How To Write A Persuasive Essay That Works
How to write a persuasive essay effectively is not just a talent but a learnable skill. Throughout your academic career, a persuasive essay assignment will be inevitable. But writing a persuasive essay won’t just come in handy when you’re in school. Learning how to make a persuasive argument will be useful when you need to make a persuasive speech, debate on certain topics, or engage in dialectic discussions. After this blog, you’ll learn what it takes to be a prolific persuasive essay writer.
Not only will we provide you with where to find credible sources to strengthen your arguments, we’ll also show you where to find 100 persuasive topics. By the end of this blog, you’ll even find out where to get persuasive writing help.
What Is A Persuasive Essay?
To quote our previous blog about the different types of essays, persuasive essays “use logic and reasoning to emphasize the legitimacy of one idea more than another.” Through the use of informed, valid, and logical arguments, readers can be persuaded to take the writers’ point of view into perspective. And if it is done right, a good persuasive essay can even change their own views. Not only does this type of essay persuade its readers, but it also educates them through a supply of evidence that supports the essay’s main arguments.
Learning how to write a persuasive essay is important because once you learn the skill, you can use it even outside of the classroom. Persuasive writing can be found in advertisements, speeches, and opinion pieces. Persuasive essays also aren’t limited to being assigned in English classes. Persuasive writing is handy for making recommendations for art, music, and drama classes. It’s also one of the best types of essays for history, politics, social sciences, civics, and even health classes.
The Persuasive Essay Structure: Three Important Pillars
The best thing about learning how to write a persuasive essay is knowing the right structures necessary to persuade anyone to understand your idea or argument. There’s a precise persuasive essay outline to ensure that your goal is met effectively. Here are all the parts of a persuasive essay according to Arizona State University and how to write them.
There are plenty of ways on how to start a persuasive essay. A good way to start your persuasive essay introduction according to Arizona State University is to have a good hook. You will learn from a previous blog of Homework Help Canada on How To Start An Essay that there are at least 10 ways you can hook your essay readers:
1. State your thesis
2. Start with a question
3. State an interesting fact
4. Share a revelation or discovery
5. Create your setting
6. Make a recollection of a past event
7. Outline a process
8. Spill a secret
9. Make a joke
10. Create a contrast
Of these 10 starters, not all of them are applicable when writing a persuasive research paper or essay. We would recommend stating your thesis statement, asking a question, or sharing a fact or discovery. Your thesis statement should always be found in your introduction along with some background information on your topic and definition of terms.
If you want to learn more about how to write a persuasive essay thesis, read our official pocket guide on what you need to know about thesis statements.
Each body paragraph has to contain the most important components of persuasive essay which are:
● Topic Sentence
Topic sentences are what keeps your arguments organized throughout your essay. A topic sentence, similar to the goal of a thesis statement, should reflect your main ideas on a smaller scale. If your thesis statement encapsulates the whole essay, your topic sentences contain the main gist of every paragraph. Not only that, every topic sentence also leads back and strengthens the point of your thesis statement.
If your aim is to persuade anyone of an idea or argument, you can’t just base it on opinion. Critical-thinking readers are not easily persuaded. You need cold hard evidence to sway any logical reader’s opinion on a specific subject matter. Make sure you do your research and back up your arguments with evidence from reputable sources. The more evidence you present, the more likely you are to succeed in persuading your readers.
Your analysis is what makes your persuasive argument essay unique. Anyone can find the evidence you cited, but it is ultimately your analysis that completes the whole thought. Your analysis is what links the evidence you presented to the arguments you claim in your essay.
You should always aim to make a conclusion that leaves a lasting impact. A good conclusion answers the simple, “so what?” question. You need to establish the significance of your study to your readers and why it’s imperative for them to take your stance. If you want to know how to write a persuasive essay conclusion, start by restating your thesis. You need to be able to summarize all the amazing points you brought up in a way that brings your thesis statement, topic sentences, and evidence full circle.
As an added bonus in your conclusion, you can also provide some food for thought to your readers. Something that will make them question their initial viewpoints and start considering yours.
Persuasive Writing Essay Techniques
There are specific techniques you can use to successfully write a persuasive essay. Try any one of these three techniques to have an idea of what not to do in a persuasive essay. These three persuasive techniques are based on terms coined by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, which can be used separately or best used combined. With these three strategies, you can further strengthen the effect of your persuasive writing essay.
These three techniques are also known as the “three pillars of persuasion and public speaking”.
Ethos is Greek for “character” and “ethic”. Using this type of persuasion technique requires the writer to appeal to their readers by using their knowledge and credibility. To successfully persuade using ethos, you need to convince others of your good character, prove your trustworthiness, and establish your authority on the subject.
Whether you are using ethos for public speaking or writing, it’s important because having high ethos will make your audience want to hear from you. For example, CEOs or already established individuals have a high ethos by default because they are authorities in their respective fields. That authority makes people gravitate towards them and it makes them more willing to listen to what these credible people have to say. When you’ve established ethos, your readers or listeners assume what you have to share is useful and worth listening to.
You don’t have to be a CEO or a person with notoriety to use ethos in your persuasive writing. You just need to appear relatable to your readers by appealing to their character and you can establish authority on a subject with the right amount of research and using reputable sources to back up your arguments.
According to Brown University, pathos is Greek for referring to a person’s emotion at a specific moment in time. If ethos appeals to ethics, pathos appeals to emotion. An effective persuasion tactic is to make your readers feel the same way as you. When you build an emotional connection with your audience, you are more likely to succeed in influencing them. Low pathos makes you look vulnerable and without authority on your topic. Without some level of emotional relatability, people will less likely listen to you.
There are many ways to improve pathos if you want to use the technique. Pathos is all about triggering emotion in your audience. Take the title of this blog for example. Instead of just saying, “How To Write A Persuasive Essay”, a high pathos alternative would be, “Persuade Your Readers With These Tips”.
Another way to use pathos in your persuasive essay is by evoking positive emotions when stating your claims and linking negative emotions to the opposite claims.
The word “logic” is actually derived from the Greek word “Logos” which is what this persuasive technique uses. The logical appeal relies on the reader’s preconceived ideas and existing knowledge and leveraging that to support the writer’s claims. Logos work well with ethos because you build authority on a topic by being knowledgeable.
The three best ways to ensure high logos in your persuasive essay are by being comprehensive, logical, and specific. When using this persuasion technique, you need to have a plan in place when going against what your readers already know or have preconceived ideas about. Having your arguments based on actual facts and evidence is your best shot at persuading your readers.
The only downside to using only logos as a persuasion technique is that it could lack impact. If facts alone could sway others, there wouldn’t be a need for persuasion. That’s why if you truly want to persuade anyone, a combination of ethos, pathos, and logos is the best way to do it.
Tips For How To Write A Persuasive Essay
Given the three structures of a persuasive essay and three persuasive techniques you can use, here are 10 more tips to properly learn how to write a persuasive essay.
1. Know Your Audience
People believe those they deem relatable. When writing a persuasive essay, you need to take into consideration the people who are going to read it. Here are some questions to consider before you begin the writing process:
● Who are you persuading?
● What do your readers care about?
● What opinions and values do your readers have?
● Will your readers be open to opposing views or are they skeptics?
● What are your most compelling arguments?
Knowing your audience means taking into account their age, gender, culture, values, careers, personality, and even their hobbies. You don’t necessarily have to adapt or share common traits with your readers, but when you know your audience, you can adjust yourself accordingly. You can’t be complacent and assume your audience will automatically understand you. Once you assess your audience, you can adjust your language and verbiage, and tailor-make your arguments for them.
Targeting your audience will also allow you to use pathos or the emotional appeal, by using their beliefs and values to your advantage.
2. Be An Expert In Your Subject
Your expertise on your chosen topic will give you an air of authority. People are more likely to believe those in authoritative positions who not only look the part, but actually know what they are talking about. To show your expertise on a topic, you need to prepare and take time to research.
With proper research, you will be able to anticipate objections to your arguments. There will be no room for your readers to doubt your claims. If you don’t feel like you’re an expert enough on your chosen topic, make sure you cite actual experts on the topic. Use their knowledge to back up your claims.
3. Hit Them With The Facts
There’s no better way to convince anyone of anything than presenting them with cold, hard, and indisputable facts. When citing examples, facts, and evidence, you need to make sure that they’re up to date and are coming from reputable sources. You can learn how to find credible sources online from one of Homework Help Canada’s past blogs.
Facts will be the most effective for your logical readers. When skeptics hear opposing arguments, they are more likely to challenge them. That’s why one of our earlier tips is to be prepared for these instances and know who you’re trying to persuade. Facts don’t just come in graphs, research studies, statistics, or quotes. Facts can also be personal anecdotes and stories that will appeal to your more emotional readers.
More examples of facts and evidence you can use are personal experiences, historic events, interview content, articles, media websites, and quotes from other experts.
4. Don’t Be Biased
One hack for a good persuasive essay is to admit at least one point that you and the opposing side agree on. This shows your skeptical readers that you are unbiased and because you related to their beliefs, they will be more open to listening to you. That’s why tip #1 was “know your audience”. It also shows fairness and consideration on your part which builds you as a more authoritative figure in that subject matter.
While the goal is to persuade your readers, you won’t simply win them over with a smear campaign against the opposition. A persuasive essay itself is already inherently biased so there’s no use bringing the other side down in a more blatant way.
Personal statements when necessary or relevant is okay, but too much will cause a little bias on your part and your arguments. You can also avoid bias by being more sensitive to your demographic, avoiding generalizations, and being self-aware. You don’t want to overcompensate for your readers just because you know them and you know what they want to hear.
It’s best to stay objective to avoid giving more obvious biased takes.
5. Make Proper Use of Analogies and Metaphors
Take advantage of other literary techniques like analogies and metaphors to make your arguments more convincing and understandable. Metaphors make complex topics more digestible. Metaphors work similarly to storytelling. It engages the right side of the brain which is the more visual and artistic side.
According to Healthline, the right side of the brain looks at the bigger picture instead of looking at the nitty-gritty details. By powering the right side of the brain, you bypass the readers’ rationality, lower their defenses, and make them easily persuaded.
To succeed in using metaphors, aim to paint a picture for your readers instead of making lengthy explanations. Using metaphors and analogies make your essay more vivid. Readers are more likely to take your side if they’ve imagined or envisioned your side of the story. The key to succeed in this tip is to use your readers’ imagination to your advantage. If they see it in their mind, it becomes more real and easy to believe. Analogies and metaphors work hand in hand with the emotional appeal technique. Certain wording can trigger your readers’ emotions which you should in your persuasive essay.
6. Be Organized
With all these tips in mind, it could be overwhelming to write. Using all these techniques simultaneously could also deviate from the important points you’re making. Writing a persuasive essay is not a gimmick. There are many techniques to write a good one, yes. But ultimately they are still based on valid arguments. More important than these tips is the organization of your thoughts and arguments. Regardless if you use all the persuasion techniques in the world, if you’re not being concise and organized, your readers won’t understand. No matter how persuasive you think you’re being.
Make sure you leverage your most important points, use them as your thesis statement and topic sentences, back them up with facts, and use these other tips to make the arguments stronger. Remember that the most important pillars to follow are the three persuasive essay structures.
7. Make The Link Between Your Arguments and The Evidence
Besides being organized, another important tip is to be clear. The link between your arguments and the sources you cite should be very evident. There’s no point in making a claim or argument and then presenting a fact that doesn’t correlate with it. When you make your point, back it up with relevant evidence. No matter how compelling the facts are, if it has nothing to do with your arguments, they won’t be effective or believable.
Remember, the evidence has to strengthen your arguments. You can’t simply make claims and quote an expert thinking it will persuade your readers.
8. Proper Use Of Language
All types of writing are meant to be read. What makes persuasive writing different is that it has a specific purpose. When writing your persuasive essay, you’ve got to keep in mind who will read it. That means using language the readers will understand. You shouldn’t just make assumptions that your readers will automatically understand the jargon or verbiage you use in your essay. You can also appeal to a broader audience, not just the ones you accounted for by using more general, easily understandable language.
The use of proper language works best for logos or the logical appeal and ethos which is the emotional appeal. Language is powerful because certain meanings are more effective and heartfelt when using the right words.
Here are certain sample phrases and words to use generally in persuasive writing:
● What needs to happen / What needs to be done
● In order to
● Regardless of
● Although it may seem
● In particular
● Keeping in mind that
● As a result
● Due to
● In other words
Columbia University cites repetition as an effective persuasive tactic. This is based on psychological studies that found repeating certain words and phrases could convince listeners or readers that they are facts…even when they aren’t. This type of persuasion technique is used in politics, journalism, and advertisements. One notable example of a politician using the repetition technique is Donald Trump.
Repetition works as a social cue where we become more inclined to believe certain words or phrases if we hear them enough times. When words or phrases are repeatedly read or heard, they cause familiarity. And people are inclined to believe in ideas that come easily to them, or rather, ideas that are familiar to them. However, psychologists also found that repetition is only effective up to a certain point. If you go past the threshold of repeating an idea 3 to 5 times, it becomes less effective.
This persuasive technique also works best for readers or listeners who don’t pay close attention. Active readers and listeners aren’t easily persuaded by weak arguments, no matter how often it is repeated so use this technique cautiously.
10. Create A Call To Action
A call to action is a persuasive technique mostly used in advertising. It has been used by writers to give readers a sense of urgency. It gives an essence of duty and creates a possibility of loss or guilt without action. A strong sample of a call to action is “we need to…”
The critique of using a call to action in your persuasive writing is that it could be deemed manipulative or deceptive. A call to action is often followed by other phrases that make the readers feel like they’re making the right decision by siding with you and acting on it.
Where To Get Persuasive Essay Writing Help
Not knowing how to write a persuasive essay shouldn’t be shameful. Homework Help Canada offers a persuasive essay writing service precisely for people who may have difficulty persuading others or those who don’t have the time to research and be experts on their chosen topics. Persuasive writing is definitely one of the more challenging types of writing and it requires a lot of research and technical writing skills. If you’re not feeling too confident about this task, worry not because that’s why we are here.
We even have 100 persuasive essay topics you can use in your next essay if you want to try out all the tips we’ve provided in this blog. Regardless of the type of essay you need, Homework Help Canada is always here to assist you.
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