How to write a persuasive essay: step-by-step guide

A girl writes a persuasive essay.

Learners need to deal with many different assignments. An essay is a common academic paper that has various types. Each type has certain peculiarities, so you need to make sure you are aware of the specificity of essay writing. One of the essay types is a persuasive essay. Students sometimes need to complete this task.

It’s not the most challenging one, however, you have to pay attention to some requirements. So here, we talk about how to write a persuasive essay. This article shows what a persuasive essay is, its goals, structure, outline for persuasive essay, formatting peculiarities, and other details. We have some tips for you, so this guide may help you write a proper paper and get the highest mark. 

What is a persuasive essay

So, firstly, students ask, «What is a persuasive essay?». Well, a persuasive essay is an academic paper that intends to convince readers of a certain statement. It presents arguments to support that statement, however, the main features of a persuasive essay are its purposes and the nature of the text. While an analytical essay intends to analyze a particular topic, a persuasive essay definition is a paper that shows an obvious author’s perspective and convinces readers of its accuracy. So, here, we can understand the main principles that define persuasive essay. 

To convince readers, authors usually use special appeals. In a theory of persuasion, there are three main appeals, as defined by Aristotle: 

  • Ethos. These arguments are based on knowledge and experience. They appeal to the reader’s knowledge as a source of awareness and are well-grounded by strong sources. So, you can say it’s always more reliable to trust some facts, theoretical data, and other arguments that are based on real information. This may help you to connect with an audience and convince them of your perspective. 
  • Pathos. Such arguments aim to appeal to the emotions and feelings of the audience. While ethos is based on credibility, pathos is based on human sensibility. A persuasive essay meaning is to make readers trust you, hence, an appeal to emotion helps you get a certain reaction to your statement. If you can cause a reader to get into your position and feel what you’ve tried to express, that always helps you achieve success in persuasion. 
  • Logos. A logos appeal is an argument based on common sense and logic. So, basically, you appeal to readers’ logic and cause them to logically agree with your perspective. There are some methods to present your information in a particular way so that it seems rational and logical. And based on personal common sense, a reader may believe in your statement. 

As you see, such appeals are a significant part of a persuasive essay. These core elements help you to achieve your goals and write a proper essay. Here you can also read, what makes a good persuasive essay

What is the purpose of a persuasive essay? 

The next point of this article is the purpose of persuasive essay. As with each academic paper, this assignment has some purposes that make it distinct. To write an appropriate essay, you should comprehend the goals of the task as well as its nature. To put it briefly, you need to get to know the main idea of the paper to write a strong essay with accurate and persuasive appeals. So, what is the purpose of a persuasive essay? An essay intends to convince readers of certain perspectives, thus, you need to be pretty confident. It can also be a kind of motivation or a strong opinion. At the same time, it calls on readers to choose a position, and it should be an author’s perspective. Now you can see that a strong paper depends on the persuasive essay purpose, and it’s important to use appropriate appeals to achieve that goal. 

Persuasive essay thesis statement: a brief review 

Each paper starts with an intro to a persuasive essay. It’s the first and essential part of the paper that gives readers all the background information and captures their attention. One of the core elements of an introduction is a thesis statement. A persuasive essay thesis statement is a short brief of your paper that contains 1–2 sentences. It may seem to be a comprehensive paragraph that includes too much data, however, it’s still concise. Here, you need to reveal the main idea of the paper, its purposes, and your position, and summarize the arguments you will use later in the paper. A thesis statement for a persuasive essay doesn’t have to be overloaded with excessive data, so don’t write many details. In case you need help with your thesis statement, buy persuasive essay and be sure of the best results. 

Persuasive essay structure: main elements of the paper

A persuasive essay includes some elements that make a paper comprehensive and coherent. It’s important to follow a certain persuasive essay structure to present your data in a correct and accurate way. Each part has its purpose and ideas, so you need to make sure your essay is written properly. In general, there are three main parts of an essay: 

  1. Introduction
  2. Body of an essay 
  3. Conclusion

The structure of a persuasive essay is not specific, however, there are some peculiarities of each part that you should follow to achieve success. For example, a persuasive essay body paragraph structure is different from other types of essays. It contains various appeals, which we have considered before. So the structure of the body paragraph should include a background, arguments, and appeals. It’s important to provide some strong appeals and arguments to support your thesis statement. So, as you can see, it’s not a complicated task, however, you need to know these peculiarities to write an excellent paper.

Outline for persuasive essay 

Well, we have discussed the structure of the paper, so now we can go ahead and discuss a persuasive essay outline. Before you start writing an essay, we advise you to outline the paper to make sure you’ve included all the core elements. An outline has to contain a detailed structure of the paper so that it’s much easier to complete the task, as you just need to follow your steps. Here’s a persuasive essay outline template, so you can comprehend the specificity: 

  • Introduction 
    • A hook 
    • Thesis statement 
    • Arguments
  • Body of a paper
    • Paragraph 1 
    • Paragraph 2 
    • Paragraph 3 
  • Conclusion 
    • Summarize 
    • Closing statement 

An outline is a nice option on how to start a persuasive essay writing. So once you’ve completed your outline, you have a guide for your paper that also helps you find some possible weaknesses in your essay and figure them out. 

How to write a persuasive essay introduction

Let’s figure out how to write a persuasive essay introduction. First and foremost, each paper has an introduction as the first and main chapter of an essay. It’s a significant part of your work that impacts the whole paper and your results. You need to write a persuasive essay introduction in a certain way so that an audience will be interested in continuing reading your essay. A great introduction is not overloaded with data, however, it has to be informative and interesting. Firstly, if you ask, «How to start off a persuasive essay?», you need to write a strong background. Let’s find out all the details. 

To make a long story short, an intro contains a hook, a thesis statement, and arguments. It gives readers the main idea of your work, its purposes, your main statement, and a brief review of the arguments. In general, a persuasive essay intro has 3–5 sentences, but it can be different depending on the word count. 

A hook is a captivating sentence to grab your audience’s attention. It should be engaging, so readers will be interested in getting more details. We have already discussed the peculiarities of a thesis statement, so you can find a detailed explanation of how to write a proper thesis statement. The final part of the introduction for persuasive essay is the arguments. They are the main pillars of your work, so make sure your arguments are solid enough to convince readers to read the whole paper. Just bear in mind that you need to provide only a brief overview of your arguments in 1–3 sentences. Don’t overload an introduction with examples and appeals. 

How to write a conclusion for a persuasive essay?

The last part of your paper is a persuasive essay conclusion. This chapter ends your paper and provides the final summary of your essay. It basically reflects all the main ideas and points of your paper in a nutshell. It’s not difficult to write an outstanding ending, so let’s see how to write a conclusion for a persuasive essay. 

Firstly, you need to comprehend the purposes of a conclusion. It doesn’t intend to give any new information or provide details. In contrast, a conclusion is a summary of your paper that reflects the main points of your essay. To put it briefly, you need to shortly rephrase your thesis statement and arguments, give the key points of your essay, and finish it up with a closing statement. This is how to end a persuasive essay. A closing statement should be somehow related to your hook and logically finish your paper. You can also include a call-to-action in your conclusion, explaining why it’s important to do certain things and the possible consequences if these things are not done. If your essay intends to explore some controversial issues, you can write a possible compromise and ways to resolve that or another problem.  Hence, as you see, a conclusion for persuasive essay contains 2 core elements: a summary and a closing statement. 

Persuasive essay format: step-by-step instructions 

Once you’ve done the paper, it’s important to follow all the guidance and format your essay in compliance with the requirements. In general, it’s not complicated and pretty similar to any other type of essay. However, if you want to know how to format a persuasive essay, let’s see the details. 

The formatting has to be proper so that your paper looks complete and readable. It’s easier and more convenient to read well-formatted essays. Thus, a persuasive essay format includes: 

  • Double-spaced paper
  • Times New Roman font (or other readable fonts: Arial, Georgia, etc.)
  • 12-point font size, 16-point for a headline 
  • Justified text
  • 1-inch margins all-sides 

Other details may be optional and depend on your teacher’s requirements, so you just need to follow your instructions to complete the formatting properly. There are different formatting styles, e.g. APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, and others, so they are slightly different, and you need to pay attention to distinctions to present a flawless paper. 

Persuasive essay ideas 

What’s important is to choose a topic for your essay. There are many different topics, so firstly, you need to choose a particular idea you want to write about. It should be something you are aware of and have a strong position about. To make it easier, you should choose a direction, so, basically, just start from your subject and look for interesting topics, problems, or issues you want to discuss. There are some topics you have already touched on with your teachers, so you can choose persuasive essay ideas that you are interested in. 

If you are confused and don’t know how to choose a topic, you should do research and seek some interesting cases in a certain field. Look for relevant and controversial topics, however, it’s always easier to support a statement you are aware of and have your own opinion about it. We also have some ideas for a persuasive essay that are captivating and relevant:

  • Zoos should be banned
  • Should be colleges free?
  • Is animal testing ethical?
  • Should people abolish capital punishment? 

As you see, there are lots of different ideas to write an excellent paper, however, if you can’t find relevant persuasive essay topics, you can turn to professional writing services and ask for help.

A girl looks for persuasive essay ideas.

Transition words for persuasive essay 

A proper persuasive essay is coherent and accurate. It has numerous arguments, appeals, and transitions that make it comprehensive and readable. Persuasive essay transition words have a huge impact on making an essay clear and logical. They help to connect some parts of an essay as well as certain arguments and ideas. It also helps you to organize your essay and make it clear to readers. There are different kinds of transition words for persuasive essay

  • To add ideas: in addition, moreover, as well. 
  • To emphasize information: in fact, especially, mainly.
  • To summarize: all in all, in brief, in conclusion. 
  • To qualify something: probably, perhaps. 
  • To give an example: for instance, for example, in particular. 

As you can see, there are many transitions that help readers to achieve positive results with their essays. 

Persuasive essay sentence starters 

So, following the idea of persuasive essay peculiarities, we can also mention that there is such an important element of an excellent persuasive essay as a sentence starter. In general, each sentence gives some information, however, to emphasize certain data and support your statements, you should also use persuasive essay sentence starters. These constructions help you to appeal to emotions and catch your readers’ attention. It includes assertive language and strong phrases to support your perspectives and point out some significant ideas. You can use such persuasive essay starters: clearly, everybody knows, in truth, moreover, surely, on the other hand, etc. As you can see, it is an appropriate way to start a sentence and starters also reveal your following intentions, thus, readers know what to expect in that sentence. 

How to write a hook for a persuasive essay 

We have already mentioned that a hook for persuasive essay is one of the core elements of an intro. Its main purpose is to catch your audience’s attention and convince them to continue reading your paper. There are numerous ways to intrigue readers. You just need to look for a proper idea and write it appropriately. Students sometimes ask, «How to write a hook for a persuasive essay?», so we advise them to start with a quotation, an unexpected fact, statistics, some kind of questions, or even rhetorical questions, misconceptions, or anecdotes. Anyway, it’s something that catches attention and looks surprising or unusual. Hooks for a persuasive essay usually are just 1–2 sentences, but they are essential for writing an excellent paper, so make sure your hook is interesting enough.

With over a decade of experience in the industry, Evelyn Henderson is a highly accomplished freelance translator, research writer, and essay writer. She has established herself as the best in the business; she has a reputation for delivering high-quality projects and ensures that she meets and exceeds the client’s expectations.

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