Take a Step on the Road to Knowledge: Learn How to Write a Persuasive Essay

May 11, 2023

It’s impossible to know what every student thinks because we’re all different, but one guess is always true: everyone has wondered how to write a persuasive essay at least once. It is one of the most common tasks in college and university; even teachers at high school might assign it because they hope to instill strong communication skills in their students as early as possible. The art of convincing someone to accept your point of view is helpful in every sphere, whether it’s work, online spaces, or personal life. If you have a belief, you need to know how to justify it, and there are numerous ways of making it happen. Learning by writing persuasive papers is among the best solutions. We can give you everything you need to become a fantastic persuasive essay writer within a short timeframe. Track the tips we prepared and start honing your new skills!

Tackling Definitions: What Is a Persuasive Essay?

The first question we need to answer is, what is a persuasive writing, and what makes it unique? A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that seeks to convince the readers to accept your point of view as the most accurate and effective one. It is similar to argumentative papers, but there is a stark difference between them: it’s easier to write the former than the latter. Persuasive essays only require that you argue in favor of your unique point — you must use all your skills, emotions, and writing manipulation tactics to push your point across. Getting it to look awesome is your major goal. In contrast, argumentative essays also deal with research and present the views of the opposition. They should address plus refute them as less significant while maintaining objectivity.

Understanding the Importance of Persuasive Writing

The next question to answer is why students need persuasive essay writing in the first place. Knowing how to convince others is an essential skill that could help in any life situation. Trying to accomplish a better bargain, persuading a university or employer that you are the best candidate over others, arguing with friends, or proving that your position is superior in endless Reddit debates — it is difficult to live a day without using some persuasion, and the better a person is at it, the more successful they are.

In terms of academic studies, knowing how to write a persuasive essay is a way to comprehend what makes a strong argument, which sources are credible, and how to employ different tactics for convincing your readers of your beliefs. Later on, students can use these skills when working on their other tasks, earning better grades and spending less time figuring out how to write yet another assignment. You could always check free essay samples to see what a quality persuasive paper looks like — it’s an excellent method of knowledge accumulation. When students have a clear grasp on how they should write this kind of task, they face a few problems in college. Studying becomes much easier.

Basic Structure Elements that Show How to Write a Good Persuasive Essay

There are three core elements of persuasive essays that every writer must know, understand, and use in their work. They are called EPL, which stands for a combination of ethos, pathos, and logos. Each plays a vital role in persuading people; each has its rules and a completely unique nature. Here’s a brief overview of them:

  • Ethos. This element helps establish your credibility as a writer who promotes a specific point. Why should people read what you wrote? What makes you or the person whose arguments you’re using an authority on this issue? Specifying this is an effective solution to how to make a persuasive essay persuasive. If you’re talking about loss and want to demonstrate that your coping method is the best, mention that you survived it, which gives you practical experience, or point out that a known psychologist you’re using as a source recommends it.
  • Pathos. This tactic is all about emotions. Don’t overdo it, too much cheap melodrama, and people are going to scoff in disgust. Try going for a moderate approach: appeal to things most people relate to emotionally. For example, when talking about war, mention the destruction it brings: the torn families where the father usually enlists to protect the country while the mother, children, pets are forced to flee, lose their home, or stay and risk their lives and sanity daily. Be descriptive without being overwhelming.
  • Logos. As the name implies, logos means logic. It’s the third essential element in persuasive writing structure, and it deals with objective facts, research, and other scientific arguments that could convince an audience. Using it along with ethos plus pathos means creating the strongest persuasive combination.

Understand Your Essay to Make It Convincing

Knowing the goal of an essay is essential for every student. If you want to earn a satisfying grade, firstly, consider what you’re going to write about. Choose a topic you truly love because your interest can help fuel the interest of others. If your professor assigned it to you and you don’t have a choice, try to pretend you’re interested. Read up on it, find an interesting aspect, and develop an essay from it. Follow these suggestions.

Identify Your Essay Goal

Wondering how to start a persuasive essay? By clearly understanding its goal. For this, students should study their topic closely. What are you trying to do, what are you hoping to convince your readers of? Persuasion must be emotional, logical, and believable. Decide how much ethos, pathos, and logos you’re going to rely upon in your writing; devise a plan of persuasion. It could be a draft, but at this early stage, just having a picture in mind would be sufficient.

Understand Your Audience, Their Knowledge and Expectations

How to write a great persuasive essay that wows an audience? A good writer must determine what their audience wants. Are these fellow students? A professor? Someone else? Do these people know a lot about this topic, or would they find it confusing? Depending on the answers, decide which tone, language, or type of content to use. If you’re writing for experts, use more complex language and advanced ideas. If the target audience is clueless, go for simpler choices. The depth and the level of research depend on your answers, too.

Choose a Position that Sounds Persuasive

Now you know the basics of how to write persuasive essay, but it’s also important to think about your position. You have your topic: what angle are you going to explore it from? Is it something you feel ready to sell to readers? If not, and there is no way to pick another topic, you need to do some work. Read articles about it, and see what other people found controversial. Get inspiration or at least some insights, and transform them into material for your own essay. The more you research a topic or perspective, the more convincing you are going to sound.

Doing Research: What Steps to Cover and Where to Look

We talked about how to write a persuasive paper, now let’s see how to do research for it. There are three major steps, and we’ll cover each of them. If you’re interested in creating an awesome essay, you should follow them all without exception. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds!

Gather Information about Your Topic

Start doing research on several platforms at once. It could be an online database from your college, university library, Google Scholar, or any search system in general. Go through articles from journals, newspapers, books, and even blogs. Collect interesting and valuable facts that could affect the opinion of people and make them accept your viewpoint. This information doesn’t have to be 100% credible, not at this point — you should simply gather enough good data to understand what you’ll focus on as you start writing. Get novel ideas that you haven’t considered before; if the topic is controversial, visit some online forums like Reddit or Quora to see what people have been discussing and what arguments they used. This will guide your writing, eventually helping you write a good persuasive essay.

Make Final Pick of Credible Sources Only

After students build an approximate outline of their papers, they should develop a final list with sources they’ll be using. This time, caution and care are a must. Relying on Wikipedia, blogs, or general online articles isn’t acceptable any longer. Make certain you end up with credible and academic literature because everything else won’t do. It might tank your paper altogether, which is the last thing you want. Articles with DOI, college-approved books or journals, as well as literature from various academic houses, would be the best choice. It’s all right to select older sources when you’re covering the background or history of the issue, but ideally, use new and modern insights. Try picking articles or books that appeared no later than 5–7 years ago.

Organize Information from Sources in Preparation

After covering the outlined steps to writing a persuasive essay, you arrive at the preparatory one. You have your ideal sources, you have ideas that you plan on exploring in papers. Before you start writing, determine which source should go where. Basically, you need a draft that outlines not only your major thoughts but also their order. Indicate what idea and source you’ll mention in the first paragraph; then follow the same pattern with the second and other paragraphs. Organize your info logically and powerfully. Put more emotional ideas (pathos) in one place and follow them up with more logical references. This will simplify your writing process to a huge extent since you’ll know what exactly you’ll be writing about at every stage of your work. The remaining thing would be actually doing it, which is easier when you have a detailed plan.

Persuasive Essay Guide on How to Structure Your Paper

Credible sources are gathered, your general outline is ready, and your mind is brimming with ideas. Now is the time to write an actual essay! Persuasive works mostly share their structure with other kinds of essays. Still, you should know what it is as well as what elements it features.

  • Create a compelling introduction. Most students wonder how many paragraphs in a persuasive essay there should be. It depends on the general word count. One paragraph is between 100–200 words, never longer. Keep this in mind when you decide how many of them to plan for. The introduction comes first, and it should always be strong and gripping. Start it with a hook. Look up what good hooks for essays exist for gaining ideas: it could be a bold claim, questions, or even jokes if the tone of an essay allows it. Establish ethos in this section, too — this is something writers should get out of the way as soon as possible. Make readers understand what qualifies you as a reliable speaker. If you’re focusing an essay on someone’s speech, establish their ethos in the same manner.
  • Craft a powerful thesis statement. The thesis is the closing sentence of a persuasive essay introduction. It always has a vital role, but in this type of task, it’s particularly important. The thesis must reflect your position, your main argument, and the aim of the essay. Why are you writing it? What are you set on proving? This is an example of an appropriate thesis for persuasive papers: “Cats are superior to other animals because, as research and practice show, they require an average amount of time from their owners, are as sweet as they are hissy, and live longer than most other pets.” This thesis outlines specific points, hints at arguments, and establishes when pathos and logos will be used.
  • Place arguments in logical order. The next stage in how to write the best persuasive essay entails placing arguments logically one by one. In the example of our thesis about cats, the first paragraph and argument would feature time that people should spend on their cats; the second would be about their sweet and hissy nature, and so on. Their order should correspond to the order in the thesis.
  • Potentially addressing counter-arguments. In most cases, students shouldn’t review or contradict arguments of opposition, but sometimes it could be a part of their work. Look up an appropriate persuasive essay example to see how it should be done. Address a couple of points from the opposing side and quickly drown them in your own arguments. You could be relatively subjective and emotional — it’s the norm in persuasive papers.
  • Make a memorable conclusion. Restate your main points in the conclusion. Its size shouldn’t exceed 10% of the general word count, and it shouldn’t repeat lines from other paragraphs directly. At the same time, it must be powerful as well as impressive — make it count. Include some strong phrases that reaffirm your point and echo the thesis.

Four Major Tips for Persuasive Writing

As a final word, let’s review strategies for making your persuasive essay truly amazing. They summarize some of the tips we’ve already discussed. Follow them in your writing — with them, you can never go wrong.

  • Use appropriate language. Remember that the goal lies in persuading people of something. Employ a strong tone that doesn’t get too stifling. Be passionate but logical: combine emotions with facts. Avoid contractions and overly long sentences, and choose the most effective form of words. As an example, saying “he was a good person” pales in comparison with “he was one of the most striking individuals humanity has ever known.” The latter sounds stronger and more emotional, which is great for persuasive writing.
  • Using all three rhetorical appeals. Apply persuasive essay techniques we discussed above. Ethos, pathos, and logos are all crucial, and they must be a part of each persuasive paper. Students who still don’t have a clear understanding of what they are could always look at online examples or consult their professor.
  • Maintain a sense of trust. Readers must feel like they trust you without fail. After establishing ethos in the first paragraph and developing trust, keep meeting their expectations. Use a tone they would understand; be detailed, and don’t be condescending. Elaborate on your points and use credible sources that don’t mislead people.
  • Engage readers emotionally. Remember that every guide on how to write a persuasive essay step by step has emotions as the key feature. Pathos doesn’t have to be the largest part, but it’s still among the most relevant ones. Include some emotional appeal in every paragraph. Try getting your readers to relate to what you’re describing by mentioning something they must have experienced, too; be shocking, be insistent yet soft when needed — this will help create and preserve an emotional link between you and everyone else who reads your essay.

How Do You Write a Persuasive Essay? Share Your Experience!

Hopefully, you understand what you need to write a powerful persuasive paper now. We shared a vast collection of tips and suggestions: follow them, keep them in mind every time you work on these assignments, and soon enough, writing them will turn into a simple experience. If you still have doubts or worries, order plagiarism free essays on the topic you require and see what experts come up with. Sometimes seeing quality samples is the best solution. When you write your own essay based on our tips, let us know! We’d love to hear from you and learn the details of your personal experience. Be attentive, follow suggestions, and write great persuasive papers!