- Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.
- Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.
2. Drafting the Persuasive Essay
When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions:
- The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement. For example: “Driving while talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
- The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
- Each body paragraph should cover a separate point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer strong evidence in the form of facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-life examples.
The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing
- Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
- Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
- The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action. The closing sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that implies urgent action is needed, a question that provokes readers to think seriously about the issue, or a recommendation that gives readers specific ideas on what they can do.
3. Revising the Persuasive Essay
In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:
- Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
- Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
- Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
- Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
- Is the sentence structure varied? Is the word choice precise? Do the transitions between sentences and paragraphs help the reader’s understanding?
- Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?
If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.
4. Editing the Persuasive Essay
Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.
5. Publishing the Persuasive Essay
Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.
Time4Writing Teaches Persuasive Essay Writing
Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher. We first introduce essay writing to students at the elementary level, with our Beginning Essay Writing course, where they will have an opportunity to write their first five-paragraph essay. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing essays, including the persuasive essay. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. Time4Writing’s online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s progress with Time4Writing’s online writing courses.
Amongst the different essay writing styles you may be asked to adopt, both at GCSE and KS3 level and throughout your academic studies, one of the most important to master is writing to persuade. Unlike writing to advise or writing to argue, when writing essays to persuade you are trying to coerce and convince the reader without the hands-off gentleness of advice or the emphatic force of argument. This calls for several new assignment writing techniques.
Writing to persuade: language
Persuasive language is extremely important if you are to get the audience on your side. This includes both your use of vocabulary and of specific literary techniques such as direct address and rhetorical questions to draw the reader in and persuade them to feel personally involved and implicated by your suggestions.
Use plenty of adjectives and adverbs to push the reader towards your point of view – if you are writing to persuade them to donate to a charity for example, an adjective-rich sentence like this will be much more effective than the same sentence without the words in bold:
“It is almost completely impossible to describe the immense impact of generous charitable donations on the poverty-stricken lives of the brave people who live in these savagely war-torn areas. Your donation is desperately needed.”
Writing to persuade: essay techniques
One excellent technique when writing to persuade is to deliberately bring up any possible objections to your argument in order to overcome them. Remember, if you are to persuade a reader effectively then to write the best possible essay example you need to anticipate their doubts or objections in order to reassure them you are correct. It is advisable to use some fairly emphatic language in this technique, and make sure to cover as many potential objections as you can.
“Many people believe that donating to charity is a waste of time, that the money is tied up in bureaucracy or that their small contribution won’t make a worthwhile difference. This impression couldn’t be more wrong – each and every donation has an immeasurable direct effect in greatly alleviating the suffering of millions of people.”
Finally, always remember that writing to persuade is much like speaking to persuade – you need to be firm yet gentle, get your ideas across as persuasively as possible in your essay writing but don’t be so forceful that you put the reader off. Ultimately the trick is to make them feel confident that they themselves are making the right decision – that is what writing to persuade is all about.