persuasive essay

What is persuasive essay definition, usage, and literary examples, persuasive essay definition.

A persuasive essay (purr-SWEY-siv ESS-ey) is a composition in which the essayist’s goal is to persuade the reader to agree with their personal views on a debatable topic. A persuasive essay generally follows a five-paragraph model with a thesis, body paragraphs, and conclusion, and it offers evidential support using research and other persuasive techniques.

Persuasive Essay Topic Criteria

To write an effective persuasive essay, the essayist needs to ensure that the topic they choose is polemical, or debatable. If it isn’t, there’s no point in trying to persuade the reader.

For example, a persuasive essayist wouldn’t write about how honeybees make honey; this is a well-known fact, and there’s no opposition to sway. The essayist might, however, write an essay on why the reader shouldn’t put pesticides on their lawn, as it threatens the bee population and environmental health.

A topic should also be concrete enough that the essayist can research and find evidence to support their argument. Using the honeybee example, the essayist could cite statistics showing a decline in the honeybee population since the use of pesticides became prevalent in lawncare. This concrete evidence supports the essayist’s opinion.

Persuasive Essay Structure

The persuasive essay generally follows this five-paragraph model.


The introduction includes the thesis, which is the main argument of the persuasive essay. A thesis for the essay on bees and pesticides might be: “Bees are essential to environmental health, and we should protect them by abstaining from the use of harmful lawn pesticides that dwindle the bee population.”

The introductory paragraph should also include some context and background info, like bees’ impact on crop pollination. This paragraph may also include common counterarguments, such as acknowledging how some people don’t believe pesticides harm bees.

Body Paragraphs

The body consists of two or more paragraphs and provides the main arguments. This is also where the essayist’s research and evidential support will appear. For example, the essayist might elaborate on the statistics they alluded to in the introductory paragraph to support their points. Many persuasive essays include a counterargument paragraph to refute conflicting opinions.

The final paragraph readdresses the thesis statement and reexamines the essayist’s main arguments.

Types of Persuasive Essays

Persuasive essays can take several forms. They can encourage the reader to change a habit or support a cause, ask the reader to oppose a certain practice, or compare two things and suggest that one is superior to the other. Here are thesis examples for each type, based on the bee example:

  • Call for Support, Action, or Change : “Stop using pesticides on your lawns to save the environmentally essential bees.”
  • Call for Opposition : “Oppose the big businesses that haven’t conducted environmental studies concerning bees and pesticides.”
  • Superior Subject : “Natural lawn care is far superior to using harmful pesticides.”

The Three Elements of Persuasion

Aristotle first suggested that there were three main elements to persuading an audience: ethos, pathos, and logos. Essayists implement these same tactics to persuade their readers.

Ethos refers to the essayist’s character or authority; this could mean the writer’s name or credibility. For example, a writer might seem more trustworthy if they’ve frequently written on a subject, have a degree related to the subject, or have extensive experience concerning a subject. A writer can also refer to the opinions of other experts, such as a beekeeper who believes pesticides are harming the bee population.

Pathos is an argument that uses the reader’s emotions and morality to persuade them. An argument that uses pathos might point to the number of bees that have died and what that suggests for food production: “If crop production decreases, it will be impoverished families that suffer, with perhaps more poor children having to go hungry.” This argument might make the reader empathetic to the plight of starving children and encourage them to take action against pesticide pollution.

The logos part of the essay uses logic and reason to persuade the reader. This includes the essayist’s research and whatever evidence they’ve collected to support their arguments, such as statistics.

Terms Related to Persuasive Essays

Argumentative Essays

While persuasive essays may use logic and research to support the essayist’s opinions, argumentative essays are more solely based on research and refrain from using emotional arguments. Argumentative essays are also more likely to include in-depth information on counterarguments.

Persuasive Speeches

Persuasive essays and persuasive speeches are similar in intent, but they differ in terms of format, delivery, emphasis, and tone .

In a speech, the speaker can use gestures and inflections to emphasize their points, so the delivery is almost as important as the information a speech provides. A speech requires less structure than an essay, though the repetition of ideas is often necessary to ensure that the audience is absorbing the material. Additionally, a speech relies more heavily on emotion, as the speaker must hold the reader’s attention and interest. In Queen Elizabeth I’s “Tilbury Speech,” for example, she addresses her audience in a personable and highly emotional way: “My loving people, We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear.”

Examples of Persuasive Essay

1. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter From Birmingham Jail”

Dr. King directs his essay at the Alabama clergymen who opposed his call for protests. The clergymen suggested that King had no business being in Alabama, that he shouldn’t oppose some of the more respectful segregationists, and that he has poor timing. However, here, King attempts to persuade the men that his actions are just:

I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eight century B.C. left their villages and carried their ‘thus saith the Lord’ far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my hometown.

Here, King is invoking the ethos of Biblical figures who the clergymen would’ve respected. By comparing himself to Paul, he’s claiming to be a disciple spreading the “gospel of freedom” rather than an outsider butting into Alabama’s affairs.

2. Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of Commons”

Hardin argues that a society that shares resources is apt to overuse those resources as the population increases. He attempts to persuade readers that the human population’s growth should be regulated for the sake of preserving resources:

The National Parks present another instance of the working out of the tragedy of commons. At present, they are open to all, without limit. The parks themselves are limited in extent—there is only one Yosemite Valley—whereas population seems to grow without limit. The values that visitors seek in the parks are steadily eroded. Plainly, we must soon cease to treat the parks as commons, or they will be of no value to anyone.

In this excerpt, Harden uses an example that appeals to the reader’s logic. If the human population continues to rise, causing park visitors to increase, parks will continue to erode until there’s nothing left.

Further Resources on Persuasive Essays

We at SuperSummary offer excellent resources for penning your own essays .

Find a list of famous persuasive speeches at .

Read up on the elements of persuasion at the American Management Association website.

Related Terms

  • Argumentative Essay

persuasive paper definition

Persuasive Essay

Definition of persuasive essay.

The term “persuasive” is an adjective derived from 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.

Why Persuasion?

The question arises why persuasion if the people are already aware of everything. Its answer is that each person’s ability of seeing and understanding things depend on his vision. He believes only what he sees or is told about. If another side of the coin is shown, the people do not believe so easily. That is why they are presented with arguments supported with evidences , statistics and facts. Persuasion is done for these reasons:

  • A Better World : To ask the people that if they accept your argument , it will be good for them to take action and make the world a better place.
  • A Worse World : It means that if readers do not do what they are asked to do, the world will become a worse place.
  • Call to Action : It means to persuade or tempt readers to do what the writer wants them to do.

Difference Between a Persuasive Essay and an Argumentative Essay

A persuasive essay is intended to persuade readers to do certain things, or not to do certain things. It is the sole aim of the writer to coax or tempt readers, and force them to do certain things or take actions. However, an argumentative essay intends to make readers see both sides of the coin. It is up to them to select any of the two. In other words, an argumentative essay presents both arguments; both for and against a thing, and leaves the readers to decide. On the other hand, a persuasive essay intends to make readers do certain things. Therefore, it presents arguments only about one aspect of the issue.

Examples of Persuasive Essay in Literature

Example #1: our unhealthy obsession and sickness (by frank furedi).

“Governments today do two things that I object to in particular. First they encourage introspection, telling us that unless men examine their testicles, unless we keep a check on our cholesterol level, then we are not being responsible citizens. You are letting down yourself, your wife, your kids, everybody. We are encouraged continually to worry about our health. As a consequence, public health initiatives have become, as far as I can tell, a threat to public health. Secondly, governments promote the value of health seeking. We are meant always to be seeking health for this or that condition. The primary effect of this, I believe, is to make us all feel more ill.”

This is an excerpt from a persuasive essay of Frank Furedi. It encourages people to think about how the government is helping public health. Both the arguments of persuasion start with “First” in the first line and with “Secondly” in the second last line.

Example #2: We Are Training Our Kids to Kill (by Dave Grossman)

“Our society needs to be informed about these crimes, but when the images of the young killers are broadcast on television, they become role models. The average preschooler in America watches 27 hours of television a week. The average child gets more one-on-one communication from TV than from all her parents and teachers combined. The ultimate achievement for our children is to get their picture on TV. The solution is simple, and it comes straight out of the sociology literature: The media have every right and responsibility to tell the story , but they must be persuaded not to glorify the killers by presenting their images on TV.”

This is an excerpt from Grossman’s essay. He is clearly convincing the public about the violent television programs and their impacts on the kids. See how strong his arguments are in favor of his topic.

Example #3: The Real Skinny (by Belinda Luscombe)

“And what do we the people say? Do we rise up and say, ‘I categorically refuse to buy any article of clothing unless the person promoting it weighs more than she did when she wore knee socks?’ Or at least, ‘Where do I send the check for the chicken nuggets?’ Actually, not so much. Mostly, our responses range from ‘I wonder if that would look good on me?’ to ‘I don’t know who that skinny-ass cow is, but I hate her already.’

Just check the strength of the argument of Belinda Luscombe about purchasing things. The beauty of her writing is that she has made her readers think by asking rhetorical questions and answering them.

Function of a Persuasive Essay

The major function of a persuasive essay is to convince readers that, if they take a certain action, the world will be a better place for them. It could be otherwise or it could be a call to an action. The arguments given are either in the favor of the topic or against it. It cannot combine both at once. That is why readers feel it easy to be convinced.

Related posts:

  • Elements of an Essay
  • Narrative Essay
  • Definition Essay
  • Descriptive Essay
  • Types of Essay
  • Analytical Essay
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Cause and Effect Essay
  • Critical Essay
  • Expository Essay
  • Process Essay
  • Explicatory Essay
  • An Essay on Man: Epistle I
  • Comparison and Contrast Essay

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10.9 Persuasion

Learning objectives.

  • Determine the purpose and structure of persuasion in writing.
  • Identify bias in writing.
  • Assess various rhetorical devices.
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion.
  • Understand the importance of visuals to strengthen arguments.
  • Write a persuasive essay.

The Purpose of Persuasive Writing

The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince, motivate, or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion. The act of trying to persuade automatically implies more than one opinion on the subject can be argued.

The idea of an argument often conjures up images of two people yelling and screaming in anger. In writing, however, an argument is very different. An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue in writing is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way. Written arguments often fail when they employ ranting rather than reasoning.

Most of us feel inclined to try to win the arguments we engage in. On some level, we all want to be right, and we want others to see the error of their ways. More times than not, however, arguments in which both sides try to win end up producing losers all around. The more productive approach is to persuade your audience to consider your opinion as a valid one, not simply the right one.

The Structure of a Persuasive Essay

The following five features make up the structure of a persuasive essay:

  • Introduction and thesis
  • Opposing and qualifying ideas
  • Strong evidence in support of claim
  • Style and tone of language
  • A compelling conclusion

Creating an Introduction and Thesis

The persuasive essay begins with an engaging introduction that presents the general topic. The thesis typically appears somewhere in the introduction and states the writer’s point of view.

Avoid forming a thesis based on a negative claim. For example, “The hourly minimum wage is not high enough for the average worker to live on.” This is probably a true statement, but persuasive arguments should make a positive case. That is, the thesis statement should focus on how the hourly minimum wage is low or insufficient.

Acknowledging Opposing Ideas and Limits to Your Argument

Because an argument implies differing points of view on the subject, you must be sure to acknowledge those opposing ideas. Avoiding ideas that conflict with your own gives the reader the impression that you may be uncertain, fearful, or unaware of opposing ideas. Thus it is essential that you not only address counterarguments but also do so respectfully.

Try to address opposing arguments earlier rather than later in your essay. Rhetorically speaking, ordering your positive arguments last allows you to better address ideas that conflict with your own, so you can spend the rest of the essay countering those arguments. This way, you leave your reader thinking about your argument rather than someone else’s. You have the last word.

Acknowledging points of view different from your own also has the effect of fostering more credibility between you and the audience. They know from the outset that you are aware of opposing ideas and that you are not afraid to give them space.

It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish. In effect, you are conceding early on that your argument is not the ultimate authority on a given topic. Such humility can go a long way toward earning credibility and trust with an audience. Audience members will know from the beginning that you are a reasonable writer, and audience members will trust your argument as a result. For example, in the following concessionary statement, the writer advocates for stricter gun control laws, but she admits it will not solve all of our problems with crime:

Although tougher gun control laws are a powerful first step in decreasing violence in our streets, such legislation alone cannot end these problems since guns are not the only problem we face.

Such a concession will be welcome by those who might disagree with this writer’s argument in the first place. To effectively persuade their readers, writers need to be modest in their goals and humble in their approach to get readers to listen to the ideas. See Table 10.5 “Phrases of Concession” for some useful phrases of concession.

Table 10.5 Phrases of Concession

Try to form a thesis for each of the following topics. Remember the more specific your thesis, the better.

  • Foreign policy
  • Television and advertising
  • Stereotypes and prejudice
  • Gender roles and the workplace
  • Driving and cell phones


Please share with a classmate and compare your answers. Choose the thesis statement that most interests you and discuss why.

Bias in Writing

Everyone has various biases on any number of topics. For example, you might have a bias toward wearing black instead of brightly colored clothes or wearing jeans rather than formal wear. You might have a bias toward working at night rather than in the morning, or working by deadlines rather than getting tasks done in advance. These examples identify minor biases, of course, but they still indicate preferences and opinions.

Handling bias in writing and in daily life can be a useful skill. It will allow you to articulate your own points of view while also defending yourself against unreasonable points of view. The ideal in persuasive writing is to let your reader know your bias, but do not let that bias blind you to the primary components of good argumentation: sound, thoughtful evidence and a respectful and reasonable address of opposing sides.

The strength of a personal bias is that it can motivate you to construct a strong argument. If you are invested in the topic, you are more likely to care about the piece of writing. Similarly, the more you care, the more time and effort you are apt to put forth and the better the final product will be.

The weakness of bias is when the bias begins to take over the essay—when, for example, you neglect opposing ideas, exaggerate your points, or repeatedly insert yourself ahead of the subject by using I too often. Being aware of all three of these pitfalls will help you avoid them.

The Use of I in Writing

The use of I in writing is often a topic of debate, and the acceptance of its usage varies from instructor to instructor. It is difficult to predict the preferences for all your present and future instructors, but consider the effects it can potentially have on your writing.

Be mindful of the use of I in your writing because it can make your argument sound overly biased. There are two primary reasons:

  • Excessive repetition of any word will eventually catch the reader’s attention—and usually not in a good way. The use of I is no different.
  • The insertion of I into a sentence alters not only the way a sentence might sound but also the composition of the sentence itself. I is often the subject of a sentence. If the subject of the essay is supposed to be, say, smoking, then by inserting yourself into the sentence, you are effectively displacing the subject of the essay into a secondary position. In the following example, the subject of the sentence is underlined:

Smoking is bad.

I think smoking is bad.

In the first sentence, the rightful subject, smoking , is in the subject position in the sentence. In the second sentence, the insertion of I and think replaces smoking as the subject, which draws attention to I and away from the topic that is supposed to be discussed. Remember to keep the message (the subject) and the messenger (the writer) separate.

Developing Sound Arguments

Does my essay contain the following elements?

  • An engaging introduction
  • A reasonable, specific thesis that is able to be supported by evidence
  • A varied range of evidence from credible sources
  • Respectful acknowledgement and explanation of opposing ideas
  • A style and tone of language that is appropriate for the subject and audience
  • Acknowledgement of the argument’s limits
  • A conclusion that will adequately summarize the essay and reinforce the thesis

Fact and Opinion

Facts are statements that can be definitely proven using objective data. The statement that is a fact is absolutely valid. In other words, the statement can be pronounced as true or false. For example, 2 + 2 = 4. This expression identifies a true statement, or a fact, because it can be proved with objective data.

Opinions are personal views, or judgments. An opinion is what an individual believes about a particular subject. However, an opinion in argumentation must have legitimate backing; adequate evidence and credibility should support the opinion. Consider the credibility of expert opinions. Experts in a given field have the knowledge and credentials to make their opinion meaningful to a larger audience.

For example, you seek the opinion of your dentist when it comes to the health of your gums, and you seek the opinion of your mechanic when it comes to the maintenance of your car. Both have knowledge and credentials in those respective fields, which is why their opinions matter to you. But the authority of your dentist may be greatly diminished should he or she offer an opinion about your car, and vice versa.

In writing, you want to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions. Relying on one or the other will likely lose more of your audience than it gains.

The word prove is frequently used in the discussion of persuasive writing. Writers may claim that one piece of evidence or another proves the argument, but proving an argument is often not possible. No evidence proves a debatable topic one way or the other; that is why the topic is debatable. Facts can be proved, but opinions can only be supported, explained, and persuaded.

On a separate sheet of paper, take three of the theses you formed in Note 10.94 “Exercise 1” , and list the types of evidence you might use in support of that thesis.

Using the evidence you provided in support of the three theses in Note 10.100 “Exercise 2” , come up with at least one counterargument to each. Then write a concession statement, expressing the limits to each of your three arguments.

Using Visual Elements to Strengthen Arguments

Adding visual elements to a persuasive argument can often strengthen its persuasive effect. There are two main types of visual elements: quantitative visuals and qualitative visuals.

Quantitative visuals present data graphically. They allow the audience to see statistics spatially. The purpose of using quantitative visuals is to make logical appeals to the audience. For example, sometimes it is easier to understand the disparity in certain statistics if you can see how the disparity looks graphically. Bar graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, histograms, and line graphs are all ways of presenting quantitative data in spatial dimensions.

Qualitative visuals present images that appeal to the audience’s emotions. Photographs and pictorial images are examples of qualitative visuals. Such images often try to convey a story, and seeing an actual example can carry more power than hearing or reading about the example. For example, one image of a child suffering from malnutrition will likely have more of an emotional impact than pages dedicated to describing that same condition in writing.

Writing at Work

When making a business presentation, you typically have limited time to get across your idea. Providing visual elements for your audience can be an effective timesaving tool. Quantitative visuals in business presentations serve the same purpose as they do in persuasive writing. They should make logical appeals by showing numerical data in a spatial design. Quantitative visuals should be pictures that might appeal to your audience’s emotions. You will find that many of the rhetorical devices used in writing are the same ones used in the workplace. For more information about visuals in presentations, see Chapter 14 “Creating Presentations: Sharing Your Ideas” .

Writing a Persuasive Essay

Choose a topic that you feel passionate about. If your instructor requires you to write about a specific topic, approach the subject from an angle that interests you. Begin your essay with an engaging introduction. Your thesis should typically appear somewhere in your introduction.

Start by acknowledging and explaining points of view that may conflict with your own to build credibility and trust with your audience. Also state the limits of your argument. This too helps you sound more reasonable and honest to those who may naturally be inclined to disagree with your view. By respectfully acknowledging opposing arguments and conceding limitations to your own view, you set a measured and responsible tone for the essay.

Make your appeals in support of your thesis by using sound, credible evidence. Use a balance of facts and opinions from a wide range of sources, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and personal anecdotes. Each piece of evidence should be fully explained and clearly stated.

Make sure that your style and tone are appropriate for your subject and audience. Tailor your language and word choice to these two factors, while still being true to your own voice.

Finally, write a conclusion that effectively summarizes the main argument and reinforces your thesis. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read a sample persuasive essay.

Choose one of the topics you have been working on throughout this section. Use the thesis, evidence, opposing argument, and concessionary statement as the basis for writing a full persuasive essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, clear explanations of all the evidence you present, and a strong conclusion.

Key Takeaways

  • The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion.
  • An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue, in writing, is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way.
  • A thesis that expresses the opinion of the writer in more specific terms is better than one that is vague.
  • It is essential that you not only address counterarguments but also do so respectfully.
  • It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish through a concession statement.
  • To persuade a skeptical audience, you will need to use a wide range of evidence. Scientific studies, opinions from experts, historical precedent, statistics, personal anecdotes, and current events are all types of evidence that you might use in explaining your point.
  • Make sure that your word choice and writing style is appropriate for both your subject and your audience.
  • You should let your reader know your bias, but do not let that bias blind you to the primary components of good argumentation: sound, thoughtful evidence and respectfully and reasonably addressing opposing ideas.
  • You should be mindful of the use of I in your writing because it can make your argument sound more biased than it needs to.
  • Facts are statements that can be proven using objective data.
  • Opinions are personal views, or judgments, that cannot be proven.
  • In writing, you want to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions.
  • Quantitative visuals present data graphically. The purpose of using quantitative visuals is to make logical appeals to the audience.
  • Qualitative visuals present images that appeal to the audience’s emotions.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Kelly Konya

The ancient art of rhetoric dates back to the Classical period of ancient Greece, when rhetoricians used this persuasive form of public speaking to address their fellow citizens in the Greek republics. As time went on, rhetoric remained at the center of education in the western world for nearly 2,000 years. In our modern world, rhetoric is still an integral part of human discourse, utilized by world leaders and students alike to argue their points of view.

Write persuasive essays with confidence. Grammarly can help. Get Grammarly

The definition of rhetoric is the “art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing,” where language is used to have a convincing or impressive effect on the audience being addressed. 

At some point in every student’s academic career, instructors will deliver the assignment to write a persuasive essay that argues for or against a certain topic. Whether or not you’ve taken a course in rhetoric, students can apply the principles of rhetoric to write an effective persuasive essay that convinces the audience to accept a certain viewpoint.

To be as convincing as Aristotle on the stand, your persuasive essay must be based on sound logic and factual evidence that support the overall argument. As you begin to think about writing a persuasive essay, here are several tips that will help you argue your topic like a true rhetorician. 

Choose a position you’re passionate about

The first step in writing a persuasive essay is choosing a topic and picking a side. If the topic is something you believe in, it will make the entire experience of researching, writing, and arguing your perspective more personal. Choosing a topic that appeals to you on an emotional or sentimental level will make its defense easier. Plus, chances are you’ll already know a good deal of information about the topic, so you won’t be left scrambling when it’s time to start your research.

Thoroughly research both sides

Every argument has a counterargument—this is one of the staples of rhetoric. To convince your reader to agree with you, you must be knowledgeable of the opposing side. As important as it is to thoroughly research your topic, identifying and studying both sides of the argument will help you develop the strongest supporting evidence possible. During the research process, gather as much information as you can about the topic at hand. Use your school’s resources like the library, academic journals, and reference materials. With a full understanding of your topic, you’ll be able to readily counter the opposition and assuage any follow-up questions that might cast doubt on your claims.

>>READ MORE:  7 Essay Writing Tips

Draft your thesis statement

One of the most important elements of your persuasive essay is your thesis statement , which should tell readers exactly what your stance encompasses. Without a forceful thesis, you won’t be able to deliver an effective argument. The construction of your thesis statement should include the “what” and the “how” of your argument—what is the argument you are trying to convince your readers to accept? And how will I convince my readers that the argument is sound? While the “how” may become clearer as your essay progresses, your thesis statement should set up the organizational pattern of your essay while presenting your position.

Create a working structure or outline

Outlining your paper will give you a clear view of your argument and the way it develops. Think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of your argument—where would it be most effective for you to introduce your strongest supporting evidence? For rhetoric’s sake, it’s probably not wise to save the best for last. Instead, use your outline to get organized from the outset, anchoring each point in evidence, analysis, and counterargument. List out all of your major claims and the research that supports each point. Creating a working structure will allow you to break down your argument in a logical and concise order, which will make the writing process more straightforward.

Write with integrity and empathy

The most successful rhetorical arguments draw on three main elements: ethos (ethical reasoning) , logos (logical reasoning) , and pathos (passionate reasoning). If amassed perfectly, these three components will make your argument so powerfully robust that nobody could disagree. However, this is easier said than done; even master rhetoricians struggle to find a balance of these three elements. Ethically, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t misleading or manipulating your argument. Logically, your points must be based in fact and progress in a way that makes sense. Passionately, you should emphasize your evidence and use strategic repetition to compel your audience. The key is to find a harmony or balance among these three elements, writing with integrity and empathy.

>>READ MORE:  How to Write Better Essays

As Eben Pagan said, “You can’t convince anyone of anything. You can only give them the right information, so that they can convince themselves.” In the spirit of the ancient Greek rhetoricians, knowing how to write a persuasive essay is an essential function of human discourse—and a true art form when done correctly.

persuasive paper definition

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persuasive paper definition

What is a persuasive paper?

A persuasive paper uses evidence to convince others on a subject or particular point of view. The audience is generally people who are “on the fence” about the issue and therefore will benefit from gaining more information on the topic.  

What is an argumentative paper?

An argumentative paper is similar to a persuasive paper. The main difference is that the audience is likely to be more resistant to your stance, thus requiring a stronger argument with a more focused topic.

How is a persuasive or argumentative paper different from a research paper?

A research paper generally informs the reader on a typical topic. The intention is not to sway a person one way or another but rather to give the reader an overview of the topic.  

Persuasive and augmentative papers are written to influence the reader and change their mind on a particular topic by making an argument or proving a point.

Each paper type requires a different view even if the topic is the same. 

Example Thesis Statements:

Research Paper : While the Founding Fathers were part of the educated elite, a majority of Americans  received  no formal education often relying on homeschooling or ministers for basic literacy skills. Persuasive Paper : Despite the history of schools used for socialization in Europe, during the colonial era very few Americans attended any sort of formal education which lead to low literacy rates among colonists. Augmentative Paper : Low literacy rates among colonists in the early United States can be directly linked to a failure to carry over European traditions, leaving an achievement gap among lower socioeconomic groups that continue to this day.

Why develop this skill?

These paper styles are important for learning how to properly present facts in a way to sway your audience.  By learning to properly form an argument to persuade others you gain life skills that can be useful in negotiation, whether it is asking for a promotion or purchasing a new car.  

Getting Started

Research assignments can be difficult to begin, especially if you are not sure how to get started.  This guide is intended to help you with the prewriting process but there is more help available.  Visit our FAQ , tutorials , or check out the guides below.

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persuasive paper definition

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Detailed Guide

persuasive paper definition

A persuasive essay aims to cultivate students' capacity for convincing, arguing, and championing their points of view.

Writing a persuasive essay, alternatively called argumentative, employs logic and reasoning to demonstrate the superiority of one idea over another. Its primary objective is to convince a reader to embrace a specific perspective or to engage in a particular course of action.

In this article, you will find out about the definition of a persuasive essay, the difference between argumentative and persuasive essays, its core elements, and essential writing tips, as well as a couple of great examples.

What Is a Persuasive Essay

According to a persuasive essay definition, it is a type of academic writing assignment frequently given to students in schools, colleges, and universities. The purpose of persuasion in writing is to sway, motivate, or guide readers toward a specific viewpoint or opinion. The very act of attempting to persuade inherently acknowledges that multiple opinions on the subject can be presented.

The notion of an argument may often bring to mind images of two individuals engaged in heated, angry exchanges. However, in writing, an argument takes on a distinct form. It represents a well-reasoned viewpoint bolstered by supporting evidence and explanations. To argue in writing is to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and ideas in a constructive manner. Written arguments tend to falter when they resort to emotional outbursts rather than logical reasoning. While your readers may not always align with your argument, the objective is to encourage them to respect and contemplate your thesis or opinion as a valid one.

High school students are likely to write persuasive essays more frequently, particularly in English or composition classes. The frequency may vary but could be several times per semester. In higher education, the frequency of persuasive essays can depend on the major and specific courses. Students in disciplines like English, history, political science, or philosophy may encounter persuasive essays multiple times during a semester.

Why Writing Persuasive Essays Is Important for You

Persuasive writing is a fundamental skill taught to students at an early stage in their academic journey. It's an engaging and enjoyable form of writing that aims to initiate a discussion on a chosen subject. This writing approach challenges students to adopt a clear position on a particular topic or cause and employ compelling arguments to convince readers of the author's viewpoint.

When crafting a persuasive essay, students must diligently investigate the designated topic, analyze it thoroughly, and take a firm and argumentative stance. Subsequently, using logical arguments and persuasive language, students are tasked with dispelling biases and assuring readers that the author's viewpoint is the most valid. If at any point you find this task too challenging or time-consuming, our  is exactly what you need to ace the assignment.

Argumentative vs Persuasive Essay

When students Google ' write my paper ,' they are usually confused by the difference between persuasive and argumentative essays. Although they are both types of academic writing that aim to convince the reader to adopt a particular point of view or take a specific action, there are also some key differences between the two:


  • Persuasive Purpose: Both persuasive and argumentative essays have the primary goal of persuading the reader. They seek to influence the audience's beliefs, attitudes, or actions.
  • Clear Position: In both essays, the writer takes a clear and distinct position on a specific issue or topic. They present a thesis statement or a central claim that they support throughout the essay.
  • Use of Evidence: Both essays use evidence, reasoning, and logical arguments to support the author's viewpoint. They rely on facts, examples, statistics, and expert opinions to strengthen their case.
  • Counterarguments: Effective persuasive and argumentative essays acknowledge opposing viewpoints (counterarguments) and address them to strengthen their own position. This demonstrates a fair and thorough analysis of the topic.
  • Organizational Structure: Both essays generally follow a similar structure, including an introduction, body paragraphs that present evidence and arguments, and a conclusion that summarizes the key points and restates the thesis.


Audience and Tone:

  • Persuasive Essays: These essays often target a broader audience and may use a more emotional or persuasive tone to appeal to the reader's emotions and values.
  • Argumentative Essays: The audience for argumentative essays is typically more academic or formal, and the tone is more objective and relies on logical reasoning.

Emphasis on Emotion:

  • Persuasive Essays: They may use emotional appeals, storytelling, and rhetorical devices to connect with the reader's emotions and values.
  • Argumentative Essays: These essays prioritize logical reasoning and factual evidence over emotional appeals.

Use of Personal Experience:

  • Persuasive Essays: Writers might draw on personal anecdotes and experiences to make their case.
  • Argumentative Essays: Personal experiences are generally avoided in argumentative essays, as the focus is on empirical evidence and objective reasoning.

Purpose Beyond Convincing:

  • Persuasive Essays: While their primary purpose is persuasion, persuasive essays can also aim to motivate or call the reader to action.
  • Argumentative Essays: The primary goal of argumentative essays is to prove the validity of a point of view through logical and reasoned arguments.

While persuasive and argumentative essays share the goal of persuading the reader, they differ in their approaches, tone, and the extent to which they use emotional appeals. The choice between the two depends on the intended audience and the specific purpose of the essay. We also have a guide on how to write an argumentative essay in case you need assistance with this type of task.

Persuasive Essay Key Elements and Outline

If you've been wondering how to start a persuasive essay, you should incorporate one of the three fundamental elements known as the modes of persuasion. These concepts, first introduced by the philosopher Aristotle, synergize to form a convincing and impactful argument aimed at influencing the viewpoints of others.

  • Ethos: Represents a component of argument and persuasion where the writer establishes their credibility, expertise, and moral integrity. Readers tend to place greater trust in individuals with genuine knowledge, personal experience, or a respected position within a community. Including ethos, or ethical appeal, in your persuasive writing can effectively advocate for your perspective.
  • Pathos: Involves appealing to the emotions of the audience with the intent of eliciting feelings. Eliciting specific emotions within your readers can foster a connection between them and your narrative. This not only piques the readers' interest but also makes your writing more engaging and memorable.
  • Logos: Encompasses the rhetorical or persuasive appeal to the audience's logic and reason. A well-structured persuasive essay presents a series of logical arguments that persuade the reader to embrace the writer's position.

A gripping persuasive essay seamlessly integrates these three modes of persuasion to construct a persuasive and impactful argument. These modes, rooted in credibility, emotion, and logic, enhance the effectiveness of persuasive writing and its ability to sway the opinions of the audience. By the way, we have a strong guide on how to write a synthesis essay , which is another type of written task commonly assigned to students of all levels.

persuasive methods

  • Font: Utilize Times New Roman or a legible font such as Georgia or Arial.
  • Font Size: Set the headline(s) to 16pt and the remaining text to 12pt.
  • Alignment: Justified.
  • Spacing: Use double spacing, though 1.5 spacing may be acceptable in certain cases.
  • Word Count: Typically, aim for a word count ranging from 500 to 2000 words. However, it's advisable to refer to your teacher's instructions to determine the specific word count requirement for your assignment.

To provide you with a clearer understanding of how to create an outline for a persuasive essay, here's a template for a persuasive essay on the topic 'Are Women Weaker Than Men Today':

1. Introduction

  • Hook: 'In the 21st century, women have transcended traditional roles.'
  • Background Information: 'The age-old debate on women's relative strength persists.'
  • Thesis Statement: 'The era of male dominance has given way to a new reality. Today, women can excel in virtually any field or role just as men can.'

2. Main Body

  • Argument #1: Strength in Family Dynamics + Supporting Facts, Stats, and Evidence
  • Argument #2: Strength in the Workplace + Supporting Facts, Stats, and Evidence
  • Argument #3: Strength in Society + Supporting Facts, Stats, and Evidence

3. Conclusion

  • Summary of Key Arguments
  • Restate Thesis: 'For centuries, women were unjustly labeled as the weaker sex. However, examining the accomplishments of contemporary women dispels this notion.'
  • Thought-Provoking Conclusion: 'In recent decades, women worldwide have demonstrated their capability to excel in diverse roles traditionally dominated by men. Their accomplishments are a testament to their strength. Yet, women continue to strive for greater participation in modern society, a testament to their enduring resilience and determination.'

How to Shape a Powerful Persuasive Argument

The notion of how to write a good persuasive essay is tightly related to how you can make compelling arguments. Here are some fundamental tips to assist you in crafting irresistible arguments for your paper:

  • Thorough Research: It's essential to be well-versed in your chosen topic to develop strong and persuasive points. Conduct comprehensive research using reputable sources, gather expert opinions, and uncover relevant facts.
  • Ensure Controversy: Your thesis should encompass two opposing sides – the one you support and the one you intend to counter. Without a debatable topic, creating a persuasive argument is challenging.
  • Comprehend Contrary Views: Another crucial aspect of building robust arguments is the ability to grasp the opposing standpoint and find solid counterarguments to refute it effectively.
  • Utilize Supporting Evidence: Lastly, remember that a persuasive argument may appear incomplete and unconvincing without ample, cogent evidence to back it up. Incorporate relevant and reliable evidence to reinforce your claims.

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support essay argument

How to Support Your Argument

When writing a persuasive essay that resonates with readers thanks to an enthralling argument, it would be a great idea to use various methods to reinforce it:

  • Statistics: An excellent way to bolster your ideas is by incorporating a variety of statistics. Statistics often carry significant weight within the broader context. However, it's crucial to use only valid statistics from reputable sources. Example: Presently, women constitute 18% of the officer corps and approximately 16% of the enlisted military forces in the United States, reinforcing the notion that women are equally capable as men.
  • Facts: Established facts are potent tools of persuasion that you can rely on in your paper. Example: Research indicates that in terms of longevity, women are more likely to survive illness and cope with trauma.
  • Examples: Incorporating real-life examples (including personal experiences), references to literature, or historical instances can enhance the impact of your persuasive paper and provide substantial support for your arguments. Example: Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, serves as a compelling real-life illustration of women's strength. Merkel displayed the fortitude to enter the realm of politics and compete against men. Her success has demonstrated that a woman can excel in politics. It's no coincidence that she held the top spot on Forbes' list of the world's most powerful women for nine consecutive years.
  • Quotes: Another effective method to reinforce your ideas is to include direct quotes that reflect the opinions of respected and credible figures. Example: Mahatma Gandhi once stated, 'To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman. If by strength, brute strength is meant, then indeed, a woman is less brute than a man. If moral power is meant by strength, then the woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with a woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step-by-Step

When tasked with composing a persuasive paper, a common error among students is diving straight into essay writing, often overlooking essential preparatory steps.

To address this, we offer a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to navigate you through the entire process:

Choose a Topic That Ignites Your Passion

Your persuasive abilities shine when you advocate for something you genuinely believe in. One of the most important steps to writing a persuasive essay is to select your topic, opting for one that resonates with your own convictions. While research is still vital, having a strong opinion about the subject will bolster your argument.

Engage in Thorough Research

Learning how to write a persuasive essay, you should convince readers to embrace your viewpoint. You must also understand the opposing perspective. Your audience may be firmly entrenched in their own views, so familiarizing yourself with both sides of the argument and knowing how to effectively counter opposing arguments will address potential doubts.

Understand Your Audience

Prior to persuading your readers, get to know them. Tailor your approach to match your target demographic. For example, if you're crafting a persuasive letter advocating for the removal of standardized testing from school systems, your primary audience is likely parents. Keep this in mind when addressing your specific audience. Does getting into the minds of readers sounds a bit too difficult? Consider custom essay writing services from pro writers who know how to appeal to various types of audiences.

Create a Detailed Outline

Before commencing the writing process, create a persuasive essay outline. This aids in structuring your thoughts, organizing your research, and establishing your essay's framework. Elaborate on all your main points and pair them with the relevant supporting evidence from your cited sources.

Craft a Captivating Introduction

An intriguing article kicks off with an effective persuasive essay introduction, typically the first paragraph. Its primary purpose is to introduce the paper's central premise, furnish necessary background information, appeal to the reader's sensibilities, and capture their attention. You can achieve this through personal anecdotes or information derived from your research. The introductory paragraph should also feature your essay's thesis statement, functioning as a roadmap for the ensuing content. It succinctly articulates the main point of the paper, with the rest of the essay serving to bolster this point.

Develop Your Body Paragraphs

This section serves as the substantive core of your persuasive essay, employing data and evidence to support your thesis while addressing opposing viewpoints. Each body paragraph comprises three key components: a topic sentence (or primary sentence), pertinent supporting sentences, and a closing (or transition) sentence. This structure maintains the paragraph's focus on the central idea, delivering clear and concise information. The body also provides an opportunity to discuss opposing opinions and justify their dismissal, so ensure that the claims you make are substantiated with credible and pertinent information. Did you know that one of the reasons students choose an essay service is because they find body paragraph writing too exhausting?

Conclude Powerfully

A persuasive essay conclusion represents the final segment of your essay, encapsulating the entire work. It should recap your thesis, summarize the key supporting ideas explored in the essay, and convey your final perspective on the central concept. This is also where you present your call-to-action if you are urging readers to take prompt action on a particular issue.

Proofread Diligently

Always subject your writing to thorough proofreading before submission or presentation. Overlooked words, grammatical errors, or sentence structure issues can undermine your credibility in the reader's eyes.

Writing a Persuasive Essay: Essential Tips

Taking into account the abovementioned information, here are some concluding tips to enhance the quality of your persuasive essay:

  • Simplicity Over Complexity: While it's acceptable to incorporate vocabulary variety, don't expect a higher grade solely from using fancy synonyms. Find your writing style and strive for clarity.
  • Smooth Transitions: Ensure your essay flows seamlessly by employing logical transitions between different sections, making it easy and enjoyable to read.
  • Exploring Diverse Techniques: Experiment with a range of persuasive writing methods. While we've covered fundamental elements in this article, numerous other techniques can be discovered in various sources and mediums.
  • Thorough Proofreading: Triple-check your work! Regular practice and diligent proofreading improve the quality of your writing. Review your essay for readability, logical consistency, style, tone, and alignment with the thesis. Seek a second opinion by having a friend read your essay.
  • Ask the Right Questions. After writing and proofreading, take a moment to address the following inquiries:
  • Did I adhere to the teacher's instructions?
  • Have I addressed the primary question presented in the assignment (if applicable)?
  • Is my essay well-structured?
  • Is the text coherent and clear?
  • Is my word choice throughout the paper appropriate?
  • Have I provided sufficient supporting evidence for my ideas?
  • Is my paper free of errors?
  • Can I enhance the overall quality further?
  • Does it present a convincing argument?

So, knowing all the crucial elements of persuasive writing, have you already thought of persuasive essay topics ? Check out our collection to get your creative juices flowing!

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?

This well-structured persuasive essay challenges the presumption that women are weaker than men and presents supporting evidence.

The question of whether women are weaker than men has often elicited raging debates, with conservationists arguing that women are certainly weaker than men. The converse is, however, true, and if the 21st-century woman is to be taken as an example, women are certainly as strong as men, if not stronger, across all comparable platforms. The era of male dominance came to an end with the rise of feminine power, and gone are the days when men were the more dominant of the human species. As the saying goes, "what men can do, women can do better," the women of today can do almost everything men can do and as just as good.

Persuasive Essay Example: Should People Who Download Music and Movies Illegally Be Punished?

This persuasive essay example adeptly employs source material and addresses a contemporary concern. The author questions the concept of online piracy and argues that media sharing has become a societal norm.

The United States government came up with the Copyright Act of 1976 to protect the works of art by different artists. The act outlines the punishable felonies concerning authenticity; for instance, illegally downloading music from the internet is a punishable offense. In addition, it sets specific fines for committing such crimes; for example, it says that one could pay a fine of up to $ 30,000 per piece of work (Burrell & Coleman, n.d.). Therefore, though downloading songs freely from the internet could sound normal, it is a felony. However, some questions exist on whether this act is worth the penalties. For this reason, a critical analysis of the transgression will determine whether or not it merits the charges.

Concluding Words

In this guide, we covered all the fundamentals of how to write a persuasive essay. We outlined the essential steps, from selecting a topic to developing strong arguments, and provided tips for creating impactful introductions and conclusions. By following this guide, you could be able to persuade and effectively communicate your viewpoints to captivate the audience and eventually score an excellent grade.

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What Is Persuasive Writing? (Complete Answer With Examples)

No matter what you do in life, you will probably find yourself needing to master persuasive writing.

What is persuasive writing?

Persuasive writing is a type of writing that is used to convince or persuade someone of something. It is often used in business and marketing contexts but can be used in any type of writing. Persuasive writing uses logical, emotional, and structural techniques to seek agreement and initiate change.

In this article, I will answer the most common questions related to “What is persuasive writing?”

What Is Persuasive Writing? (Detailed Answer)

A more complete explanation of persuasive writing is that it is a type of writing that is used to try to change or influence the opinion of the reader.

It can be used in many different contexts, such as in business, politics, or marketing, but it can also be used in other types of writing, such as essays or articles.

These are the common characteristics of persuasive writing:

  • Evidentiary support (facts, statistics, case studies, etc)
  • Easy reading experience (transitions, word choice, etc)

In order to be persuasive, your writing must be well thought out, purposeful, and bookended with a strong introduction and conclusion.

Persuasive writing can be formal, informal, or even colloquial in style and tone.

As far as the point of view, you can use first-person, second-person, or third-person. No matter what point of view you use, keep the focus on the reader.

What Is the Purpose of Persuasive Writing?

The purpose of persuasive writing is to grab attention, compel readers to think differently, arouse emotions, challenge assumptions, facilitate agreement, change minds, and—ultimately—convince the reader to take a specific action.

For example, you can convince:

  • Website visitors to sign up to your email newsletter
  • Blog post readers to click on an affiliate link
  • Your manager to allow you to work remotely
  • Clients to buy your product or service
  • A politician to fix a broken streetlight
  • An artist to hire you as a ghostwriter for rappers
  • A literary agent to represent your novel or book
  • Your favorite writer to respond to your letter to an author
  • Dissertation reviewers to give you higher marks
  • Readers to positively comment on your Power Rangers Fan Fiction

3 Types of Persuasive Writing

The three major types of persuasive writing are ethos, pathos, and logos. In my opinion, the best persuasive writing includes all three.

Here are definitions and examples of all three types.

Ethos is the writer’s character or credibility.

In order to be persuasive, a writer must establish trust with the reader. One way to do this is by being transparent and honest about who you are and your credentials.

You can also build ethos by using credible sources, such as statistics, case studies, and expert opinions.

An example of ethos in persuasive writing is:

“As a lifelong resident of this community, I know the importance of keeping our streets clean. I urge you to vote in favor of the cleanup proposal.”

Pathos is the emotional appeal to the reader.

The persuasive writer must connect with the reader on an emotional level in order to convince others to agree with them.

You can use word choice, stories, and “emotional” language to trigger a guttural feeling response in readers.

Here is an example of pathos in persuasive writing:

“Please fix this streetlight. It’s been broken for weeks and it’s very unsafe. Our children play in this neighborhood and I’m worried about their safety.”

Logos is the logical appeal to the reader.

The persuasive writer must make a rational argument in order to be persuasive. You can use facts, statistics, and expert opinions to make your argument.

Here is an example of logos in persuasive writing:

“The national evidence shows that working remotely can increase productivity by up to 43%. My productivity is even higher at 47%. Please consider allowing me to work from home.”

13 Forms of Persuasive Writing

There are many forms of persuasive writing.

Here are 13 forms:

  • Editorials —Opinion pieces that argue for or against a position.
  • Letters to the Editor —Written responses to articles or editorials, often voicing an opinion.
  • Print advertisements —Adversiting materials that try to sell a product or service.
  • Sales letters —Written materials used to sell a product or service.
  • Pamphlets —Flyers or brochures that promote a product, service, or cause.
  • Songs —Emotional music-based lyrics to inspire unity and action.
  • Social media postings —Tweets, posts, and pins that try to create agreement.
  • Speeches —Presentations given before an audience in order to persuade them of an idea or course of action.
  • Treatments —Proposals made to individuals or groups in order to influence them.
  • Websites —Pages or sites that attempt to persuade the reader to take a desired action.
  • Poems —Verses that try to convince the reader to believe in a certain idea or course of action.
  • Email marketing —Messages that try to convince the recipient to buy a product or service.
  • Personal essays —Narratives that argue for or against a position.

Related: Best AI Essay Writer (Tested & Solved)

What Is Persuasive Writing? (Examples)

One of the best ways to learn persuasive writing is to read actual examples.

Here are 5 persuasive writing examples to answer that question.

Example 1: Editorial on Car Accidents at an Intersection

It’s time for the city to take action and stop car accidents from happening at an intersection. There have been too many accidents at this intersection, and it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed.

The city needs to install a traffic light or stop sign to help control the flow of traffic.

This will help to prevent accidents from happening, and it will also make the intersection safer for pedestrians.

Example #2: Essay on Changing the School Mascot

The school should consider changing its mascot. There are many reasons why this is a good idea.

One reason is that the current mascot is offensive to some people.

Another reason is that the mascot doesn’t reflect the diversity of the school’s student body.

Changing the mascot would be a symbolic gesture that shows that the school values all of its students.

Example 3: Letter to the Editor about Gun Control

I am writing in support of gun control. I believe that we need stricter gun laws to prevent mass shootings from happening.

The current laws are not working, and we need to take action to make our schools and public places safer.

I urge you to join me in supporting gun control. It’s time for us to take a stand and make our voices heard.

Example 4: Advertisement for a Credit Card

Looking for a credit card that offers low-interest rates and no annual fees? Look no further!

Our credit card has everything you need and more. It offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, and no annual fees.

Apply today and get started on your path to financial freedom!

Example 5: Email to Teacher to Allow Extra Credit for Class Participation

Hi Mrs. Jones,

I was wondering if I could get some extra credit for class participation. I have been trying to participate more in class, and I think it has improved my grades and helped the entire class feel more motivated.

Is there any way that I could get an extra point or two for my participation grade?

Thank you for your time and consideration!

What Is Persuasive Writing? (Famous Examples)

Here are a few famous examples of persuasive writing:

  • Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Tilbury Speech by Queen Elizabeth I
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine
  • Ain’t I A Woman by Sojourner Truth
  • Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States by Susan B. Anthony

What Is Persuasive Writing? (The Parts)

Persuasive writing is made up of several parts. To truly answer the question, “What is persuasive writing?” it’s helpful to understand these various parts.

Let’s explore the following four persuasive writing terms:

  • Counterargument
  • Call to action

What Is a Hook in Persuasive Writing?

A hook in persuasive writing is a technique that writers use to capture the reader’s attention. It’s a way to get the reader interested in what you have to say.

There are many different types of hooks, but some of the most common include:

Here is a good example of a hook in persuasive writing:

“Birth control is not about birth, it’s about control.”—Anonymous

This quotation is a good hook because it is provocative and makes the reader think. It gets them interested in the topic of birth control and makes them want to read more.

What Is a Claim in Persuasive Writing?

A claim in persuasive writing is a statement that you make to support your argument. It is your position on the topic that you are discussing.

Your claim should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. You should also be able to back it up with evidence.

Here is an example of a claim:

“Donating to Clean Water International will save thousands of innocent lives.”

What Is a Counterargument in Persuasive Writing?

A counterargument in persuasive writing is a statement that opposes your position.

It is an argument that the other person could make against you.

You should be prepared to address any counterarguments that the other person might raise. This will help you to strengthen your argument and convince the other person of your position.

Here is an example of a counterargument:

“Donating to Clean Water International is not a sustainable solution.”

What Is a Call to Action in Persuasive Writing?

A call to action is a request that the reader takes some specific action. It is a plea for the reader to help you achieve your goal.

Your call to action should be clear, specific, and actionable. You should also make it easy for the reader to take action.

Here is an example of a call to action:

“Please donate to Clean Water International today to help save thousands of lives tomorrow.”

Persuasive Writing Techniques & Tips

When writing to change hearts and minds, there are techniques and tips you can use to maximize your results.

Apply these proven persuasive writing techniques:

  • Reframing —Presenting the issue in a different light.
  • Framing —Using specific language to create a particular impression.
  • Bandwagoning —Emphasizing that many people support your position.
  • Pathos, Logos, & Ethos —Appealing to the reader’s emotions, logic, and association with authority.
  • Figurative language —using creative language to make your argument more impactful (stories, analogies, similies, etc).
  • Repetition —Using the same words or phrases to convince the reader. Repeating your claim.
  • Language patterns —The artful use of phrases to subtely shift a reader’s thinking.
  • Rhetorical questions —Asking the reader a question that forces them to think about the issue.
  • Speak directly to the reader —Making a direct appeal to the reader.

When using these techniques, it’s important to be aware of your readers and their interests.

Tailor your message to match their needs, hopes, fears, and belief systems.

What Is a Persuassive Writing Map?

A persuasive writing map is a way to structure and organize your argument.

Here is a persuasive writing map that works well for me:

  • Start with a strong and clear claim.
  • State your reasons for supporting that claim.
  • Include supportive evidence.
  • Sprinkle in persuassive techniques.
  • Address any counterarguments that the other person might raise.
  • Finish with a short and simple call to action.

Using a persuasive writing map can help you stay on track and make sure that your argument is clear and easy to follow.

It can also help you to be more persuasive by addressing the other person’s interests and concerns in the most compelling way.

A persuasive writing map is also known as a persuasive writing outline.

How Is Persuasive Writing Different than Other Forms of Writing?

Persuasive writing is easy to confuse with different types of writing.

Many people ask me how persuasive writing is different from:

  • Argumentative writing
  • Expository writing
  • Informational writing

Persuasive Writing vs. Argumentative Writing

Argumentative writing is a type of persuasive writing. It is a more formal type of writing that mainly uses evidence to support your position.

The big difference is that argumentative writing is based more on logic and reason.

Persuasive writing usually relies heavily on emotion-laden opinions.

Expository Writing vs. Persuasive Writing

Expository writing is a type of informative writing.

It is a less formal type of writing that explains a topic or idea.

The main difference between expository writing and persuasive writing is that persuasive writing attempts to convince the reader to take a specific action.

Informational Writing vs. Persuasive Writing

Informational writing is a type of non-fiction writing. It is a formal type of writing that provides information about a topic or idea.

Persuasive writing might inform but its main goal is to change thinking, feeling, and behavior.

Persuasive Writing vs. Narrative Writing

Narrative writing is a type of creative writing.

It tells a story and uses the writer’s own experiences to support the story.

The main difference between persuasive writing and narrative writing is that persuasive writing is non-fiction and uses evidence to support the argument, while narrative writing is fiction and does not have to be true.

However, narrative writing can include elements of persuasive writing.

Persuasive Writing vs. Technical Writing

Technical writing is a type of informative writing. It is a formal type of writing that provides information about a technical topic or idea.

Both types of writing are nonfiction.

One major difference is that technical writing is usually written for people who are already familiar with the general topic, while persuasive writing might be written for people who are not as familiar with the topic.

Technical writing also includes step-by-step guides on how to perform a specific task.

What Is Persuasive Writing for Kids?

Many kids start to learn persuasive writing in first or second grade.

As kids get older, their teachers give them more challenging persuasive writing assignments.

In high school and college, students often write persuasive essays, speeches, and arguments.

Here is a short video that goes over persuasive writing for kids:

What Is a Persuasive Writing Anchor Chart?

A persuasive writing anchor chart is a visual tool that helps younger students learn and remember the key elements of persuasive writing.

It typically includes:

  • The 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why)
  • The 3 C’s (claim, clear evidence, clever reasoning)
  • How to Appeal to Emotions
  • How to Appeal to Logic
  • How to use Persuassive Devices

A persuasive writing anchor chart might also give students sentence starters to help jog their creativity.

It serves as a kind of “Mad Lib” or “fill in the blank” template for students.

Why Is Persuasive Writing Important?

Persuasive writing is important because it can be used in so many different contexts.

It’s a great way to get your point of view across or to convince someone to do something. Additionally, persuasive writing is an essential skill for business and marketing.

If you know how to write persuasively, you can write better resumes and cover letters.

That can get you a better job— with more pay.

If you sell anything (and, let’s be honest, we ALL sell something), you can attract more clients. You can also convert more clients into customers.

In school, you can get better grades. As an employee, you can foster better teamwork and move people to action.

Persuasive writing can also convince funders to give money to worthwhile causes, such as feeding children or bringing clean water to people in need.

In short, persuasive writing can make the world a better place for all of us to live.

Can You Use Persuasive Writing in Any Type of Writing?

Yes, persuasive writing can be used in any type of writing. However, it is often most effective when it is used in business or marketing contexts, where the goal is to change or influence the opinion of the reader.

You can apply persuasive writing tips and techniques to:

  • School assignments (reports, essays)
  • Nonfiction books
  • Grant proposals
  • Reviews (movies, books, products, etc)
  • Blog posts and articles
  • Love letters
  • Writing a Dungeons and Dragons book
  • Internal newsletter
  • Affiliate marketing
  • And much more!

What Are Some Tips for Writing Persuasively?

Here are some good tips for writing persuasively:

  • Know your audience : In order to be persuasive, you must understand who you are trying to persuade.
  • Start with a strong claim: In order to be persuasive, you must make a strong argument that is not easily deconstructed or debunked.
  • Support your claim with evidence : This is where the rubber meets the road. You must back up your argument with facts, data, and expert testimony (if applicable).
  • Use deep reasoning to explain the evidence: Once you have presented your evidence, you must then explain why it supports your argument.
  • Make an emotional appeal: People are often persuaded more by emotion than logic. You can use powerful words and images to create an emotional response in your reader.
  • Be succinct: Don’t ramble on and on. Get to the point and make your argument understandable by everyone.

Persuasive Writing Topics

There are an almost unlimited number of persuasive writing topics. Below you’ll find a few ideas to spark your own creativity.

Here is a list of possible persuasive writing topics to consider:

  • Education: Should college be free?
  • Dating: Is it bad to give up on dating and relationship?
  • Prosperity: How to achieve financial prosperity
  • Politics: Is it time for a new political party?
  • Lifestyle: Veganism – pros and cons
  • Environment: Should we all become vegetarians?
  • Morality: Abortion – is it right or wrong?
  • Art: Books are better than TV
  • Texting: Do guys like good morning texts?
  • Science: Is cloning moral?
  • Technology: AI will one day take over the world
  • Food: Is our food killing us?
  • Energy: Should we all live off grid?
  • Health: Is organic food better for you?
  • Pets: Should exotic animals be kept as pets?
  • Transport: The rise of the electric car
  • Religion: Is there a God?
  • Parenting: Raising a child in the internet age
  • Gaming: Can a DM cheat at D&D?

Best Persuassive Writing Tools and Resources

I’ve been writing persuasively for over 20 years.

Here are my favorite persuasive writing tools and resources:

If you only try one tool, I highly recommend Jasper AI (formally known as Jarvis and

I use Jasper every day to automatically generate thousands of original words for persuasive writing, blog posts, contracts, and more.

Final Thoughts: What Is Persuasive Writing?

The next step in learning persuasive writing is lots of practice. You’ll get better the more you do it.

There are a ton of helpful articles on this site about how to write better.

Here are a few related posts hand-selected for you:

  • How To Write An Editorial (Your Expert Cheat Sheet)
  • How to Write an Ode (Step-by-Step with Examples)
  • Time Skips in Writing: 27 Answers You Need To Know

Reading Rockets Hamilton University

Table of Contents

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: From a Definition to Paper Writing

4 August 2023

last updated

Students use reasons to demonstrate the validity of controversial ideas when writing a persuasive essay. Basically, argumentative compositions encourage readers to accept a specific stand on a current issue. Convincing papers persuade persons who read to change their thoughts and ideas. In this case, writers rely on brainstorming, researching, structuring the work in different sections, and proofreading. Moreover, 10 steps on how to write a persuasive essay improve the overall quality, credibility, and applicability of papers. Firstly, preparing several drafts aligns arguments with discussed ideas. Then, meeting rubrics improves overall outcomes during rewriting. However, peer review remains an essential step toward writing better papers. In turn, additional tips include a persuasive introduction, unbiased opinions, and adequate details. Besides, conclusions show that persuasive essays must provide sufficient support for debatable topics.

Key Features of How to Write an Outstanding Persuasive Essay

Nowadays, essay writing is a typical task for all students, and learners at various levels of education commonly write persuasive essays. They master their skills as a means of providing an opinion on different topics. For example, writers develop their arguments to persuade their audience. In this case, an in-depth discussion concerning persuasive writing focuses on its definition, supporting evidence section, and rebuttal section. Persuasive essays must express one’s opinion clearly, while proper knowledge of how to write a persuasive essay can help learners to encourage readers to accept a specific viewpoint. Persuasive essay writing skills demonstrate one’s creativity and communicate a strong emotion, covering brainstorming, researching, structuring, and proofreading methods. Besides, compelling persuasive compositions include a personal connection to the topic. Convincing introductions should contain a summary of the main points, opposing ideas, and rebuttals. Successful writers include a strong thesis statement to express the main arguments provided in their essays. As a result, this article on how to write a persuasive essay remains helps to organize persuasive papers.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: From a Definition to Paper Writing

Definition of What Is a Persuasive Essay and Its Meaning

Persuasive essays mean a specific type of academic paper. Basically, the main aim of writing a persuasive essay is to convince readers that a particular opinion is correct, and students should support their persuasive essay topics using valid arguments and making a claim, striving to show readers that it is reasonable. Moreover, persuasive writing requires learners to explain their positions in an organized manner. It not only addresses all relevant perspectives but also demonstrates the superiority of the author’s point of view. In turn, the development of a persuasive argument requires an unbiased approach to a particular topic. It is because authors provide not only a complete argument but also a comprehensive discussion. Therefore, a persuasive essay can be defined as a piece of writing that works to coerce an audience to accept a given position concerning a controversial topic.

Purpose of a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essays use reasons to demonstrate the validity of ideas. For instance, the purpose of persuasive essays is to encourage readers to accept a particular viewpoint. Compelling compositions convince persons who read to act in a specific way. Basically, the hypothesis in persuasive papers relies on a value or a policy:

  • approval of specific values or standards;
  • disapproval of specific subjects;
  • a call for the adoption of the change in beliefs or policies.

Writers debate an issue that affects them, society, or country since they know how to write a persuasive essay. Basically, outstanding compositions contain the definition of an item and show both sides of an argument. Moreover, writing a good persuasive essay means taking a clear stand on the problem, considering the third person, and following formal language for discussion.

Use of a Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is used to advance an individual’s opinion to the audience through evidence-based writing, which persuades readers of its objectivity. In particular, there are two main sections in the body of such an essay: supporting evidence and rebuttal. Each of these sections plays a vital role in convincing the audience of the validity of an argument. Thus, this type of essay is essential because it prepares young minds for the development of sophisticated objective arguments that contribute positively to academia.

Evidence Section of a Persuasive Essay

A segment of the body in a persuasive essay is designed to discuss evidence supporting the author’s main argument. For instance, a significant portion of body paragraphs contains evidence from experts acquired during research on an issue. In this case, a crucial aspect of a persuasive speech is the provision of facts that have been established through studies with irreproachable methodologies. Also, detailed explanations must support the evidence. These aspects demonstrate logical reasoning and a clear link to a thesis statement. Hence, the choice of evidence used to support the author’s central claim has a significant impact on an essay’s overall persuasion effect.

Rebuttal Part in Persuasive Essays

Students include a rebuttal section within the body of a persuasive essay. In particular, this section is equally important. It allows authors to explain the flaws of the other competing lines of thought. For example, the rebuttal portion of a persuasive essay contributes to the coercion effect. Moreover, it shows the audience that writers have considered alternative opinions and found them to be deficient. Hence, an effective persuasive essay must display a high level of objectivity in identifying the shortcomings of opposing opinions.

Other Features

Persuasive essays are a stepping stone toward objective scientific arguments. Basically, the consistent practice of skills in a persuasive essay develops the ability to argue objectively by integrating reasons, evidence, and logic. In this case, objective arguments are the foundation of the scientific language of disagreement, which is independent of personal biases. Consequently, such works prepare learners for participation in the academic sphere through the contribution of new arguments or refuting existing arguments.

Criteria for Writing Persuasive Essays

1. knowledge.

Persuasive essays express one’s opinion clearly. The following points are essential in preparing persuasive essays:

  • stating the problem, opinion, and solution clearly;
  • including sufficient evidence and details to support opinions;
  • presenting and summarizing essential issues in introduction and conclusion parts.

2. Thinking

Persuasive essays demonstrate one’s creativity and express strong emotions. In particular, these compositions contain logical and reasonable ideas organized in a sequence. Besides, students must connect ideas with covered opinions. In turn, the following points are essential for demonstrating higher thinking abilities:

  • supporting ideas with details and reasons;
  • presenting personal reasons for supporting arguments;
  • demonstrating a high level of understanding of essential concepts from secondary sources.

3. Communication

Persuasive essays rely on explicit expressions and logical organization of ideas. One must:

  • present opinions clearly;
  • demonstrate formal voice, style, and tone;
  • use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuations;
  • implement fluent sentences and paragraphs when organizing arguments or ideas.

4. Application

If students understand how to write a persuasive essay, they include personal connections to persuasive speech topics . Moreover, writers must:

  • use information from external sources to support opinions;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the topic.

10 Steps on How to Write a Good Persuasive Essay

1. brainstorming.

Students brainstorm to generate ideas that support assigned themes. In this case, they can use several ways of creating the necessary concepts for supporting argumentative topics:

  • Free writing – One writes quickly without stopping, editing, and self-correcting. The process makes students aware of what they already know, think, and feel on essay topics .
  • Subject Tree – Scholars must note down related ideas and connect them with the main topic. For example, students use a tree structure to organize thoughts that support the main ideas presented.
  • List – The process involves listing ideas that support the topic.
  • Clustering – The step involves drawing a circle that contains the main topic. Basically, writers list other ideas related to the concept on the ring’s sides.
  • Outline – Learners create a composition framework, which includes the main points. In turn, the process consists of breaking down the main topic into sub-points.  

2. Researching

Researching involves gathering information from libraries or other credible sources by considering how to write a persuasive essay. Basically, students may use the Internet as a suitable source of credible information. In turn, acceptable sources include reference works, books, and scholarly articles. However, writers should observe the following points:

  • assessing a site for timeliness and reputability;
  • considering the website’s purpose of the site;
  • evaluating the website’s reliability and the author’s credibility;
  • gathering all the source information and covering credentials during citing;
  • avoiding all forms of plagiarism during writing.

3. Developing a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement links ideas presented in the composition. For instance, a strong thesis statement contains a claim and supporting details. In turn, effective thesis statements:

  • make an assertion and take a stance;
  • generalize information;
  • do not include facts;
  • contain debatable information;
  • appear as the last sentence in the introduction.

Supporting details reinforce and sustain the main argument. In particular, different organization methods on how to write a persuasive essay make academic papers compelling. For example, scholars use problem-solution, cause-effect, and statement of reason organization writing techniques. Moreover, strong thesis statements combine claims and supporting details in one sentence. In turn, one may change the composition’s direction based on the pattern for organizing the evidence.

4. How to Write a Persuasive Essay With a Good Introduction

The introduction contains the composition’s most general information. Basically, writers set the essay’s road map in the opening paragraph. In turn, important points include:

  • Definition – The introduction identifies, defines, and describes discussed topics. The student describes the main ideas discussed in the subject.
  • Relevance – The first section shows the importance, concept, and theme in the composition. Compelling opening paragraphs explain how the essay impacts society.
  • Thesis Statement – Students put the thesis statement as the last sentence in a composition.

5. Writing Body Paragraphs

The body contains adequate details that support the main arguments. For instance, compelling papers address each supporting aspect in a separate and fully developed section. Moreover, including necessary evidence leads to compelling papers, covering how to write a persuasive essay. In this case, argumentative works include:

  • topic sentence in every paragraph;
  • topic sentence that summarizes the supporting details;
  • every paragraph supports a single idea.

6. Writing Opposing Arguments

Persuasive essays provide opposing views. Basically, writers state and explain different concepts in articles. In this case, specific approaches show how a person with conflicting thoughts may clash with the main arguments.

7. Writing Rebuttal Claims

Writers must provide an application that opposes counterclaims. For example, effective rebuttals show the weaknesses in the contrasting arguments. Sometimes, one may agree with some concepts in the refutations. Moreover, compelling compositions indicate the student’s thoughts on the contradictions.   

8. Writing a Conclusion

The conclusion closes the persuasive essay. Scholars rewrite the thesis statement and words it differently to follow the rules of how to write a persuasive essay. Closing paragraphs reiterate and summarize the main points of compositions. In this case, writers should observe the following points:

  • Relevance – Conclusions repeat the importance of the topic;
  • Review – Closing elements reiterates the points discussed in the body;
  • Summary – The last item in a persuasive essay recaps the main points.

9. Rewriting

Students should rewrite first drafts and effect necessary changes that make persuasive papers readable. Basically, scholars follow the following points:

  • Learners rewrite first drafts and incorporate appropriate modifications. In this case, the process makes persuasive essays suitable for the target audience.
  • Rewriting papers several times ensures that compositions meet the required standard on how to write a persuasive essay.
  • Rubrics play an essential role in determining the effectiveness of achieving significant concepts in essays. 
  • Second and subsequent drafts ensure that papers meet the required academic standards.

10. Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading papers comes as the last step on how to write a persuasive essay, determining the overall quality. In particular, students read essays several times and identifies significant ideas. For instance, primary goals include identifying common grammatical mistakes and other syntax errors. In this case, identifying spelling mistakes that lower the paper’s quality leads to better outcomes from readers. Other important concepts include the removal of grammatical errors that may affect the readability of a persuasive essay.

Peers play a significant role when proofreading written works. Basically, the authors of persuasive essays should ask scholars to read written essays for identifying hidden mistakes. In this case, an analysis of essays improves the overall outcomes of the target audience. Furthermore, peer-evaluation enhances the overall flow of information in the composition. In turn, embracing peers for proofreading or editing written works improves the overall quality.  

Recommendations for Writing a Persuasive Essay


Persuasive essays contain compelling opening paragraphs, leading to relevance and readability of papers. If scholars are familiar with the rules of how to write a persuasive essay, they provide a summary of the main points, opposing ideas, and rebuttals. In turn, successful writers include a strong thesis statement for expressing the main arguments. Besides, a debatable thesis statement works best for persuasive essays.  

Outstanding writers provide compelling ideas for supporting core arguments. For instance, unbiased views and judgments influence the reader’s thoughts on a specific topic. Moreover, well-developed arguments enhance the overall quality of persuasive essays.  

Good writers present adequate information that supports the main arguments, counterarguments, and refutations. In this case, real-life examples make a persuasive essay compelling and useful. 

All About Persuasive Essay Writing

  • Essay Tips&Tricks
  • Essay Writing Guides

Mike Sparkle

Writing a persuasive essay requires expressing your viewpoint and convincing readers of its rightfulness. Many struggle with completing this type of written assignment because of a lack of proper writing skills, the inability to express a point of view clearly, or follow the paper outline.

Many useful sources on the Internet can help students master their skills and get writing assistance. To create an effective persuasive essay that appeals to readers’ emotions, you must follow special writing tips. Read the article and find out persuasive techniques to compile an excellent essay.

Definition of a Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing where an author uses logic and arguments to convince readers that their point of view is legitimate. Besides, a writer can appeal to feelings and emotions to persuade the audience to take their side.

The primary evidence is your personal opinion and thoughts. And then, you support your solid evidence with research, facts, examples, quotes, and statistics.

Persuasive essays are also called argumentative essays due to arguments and supporting facts. However, we should differentiate between these two types of essays. In persuasive essays, it’s required to represent opposite opinions and choose one side. Convince readers that you are right using supporting arguments.

On the contrary, when writing an argumentative essay, you should describe all arguments and counterarguments objectively, leaving the freedom of choice to the reader.

Three Components of a Persuasive Essay

A professional persuasive essay consists of three main elements: ethos, pathos, and logos. They were introduced by Aristotle and are known as modes of persuasion. These essential persuasion constituents will help you build an engaging and effective persuasive essay that influences readers’ opinions. Let’s take a closer look at these three persuasion elements:

  • Ethos is used to persuade the reader of the author’s credibility and knowledge. This element of argument establishes the good moral character of the writer. It is a helpful tool for presenting your viewpoint since people are more likely to trust a knowledgeable and experienced author.
  • Pathos is an act of appealing to an audience’s emotions and feelings to manipulate and persuade. You can connect with readers easily if you evoke specific emotions like anger, joy, or sympathy. It makes persuasive essay writing more compelling and memorable.
  • Logos is an appeal to the audience’s logic. A writer tries to persuade readers of the rational validity of the arguments. And for this reason, they use supporting evidence like statistics, quotes, facts, and other logical data elements.

Guide on Writing the Persuasive Essay

Writing a good persuasive essay requires time and effort. Students may come across different guidelines for completing this assignment. Formulate a strong persuasive essay and fully convince your readers by following these simple steps:

Choose a Killer Topic

It would help if you persuaded people of something you believe. So choose a topic that is close to your views and can reflect your opinions the best way. It’d be great if you could find enough supporting materials on your essay subject.

Research Both Sides

Since every argument has a counterargument, you should explore all information about opposite sides. Knowing another view on the issue is crucial and being able to justify your perspective. Analyze many reliable sources to support your argument.

Know Your Audience

Learn the audience you will target with your persuasive writing. This insight can help the writer form proper arguments and tailor language. Try to find what may influence readers and what means are better to use to achieve that.

List Your Reasons

Even though you do not need to present hard evidence in your persuasive essay, it’s crucial to support your personal opinion with logical reasoning. Your writing will be more convincing if you present as many reasons as possible to support your ideas. Knowing the audience, you can make reasons relatable to them.

Plan a Thesis Statement

Drafting a thesis statement helps you make your stance clear to the audience. You can not generate a strong argument without a good thesis in your persuasive writing. Here it would help if you defined what you will persuade readers of and how you can do that.

Appeal to Emotions

If you want people to agree with what you present in the essay, try to evoke certain emotions. This act of appealing to readers’ emotions and feelings is called pathos. You can make the audience angry, relieved, happy, worried, excited, etc. The neutral tone of the persuasive essay is a lost cause.

Include a Strong Call to Action

When you write a persuasive essay, decide what you expect the audience will do after reading it once they take your side and what actions they can take. It depends on the essay topic and can range from signing petitions and donations to supporting your idea in further works.

The Prewriting Stage of a Persuasive Essay Creation

Prewriting is the first stage of the writing process. It helps to plan your essay, organize your resources and ensure you have everything for a good persuasive essay with a coherent argument. During the prewriting stage, you must define your approach, consider your audience, review your research, and create an outline. So let’s learn about these phases more.

  • It’s crucial to develop a clear approach to writing a persuasive essay. Think carefully about the issue and decide which side to take. Your working statement can be summarized in one or two sentences. You will focus on it, developing arguments for the essay.
  • Before writing the essay, you should know who might read your work. Identifying age, gender, ethnicity, and views on politics and religion is essential to tailor your writing tone. These aspects may highly influence how the audience perceives your viewpoint. If it’s impossible to answer who these readers will be direct, try not to make critical assumptions that can offend some groups.
  • A writer should suggest convincing evidence backed by reliable sources for persuasive essay writing. You must find as many relevant sources as possible to select the most compelling ones for your essay. Do not rely on a single source to support your evidence.
  • Then it would help if you created an essay outline to make your work well-structured. It will help you generate logical and coherent arguments. Consider that the persuasive essay should have a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Structure of the Persuasive Essay

A clear five-paragraph essay structure will help you effectively present arguments and write a persuasive essay. You create an essay outline for connecting your arguments logically during the prewriting stage.

When you know how to start and finish your work, persuasive essay writing will go smoothly. Remember to support your ideas with strong evidence and refer to counterarguments.


The introduction in your persuasive essay writing should be strong and engaging. It should include a hook, background information, definitions of terms, and a clear thesis statement. Make a concluding sentence in your introductory paragraph for smooth transitions to the next paragraphs.

Body Paragraphs

You should write at least three body paragraphs to present reasons for your opinions. Consider supporting your ideas with strong evidence. Each body paragraph in persuasive essays includes a topic sentence, evidence, and analysis. It would be best if you connected paragraphs in a persuasive essay so that they make a big picture.

Opposing View Paragraph

Counterarguments play a huge role in persuasive essays allowing the reader to ensure that the author’s view is right. When you write a persuasive essay, identify the opposing position in your work and respond to it. It’d be great to oppose the counter argument paragraph with evidence and examples. Finally, finish this paragraph by proving that your argument is stronger.

The concluding paragraph in persuasive writing connects all arguments. Here a writer can establish the significance of their persuasive essay writing. Do not introduce anything new but include a call to action and give readers food for thought.

Tips on Essay Editing and Proofreading

Once students write persuasive essays, they need to revise and edit their work carefully. At this stage, you should check everything, starting from spelling, grammar, vocabulary, structure, coherence, logic, and arguments.

When editing your essay, find if the paper answers the assignment question. All resources should be appropriately cited and support each argument of your persuasive essay.

There are plenty of free tools for checking errors in persuasive essays. They are good for detecting typos and grammar mistakes. Free programs provide basic editing features. If you want professional editing assistance, you can pay to check your work on logic and coherence.

But there’s nothing better than a human proofreader who understands all nuances of the language well. You can ask your friends, professor, or an expert editor to check your essay.

What are Effective Persuasive Techniques

You know that ethos, pathos, and logos are three crucial elements of effective persuasive essays. But other techniques can help you convince readers of your arguments’ correctness.

  • Choose words carefully, using strong language that can impress the audience. Emotive language, literary devices, wordplay, jokes, quotes, and sayings are great tools for connecting with the reader.
  • A clear thesis statement is a key to persuading readers. It must be strong enough and compelling to represent your opinion. Please include it in the essay introduction so that the audience sees what you convince them of.
  • Another crucial technique when you write persuasive essays is speaking directly to readers. Address them with “you” and build a tight connection throughout your essay. In such a way, your paper will be more like a conversation, especially when you include questions for moving from one paragraph to another.

If you experience difficulties with persuasive writing, contact us and get high-quality writing assistance from our essay writing service .

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persuasive paper definition

Persuasive Essay: The Ultimate Guide on Writing It

Oh, no. Essays… Again!


image by Gratisography

Persuasion essay example are many, and students have to know them all, as well as understand the difference between them. What to do if a professor assigns a persuasive essay to you?

Here you’ll find the ultimate guide on writing persuasive essays, including the tips on choosing a topic, outlining your essay, structuring it step by step, representing strong arguments to convince readers of your position, and examples/additional resources to check for better essay writing .

So, here we go!

Table of Contents:

  • Persuasive essay topics
  • Persuasive essay structure
  • Five elements of persuasion in your essay
  • Choose your position
  • Do research
  • Identify the strongest evidence
  • Write a persuasive essay outline
  • Write a draft of your persuasive essay
  • Proofread and edit
  • Persuasive essay samples

What is a Persuasive Essay?

Persuasive essays are also known as argumentative. However, there’s a difference between these two essay types:

  • In argumentative essays , you show both sides of the coin to readers. You describe all arguments and counterarguments, even if you don’t agree with some of them, and it’s up to readers to decide which works best.
  • In persuasive essays , you choose a side and represent arguments only about this aspect to convince readers of the truth of your words.

Persuasive Essay Topics

For your writing persuasive essays  to succeed , its topic needs to be po lem ical rather than exp ository . It means you can ‘t argue about common knowledge such as “ People need air to breathe .” But something like “ People need marijuana for better health “ might work . For those looking for an essay maker to help craft an argument ative , po lem ical essay , you can take advantage of online tools and resources .

Sometimes professors assign a particular topic for you to write. But more often than not, they ask to choose a topic of your interest and craft a persuasive essay in a given time.

The best polemical issues to use for a persuasive essay include spheres like culture, politics, climate changes, gender issues, animal rights, and religion. But sure enough, you can choose anything that worries you if you enough arguments to persuade readers of your position.

Here goes the list of persuasive essay topics for you to consider (first appeared at ThoughtCo ):

Persuasive Essay Topics for Beginners

persuasive paper definition


Persuasive Essay Topics for Intermediates

Persuasive Essay Topics for Advanced

Make sure to choose a persuasive essay topic that inspires but also gives you materials to research. If you can’t find any strong arguments to support your statement, your persuasive essay will hardly get an A.

Also, feel free to consider these topics when thinking of what to write in your essay. They are up-to-date, with tons of debates in literature and online, so you’ll cover any of them by all means.

Topics to Choose for Your Next Persuasive Essay

Every topic from the above is quite debatable and has both advocates and opponents. The Quad shares the links to them all , so if you decide to write a persuasive essay on any controversial topic from the list, you can learn arguments and find evidence from both sides of the fence.

Persuasive Essay Structure

The structure of your short persuasive essay is not that difficult to remember and follow.

Given that you need to convince a reader of your arguments, you’ll first need to state a thesis in your essay introduction, and then write a couple of paragraphs to share the evidence that support your thesis. Don’t forget to include counterarguments from your opponents but explain why you disagree with them.

And finally, write a conclusion restating your thesis and providing a reader with food for thought.

persuasive essay structure

  • Introduction: hook, background, thesis.
  • Body: 1-2 paragraphs, each with an argument and supporting evidence.
  • Body: 1 paragraph, with your opponent’s arguments and your counterarguments on why you still disagree.
  • Conclusion: sum up your points, restate your thesis, and leave readers with food for thought.

In the introduction, describe the problem and state the point you’re trying to make. Also, think of a strong hook for readers to understand why they should care.

In body paragraphs, support your thesis with evidence from credible resources. Leave one paragraph for counterargument: what your opponents have to say on the issue and why you still disagree. Use logical arguments and research to convince readers .

In the conclusion, wrap up your persuasive essay by restating your thesis. You may end it with a question for readers to think about.

How to Use Arguments in Persuasive Essays

First and foremost, you need to understand the basic principles of persuasive writing and know the five elements of persuasion.

Given that you need to get others to accept your point of view, your arguments in the essay should be reasonable, verifiable, and credible enough. More than that, you need to appeal to human logic and emotions. The right combination of emotional and rational elements is what makes your essay persuasive.

How to reach that?

Remember the basic principles of persuasive writing, described by Aristotle many moons ago. He called them elements of rhetoric, and they were three:

■ Ethos (appealing to a writer’s character and credibility): use authoritative resources to prove your arguments.

Example: “I’m a Doctor of Dental Surgery, and I recommend this toothpaste to keep your teeth white.”

■ Pathos (appealing to emotions): focus on a reader’s morals, values, and beliefs.

Example: “You just can’t be cool in high school without a white smile! How to communicate with peers if you worry about your teeth and freshness? That’s where a good toothpaste will help.”

■ Logos (appealing to reason): use logic and evidence to persuade others to agree with you.

Example: “Recent studies conclude that this toothpaste removes 40% more plague and makes our teeth 20% whiter than all other types of toothpaste.”

The above and more examples: Your Dictionary

Ethos, Pathos and Logos

ethos, pathos and logos in persuasive essay writing

Unlike logos and pathos, ethos is not about writing itself but your reputation as a writer. For example, readers of your essay will trust you and agree with you because they know you as a good student who spends tons of time exploring this topic. Or, millions trust Kim Kardashian because she’s a world-famous media persona, not a random girl off the street. Her popularity is her ethos. In the context of essays, you can reference to credible personas and organizations in your work. Their ethos is what can help your arguments sound persuasive.

Five Elements of Persuasion in Your Essay

Persuasive essays have no paragraph limits. You can write one body paragraph to explain your position, and another paragraph – to describe counterarguments of your opponents and why you disagree. Or, you are welcome to write 2-3-4 paragraphs with arguments and counterarguments to persuade readers.

But here’s what matters:

For your persuasive essay to sound credible and argumentative, make sure it has the following five elements inside:

  • Your clear position. Make your thesis narrow in focus. It can be a claim, a fact, a definition, a solution, or a call of judgment. Feel free to use our thesis statement generator to introduce the idea of your essay. It should present your position on the topic.
  • Effective communication. Hook the audience’s attention with some background information on the topic. You can start with a question, inviting them to keep on reading to find out your opinion. Use straightforward language, don’t manipulate with readers’ emotions.

It’s all about pathos: your writing voice and style is more likely to persuade readers than boring and vague language with tons of grammar mistakes .

  • Your solid (+ credible) argument. Make it logical, consistent, and fact-based. It should address the interests of those you want to persuade and be endorsed by authoritative third parties.

Consider your audience. What do they already know about the topic? What do they think of it? Do they agree or disagree, and what are the chances to change their opinion? Are there any sensitive issues about the topic?

Remember the formula: one paragraph = one argument + one reason why you think like that. And make each reason logically connected to your thesis statement.

What evidence can you use to support arguments?

  • proven facts
  • definitions
  • quotes from experts
  • examples to illustrate your point of view, including your personal experience
  • relevant emotional appeals

This guy from Smrt English will help you get a better idea of what it’s all about. Perfect for those who choose watching over reading. 😉

  • Clear structure. Organize your persuasive essay so every argument would relate to the thesis. Start with the weaker argument and build your essay up to the stronger point for readers to remember the most convincing information.And pay attention to transitions and connections between paragraphs to show the relationships between arguments in the essay and make it easy to follow.
  • Strong conclusion. Restate your thesis in the light of the evidence you’ve provided in the essay. Make your conclusion logically draw from your arguments.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step by Step

The most common questions students ask are how to start a persuasive essay and how to end a persuasive essay.

But they forget one tiny detail here:

They need to take at least four steps before the actual essay writing. Here it goes, the process of persuasive essay writing, step by step:

Source: Giphy

Step 1 – Choose Your Position

A persuasive essay is called so because the issue you describe there is polemical. It means you can argue both for and against it. But it’s crucial to decide which side you are going to support before writing your essay. In other words, you need to know the purpose of your persuasive essay.

Make sure you can find enough evidence to support it. For a persuasive essay, it should be based on solid research and credible arguments. Do you have them to back your cynicism about the climate change problem?

Step 2 – Do Research

To convince readers of your position, you need to know the topic inside out and understand it from multiple angles. And given that your persuasive essay should provide convincing evidence for your claims, you’ll have to do research to find them.

It’s not only about your personal experience and knowledge but also academic studies, historical examples, relevant media news, and expert opinions. To gather them, you might need to visit libraries or interview opinion leaders. Or, you might want to send them emails and ask for their expert thoughts to use as references in the essay.

When choosing evidence and resources to cite in your essay, consider the CRAAP test to evaluate them:

How to Evaluate Sources and Understand if You Can Use Them as References in Essays The CRAAP method:

CRAAP test for persuasive essay research

Yes, it takes time. So make sure to save it for research and don’t cut it close the deadline. Vague assumptions and unverified information won’t work here.

Step 3 – Identify the Strongest Evidence

Once the research is ready, you may have many different aspects to cover the topic. But you can’t write about all of them. Choose the one with the strongest evidence that will help to support your position, and concentrate on it for stating the thesis of your persuasive essay.

Don’t hurry up to choose the most commonly argued aspect. If you’ve gathered enough evidence for a rarely discussed problem around your topic and essay purpose – focus on it.

Step 4 – Write a Persuasive Essay Outline

And now, for the most interesting part:

Outline writing.

Before you sit and start a persuasive essay, write its plan. It’s a kinda map for you to understand how your essay will look, and it helps you make sure you don’t miss anything from its structure.

Here is the template for you to use:

Persuasive Essay Outline

I. Introduction

a) Lead/Hook (quote, question, anecdote) b) Lead/Hook explanation c) Thesis Statement

II. Body. Paragraph-1

a) Topic Sentence (the first main point in the thesis) b) Quote (to support the point) c) Explanation of the quote d) Explanation of how this quote relates to the thesis

III. Body. Paragraph-2

a) Topic Sentence (the second main point in the thesis) b) Quote (to support the point) c) Explanation of the quote d) Explanation of how this quote relates to the thesis

IV. Body. Paragraph-3

a) Topic Sentence (the third main point in the thesis, or a counterargument to the thesis) b) Quote (to support the point) c) Explanation of the quote d) Explanation of how this quote relates to the thesis

V. Conclusion

a) Summary of all main points b) Thesis restatement c) Call to action or what you want readers to do after reading your essay

The outline allows you to specify all core components of your persuasive essay so you wouldn’t get lost in the writing process.

Step 5 – Write a Draft of Your Persuasive Essay

Once the outline is ready, just sit and write your essay . Don’t concentrate on spelling or grammar mistakes, and don’t get distracted from the process of writing itself. Just let your thoughts flow, don’t hurry up to edit.

After you’ve finished the draft, put it aside, and wait for a couple of hours or a day. You need some time between the writing process and proofreading/editing your essay: it helps to judge your work with a fresh eye and see if there are any weak points to revise.

Step 6 – Proofread and Edit

It’s not about spell check only. When editing a persuasive essay, you need to re-check arguments once again, make sure your language is appropriate (avoid pompous or jargon phrases), and the overall essay structure isn’t too complex.

Questions to answer when editing:

Editing Your Essay: Questions to Answer

Also, you can use free editing apps and tools to check your persuasive essay for errors. For example, the Hemingway App will help to make your writing concise; Grammarly will spot spelling, punctuation, and style mistakes; and ProWritingAid will count the words in your essay and also fix your grammar mistakes.

But if it still sounds difficult to you, feel free to ask academic writers and editors for the professional help. They’ll comment on your mistakes so you’ll improve writing skills and craft your future essay better.

Persuasive Essay Samples

All this is good, but is there an example of a persuasive essay?

Here go samples for your consideration.

(Note! Samples are aimed for assistance purposes only: don’t plagiarize them and don’t copy their parts to use in own papers. Instead, ask our writers for help – and you’ll get an A-worthy essay right away.)

Additional Persuasive Essay Resources:

  • Persuasive Essay Format
  • The Basic Principles of Persuasive Writing
  • Persuasive Essay Elements
  • How to Do Research for an Excellent Essay
  • How to Start a Persuasive Essay and How to End a Persuasive Essay
  • Lessons on Persuasive Essay Writing

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Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay – Definition, Types, Examples | How to Write a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is the form of writing where the logical arguments are presented in an essay with some emotional appeal to grab the attention of the readers over a subject. In this type of essay writing the writer presents the viewpoint of the for and against section and it is all up to the reader to decide which side is better and make judgments according to their choice.

What is a Persuasive Essay?

How to excel in persuasive writing, major elements of persuasive essay.

  • What is the important part of the Persuasive Essay?
  • Are facts important in a Persuasive Essay?
  • What is the structure of the Persuasive Essay?
  • What is the word limit for the Persuasive Essay?

The persuasive essay means, the type of essay where an argumentative essay introduces both sides of a debate and allows the reader to make an informed choice, a persuasive essay is about the incorporation of the knowledge which backs the thesis statement. The inclusion of the ‘against’ opinion is just to create a counter and to prove our (writer’s) opinion right.

Persuasive essays are present in some or other form in our daily life. The advertisements, the columns and editorial articles, the magazines and journals, and of them target the audience, convincing them to believe what the writer wishes to ask them to believe. The ad in the newspaper convinces the readers to buy the product by displaying the qualities of the product.

Health magazines explain about the healthy lifestyle to follow and maintain a good diet which eventually people follow. Similarly, the travel brochure silently forces the reader to plan a trip that might not be needed at the moment. Therefore, persuasive writing is the most common form of essay writing but is not all just about sharing a lame opinion. The opinions are strongly supported by the facts.

In order to write a masterpiece in persuasive writing, follow the following techniques:

Choose the subject of your interest

When the subject is you’re forte then you have an interest in it. Also, do your best in persuading when the topic or the subject is the one which you strongly believe in. when you decide to write a persuasive essay on a topic, then, always go for the one which is your domain and in your comfort. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to research it, but the subject of your choice is like the support that allows you to expand your thoughts two times.

KYA(Know your audience)

If you want the best engagement to your essay, then you need to first decide who you are going to write for. Say, for example, you are writing on the topic- of why corporal punishment should be abolished from schools then, your target audience will be the student and their parents. Hence, keeping demography in mind is very important.

Persuasive Essay

Hook the reader

Yes, hooking is important. If you want your reader to read your article completely and your hard work doesn’t go in vain, then you need to provide the hooks in the first paragraph itself. This will help to bind the reader till the end and they won’t get bored. These hooks can be any research finding, any fact, or evidence that supports our write-up. This will provide the engagement of the reader and convince them that the article they are going to read is well researched and reliable.

Dual-sided Research

As already discussed above, the writer has to provide both the opinion on the topic-the ‘favour’ and the ‘against’ of the motion. Therefore, neither of the sides should have any loophole, else someone can prove your theory wrong too. If you are supporting your article with the ‘against’ factors then they should be so strong and researched that readers get completely satisfied.

Go empathetic

It is indeed the most effective and used technique in persuasive essay writing. The reader can only connect to you via your article, only when they will get the essence of what you are trying to give them. They will feel more like you if they will relate to your experiences. An emotional appeal, supported by the facts, directly targets the audience’s sensitivity.

Ask magniloquent questions

This asking question technique in the essays catches the mind of the reader and they are eventually forced to give answers to themselves. This technique is very helpful when the knowledge provided is intended to draw the attention of the audience toward the writer.

Read Similar: Argumentative Essay Topics

There are three essential elements compulsorily present in a persuasive essay to be a masterpiece. These three components are called the mode of persuasion. Interestingly, these three terms were coined by none other than Aristotle, and combining form a compelling piece or argument with a good persuasive essay should feature three essential components known as modes of persuasion. These elements, coined by philosopher Aristotle himself, work together to make a compelling argument that attempts to induce others’ opinions. The three elements are

1. Ethos: Ethos being the primary element of the persuasion aims at establishing credibility, information, and moral character. This is because every reader wishes to read authentic, reliable, and credible knowledge, especially, if it is a personal view or a collective idea of a community. In a nutshell, ethos is the selling punch of your argument.

2. Pathos: Pathos can be counted as grabbing the consideration of the reader’s attention to induce emotional feelings. When triggered by a discrete sentiment of the reader, the chances of the audience’s connection to the article becomes high. This in addition gives you a good number of readers and motivates the writer to write more hitting arguments.

3. Logos: Logos is the element that intrigues readers’ sanity and logic. In a good persuasive essay Logos is a rhetorical or persuasive appeal to the audience’s logic and rationality. Good persuasive writing presents fact-based information with citations and authentic sources which makes it compelling for the reader to believe in it.

FAQs on Persuasive Essay

1. What is the important part of the Persuasive Essay?

Deep research, knowledge of the ‘for’ and ‘against’ of the motion, and type of the audience.

2. Are facts important in a Persuasive Essay?

Facts are very important in any easy way to make it authentic and reliable.

3. What is the structure of the Persuasive Essay?

The structure of a Persuasive essay contains- an introduction, body, and conclusion.

4. What is the word limit for the Persuasive Essay?

As such there are no limits, but too long articles get boring, so 2000-2500 words articles are sufficient.

Persuasive essay writing focuses on to assure the audience relies on the opinion and rebuilds the thinking according to it. Examples of persuasion essays/writing can be criticism, reviews, brochures, and advertisements. You can also try out our other article on How to Improve your Vocabulary as it would be of help while drafting any essays.

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What are the Different Types of Persuasive Essays?

Published by Grace Graffin at August 17th, 2021 , Revised On October 9, 2023

If you have been asked by your academic tutor to  write an essay  but are unsure what type of essay you should write, then this article will serve as a guide to help you distinguish between different types of essays.

Academic essays require authors to present their viewpoints and arguments on a range of topics with reasoning and evidence. So, what is a persuasive essay, and what are the different styles of persuasive essay writing?

This article aims to discuss the similarities and differences between the most common types of persuasive essays, including  argumentative ,   expository , discursive, and exegetical.

All these four types of essays can be combined under one essay group: persuasive essays. As the name suggests, persuasive essays are developed to persuade readers to believe the author’s opinions and arguments.

Here is all you need to know if you are unsure about the different types of persuasive essays.

Types of Persuasive Essays, with Definitions

Before you look into the similarities and differences between the different types of persuasive essays, it will be sensible to define these four kinds of essays briefly.

While it is important to recognise the characteristics and features that differentiate the various types of persuasive essays, it is equally important to consider the writer’s role.

Here is a similar article;  How to Write an Essay?

Argumentative Essays

Argumentative essays  give authors and scholars the chance to convince their readers that there is something new in their research area that needs to be considered. This is likely to be a result of collection of data by the author. Argumentative essays are the most popular type of essay at the college and university level.

A well written argumentative essay improves the scholar’s credibility and authority in the respective field of research.

The Purpose of an Argumentative Essay

  •  An argumentative essay’s primary purpose is to add value to the existing literature in any given area of study.
  •  It involves in-depth research and consideration of the opinions of others.
  •  Arguments are backed by evidence.
  •  Argumentative essays are generally longer than other types of essays.
  •  The author should have implications and recommendations for other academicians in the future; they should be original and clearly positioned in existing debates surrounding the essay topic .

What is the Role of the Author in an Argumentative Essay?

The role of the author in an argumentative essay is significant. Based on a given thesis statement , you will be required to demonstrate that your own personal opinions and viewpoints should be considered a new approach, and focus on how this new approach will add value to the existing literature.

This type of essay should be based on rational thinking, with an objective approach from the author. Logic and evidence should take precedence.

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Expository Essays

This particular type of persuasive essay helps to persuade the readers to believe the conclusions of the author through a  critical evaluation  of the literature material. It should present a balanced and objective argument using readily available material on the topic. The word ‘expository’ is from the word ‘expose’, meaning to lay bare and reveal something. A likely part of your coursework , an expository essay reveals and discusses the evidence around the topic in question.

The Purpose of an Expository Essay

  •  All expository essays intend to grab the attention of the readers by presenting a unique discussion about a topic.
  •  You will be required to back your reasoning with solid evidence.
  •  As an author of an expository essay, you must demonstrate your ability to create an argumentative view and provide the necessary framework.
  •  You will be expected to showcase the ability to critically evaluate information.
  •  An expository essay must include the reasoning for the readers to accept your view as convincing and conclusive.

What is the Role of the Author in an Expository Essay?

Your role in an expository essay assignment is substantial because you will be expected to convince the readers that they should consider your findings on the topic as the most formidable. This can be achieved through thoroughly critical and independent analysis.

The evidence you present for the argument should not be your own opinions and the essay should not show bias. As the essay progresses, it should become clear that one viewpoint or set of evidence is the more convincing; it should not be achieved through the subjective view of the author. Therefore, you should not use the pronouns ‘I’ or ‘you’.

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Discursive Essays

Discursive essays are the less common type of academic persuasive essays. They aim to convince the readers that there is another approach to a topic and that it is important to consider all sides of the debate before coming to any conclusion. It does not necessarily look at polarising for-and-against arguments, and there may be several competing, nuanced viewpoints.

If your tutor does not specifically state, “Write a discursive essay”, you can deduce the type of essay you are being asked to write from the thesis statement : It should not take any stance on the argument or ask you to do so. An example of such a thesis statement is this:

“Where some studies show that the use of IT in primary classrooms is beneficial to learning, other studies suggest there is no benefit or that it can be detrimental.”

The Purpose of a Discursive Essay

  •  Discursive essays aim to discuss different viewpoints surrounding any given topic. The views presented in discursive essays can be either taken from recognised arguments in existing studies or be the writer’s own.
  •  It should present both sides of an argument and then the author’s stance.
  •  It should be based on correct logic and interpretation.
  •  The author needs to showcase the ability to consider all views fairly and without any bias.

What is the Role of the Author in a Discursive Essay?

Discursive essays do not require the authors to play a significant role in terms of presenting their own views, except that they should clearly differentiate between arguments of other scholars and act as a guide to opposing interpretations. This said, the tone should be formal and balanced without use of the personal pronouns ‘I’ and ‘you’.

The author should be impartial to the various viewpoints. The essay body should develop all sides of the argument equally, providing the same quantity of evidence in support of each. The conclusion should not deliver a definitive answer, it should leave the reader in the position of being able to weigh up the evidence.

The main role of the author in a discursive essay is to present and explore ideas, not to persuade the readers that one idea is best.

Interested in ordering:  Persuasive Essay Writing Service

Exegetical Essay

Exegetical essays help writers persuade their readers to understand a certain concept in a new light – giving the writers the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to understand and interpret challenging topics. This type of essay is frequently used in the examination of religious writings, as many ancient religious texts are interpreted in different ways.

The structure of an exegetical essay is similar to that of other persuasive essays. It has an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion.

The Purpose of an Exegetical Essay

  • Exegetical essays aim to provide an exegesis (correct interpretation) of the theories and viewpoints of other authors who have explored a particular topic in the past.
  • Appraisal of arguments and theories on the  topic is beyond the scope of this particular type of persuasive essay.
  • The essay should provide reasoning, evidence, and logic concerning viewpoints and theories.

What is the Role of the Author in an Exegetical Essay?

The writer plays little to no role in exegetical essays because the aim is to present other authors’ views. The meaning of exegesis is to explain to the readers what the original writer said – to make it clearer and more accessible. It is not to argue, change, or add anything to that original view.

Difference Between Persuasive Essays and Scientific Articles

The most notable difference  between scientific articles and persuasive essays  is that scientific articles and journal papers present the facts as they can be seen by anyone else. In contrast, in persuasive essays, the author’s own opinions are the driving force.

How to Write Persuasive Essays

While there are similarities and differences between different types of persuasive essays, it is important to recognise the fact that the author of a persuasive essay may have to mix these approaches in one essay.

For example, you might have to present a brief exegesis of another author’s viewpoints to support your arguments as part of your own argumentative essay. It is possible to have many such combinations but in general, when working with an argumentative essay you will also need to use one or more of the other three styles: exegetical, discursive, and expository.

While there are four types of persuasive essays, all of them are argumentative in nature. You should not be surprised when you see people refer to all these styles of persuasive essay writing as argumentative essays.

The term “argumentative essay”, loosely speaking, is applicable to all four types of persuasive essays because they all involve an expert presentation of arguments to persuade the audience to believe something.

How Research Prospect can Help with your Persuasive Essay Assignment

Still confused about what the different types of persuasive essays are? And struggling under the burden of looming deadlines? At Research Prospect, we have highly qualified essay writers in all academic subjects.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do i know what type of essay to write.

Sometimes you will have clear instructions to write a particular type of essay . But on occasion you will have to deduce for yourself what is required by examining the key words in the prompt. The key words used in prompts are suggestive of what is required, but it is not a fixed code. There can be overlap where one key word could mean writing one type of essay or another. If you are unsure, you should seek help to make sure you have the appropriate approach when you start your essay .

Generally, when you see the words ‘assess’ or ‘argue’, you might be required to write an argumentative essay . The words ‘explain’ and ‘explore’, or being asked to ‘compare & contrast’ something suggests that an expository essay is needed. If you are asked to ‘demonstrate’ something, this is likely to require a discursive essay. An exegetical essay could be the requirement when you are asked to ‘clarify’, but the same essay could also be needed if asked to ‘explain’.

What is the most common type of essay required at university?

The most common form of essay at university is an argumentative essay . Argumentative is by no means a fixed and singular type – there are different types of essays under this heading. The large majority of academic writing comprises making arguments around a vast number of topics. There are several other types of essays; working out what you have been asked to write can often be found by examining the essay prompt or asking an expert .

Writing a Persuasive Essay Checklist

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Having problems with writing a thesis statement for an essay? This article can help you in writing a tremendous essay thesis statement.

Here are some tips on writing the main body paragraphs of an essay to help you correctly plan and organize the most critical part of your academic essay.

In this article, we are sharing multiple patterns of template for essays along with some useful tips to make the structure of your essay strong and clear.

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What Is The Difference Between A Persuasive And Informative Essay

Informative writing.

When writing something informative, you will be required to give your audience a perspective to something. This may range from something basic to the advanced. To achieve success as an informative writer, you will need to bear in mind the level of knowledge of your target audience and ensure that you remain unbiased. For instance, when writing about LCD TVs, you will need to understand whether you are writing to the basic consumer or to a conference that is made of electrical engineers. You will need to avoid telling your audience which of the Tvs is better than the other. Instead, you should focus on giving facts that will help the consumer to make the decision on their own.

Persuasive writing

This is another writing type that begins like the informative essay but later take another direction in terms of content. This means that most of the persuasive essays starts as informative but uses different comparative writing strategies to convince the reader that there is one point that is better than the other. Many of the persuasive essay use comparable and solid facts about two ideas or products. However, this is not always the case.

Ethical persuasive essay

Whether the goal of your persuasive essay is to distribute it to a group of like-minded individuals or to people of different opinion, there is need for ethical writing. When writing a persuasive essay, the basic thing is to ensure that you pass off your work as something that is purely informative. You should avoid lying, exaggerating or fabricating ideas or facts in order to strengthen your argument. Depending on how severe the infraction is, you can end up having your writing striped of its credibility.

Voice and style

When writing in any of these styles, good writers usually use difference styles and voices. For instance, to be a good informative writer, you will need your writing to leave an image in the mind of someone that you are an expert in the field.

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    The definition of rhetoric is the "art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing," where language is used to have a convincing or impressive effect on the audience being addressed. At some point in every student's academic career, instructors will deliver the assignment to write a persuasive essay that argues for or against a certain topic.

  7. Library Guides: Persuasive & Argumentative Papers: Home

    Persuasive and augmentative papers are written to influence the reader and change their mind on a particular topic by making an argument or proving a point. Each paper type requires a different view even if the topic is the same. Research Paper: While the Founding Fathers were part of the educated elite, a majority of Americans received no ...

  8. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Expert Tips & Hints

    The very act of attempting to persuade inherently acknowledges that multiple opinions on the subject can be presented. The notion of an argument may often bring to mind images of two individuals engaged in heated, angry exchanges. However, in writing, an argument takes on a distinct form.

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

    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.

  10. Writing a Persuasive Essay

    To persuade is to get someone to do something or think something using arguments and reasoning. A persuasive essay is a written essay that attempts to get the reader to do or think something....

  11. What Is a Persuasive Essay?

    The first major component of a persuasive essay is the position, which is the belief of the writer about which side is stronger.For example, Roberto's position is that the company should not be ...

  12. What Is a Persuasive Essay?

    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.

  13. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

    Persuasive Essay Definition. A persuasive essay is a type of essay where the writer attempts to persuade the reader to agree with an opinion they feel strongly about. It uses emotions and opinions to convince the reader. Overview of persuasive essay. Persuasive writing is made up of the three modes of persuasion.

  14. Persuasive Essay ⇒ Definition and Writing Guide with an Outline

    A persuasive essay is a type of writing that attempts to convince the reader or opponent that your argument or position is valid. The main aim of a persuasive essay is to convince readers to consider your point of view. Remember that you are trying to persuade someone who may not necessarily agree with you.

  15. What Is Persuasive Writing? (Complete Answer With Examples)

    Persuasive writing is a type of writing that is used to convince or persuade someone of something. It is often used in business and marketing contexts but can be used in any type of writing. Persuasive writing uses logical, emotional, and structural techniques to seek agreement and initiate change.

  16. Persuasive Writing

    Persuasive writing is defined as writing with the goal of convincing readers to change their opinion on the topic being discussed. Persuasive texts are typically structured around a central point ...

  17. How to Write a Persuasive Essay: From a Definition to Paper Writing

    2480 words 12 min read Wr1ter team 4 August 2023 last updated Students use reasons to demonstrate the validity of controversial ideas when writing a persuasive essay. Basically, argumentative compositions encourage readers to accept a specific stand on a current issue. Convincing papers persuade persons who read to change their thoughts and ideas.

  18. Ultimate Guide On How To Write A Persuasive Essay

    Read the article and find out persuasive techniques to compile an excellent essay. Definition of a Persuasive Essay. A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing where an author uses logic and arguments to convince readers that their point of view is legitimate. Besides, a writer can appeal to feelings and emotions to persuade the audience ...

  19. Persuasive Essay: The Ultimate Guide on Writing It

    A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing where you use logic and arguments to convince readers of your point of view, using solid evidence such as research, stating facts, examples, and quotes from experts. Oh, no. Essays…. Again! Persuasion essay example are many, and students have to know them all, as well as understand the ...

  20. Persuasive Essay

    A persuasive essay is the form of writing where the logical arguments are presented in an essay with some emotional appeal to grab the attention of the readers over a subject. In this type of essay writing the writer presents the viewpoint of the for and against section and it is all up to the reader to decide which side is better and make ...

  21. What are the Different Types of Persuasive Essays?

    This article aims to discuss the similarities and differences between the most common types of persuasive essays, including argumentative, expository, discursive, and exegetical. All these four types of essays can be combined under one essay group: persuasive essays. As the name suggests, persuasive essays are developed to persuade readers to ...

  22. Persuasive Definition & Meaning

    per· sua· sive pər-ˈswā-siv -ziv Synonyms of persuasive : tending to persuade persuasively adverb persuasiveness noun Synonyms cogent compelling conclusive convincing decisive effective forceful satisfying strong telling See all Synonyms & Antonyms in Thesaurus Examples of persuasive in a Sentence

  23. The Difference Between A Persuasive And Informative Paper

    There are various types of writing but two of the most common ones are the persuasive and informative essay. The difference in the two is not only in the voice difference but also in the stylistic. There are also the issues of ethics in the two. When you are aware of the style to use, it is possible to save time rewriting and editing.