When in college one finds lots of things they are supposed to learn, this includes learning how to do your taxes managing your time, managing your and even academic skills like essay writing. You might not have known this in high school but there are many different types of essays the one can write. You have your persuasive essays, your descriptive essays your argumentative essays and the list goes on and on. You might be wondering why we counted persuasive an argumentative essays as two different things. Contrary to popular belief persuasive writing and argumentative writing are two different things.
When aiming to answer the question “what is a persuasive essay?” here are all the definitions you need to know:
- Here is the definition for argumentative essay – “An argumentative essay is a type of essay that presents arguments about both sides of an issue. It could be that both sides are presented equally balanced, or it could be that one side is presented more forcefully than the other. It all depends on the writer, and what side he supports the most.”
- On the other hand, a persuasive essay is defined as follows – “The term “persuasive” is an adjective derived from the verb “persuade,” which means “to convince somebody.” A persuasive essay is full of all the convincing techniques a writer can employ. It presents a situation, and takes a stand – either in its favor or against it – to prove to readers whether it is beneficial or harmful for them.”
- Another definition of a persuasive essay is “A persuasive essay explains a specific topic and attempts to persuade the audience that your point of view is the most informed logical and valid perspective on the topic. This genre is also known as the argumentative essay.
- The following definition highlights the functions of a “persuasive essay – “A persuasive essay is full of all the convincing techniques a writer can employ. It presents a situation, and takes a stand – either in its favor or against it – to prove to readers whether it is beneficial or harmful for them.”
So with this, we make the difference between argumentative essays and persuasive essays, evident. Argumentative essays are often expected to explain both sides of an argument and keep their audience informed – helping them in understanding both parts. Whereas, a persuasive essay, is supposed to present only one side of the argument, and convince people to think just like them. So, for example, an argumentative essay on climate change will cover the pros and the cons of implementing policy changes and how it will have positive and negative effects on both parties. A persuasive essay on climate change will only focus on one aspect, it will either be for or against, and will be worded no to inform but to convince and shape the reader’s opinion as much as possible, focusing only on convincing the reader to act or believe.
Now that you have a pretty clear idea of what a persuasive essay is, we can move on to building a deeper understanding, so that when faced with a task that requires you to write a persuasive essay, you will know exactly where to begin. First things first, why do people need persuasive essays? It might be so that the people already know all that there is to know about a topic, but human thought relies on perception. You know a bomb is dangerous because you are taught that it is dangerous, and anything you see shaped like a bomb will be perceived as dangerous. In order to alter perception or in order to build it from scratch, people need to be persuaded. For example, if you are a policy student, who is making his/her case on climate change, you will have to persuade people that is exists and is going to be a huge problem. There are three basic reasons why people employ persuasive techniques:
- For the better – Many people use persuasive essays to convince people that they need to build a better world. Appealing to the kindness and the good in people, helping them understand that you are only persuading them for the better of the world.
- For the worse – Some people also use persuasion in order to convince people that if they do not agree with the author, or do not do what they are asked to, the world will be worse off. Many people will paint a very negative image of what will happen if they do not do as asked. Whether it is for better or for worse, many people will exaggerate elements in their essays to leave an impact.
- To create change – Calling people to action and asking them to act a certain way, is another reason people choose persuasion as a tool. Asking people to do something about the issue at hand and getting them all riled up about it, is also what persuasive essays are used for.
A typical persuasive essay starts off with an introduction, follows that with a body and then ends with a conclusion, quite simple? The introduction would aim at informing the reader of what is to come. Many students often wonder how to start a persuasive essay – all introductions have five basic components, these include:
- Introduction to the topic
- Your point of view on the topic aka thesis statement
- Tell your readers how you will get from one point to another
- Transition to your body (some examples of transition phrases include “firstly”, ”Additionally”, ”Pursuing this further”, “Yet another reason”)
The next part is your essay’s body, this is where you will elaborate your main points and really sell your idea to the reader, convincing them for the thing you need to persuade them for. When trying to reinforce your points for your reader, make sure that you support your statements with facts and figures, while providing references. This way your statement sounds more authentic and people are more likely to believe your claims.
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Next is your conclusion, try and bring your stance home, by leaving your readers wondering what comes after. It doesn’t mean that you should leave it unfinished, but leave them with a word of advice or a piece of wisdom, motivating them to take action, or leaving them to think what is really being said.
Now that you have a good idea of what a persuasive essay looks like, we got our writers to share some of their most helpful tips when writing a persuasive essay. So, without further ado, the part that we have all been waiting for:
1. Pick your topic
Unless you are given a predefined topic to write on by your instructor, persuasive essay topics you should be picking should be very close to your own beliefs. This makes it easier to write an essay because you already have enough information and you just need to look for sources. Picking a topic you already are familiar with, will also help you reduce the amount of time you spend on that particular assignment, and a huge bonus is that work won’t feel like work (because you will actually enjoy it) However, if your topic is predefined, try and build your own stance on the topic, you will obviously need to carry out research and see which side you most agree with.
2. Look up examples
When writing persuasive essays there is a need for conviction in your writing, it may be that you already have that conviction and you don’t have to work on anything. However, you might not be a natural writer and that too is fine. Look for persuasive essay examples on the internet and in books to see how authors can really convince their readers to take action, study the use of words and the general voice and try to build an understanding of how it all works. Once you have your research, you are going to have to develop your own style, see what comes naturally to you and how you would persuade people in real life. In order to find your voice, try and convince your brother or sister or friend of something you think they might agree to.
3. Outlines are important
A persuasive essay outline is not much different from a regular essay outline, it has all the same parts – an introduction, a thesis statement, a body, and a conclusion. Outlines are always helpful and can help you work out an angle for your position, one that works for you and will also help you persuade your audience of your stance. With an outline, you can list down all the important facts that are going to help you convince your readers and then sort through them to see which ones are the most convincing ones. After all, the facts although should be valid, they should not be too technical as that would make it difficult for the layman to understand. Outlines help you stick to the point, which is why it is an important part of the persuasive essay; it helps you stick to your stance, persistently so that you can successfully persuade your readers.
4. Look for inspiration all around
When selecting a topic on which to write an essay it can be very difficult, you might go search persuasive essay ideas on Google, you might even find something you like there, you might not. Don’t stress out. One pro tip regarding these essays is to look for inspiration to write these essays, all around you. There are hundreds and thousands of issues that people face all around the world, you must be passionate about one. Find that idea – look for all the factors that influence your life, or the life of someone close to you.
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5. Know your audience
In order to write an effective persuasive essay, you need to know who your target audience is going to be. If you write a persuasive essay, that aims to convince Islamophobes of the virtues of Muslims, you are climbing up the wrong tree. You need to know your target audience so that you can tailor your language, style, and facts according to them. Facts should be taken from sources that the audience will hold in high regard. You should also know your audience, to know what angle to approach them from, if you are selling pampers you will target new parents who are looking for the best product for their newborn child. Using appropriate examples and quotations can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your essay.
6. Cite everything
Giving appropriate references to your essay is also an important element of your persuasive essay, and this point just cannot be stressed enough. You need to ensure that all the claims you make and all the facts you provide are from suitable sources, or your stance will be very easily overturned. In order to avoid being taken lightly and in order to look like you know what you are talking about, you should cite everything you mention in your paper.
7. Be original and write with integrity
This is something all our experts and writers stressed on, as academic writing help we cannot stress enough on the importance of submitting original work that has not been plagiarized. If the reader feels like you are not authentic enough, or that you are not sure of what you are writing in your persuasive essay, then your essay will not be successful. You need to believe in what it is you write, and write what you feel. Even if somebody has managed to put your feelings into words, don’t copy them exactly, try and add your own twist to it, to make it more effective for the readers.
Persuasive essay writing requires conviction and clarity of thought; it also requires you to believe in what you write. You need to be able to convince your reader of your point of view, and in order to do that, you need to be precise and use reliable information. It may be that the essay seems too difficult for you, but you can always get academic help from best essay writing service.