Persuasive essays are a type of academic writing where the author aims to make the readers agree with their point of view. Persuasive essays are great for improving research and communication skills.
In the professional world, how successful you are is directly dependent on how easily you can persuade someone. So, to develop this important skill, students are encouraged to write persuasive essays.
Today, we are going to take a look at how you can write good persuasive essays.
Table of Contents
How to Write a Persuasive Essay
Select a Topic You are Knowledgeable About
First of all, you cannot write about anything that is not interesting to you or you lack the proper knowledge of. That is why you should start with topics that you are personally interested in or have extensive knowledge about.
Of course, that is only possible if you have a choice in the matter. If you do not have a choice, then your only recourse is to start reading up on your given topic. Typically, professors allow students to choose their topics so this should not be a problem.
Gather Data for Both Against and In Favor of Your Argument
Now that your topic is selected, you have to take a stance on it. For example, let us say the topic is about cloning animals. Naturally, two stances can be taken on it:
- Against cloning because it is morally and ethically incorrect.
- For cloning because it has great medicinal value such as organ transplanting.
Regardless of your stance, you need to research both sides of the argument. You need to do that so that you are better equipped for:
- Defending your point of view
- Making the opposing view look weak and unpersuasive.
- Making your argument look strong and persuasive.
You can only do that if you know the complete ins and outs of the subject from both perspectives.
Write in a Clear and Logical Manner
Part of being persuasive is being clear and coherent. No matter how strong your argument may be, if the reader cannot understand it then they will not be persuaded. That is why when you sit down to write your essay, ensure that it is not ambiguous or confusing.
How can you do that? well here are a few tips:
- Write short sentences. Do not lengthen them needlessly. Rephrase any sentences that are too long to shorten them.
- Use vocabulary that is commonly applied and avoid unorthodox words.
- Format your essay clearly with headings, subheadings, and bullet points to make it easier to read.
Even if after all of that, your essay is somewhat difficult to read, then try to paraphrase the troublesome parts. You can rephrase online with the help of tools to save time and effort.
Use the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Approach
Ethos, pathos, and logos refer to ethics, emotions, and logic, respectively. This approach entails that you appeal to your audience using their ethical values, emotions, and logic. Naturally, this requires that you research your audience beforehand. You can see their posts and what kind of content they like on public platforms to find out their ethical and emotional tendencies.
Then you need to apply that information to your writing process and craft your arguments such that they resonate with your audience. You do not need to use all three of these things. You can use just one or two. That depends on your audience though.
Let us say you are trying to persuade children, then appealing to their emotions is the best way to go. The same goes for women and young adults. However, for older people, appealing to their ethics, or using logic is better. Of course, it is not as cookie-cutter as this. Our advice is to use all three according to your audience’s personality template.
Cite Your Sources and Provide Evidence in Favor of Your Argument
To persuade an intelligent audience facts and logic are indispensable. In the modern world, there is too much misinformation on public platforms. Anyone can make claims online, but only those who can provide real facts to back up their claims can hope to persuade anyone.
Since persuasive essays are academic in nature, they come with all the gimmicks of academic writing. The most important one is citations and references. Any fact or evidence provided needs to be cited in the text and have a complete entry in the references section.
When you provide sources for your arguments, they strengthen your stance and tell your audience that you are right. And since facts are not biased emotionally, they are just pure numbers, you cannot offend anyone either.
Proofread Before Submission
Any good essay goes through a thorough proofreading and editing cycle before it is published/submitted. Proofreading is the act of reading your finished draft to find all kinds of mistakes, errors, and parts that could be improved.
The persuasion power of an essay is drastically diminished if it has elementary mistakes in it. So, make sure you deal with any bad grammar (if there is any) and make your essay spick and span.
Other things you need to look out for are errors related to citations and difficult passages. Incorrect citations result in plagiarism, and that just takes the wind out of your essay. Difficult passages as we discussed beforehand are impediments to reading and drive away your audience. So, deal with all of these issues to ensure that your essay does not lack credibility.
Writing a persuasive essay requires that the writer be knowledgeable about each side of the argument. This requires research and information. Other than that, the writer needs to appeal to their audience’s ethics and emotions. The writer also needs to make sure that the language used is easy to understand, and that there are no errors in the essay. This ensures that your audience can read and understand your essay without issues.
Finally, your arguments should be backed by real evidence, otherwise, they will have no persuasive power. That is why always cite your sources because in writing they count as evidence.