How To Write A Persuasive Essay
A persuasive essay is a type of paper that utilizes your opinion - choosing one side of an argument and trying to persuade your reader to agree with your point of view. Effective persuasive essays present the argument accurately and have many points to back up the writer's opinion. Without a strong case for the argument, a persuasive essay falls flat and doesn't accomplish the goal of changing the way someone perceives a particular issue or situation.
A persuasive essay can be written on virtually any topic. Some popular and long-standing examples of persuasive essays are abortion and women's rights, testing on animals, human cloning, and immigration. However, persuasive essay topics can be anything from eating a healthy diet to convincing someone to vote for you as president.
First, you must choose your position. If the topic is one that you have a strong opinion on, it might be easier to write a lot without much prompting. However, you might not feel one way or the other when it comes to the argument, and this is when making a list of the pros and cons will be especially helpful. Jot down any ideas that come to mind, thinking about the impact of the situation on people and society. This will help you write clear points on whatever side you do choose, and also to understand some of the arguments of the opposing side which you can then effectively counteract in your paper. Your thesis - the main idea of your essay - should be clearly understood and stated before you start writing.
Next, you must decide on your purpose — what do you want to say? You need to have clear reasons for each of your ideas, so researching the topic is key. Make a list of important points, and then elaborate on each one with the information you've learned. Your argument must be logical and plausible, containing proven facts about the issue. Using evidence is the best way to get your point across, and using statistics, specific cases and quotes backs up your argument. Don't state something as a fact just because you think many people believe it — you must use sources.
Finally, decide on what makes your opinion the right one. What are some of the benefits of your beliefs? What would be the outcome if your side was realized? How would people's lives be different, or changed for the better? Choose the strongest points for the beginning and ending paragraphs. Make sure the thesis is at the end of your first paragraph, and that you've supported it in each of the body paragraphs.