ensayo persuasivo , Português:  Elaborar uma Redação Persuasiva , Français:  écrire un essai persuasif , Русский:  написать убедительное эссе , 中文:  写作劝说文 , Deutsch:  Einen Meinungsaufsatz schreiben , Čeština:  Jak napsat argumentační esej , Nederlands:  Een persuasief essay schrijven , 日本語:  説得力のあるエッセイを書く , Bahasa Indonesia:  Menulis Esai Persuasif , العربية:  كتابة مقال إقناعي , Türkçe:  İkna Edici Bir Deneme Nasıl Yazılır , Tiếng Việt:  Viết bài luận thuyết phục , हिन्दी:  एक प्रेरक निबंध लिखें

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    Expert Review By:


    Christopher Taylor
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    This version of How to Write a Persuasive Essay was reviewed by Christopher Taylor on August 17, 2018.

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    “I have been assigned to write an essay and teach a lesson about how to write this essay to my fellow classmates. This article’s content is exactly what i was locking for to help me with both my assignments. “…” more
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    Jefferson Kenely

    Jan 22

    “Very useful. Detailed, to the point. As an active activist, I am constantly working on trying to save forests from deforestation. Thank you for helping me write my persuasive text!”…” more
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    Jun 3, 2017

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    May 20, 2017

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    Jan 3, 2017

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    Sep 20, 2016

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    May 20, 2017

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    Rated this article:


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    Nov 17, 2016

    “I really liked the way that you explained all of the steps, it definitely helped with my essay.”


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    Nov 9, 2016

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    Jan 16, 2017

    “This article gave clear examples, therefore it made it easier to follow the instructions.”


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    Feb 28, 2017

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    Oct 18, 2017

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    Rated this article:


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    Apr 12, 2017

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    Mar 7

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    Nov 6, 2017

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    Jun 17, 2016

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    Nov 10, 2017

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    Jul 14, 2017

    “It helped me write better more persuasive arguments and statements.”
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    Mar 1, 2017

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    Jul 24, 2017

    “It helped me to learn how to write a persuasive text.”
    Rated this article:


    Gerald Munashe Dube

    Apr 2, 2017

    “I learned the ethics of writing a persuasive essay. ”
    Rated this article:

    Bilal Muhammed

    Aug 19, 2017

    “It showed me how to polish my persuasive writing. ”
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    Carolina Martinez

    Jun 23, 2017

    “Excellent instructions, thank you very much.”

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    A Lesson Plan in Creating the Perfect Title

    written by: Trent Lorcher
    • edited by: SForsyth
    • updated: 1/17/2012

    A good title can make your writing more attractive to an informationally overwhelmed public. This simple lesson helps students create articles that capture the readers’ attention and give an overview of the topic.

    • slide 1 of 3

      What’s in a Title?

      It’s bad enough we have to read the inane, ungrammatical ramblings of adolescents, but couldn’t they at least come up with a catchy title? I vowed one February afternoon, after grading 327 essays with the same 6 titles–“My Essay,” “Persuasive Essay,” “My Persuasive Essay,” Essay Assignment,” “Persuasive Essay Assignment,” and “My Persuasive Essay Assignment”–that I would answer the unasked question: “How do I write an effective title for my essay?”. This is what I came up with.

    • slide 2 of 3

      Getting Started

      • Write on the board the same 6 titles that appeared in all 327 student essays.
      • Ask which of those titles would make them want to read the essay.
      • When they answer “none of them,” Yell, as loud as you possibly can, “Then what makes you think I want to read them?”
      • Fake a seizure.

      Here’s an alternative, not as effective, but less likely to bring about a lawsuit.

      • Write the following question on the board: “How do you decide whether or not to read a book, article, poem, or story?”
      • Discuss.
      • Write their answers on the board. Title, length, and subject matter are the three most common responses.
      • Discuss: An effective title must meet one or more of the following criteria:

        • It should accurately predict the contents or focus (main idea) of the piece.
        • It should set limits on the topic.
        • It should communicate the dominant impression the writer wants his or her essay to make.
        • It should grab the readers’ attention.
      • slide 3 of 3


        • Instruct students to fold a slice of paper in half.
        • On one half, brainstorm a list of possible titles using the aforementioned criteria. Warn students that “My Essay” will cause the paper to burst into flames and result in an automatic ‘F’.
        • Write the criteria used next to each title.
        • Instruct students to narrow their list to no more than three. Remind them once again that “English Essay” will cause a hailstorm to pelt their house and result in an automatic ‘F’.
        • Once they’ve narrowed their potential titles, give them some more title suggestions:

          • Use wordplay that sets up a contrast: Good Times for Me; Bad Times for You.
          • Use words in an unexpected way: I’m a Frayed Knot: Lessons on Bullying from a Messy-Haired Shoe String
          • Use alliteration: Fewer Fried Foods For Franklin High School
          • Use a phrase or an oft repeated word that captures the essence of the essay: My Essay Deserves a Better Title
          • Remind them if they use “Writing Assignment,” they will be forced to eat 29 hotdogs from the school cafeteria and will receive an ‘F’.
        • Avoid the following:

          • A question: Why do Some People Still Use Questions as Titles After I Tell Them Not to?
          • Titles with an article followed by a noun or verb: The Essay, A Teacher, The Bus
        • Instruct Students to choose their new title. Remind them that if they choose “My Essay,” a comet will strike their desk and result in an automatic ‘F’.
        • Engage students in a title challenge.
      ◄ ● ● ● ►

      Lesson Plans: Fine Tune Your Writing Focus

      Writing that lacks focus confuses readers. Student writing lacks focus because they rarely have a purpose, do not know how to make a point, and write to an imaginary, non-existent audience. End their pointless meanderings with these simple lesson plans.
      1. Lesson Plan: Determining Audience and Purpose
      2. Teaching Students to Maintain a Personal Voice in Writing
      3. A Lesson Plan on Using Tone Effectively
      4. A Lesson Plan in Creating the Perfect Title

      Articles & Advice

      1. Home
      2. Advice and Articles
      3. How to Write a Persuasive…

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      How to Write a Persuasive Essay

      How to Write a Persuasive Essay

      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?

      Want to learn more? Scribendi.com’s ebook How to Write an Essay in Five Easy Steps will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to confidently write essays.

      Image source: pinkypills/BigStockPhoto.com

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      How to Write an Outline

      You’ve come up with the perfect thesis or essay topic, you’ve done plenty of research, and know everything that there is to know about your topic, and yet you can’t seem to put pen to paper. This is where an outline comes in.

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      Seven Ways to Stay Awake and Alert

      Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you just could not stay awake? Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We have compiled a short list of reasonable ways to stay awake during life’s less-than-exciting moments.

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