How To Write A Persuasive Essay
The ability to create a persuasive essay is one that will follow you well beyond high school and college. Indeed it will be an integral part of your entire professional career and will be used continually as you move up the corporate ladder. During your education creation of this type of essay is used to help you become more critical in your thinking, but know that you will eventually use this skill to communicate with peers, put forward ideas, and should you choose to become a lawyer, it will be used whenever you submit an argument or brief.
Because knowing how to write a persuasive essay is so crucial, it is worth spending a bit of time learning the fundamental, how to organize your ideas and how to draft them onto paper. This may sound like a bit of work, but as you become familiar with the process, it will become easy and eventually second nature. Regardless of whether or not you like to write, this is a skill that you will use, so it is worth the investment in time to master the fundamentals.
The Outline of a Persuasive Essay
Any good work starts with organizing your ideas into an outline that makes sense and formalizes your argument. In general a good paper begins with an opening idea or argument that sets the stage for the rest of the piece. In this first paragraph you generally state your opinion and summarize the key argument for the opinion. During this paragraph you may hint at opposing views, but overall the reader should be able to read the first paragraph and take away the main point of the paper and why that point is valid.
For example, if you were to write a persuasive essay on abortion, and were pro-choice, you would start by stating your position, then summarize why you felt that this as a valid and rational position to take.
After the opening paragraph an essay will generally list out the various supporting arguments for the main position of the paper. In general, allow one paragraph per supporting argument, depending on the topic and the wealth or dearth of information you have on the topic.
For each argument try to summarize the main reason that the argument supports your position up front, and use the remainder of the paragraph to detail why this argument is important and valid. Depending on your writing style you may also choose to mention the counter argument for your supporting ideas, but as you do, you should detail why these counter points are less valid or less supportive of a position contrary to your primary opinion.
Going back to the essay on abortion, if you are pro-choice and your supporting argument was a woman’s rite to choose, you may want to mention that there are people believe that this rite is superseded by other moral or societal requirements, but given the inalienable right to control one’s health that those opinions may not hold as much weight.
As you move through the essay be sure to include at least three strong supporting arguments for your primary position. Each argument should be compelling in itself and formed into a cogent argument; starting with the most persuasive idea and moving onto arguments that may have less importance.
From the perspective of a persuasive essay outline, once you have created your opening paragraph and drafted your supporting ideas, you simply need to close the paper with a summary paragraph. The summary should re-state your primary argument, then summarize the primary arguments within the paper. Each of these arguments should be briefly touched upon and culminate into a compelling closing statement. From there you simply add your footnotes and references.
So to recap, you create an essay outline by putting down your main idea and follow that with supporting arguments. As sub-components of the various arguments you may choose to include the counter argument and details on why it’s less important. Finally, you close and summarize what you had written previously.
Topics For Persuasive Essays
Now that you have learned the basics of how to create an essay, the lesser challenge is simply choosing a topic. As mentioned above, throughout your professional career you will be required to create compelling papers on any number of topics. These will stem from a direct need to draft an argument or to create a paper that will sway colleagues and peers to your opinion. As such, the topic will almost always be one of your choosing. However, in school this is not the case. Therefore we will spend a bit of time exploring various topics and determine which subjects have enough controversy to create a compelling paper.
To begin, politics and “divisive subjects” always make for good subjects. If there is a lot of discussion and a lot of passion around people’s opinion, then there is ample information available to quickly draft a very compelling paper. Whether your are democrat, republican or independent, you can always look to politics to find good material for a good paper. One only needs to watch Meet The Press a few times to see what position the primary parties take and to understand the primary arguments behind supporting either political camp. In fact, political shows are fantastic when tasked with writing a good paper because many times the positions and arguments will be discussed in detail throughout the program.
Other topics for persuasive essays can be found simply by looking into people’s passions. If a group of people are willing to argue over a topic, chances are you can draft a pretty compelling paper. To give you and example we have listed a number of different compelling essay topics on this next page: Persuasive Essay Ideas
Any of these subjects can be used to create a very compelling paper. More importantly, the pro and con arguments are readily found and the data supporting those arguments can be found through a simple online search. As such, creating a good paper very quickly becomes a simple process of doing a search, organizing ideas and arguments, and putting pen to paper.
Watch the video below to learn more about how to draft a compelling essay: