A persuasive essay is an essay where the author tries to convince the audience to agree with the author’s point of view or argument. The author will choose one side of a topic of debate and try to get others to accept his or her way of thinking. A persuasive essay can be written on just about anything, from trying to convince others that chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla to writing about the benefits of a pro-life society over a pro-choice one. However, despite the topic, there are universal elements that make a persuasive essay strong.
The first step is writing a strong persuasive essay is choosing a topic that you feel passionate about. If you are not interested in politics, writing an essay trying to get others to vote for one candidate over another may not be the best choice. Once you have chosen a topic that is important to you, make sure that you have a strong and committed position you will be arguing for. If you are “wishy-washy” on your own stance, how can you persuade others to agree with you? There may be circumstances when you may be asked to write a persuasive essay on a topic you are not interested in or for a side with which you do not agree. In this circumstance, it is important, for the sake of writing a strong essay, to familiarize yourself with the topic and with facts that support the position. This way you can still write a strong essay even if you do not necessarily agree with what you are writing.
All strong persuasive essays contain concrete facts that back up the author’s point of view. Simply telling others that they should agree with you because you said so will not work. Having solid facts to back up your opinion, on the other hand, shows the audience that you know what you are talking about. Organizing these facts so that the most powerful or the most persuasive ones appear at the beginning of the essay helps to grab the reader’s attention right away. This in turn may convince the reader to agree with you early on in the essay. Powerful persuasive essays also contain facts about the other side. In order to convince someone to agree with you, you need to know enough about the other side of the argument so that you can tear it down.
Although you should try to stick with logical arguments, try to pinpoint any emotional reactions that people may have to the issue you are writing about. By addressing these emotions and countering them with facts and arguments based in fact, you can begin to bring topics that are extremely emotional back to a more fact-based argument.
Using these techniques in a well-written essay that has been revised, proofread, and edited will enable you to write a strong and convincing persuasive essay.