What is a persuasive/argument essay?
Persuasive writing, also known as the argument essay, utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action. The argument must always use sound reasoning and solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples, and quoting experts.
When planning a persuasive essay, follow these steps
- Choose your position. Which side of the issue or problem are you going to write about, and what solution will you offer? Know the purpose of your essay.
- Analyze your audience. Decide if your audience agrees with you, is neutral, or disagrees with your position.
- Research your topic. A persuasive essay must provide specific and convincing evidence. Often it is necessary to go beyond your own knowledge and experience. You might need to go to the library or interview people who are experts on your topic.
- Structure your essay. Figure out what evidence you will include and in what order you will present the evidence. Remember to consider your purpose, your audience, and you topic.
The following criteria are essential to produce an effective argument
- Be well informed about your topic. To add to your knowledge of a topic, read thoroughly about it, using legitimate sources. Take notes.
- Test your thesis. Your thesis, i.e., argument, must have two sides. It must be debatable. If you can write down a thesis statement directly opposing your own, you will ensure that your own argument is debatable.
- Disprove the opposing argument. Understand the opposite viewpoint of your position and then counter it by providing contrasting evidence or by finding mistakes and inconsistencies in the logic of the opposing argument.
- Support your position with evidence. Remember that your evidence must appeal to reason.
The following are different ways to support your argument:
Facts - A powerful means of convincing, facts can come from your reading, observation, or personal experience.
Note: Do not confuse facts with truths. A "truth" is an idea believed by many people, but it cannot be proven.
Statistics - These can provide excellent support. Be sure your statistics come from responsible sources. Always cite your sources.
Quotes - Direct quotes from leading experts that support your position are invaluable.
Examples - Examples enhance your meaning and make your ideas concrete. They are the proof.
Here are some ideas of popular persuasive essay topics:
- Anorexia or model body
- Encouraged abortions
- School uniform
These essay topic examples are debatable, it is important to choose the topic that is interesting for you.
What is the Purpose of a Persuasive Essay? Get Some Insight Before You Write
Everyone understands the definition of the word “persuade.” Basically, it means to attempt to convince someone or a group of someones that a particular position on an issue is the correct one. Thus, car manufacturers attempt to persuade that their models are the best on the market; soft drink makers try to convince us that their products taste the best; even Match.com advertises itself as the best dating service on the web. And how do they do this? Well, there are entire college courses that speak to advertising and marketing techniques that can be used, but if you view their television ads, you see that they try to give us some facts, they use testimonials from popular figures, and they appeal to our desire to “belong” to the “smart” people or the “beautiful” people, etc.
Writing a persuasive essay is a lot like producing an advertising campaign, but the standards are higher and the topics usually far more important. Product advertisers often exaggerate; they engage in “half-truths” and illogic; and they appeal to human emotions. You cannot do that when you are producing a scholarly piece of writing. Yes, the purpose of a persuasive essay is certainly to convince the reader that your position on an issue is the correct one. But you must do so in an unemotional and objective manner. You must present facts, data, perhaps personal experience, and maybe words of individuals who are actually authorities in the issue at hand. You can’t, for example, call upon Beyonce for her learned views on the war against ISIS.
The Process of Persuasive Essay Writing
Now that you know what you are supposed to do, it is time to look at the “how” you actually do it. And, yes, there is a process which you pretty much need to follow if you hope to have a valid persuasive piece that will be worthy of a good grade.
- Selecting the Topic: Surely there is some contemporary issue about which you have strong feelings – something more significant than the best national chain pizza. Here are a few possibilities:
National Health Insurance
Student Loan Debt/Cost of College
The list could go on for a long time, but you get the idea of your persuasive essay. There must be something about which you feel very strongly, and that should be the topic for your persuasive essay. If you don’t have a strong belief about an issue, your essay will lack the necessary vigor and firmness it needs.
- Decide What Your Position Is: Take your stand, and this stand will be your thesis statement when you get the point of writing the essay.
- Do the Research: Remember this first. In a persuasive essay, you do not have to address the arguments of those who have the opposing view. You only have to support your position, but you must do it with facts, with data, with words from authorities and experts on the subject, and, in some cases, your own personal experiences if you have had those that relate to the topic. Gather all the information you can that will support your position.
- Take a look at what your research has given you. Use it to pick 3-4 of the strongest arguments that can best be supported. You now have the body paragraphs for your essay.
- Construct a brief outline for your introduction, body and conclusion. In what order will you cover your arguments? It is usually good to use the strongest one for your first body paragraph and the 2nd strongest for your last body paragraph.
- Your Introduction: You need to come up with the most startling fact about the issue that you can. Perhaps state that the 2015 college graduate will have over $30,000 in loan debt which must be paid at 7% interest for years to come. The end of your introductory paragraph will state your position.
- Your Conclusion: Repeat your main arguments; explain why the issue is important to a large segment of society; make a recommendation for action.
If you follow these steps, your essay will flow logically, will contain the supportive factual information to make your view logical and credible, and, probably, get you a pretty good grade. One more important point: do not present your arguments from a standpoint of emotion – it will weaken them. Present a rational, sound, and scholarly case.
Are Persuasive Essays Easy? No, They are Not
These essays take time – there is research to conduct and organize; they must meet high expectations of instructors for both content and for proper English composition. It is not unusual that, then, that GrabMyEssay.com receives requests to, “Write my essay for me,” from many students who are struggling with persuasive essays. We are happy to accommodate them, and are always able to provide an expert writer for any topic.
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