How many times have you swayed the opinions of your friends in your favour when picking the joint to eat out on a weekend? How many times have you succumbed to the urgent pleas of your pals to stay online for “just five more minutes” which ended up eating into two hours of your naptime? How many times have you won over your parents, so they let you go on that road trip during spring break?
All of these have been acts of persuasion, and our lives are filled with such instances. Differences in opinions and outlooks are something as universal as the sun rising in the east. The art of persuasion relies on being able to alter the opposing perspectives to fit yours.
A persuasive essay does just that. Whether you are in school, college, doing an online course or at university, the chances are that you will have to write a persuasive essay at some point in your academic careers, and it is best to stock up your arsenal for that day.
Mastering persuasive essays – the smartest tricks
Composing an essay is no rocket science and a few simple tricks at each stage of planning, composing and editing the essay can go a long way to make it turn out to be a splendid one. Here are some of the most ingenious tips to help you compose a killer persuasive essay that fetches A+ grades for sure.
You have chosen the topic of your persuasive essay and now wish to prepare for it before you start the actual writing task. Great decision to have a planning stage for your essay writing task, for it surely helps in scoring better if you proceed towards the task with a well worked out a plan in mind. Here are some of the vital pointers to look out for when planning your persuasive essay.
- Pick a side to fight for:
When preparing to write a persuasive essay, you need to choose your stance very carefully. You will need to gather all the supporting evidence in favour of your argument for composing the persuasive essay, so make a smart choice on which side to pick when a topic presents multiple viewpoints.
- Know who will be reading the essay:
The way that you compose the essay will mostly be determined by who will be reading it. Your audience plays a huge role in how you write the essay, especially the tone and contents of the same. Make sure you know the purpose of turning in the essay as well as the people who will be evaluating it so you can take a stance as suited to that.
- Conduct background study:
Whenever you are assigned to write a persuasive essay, you must conduct in-depth background study on the topic to unearth all the possible standpoints from which the essay can be composed. You must be fully aware of all the arguments and opposing viewpoints if you plan to write a persuasive essay to perfection.
The last thing to do during the preparation stage for your persuasive essay is to organise all the resources that you have collected. Gather all the supporting evidence for your arguments in one place and sequence them in order of importance for making your case when writing the persuasive essay. You can use an efficient digital organiser or a good ol’ journal for this phase, whichever works for you.
Now comes the time to structure your essay like a pro. You have gathered all the resources and have planned your arguments in a logical way, and all that is left to do is knowing the structure of an ideal persuasive essay. Here is how to structure a persuasive essay that is sure to leave a lasting impression and make sure that the readers definitely jump ship with you by the time they finish reading it.
The introduction to your persuasive essay needs to be so compelling that the readers would want to read the entirety of it. You can open with a quick quote or one-liner since those are classic essay intro lines. If you want to go the unconventional way, then try stating a super-shocking anecdote or some stats that are sure to have your readers wondering, “Really?! Then what?” The introduction to your persuasive essay should end with a transition sentence to take the readers to the main body of the essay.
The body paragraphs of a persuasive essay consist of the main arguments that you wish to present followed by the supporting evidence. The structure of the body paragraphs of the persuasive essay is similar to the following pattern.
- Body paragraph 1 – opening sentence stating the most compelling argument followed by supporting evidence followed by transition sentence
- Body paragraph 2 – opening sentence stating the next argument followed by supporting evidence followed by transition sentence
Structure the body paragraphs as explained but do not include more than three to four crucial arguments to state your case and make the readers understand why your stance on the topic is the best one.
- Counter-argument paragraph:
The last paragraph of the body of a persuasive essay contains the counter arguments to the arguments that you have presented. You must refute them logically using your argumentative and analytical skills. Refuting the counter-argument is the final move to have the readers persuaded to your point of view through the essay.
The conclusion of the persuasive essay is essentially a summary of your arguments as well as a line about the opposing view. You need to restate the crucial arguments presented in the essay for the conclusive paragraph followed by a powerful call to action to top it off in style.
Getting down to the main writing task, you will find that having organised resources and a clear outline of how to proceed with the essay goes a long way to help during the times when you feel like you are about to hit a writers’ block. Here are the additional tips for managing your writing task for the essay in a smooth breeze when writing a persuasive essay.
- Keep persuasive essay pointers in mind:
Some of the most vital things to keep in mind when writing the persuasive essay are as follows. Double-check them throughout the writing process, and you can compose one to perfection.
- Do you have a powerful hook to pull the readers towards your essay in the introduction?
- Have you presented the arguments in the logical sequence as they should be when planning the outline?
- Have you maintained the formatting and organisational outline for the essay, as well as the proper division of paragraphs for your arguments?
- Does the essay present a firm stance on the topic and explain it using your viewpoint as the core element?
- Have you been able to formulate arguments that refute the counter-argument or opposing views for your essay?
- Have you included active verbs and simple sentences when composing the essay?
- Does each of the paragraphs – right from the introduction to the last body paragraph – have a transition sentence in the end?
- Have you composed a compelling concluding paragraph that encourages the reader to take action – even if it for further research into the topic?
- Proofreading your essay
Finally, it is time to revise and polish the persuasive essay so that it helps you in attaining the grades that you aspire for. The best way to go about this is to put aside the essay for a few days after you have completed composing it. Take a break, go for a short trip or finish other academic tasks after you have completed writing it. Come back to the essay with a rejuvenated mind after the break.
This simple hack will help you look at the essay with a newer perspective and make sure that the editing and proofreading process for your essay goes smoothly. You will be able to identify the errors and correct them as you go through the essay with a rejuvenated mind. Alternatively, you can also try giving the finished essay to a friend to read for their insights on the persuasive purpose of the essay.
Wrapping it up
They say that a fascinating persuasive essay is the mark of a determined and rational mind, and if you manage to score high on your persuasive essays, you can consider a career in public speaking or governance, as suited to your aspirations after you graduate.
From planning your essay to editing it, the tricks that we suggested will help you at each step of the way when you are about to write a persuasive essay. Go by the tips that we shared, and you are sure to score those much-coveted brownie points in class. Good luck with those persuasive essays!
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