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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Structure, Tips, and Examples

How to Write a Persuasive Essay
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A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing where the author presents an argument and tries to convince the reader to adopt their point of view or take a specific action. The goal of a persuasive essay is to persuade or sway the reader's opinion through logical reasoning, evidence, and compelling arguments.

The question of how to write a persuasive essay is often asked by high school or college students. But it is not a secret that the skill of creating a solid persuasive argument is vital not only for students. The ability to form your strong opinion is a very useful instrument to have in life. A person who masters the art of persuading people will be able to build a successful career in any field and build effective relationships. Our academic experts decided to assist you in understanding the importance of this type of academic writing by sharing effective tips on writing an effective persuasive essay, providing examples, general structure, and more. So keep reading and find out everything you should know about persuasive paper.

What Is a Persuasive Essay: Definition

It does not matter whether you know who Jenny Mollen is or not – she was right when saying it. It is time to provide a clear definition of what is a persuasive essay. It is an academic type of paper, which contains an explanation of a specific topic and tries to convince readers of an author’s truth presenting it as the most biased and competitive point of view. It contains a logical & valid perspective on the problem.

Professional Tip:

Unlike a position paper, the primary purpose of a persuasive essay is to make people take the same point of view regarding a specific topic. Without credible, relevant evidence, author’s points will not sound strong enough to ensure an audience. Keep on reading to understand structure and explore exciting persuasive essay college examples!

Elements of a Persuasive Essay

Before we get to guidelines and structure of an essay, it is important to mention what are the three main elements of a persuasive essay. First of all, these are foundation of every effective argument, invented by philosopher Aristotle. The goal of these traditional modes of persuasion is building logical arguments and making your audience more likely to trust them. Let’s look at them in more detail.

  1. Ethos It is an element that will help you “sell” your point of view. Through this element, a speaker or writer appeals to ethics. They use words and knowledge for building trustworthiness. They persuade their audience of their credibility, character or intelligence. In this way, the public is more likely to believe arguments made.
  2. Pathos This element helps you evoke feelings of your readers. Through this element, a speaker or writer appeals to emotions. To make your argument more convincing, you should trigger compassion, joy, sadness, anger, or any other kind of emotion.
  3. Logos Through this element, a speaker or writer appeals to logic. Logos will help your readers focus on rational and reasonable validity of your argument.

Persuasive Essay Structure

Do you want to understand how to structure a persuasive essay in detail? Then you should read the next information carefully. A successful writing of a persuasive essay requires a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of this type of paper. You should not only understand your topic and provide good arguments but also know how to structure your thoughts properly. We will help you with that. This guide will explain the fundamentals and major elements of this type of work. So follow the approach we presented below and your persuasive text will stand out from the crowd.

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay Introduction Paragraph

Wonder how to start a persuasive essay? It is an example of an excellent introduction. An answer to question of how to be persuasive in writing starts with a good persuasive intro. An introduction to this type of academic writing has 2 primary purposes:

  • Attract reader’s attention from opening lines.
  • Present your topic and reveal goals of writing.

Stay subtle if you want to succeed in your persuasive writing. Identify the topic, purposes, main messages, sources, and target audience before developing an outline and start working on the introduction.

Writing a Persuasive Essay Thesis

Conclude an introduction paragraph with the powerful thesis for persuasive essay. It is a sentence or two that stresses the main idea of your whole paper, which is author’s primary argument to persuade the audience. Let’s look at the example:

With a good thesis statement your persuasive essay writing is more likely to impress your audience.

How to Create a Persuasive Essay Body Paragraph

Once you have stated your thesis, the final sentence of your introduction paragraph, do everything possible to defend your idea. Develop 3 strong persuasive arguments that will support your opinion. Every new body paragraph starts with primary idea. It is followed by in-text citations and evidence gathered from primary sources.

Before writing each persuasive body paragraph, conduct in-depth research and select the most up-to-date, accurate, and credible facts from sources like books, magazines, newspapers, websites, documentaries, etc. Do not use Wikipedia or similar sources. Teachers do not grade them as anyone can edit those websites. Any website where answers provided to necessary questions are shared by some typical Internet users who are not field experts does not count. In general, structure of body paragraphs looks this way:  

  • Main claim/argument.
  • In-text citations & other evidence.
  • Transition to the following paragraph.

How to Write Persuasive Essay Conclusion Paragraph

Many students underestimate the power of conclusion. An introduction should grab reader’s attention, but a conclusion should leave a positive impression on your reader and make your writing successful. Here we will explain persuasive conclusion paragraph structure. We also advise our users to look at different essay conclusion examples.

Begin with the short overview of the arguments and corresponding evidence. Reword the thesis statement, which closes the opening paragraph to stress the importance of everything written in your persuasive paper. Do not make a conclusion of more than 5 sentences. Avoid inserting new arguments or evidence in the last paragraph. The only new thing the author can add is his forecast for the future/the way the researched problem may be implemented in the real world. To persuade the reader or encourage him in ongoing research, call him sign a petition/join a support group if you write a debatable speech on politics, for example.

Quote all the cited sources properly after the conclusion. The list is called Bibliography or References/Works Cited.  

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: 8 Simple Steps

Step 1: Choose one of the persuasive essay topics that interests you the most. If you have a strong opinion about something, feel free to talk about it in your persuasive essay. This will not only be interesting to you but also make your readers believe in what you say. Browse our topics for a position paper, they can help you with some fresh ideas.

Step 2: Research the question from both sides. Obviously, you should know everything about the issue you are for, but not less important to know the side you are against. To make the reader believe you and take your side you should know the arguments you're trying to convince them against.

Step 3: Look for some credible sources. Then read the information carefully and make notes in order to use them later in your paper.

Step 4: After you have analyzed all sources, create an outline for your essay. A persuasive essay outline will help you put your thoughts in order and organize your arguments. Create logical connections between your evidence and arguments to make the writing process easier.

Step 5: Create the attention-grabbing hook for your persuasive essay to intrigue the reader. Include your hook to your strong introduction paragraph. Capture your audience's attention by including the essential background information in your introduction.

Step 6: Write your body paragraphs. Try to keep a logical sequence of your arguments by presenting your evidence consecutively, from the weakest reason to the strongest.

Step 7: Write a conclusion. Summarize all the main points you talked about in your essay and restate your thesis. Include a call to action.

Step 8: Proofread and edit your text. Read it out loud and correct all the grammar mistakes and typos. You can also give your essay to your friend, they can see it from a different angle. Check if the sentence structure is correct. Delete unnecessary words and parts of sentences.

Here’s how a template of a persuasive essay on gun control will look. Take a glimpse to get a better idea or simply use StudyCrumb's college essay writing service at once.  

>> Learn more: How to Write a Good Essay

Persuasive Essay Examples: Free Sample to Help on Your Way

To make you understand the topic even better, we have prepared one of the great persuasive essay examples that will give you an overall idea. Feel free to download the available materials or use a sample attached below as a source for inspiration. We hope that this reference will help you organize your thoughts and create an outstanding essay!

Gun Control
High School
Paper type:
Essay (Any Type)
1.92 MB

Persuasive Essay Format

Another thing you should keep in mind is persuasive paper format. It is important to check formatting once you are done. It includes both in-text citations (direct/indirect) & references. A student must check the way each type of source is cited and references before inserting a new entry in Bibliography.

The format for persuasive essay will depend on teacher's guidelines. Review your assignment thoroughly. Pay attention to specifics like a word count, spacing, font and alignment. Anyway, if you don’t know proper formatting, here we provided the general guidelines for essay format:  

Word count: around 500 words.
Fonts: Times New Roman, 12-point. A 16-point font is suitable for the title for your essay, unless you specify otherwise. Arial as well as Georgia fonts are also appropriate in essay writing, too.
Spacing: Double-spaced. 1.5 works as well.
Alignment: justified.  

Persuasive Writing Tips: Main Points

The points listed below stress an important role of a proper persuasive essay writing.

  • Begin with a clear thesis/controlling point. Establish the focus of writing (place it in the last sentence of an introduction).
  • Introduce thesis after brief introduction with hook sentence coming first. Make sure you know how to write a hook in an essay.
  • Develop body paragraphs based on in-depth research. Provide either narrative/descriptive or argumentative points.
  • Do not forget to add persuasive transition words & phrases. Relate points and make the entire flow of your text smooth.
  • Insert counterarguments and present and reject opposing opinions.
  • A conclusion should enhance central idea. Do not make it repetitive!

Writing a Persuasive Essay: Bottom Line

We've created our concise guide that will help you with your persuasive essay writing. Hope with our tips, examples and a general structure you will know how to write a compelling persuasive essay and improve your skills of convincing your audience in written form. Buy a persuasive essay if you just need the result without any hassle. 

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long should a persuasive essay be?

Persuasive essays have no paragraph limits. However, a general word count will depend on whether you are middle school, high school or college student. Anyway, try not to exceed 500 word limit. Keep it shorter but emphasize your most relevant information.

2. How are a persuasive essay and an expository essay different?

The difference between persuasive and expository essays is in their purpose. Goal of expository writing is informing your reader or explaining something. It should shed light on some topic so readers understand what it is about. On the other hand, persuasive writing aims to persuade and convince others.

3. Which three strategies are elements of a persuasive essay?

A formal persuasive essay includes three strategies: issue, side, and argument.

  • Issue is what your essay is about. Include an issue in your title.
  • Side (Thesis) means which side of an issue (“for” or “against”) you believe in your essay.
  • Argument is where you are proving your side and convince readers using your arguments and evidence.
Article posted on:Apr 27, 2022
Article updated on:Feb 18, 2024


Leave your comment here:
6/20/2022 7:54 AM
Hello! How do you write a persuasive essay and make the audience actually love it? Somehow I've never got an A before and now I want it to change. Do you have any tips or ideas to share? Waiting impatiently... Thanks!
6/22/2022 7:04 PM
Hello Nate,

There are some different ways to write a persuasive essay, especially so if you want to make it good. We recommend that you stick with the classic one. First of all, choose a topic you're passionate about. Second, research both sides of the argument and outline it. After that, write your paper according to the outline. Lastly, proofread.
7/4/2022 5:26 PM
Hey guys! I wonder how to write a good persuasive essay. Can you give some useful tips? Are there some tricks of the trade a student like me can use? I really need your help! Thanks in advance for any advice :)
7/4/2022 6:37 PM
Hey Jeff,
Technically you can follow this article's rules if you want to write a good persuasive essay. But it never hurts to pick a topic you're passionate about and truly believe in, as well as know your audience.
8/1/2022 11:24 AM
Hello StudyCrumb! Can you please explain how to write a persuasive essay step by step? There is so much information and I do not have time to read everything. Just a quick run down about the topic. I’d really appreciate it! And thanks in advance!
8/1/2022 11:52 AM
Hey Lily,

There are not many steps to write a persuasive essay. First, choose a topic you’d love to write about, and research it extensively. Next, create an outline in which you can mark your sources. Then, get to writing! When you’re done, just proofread and submit it.
8/11/2022 10:10 AM
Hello! I really need to know how to write a persuasive essay in MLA format! It is a real nightmare for me( I have problems with formatting as is, so applying it to an essay seems like an impossible task. Please help(
8/11/2022 10:18 AM
Hello Zoe,

There’s nothing hard about formatting your persuasive essay in MLA style. General rules are using one-inch margins all around, double-spacing, and Times New Roman 12-point font. You don’t have to create a title page, just include your full name, the instructor's name, the course title, and the date on the left heading located on the first page.
8/22/2022 7:56 AM
Hello! So, can you write in first person in a persuasive essay? I feel like most academic papers ban any sign of using the first person in an essay. So, is a persuasive essay situation like that? Thanks for any help!
8/22/2022 8:06 AM
Hi Rita,

Yes, you should use the first-person perspective when writing a persuasive essay! This will help to achieve a measured and logical tone. In its turn, this will make it easier for you to convince your readers of your main point. Hope this helps)
8/25/2022 8:33 AM
Hello! I liked your article very much. But I also thought I can add some tips on writing a persuasive essay. First, you should research both sides of the argument and be empathetic when presenting your points of view. You can also ask rhetorical questions and emphasize your point. Lastly, edit and edit until everything’s perfect.