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persuasive essay opening sentence

How to Start a Persuasive Essay

Here’s your strategy, step by step:

  • Brainstorm your topic.
  • Choose a hook.
  • Provide the context.
  • Narrow it to the main point.
  • Write a thesis statement.
  • Avoid clichés.
  • Stay persuasive.
  • Feel free to write an introduction after the essay body is ready.

Just imagine:

You write a persuasive essay , submit it for a review, but a teacher says he didn’t even read it because its first paragraph was lame.

What a shame, huh?

Indeed, an introduction matters. And when you don’t know how to start a persuasive essay, you’ll never write an A-worthy one, even if the rest of your paper is top-notch.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution:

Read this detailed guide on essay introductions, learn how to begin a persuasive essay right, and… voila – you’ll never experience the throes of creation or have a red face for poor writing skills.

how to start a persuasive essay by Bid4Papers

image source: Picdeer

So, How to Start a Persuasive Essay?

An introduction is a part of every writing piece, and an argumentative essay is no different here.

This paragraph has a clear purpose and structure. When done right, essay introductions can influence your final grade for a writing assignment. So, it looks like a must for every student to know how to start an essay, right?

Let’s dive into details.

The Purpose of Persuasive Essay Introduction

Why know how to begin an essay?

  • First , it’s your only chance to hook the audience and motivate them to keep on reading. As they say, you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.
  • Second , it introduces your argument ( thesis statement ) and gives readers an idea of what they’ll see in your essay.
  • Third , it reflects your writing style. The audience will understand the overall quality of your essay and decide if they want to read it and learn more.

An introduction of your persuasive essay should provide background information on the problem you cover and outline your position on it. And though you need a hook to get readers interested, don’t keep them in suspense: a persuasive essay is not a narrative or a novel; make it short , clear , and concise .

Key Elements of Essay Introductions

The format of your essay introduction reminds an inverted pyramid:

Here you go from general to specific information:

persuasive essay introduction pyramid

  • First, you write about the broad problem you’ll be addressing for readers to understand the context; so, begin with a general point about the central issue.
  • Then, you narrow down to introduce your position on this problem (your thesis statement); so, give an overview of the key issues you’ll cover.
  • And finally, you give an overview of your argument to indicate the direction it will take and make a transition to the body paragraphs of your persuasive essay .

example of persuasive essay introduction Bid4Papers

Long story short, an essay introduction consists of three parts: a hook (a strong opening sentence to capture readers’ attention), a topic (the focus of your essay), and a thesis (your opinion on the topic).

Writing a Persuasive Essay Introduction: Step by Step

For most students, introductions are the trickiest part of an essay to write.

An essay introduction is the first thing readers see, and you understand it should be persuasive enough so they would like to continue reading it. You need to hook a reader, introduce your topic, and state a strong thesis for the audience to follow you and want to learn more. All the while, you should keep in mind that the goal of writing a term pape r is to answer a specific question or address a particular issue. The below tips will help you master the art of introduction writing once and for all, allowing you to easily write a successful term paper.

1) Think about your topic.

Don’t hurry up to start writing. First, think carefully about your topic to understand what you know about it and decide what position you’ll state, what arguments you’ll use, and what question you’ll answer in your essay.

Write down the facts that you already know about the topic. Thus you’ll understand if you need more research to find extra information and arguments for your essay introduction to get the reader’s attention.

2) Choose a relevant hook.

An essay hook is the first one or two sentences of essay introductions that serve to grab the reader’s attention. Hook types are many , and it can be difficult to choose the most relevant one, especially if you haven’t clarified a thesis yet.

For persuasive essays, the best hooks are a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact/definition, a relevant quote, or statistics.

Once your hook is ready, make sure you have a transition to the topic itself. For that, use transitional words and phrases so your writing could sound natural and logical for readers to follow.

3) Provide a background.

Try making your essay hook a part of a broad background to give readers the context of your writing.

Don’t share your main arguments with evidence and proof here. Leave it for body paragraphs. In essay introductions, you just introduce a problem and explain why it can be controversial and debatable.

4) Narrow the background to introduce a topic.

After you’ve come up with a hook and a background statement, it’s time to introduce your topic to readers: state an issue and narrow that background so they would understand your point (what you are going to explain and prove them in your essay).

5) Write a thesis statement.

And finally, state a thesis. It’s a central claim (your opinion on the topic) you’ll discuss and prove in each of the following paragraphs, and it’s a sentence or two that close your essay introduction.

A good thesis is brief and informative, it provides readers with a clear argument about your opinion on the issue, and it has a logical basis. In other words, there should be facts and evidence supporting your claim. ( Feel free to use a thesis statement generator to ease the process. )

Here’s the example of how to start a persuasive essay:

example of how to start a persuasive essay

Extra tips to follow:

6) Avoid clichés.

Some types of essay introductions become so successful that most students start using them over and over again, turning their works into boring and clichéd templates.

Don’t do like that.

Yes, it’s easier to start an essay with a simple definition or something like “In this essay, I’ll tell why students don’t need uniforms at schools.”

But don’t you hear a teacher’s whisper behind your back, saying, “It’s bo-o-o-oring…”

Though your persuasive essay needs to inform readers about the topic, it doesn’t mean you should say it literally. So, be informative but avoid vague and poor announcements.

image source: University of Maryland

7) Make your introduction as brief as possible.

Avoid vague and empty phrases in your essay introduction. Use only facts, bold opinions, and quotes that relate to your thesis statement. Stay as clear and concise as possible.

In introductions, you inform readers about what they’ll find in the following paragraphs. So, list the points but don’t elaborate on every argument.

Also, make sure your essay introduction is brief. You can’t make it longer than 100 words if the overall length of your essay is about 500. Otherwise, it will look like a bunch of unrelated empty words. What’s the use of it?

8) Stay persuasive.

Make your introduction engaging. While reading it, the audience should believe the essay’s going to be worth checking. That’s why the #1 rule for choosing a persuasive essay topic is that it should be polemical rather than expository.

Stay persuasive. Don’t write about common knowledge but state your position concerning the issue, so readers could get interested in why you hold this position and what arguments you have to convince them.

9) Remember that you don’t have to write an introduction first.

An essay introduction is the first paragraph of your paper, but who said you should write it first? It often happens that you know what to write in the essay body, but you haven’t yet found the words to start it.

And that’s how a writer’s block appears. You stumble. It frustrates, disappoints, and makes you think you can’t write. You procrastinate, miss deadlines, and you believe you hate everyone assigning those tasks.

But why not write second or third paragraphs first and come back to the introduction afterward? After all, it’s not a mandatory rule to start a writing process with introductions only.

All you need to start an essay is a clear thesis statement. Hooks, backgrounds, transitions – you can write them later.

It’s a Wrap!

When wondering how to start a persuasive essay, remember that it’s about a brief overview of your topic and thesis. Make it short, engaging, and up to a point.

Examples Of Persuasive Writing

Especially for students reading this article, our experts have compiled some examples. They will make it much easier to understand how to write a persuasive letter.

“I am sure that we both believe that it is necessary to compile lists of candidates for the presidency already now. This is the only way to achieve a fair election and inform people of the candidates in advance. We must do this because we have no other choice.”

Many people believe that the student must properly submit the persuasive writing definition. This is the only way we can avoid the classic problems during writing. Students should have an equal opportunity to write; advocacy organizations guarantee that.

Key conclusions

The initial persuasive essay format assumes your complete confidence in your position. Therefore, think in advance about the structure of your essay and try to find the most convincing arguments. Don’t forget also to research the topic in-depth, as well as opposing positions. Create counterarguments even before they are voiced, and you will be able to convince your audience that you are right.

Frequently asked questions

For a better understanding of the topics of persuasive essays, we collected a small base of questions. The experts tried to answer briefly and help students do their work more effectively.

How to make an introduction for an essay?

A good persuasive essay structure implies a proper introduction as well. Stick a hook in here right away that will interest your readers. You should also outline the topic and the argument that the thesis statement will reinforce.

What is a persuasive essay?

The key difference between such an academic paper and others is that you must persuade the audience to agree with your chosen position. You can do this by using a variety of arguments, talking points, persuasions, and facts.

How to start a persuasive essay?

Looking at the elements of a persuasive essay, you can understand that you should start such a paper with an in-depth knowledge of the topic. After that, you can write a persuasive introduction and tell your readers about the topic, your arguments, and your thesis statement.

How to end a persuasive essay?

It is best to use a rhetorical question or rephrase your thesis to close the work from beginning to end. This will give readers the impression of a completed scholarly work.

Which three strategies are elements of a persuasive essay?

Formally speaking, there are three essential parts. It is necessary to identify the problem, to select and persuade the reader to choose the right side, and to make an argument that will lead the audience in the right direction. The three components will not be difficult to work with.

Not that difficult, right?

If still in doubt, check our ultimate guide on writing persuasive essays or ask our professional writers to help you win the battle for A+.

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What Is an Essay That Persuades?

Everyone is familiar with the obnoxious radio or television ad that touts the superiority of their product above that of the competition. But aside from being unpleasant, what use do those adverts serve? Their objective is straightforward. They’re attempting to influence people to buy their wares. Using reasons and reasoning, you can persuade someone to do something or think something. The same works in writing: Arguments and power words can help explain your position and make people believe you.

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Writing a Persuasive Essay

View in pdf format, the introduction.

Simply enough, the introductory paragraph introduces the argument of your paper. A well-constructed introductory paragraph immediately captures a reader’s interest and gives appropriate background information about the paper’s topic. Such a paragraph might include a brief summary of the ideas to be discussed in body of the paper as well as other information relevant to your paper’s argument. The most important function of the introductory paragraph, however, is to present a clear statement of the paper’s argument. This sentence is your paper’s thesis. Without a thesis, it is impossible for you to present an effective argument. The thesis sentence should reflect both the position that you will argue and the organizational pattern with which you will present and support your argument. A useful way to think about the construction of a thesis sentence is to view it in terms of stating both the “what” and the “how” of the paper’s argument. The “what” is simply the basic argument in your paper: what exactly are you arguing? The “how” is the strategy you will use to present this argument. The following are helpful questions for you to consider when formulating a thesis sentence:

  • What is the argument that I am trying to convince the reader to accept?
  • How exactly do I expect to convince the reader that this argument is sound?

Once you have answered these questions, the next step is to synthesize these answers into a single thesis sentence, or, if necessary, two thesis sentences.

For example: You want to convince your reader that the forces of industry did not shape American foreign policy from the late 19th century through 1914, and you plan to do this by showing that there were other factors which were much more influential in shaping American foreign policy. Both of these elements can be synthesized into a thesis sentence:

Fear of foreign influence in the Western hemisphere, national pride, and contemporary popular ideas concerning both expansion and foreign peoples had significantly more influence on American foreign policy than did the voices of industrialists.

This sentence shows the position you will argue and also sets up the organizational pattern of your paper's body.

The body of your paper contains the actual development of your paper’s argument. Each body paragraph presents a single idea or set of related ideas that provides support for your paper’s argument. Each body paragraph addresses one key aspect of your paper’s thesis and brings the reader closer to accepting the validity of your paper’s argument. Because each body paragraph should be a step in your argument, you should be mindful of the overall organization of your body paragraphs. The first step in writing an effective body paragraph is the construction of the first sentence of this paragraph, the topic sentence. Just as the thesis sentence holds together your essay, the topic sentence is the glue binding each individual body paragraph. A body paragraph’s topic sentence serves two main purposes: introducing the content of the paragraph and introducing the next step of your argument. It is important to keep in mind that the goal of the topic sentence is to advance your paper's argument, not just to describe the content of the paragraph. For example: The first part in your thesis on page two states that fear of foreign influence in the Western Hemisphere had more influence on American foreign policy than did industry. Thus, you need to elaborate on this point in your body paragraphs. An effective topic sentence for one of these paragraphs could be:

American fear of foreign influence was a key factor in the United States’ actions in the Spanish-American War. Subsequent body paragraphs might offer further evidence for the idea presented in this body paragraph.

A good way to test the strength of both your topic sentences and your argument as a whole is to construct an outline of your paper using only your paper's thesis statement and topic sentences. This outline should be a logical overview of your paper's argument; all of your paper’s topic sentences should work together to support your thesis statement.

The Conclusion

A basic purpose of your paper’s concluding paragraph is both to restate the paper’s argument and to restate how you have supported this argument in the body of the paper. However, your conclusion should not simply be a copy of your introduction. The conclusion draws together the threads of the paper’s argument and shows where the argument of your paper has gone. An effective conclusion gives the reader reasons for bothering to read your paper. One of the most important functions of this paragraph is to bring in fresh insight. Some possible questions to consider when writing your conclusion are:

  • What are some real world applications of this paper’s argument?
  • Why is what I am writing about important?
  • What are some of the questions that this paper’s argument raises?
  • What are the implications of this paper’s argument?

While the organization and structure described in this handout are necessary components of an effective persuasive essay, keep in mind that writing itself is a fluid process. There are no steadfast rules that you need to adhere to as you write. Simply because the introduction is the first paragraph in your essay does not mean that you must write this paragraph before any other. Think of the act of writing as an exploration of ideas, and let this sense of exploration guide you as you write your essay.

by Adam Polak ’98 and Jen Collins ’96

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How to Write an Introduction Paragraph in a Persuasive Essay

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Persuasive essays are unique because you the goal is to get others to agree with you. Set the stage for your argument in the first paragraph. The introduction for a persuasive essay must get the reader interested in the topic, provide background information and summarize the main point of your paper with a thesis statement.

Explore this article

  • Open With a Hook
  • Give Background Information
  • Establish Credibility
  • State Your Thesis

1 Open With a Hook

Involve your readers immediately . The idea is to show, and not just tell. You could begin a paper about airplane safety, for example, by discussing the plane crashes that have been in the media recently, with a statistic of the number of people killed this year. Or begin by telling a brief, emotional story to bring your essay's issue to life. For a paper about gun control, you could tell a story about a tragic shooting; if you are on the other side of the debate, a story about someone saving her family with her gun would work.

2 Give Background Information

Explain why your topic is controversial, what both sides believe and why the issue needs to be resolved now . For a persuasive essay about airline safety, you could discuss the debate surrounding safety versus company budgets. If the number of airline accidents is increasing, use that fact to show why the issue is compelling. For gun control, describe the recent history of the debate and key events like the Columbine School and Aurora theater shootings. You could also describe the effects of the controversy on national politics.

3 Establish Credibility

Cover each side’s best argument . While you establish your position, also state a point about the opposition’s opinion that you can agree with. For example, “While airfares need to be affordable, safety measures can be established without excessive cost,” for airline safety. For gun control, you could write something like, “No one wants to be the victim of a gun crime, but too many gun tragedies occur to accept the status quo.” Even though you favor one position, demonstrate that you will be fair to the other side .

4 State Your Thesis

End the introduction with your thesis statement , the one sentence that states your claim. For a persuasive essay, it usually includes the words “should” or “should not.” Address the question or prompt on the assignment, if you have one. Consider whether reasonable people could disagree with your thesis. Saying children should be safe at school, for example, would not work since everyone agrees with that. Saying all handguns should be banned so children can be safe at school is very controversial and therefore a good persuasive topic. The thesis needs to be specific . You can outline your main points in the thesis, and once you’ve written the rest of the paper, make sure the thesis lines up with your reference support.

  • 1 Hamilton Writing Center: Persuasive Essays, the Basics
  • 2 Literary Cavalcade: Introduction to a Persusaive Essay
  • 3 UNC Writing Center: Thesis Statements

About the Author

Residing in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Buddy Shay has been in higher education since 2003 with experience in the classroom and in academic support. He holds a Master of Arts in English. Shay is also a certified practitioner of the MBTI personality instrument and has previous experience working with secondary students.

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How to Begin a Persuasive Essay

Last Updated: January 31, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 334,356 times.

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

Brainstorming and Outlining Introduction Ideas

Image titled Woman thinking about the topic for her persuasive essay.

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 2

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 3

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 4

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 5

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 6

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

Crafting Your Hook

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 7

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 8

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 9

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 10

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 11

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

Introducing Your Topic and Thesis

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 12

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 13

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 14

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 15

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

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 16

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 17

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 18

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

Image titled Begin a Persuasive Essay Step 19

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

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

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

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

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Try These Key Steps For Writing Persuasive Essay Introductions

Table of Contents

Any form of persuasive content presents a unique challenge because the main goal is to convince people to accept your perspective. The introduction of your essay is one of the most critical areas because it influences how your readers respond to you. To learn how to write  persuasive essay introductions , read on!

book lot on black wooden shelf

What is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay refers to content that presents a logical argument. Its primary purpose is to convince people to support your stance on a particular topic or issue.

The academic sector uses persuasive essays extensively, but they are also valuable for business, law, and politics. Unfortunately, only a few people master the art of persuasion and even fewer apply it effectively.

Persuasive essays allow you to hone this skill in other industries and endeavors.

For example, many authors argue that persuasive writing is good for business. This is especially true for writers who want to progress into copywriting, whose primary goal is to convince readers to act.

The effectiveness of your essay introduction will mostly depend on how you present your case. The key to a compelling exposition of an argument is structure. Most authors will recommend using the Socratic Method.

What is the Socratic Method?

The Socratic Method is a question-and-answer teaching technique that allows the teacher to lead students to discover their answers to problems or questions. The Socratic Method is often used in lectures and class discussions, but it’s also applicable to essays.

It forms the foundation of your logic and allows readers to follow the ideas in your words easily. The Socratic Method is the gradual introduction of related concepts. It is the most effective approach for explaining complex topics.

Tips for Writing Persuasive Essay Introductions

Your writing style will always start with a structure. Here’s a basic introduction structure to guide you:

1. Start with a Hook

A hook is a compelling statement that captures your readers’ attention and inspires their interest. Your hook is the starting point of your argument, and it can be a clear question, bold statement, or exciting statistic.

For example, The medical malpractice system focuses too heavily on punishment instead of reform.

2. Give a Background

A practical essay introduction sets the tone for the topic you’re writing about. Introductions should explain the relevance [ and urgency]  of the topic. A background introduces your topic and the purpose of your argument.

For example: 

The primary purpose of the law is to reform, not to punish. Sadly, those charged with medical malpractice simply take their punishment and set up shop elsewhere. The same harm finds its way to victims, the perpetrator performs the same acts, and the law fails to uphold its principal mandate.

3. Build Your Credibility

For your essay to be persuasive, you need to show your readers that you have competent knowledge of the topic. You can establish your credibility by acknowledging each side’s argument. Then, use the opposing argument as a springboard for your own.

Nobody wants to fall victim to medical malpractice, but the numbers don’t lie. The increasing number of cases speaks volumes of the system’s inability to discourage malpractice.

4. State Your Argument

Your argument needs to be clear and actionable. It must address the issues you raise in your hook and lead the reader straight to your main point. 

You want to state your conclusion in your introduction to set the tone for the body of your essay. This allows your readers to formulate their thoughts and to decide which side of the argument they want to stay on.

You shouldn’t worry too much about persuading your audience with your introduction. That’s not the goal of an introduction.

The Bottom Line

Contrary to popular belief, the introduction of a persuasive essay isn’t meant to persuade. Rather, it should do four things:

  • Introduce an issue.
  • Explain its relevance.
  • Set the tone for your discussion .
  • Share your stance on the subject.

Writers persuade their audience by explaining the logic behind their arguments in the body paragraph. An introduction simply presents information pertinent to the issue at bar.

Remember that your structure is the most crucial aspect of your introduction. It will help you frame your thoughts in a logical sequence. When your thoughts are clear and distinct, your words will follow suit. Never underestimate the power of a structured approach.

Try These Key Steps For Writing Persuasive Essay Introductions

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

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Helpful tips for writing a successful persuasive essay

Last updated: May 19, 2016

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

How to write a persuasive essay

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

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

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

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

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

How to organize your persuasive essay

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

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

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

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

Take a breather

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

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