Writing a good persuasive essay can help convince others of a point that means a lot to you. It can be anything from an environmental crisis to something as simple as the importance of ebooks to the modern reader. But how do you write a persuasive essay? Where do you even start? Right here! I’ll explain everything you need to know and even show you an example of a persuasive essay.
What Is a Persuasive Essay?
Persuasive essays are meant to convince someone or a group of people to agree with you on a certain topic or point of view. As the writer, you’ll use definitive evidence, simple reasoning, and even examples to support your argument and persuade them to understand the point of the essay.
Why Write a Persuasive Essay?
Believe it or not, you’ll have to form convincing arguments throughout real life. This could be in the form of college essays or academic essays, speeches for debate club that requires a valid argument, or even presenting an idea for change to your town council.
Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essay
An argumentative essay presents an argument on a specific topic and tries to persuade people to accept that argument as valid. It uses evidence, logic, and sometimes counterarguments to support the main point.
A persuasive essay is similar but presents an argument and focuses more on appealing to the reader’s emotions and values to convince them of your point of view. Think of it as convincing vs. persuading. And, yes, persuasive essays can also use evidence, but they often rely more on personal anecdotes and moral appeals to plead their case.
Let me give you an example. I’m a content writer, but I’m also a published author. If I were going to write an argumentative essay, I’d probably choose a topic like “Do you think authors should self-edit their work?”
But if I were doing a persuasive essay with a similar angle, the topic would look more like “The benefits of self-editing for authors.” Make sense?
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Basically, the main difference between argumentative and persuasive essays is all in the emphasis placed on logic and emotion.
How Many Paragraphs in a Persuasive Essay?
A decent persuasive essay should be around five or six paragraphs with double line spacing, depending on the topic, and can range from 500-2000 words in length. This includes your introduction and conclusion.
Introduction of a Persuasive Essay Example
Our world is facing a crisis, and that crisis is plastic pollution! Every day, a disgusting amount of plastic waste is just dumped into our oceans, killing and harming innocent marine life and ultimately affecting the entire food chain, including us.
Even though there is a clear and present danger that plastic presents, there are still a lot of people and corporations that continue to use single-use plastics with zero regards for their impact on our environment. It’s time for people to really look around and take some responsibility.
We can make a change by learning and using environmentally friendly alternatives in our everyday lives. So, in this essay, I’ll argue that using reusable bags, water bottles, and containers is not only necessary for the health of our precious planet but also a simple and effective way to make a real difference.
A Persuasive Essay Structure
As persuasive essay writers, you can write it however you like, but to follow a traditional persuasive essay structure, use this basic layout to get an effective paper:
- An Introduction: You need a good hook to grab the reader’s attention, a thesis statement presenting the main argument, and a roadmap of the essay, so they know what to expect.
- The Body Paragraphs: 2-3 paragraphs should suffice to provide strong evidence, examples, and any reasoning to support the thesis statement. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea.
- The Counterargument: This section acknowledges and refutes the opposing viewpoint, strengthening your argument but still without being as forward as an argumentative essay.
- A Conclusion or Closing Statement: Here is where you would summarize the main points of the essay and a restatement of the thesis, including a call to action for the reader and/or a final thought.
In the end, a persuasive essay usually consists of 5-6 paragraphs and needs to be clear, concise, and logically structured to really persuade the reader on the point.
Tips for Persuasive Writing
- Choose a strong, clear thesis statement that presents your argument well.
- Know your audience and tailor your language and arguments to them. You’ll need a different approach if you’re speaking to a group of teenagers versus a team of adults.
- Use credible and reliable sources to support your argument so no one can second guess your point.
- Expect that people will have counterarguments and prepare a few talking points to address them.
- Use strong pieces of evidence and back them up with facts, statistics, examples, and personal anecdotes. Putting a personal touch on it helps ground the essay and lets people know you’re serious about the topic.
- Use an emotional appeal to engage the reader and make a personal connection to your argument. Basically, tug at their heartstrings and play into their guilt.
- Use clear and concise wordage. Try and avoid confusing technical jargon that might confuse people, and maintain a consistent tone throughout the essay.
- Make sure you’re confident and use an assertive tone but avoid being overly aggressive or confrontational. That will just spark a fight.
- Finish up with a powerful call to action or a final thought that leaves a lasting impact on the reader or listener.
- Use the same font throughout your essay, even for headings and titles. Go with easy-to-read fonts like Calibri, Times New Roman, or Garamond.
- Proofread and edit your essay for clarity, grammar, and style. I cannot stress this one enough. If you’re not confident, use programs like Grammarly to help spot typos and inconsistencies.
Persuasive Essay Topic Ideas
If you’re stuck on some ideas of what to form your essay around, here’s a list of some popular topics to inspire you.
- Importance of recycling and reducing waste in today’s climate.
- The need for stricter gun control laws all over the world.
- A paper on abortion rights in today’s age.
- Benefits of alternative energy sources over fossil fuels and how we can be using them.
- How social media has negative impacts on mental health in kids.
- Key benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet and how it can help the planet.
- The value of a college education.
- Rise of plastic pollution on the environment and sea life and how it is affecting us.
- Why physical exercise and leading an active lifestyle are important.
- The dangers of texting while driving.
- How our public schools need better funding.
- Benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace both online and in-person.
Any of these could be used as logical arguments. Still, to make a persuasive argument from either of them, just follow the basic persuasive essay outline examples I’ve given you.
Example of a Persuasive Essay
In today’s age of ever-changing technology, the way we consume and experience books have changed dramatically in just a short time. While physical books were once the only option, ebooks have grown increasingly popular in recent years. In my essay, I’ll argue that, while we all still love paperbacks and hardcovers, ebooks offer so many benefits over physical books, making them the number one choice for most readers today.
Body Paragraph 1: Convenience
Ebooks are convenient; there’s just no denying it. They’re easily accessible through devices like smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, and they allow readers to carry hundreds of books with them at all times. This makes them perfect for traveling or heading to work, or even going to the gym. Readers can now have an entire library with them without the added weight of physical books. Plus, ebooks are easily bought online with just the click of a button, further adding to their convenience.
Body Paragraph 2: Customization
Ebooks offer a level of customization that physical books just can’t match. For one, the font size can be adjusted for easier reading, which is great for those who have eyesight problems. The background color can also be changed from light to dark to reduce eye strain. Personally, as someone who suffers from Meniere’s disease, this is a great feature. All of these options make ebooks a great choice for people with visual impairments, neurological disorders, or reading difficulties.
Body Paragraph 3: Affordability
Ebooks are often far cheaper than physical books, especially when purchased in bulk. You can get an entire series for a fraction of the cost of one paperback. This makes them a more accessible option for budget-conscious readers and people who simply don’t have the disposable funds for books. Also, tons of ebooks are available for free, which is a great option for readers that are looking for ways to save money but keep up with their reading habits.
Body Paragraph 4: Environmentally Friendly
626,000 tons of paper is used to produce all the books we see published every year. That’s a scary number when you consider the rate of deforestation and the state of our world in terms of global warming. We simply can’t afford to move ahead at a rate like that. Ebooks help tackle the issue because they require zero trees to produce.
In conclusion, ebooks offer endless benefits over physical books, including convenience, customization, and affordability. While physical books will always hold a special place in our hearts, you have to admit that the benefits of ebooks just can’t be ignored. For modern, busy, on-the-go readers, ebooks are the preferred choice. It’s time to embrace the digital age and make the switch to ebooks.
Now Write Your Persuasive Essay!
I hope this guide has helped you figure out persuasive essay writing and how to put together powerful arguments. Just stick to the facts and ease the reader into your point with gentle arguments that continue to prove your point. Don’t be afraid to get personal if it can help the essay and convince the reader.