A persuasive essay attempts to convince a reader that the writer’s view is not only wise but also carries logic, information and validity. To convince any reader, a writer is required to carry out extensive research and support his/her opinion, and for this reason, a persuasive essay requires patience.
Learning how to write a persuasive essay is quite easy. You should know that when you are writing this type of essay, you are the lawyer and the readers are the jury you are trying to convince. This article will focus on the guidelines towards a successful persuasive essay.
A persuasive essay should have an original title. Try to bring out the topic without wordiness. For example;
“Why the government should focus on anti-cigarette smoking campaigns”
The key to learning how to write a persuasive essay is a good introduction. This introduction should instantly capture the reader’s attention and give an overview of the argument. Start off your paragraph with a hook that presents an unusual fact, a question or a captivating quote and follow it up with your thesis statement.
For example, if the topic at hand is about smoking, the opening statement could present statistics as evidence of the problem
“Did you know that cigarette smoking is responsible for about 480,000 deaths in the U.S annually and more than 41,000 of these deaths are caused by second-hand smoking? This is according to statistics from the CDC that explain the detrimental effects of smoking on smokers and non-smokers.”
Once you have captured the reader’s attention, create a debatable thesis statement that is neither too broad nor too narrow. For example
“America’s efforts to reduce smoking-related deaths should focus on mass education among teenagers, stricter and uniform smoking laws in the states and encouraging the replacement of cigarettes with e-cigarette’s.”
This thesis statement has narrowed down your focus to the exact efforts the government should focus on, and acts as a guideline for your essay.
Each paragraph concentrates on a piece of evidence and provides supporting information. Begin all your paragraph with a clear topic sentence that explains the facts in summary, and is related to your thesis statement. Include a paragraph or two, depending on the required length to oppose the opponent’s strongest arguments.
For example, the introductory statement to support the use of e-cigarettes could be “Smokers should be encouraged to consider the use of e-cigarettes which are smoke-free and also re-usable”
You could continue to state that the use of e-cigs will significantly reduce second-hand smoking deaths, and pollution from tobacco smoke. In addition, smokers will also reduce smoke odors in their houses, clothes and cars, but still enjoy their smoking experience.
As you support your thesis statement, remember that any of the points could easily be countered. For this reason, dedicate a paragraph to counter these arguments. For instance, a smoker could argue that mass education is pointless because even the warnings on tobacco packets do not deter curious teenagers. Instead of going mainstream with your reasoning, you could argue that education should be more than warnings.
“Mass education should not only focus on billboards or television advertisements. Instead, the government should limit the association of smoking to celebrities in music videos and movies. Both young and old people adore celebrities, and they should also play a role in discouraging the habit.”
The point above demonstrates originality, and seeks to solve the problem in a modernized way, because older methods are failing.
This is a summary of the main points of the essay and presents a plea to the reader and provokes his/her thoughts on the issue at hand. As you write your conclusion, appeal to the reader to agree with your point of view without being wordy.
“By placing emphasis different mass education tactics, encouraging alternative methods such as e-cigs and application of uniform smoking laws across all states, the government will successfully lower smoking-related deaths. These solutions may not eliminate smoking, but will a go a long way in reducing smoke-related ailments and deaths.”
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Choosing a Topic – Narrow your topic to the specifics, to ease your writing experience. However, avoid choosing a topic that is too shallow and lacks relevance. Remember to carefully choose a side to support.
Understand your audience and why they may or may not agree with your point of view. Looking at your opinion from their perspective will help you come up with clearer and bolder arguments to support your reasoning.
Create an original but debatable thesis. An original thesis creates new points of arguments, away from the generic essay titles. However, you should not choose a difficult topic to prove your originality. The thesis statement you choose should be within your capacity of reasoning and understanding.
Research-The amount and quality of research you carry out will provide a backbone for your research. You need to support your argument with hard facts. Visit the library to go through books, find online books or journals to read. Remember that the books should be published by verified publishers to avoid assumptions rather than facts.
Narrow down your research by choosing sources that offer facts based on research other than ideologies, and offer unconventional aspects to support your argument. As you summarize the information you gather, choose the most important points as the body of your persuasive essay. Additionally, come up with meaningful examples that a reader can relate with.
Citation– Incorporate quotations and paraphrase your sources when writing to show facts. However, remember to use natural sentences when introducing citation, to maintain the flow in your essay.
Format– Use the required format when citing your sources e.g. APA, MLA. Following official formats will earn you’re a higher score.
Plagiarism– Ensure that your work is original because plagiarism will automatically disqualify your essay. To avoid copying published works, only jolt down the points you need, and re-write them later on in your own words. Thanks to technology, you can easily check your work for plagiarism with apps such as Grammarly.
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