Most students face the task of learning to write a persuasive essay at an early stage of their education. They get taught the fine art of analyzing just about everything that holds any value in today's society. If people talk about it and have opinions on it, you should be able to write about it persuasively. A persuasive essay is not just about offering an opinion; your claims should be well-supported by evidence and able to withstand challenges posed by opposing arguments.
By definition, a persuasive essay is an academic text written with the intent of persuading an audience to believe in a particular view and to take the corresponding action. The actual writing will come after thorough research on the subject. During this preparatory phase, authors are familiarized with all aspects of an issue, including the widespread prejudices that exist on the matter. They explore their attitudes and check them for bias. This is especially important for emotionally charged topics. Only after understanding all the facts, beliefs, and existing theories on something can a student form an educated opinion and formulate it in a shape of a persuasive essay. If written successfully, this type of essay leaves no room for doubt; readers are 100% clear about the author's opinion and find it credible.
In this article, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide to writing a persuasive essay. We’ll let you learn from professional writers and make sure you never get anything less than a perfect grade.
A typical persuasive essay for high-school or college comprises five paragraphs. The first paragraph is an introduction to the topic. The next three form the body of the essay. Each body paragraph presents a single argument and backs it up with evidence. The writer pays careful attention to the selection of arguments as well as their presentation in logical succession. The transition should be smooth and easy to follow. An outline written beforehand serves as a guide to organizing your essay to comply with its required structure. Formatting is done using the requested citation style, usually MLA or APA.
When contemplating the possible topics to explore in a persuasive essay, there are a few things you should bear in mind:
Here's a list of possible topics for a high school persuasive essay:
As you can see, high school students are well-advised to discuss a topic connected with their educational experience which is something to what both teachers and other students can easily relate. It's preferable they write on a subject that carries a deep personal meaning since it guarantees they will argue their opinion with enthusiasm. If a topic is of no particular interest for a writer, their arguments will be weaker and less capable of influencing the audience.
As far as possible topics for a persuasive essay for college are concerned, the situation gets a bit more complicated. Students are generally required to write about an issue that has a slightly broader significance. They can discuss their view on a much debated moral issue, offer a personal outlook on an environmental problem, or discuss the implications of a recent technological breakthrough. The more controversial the topic is, the more it will engage the readers both on an intellectual and emotional level. College students can consider writing about freedom of media, pollution, unemployment, social inequality, educational system reforms, euthanasia, etc.
The first thing a student should decide upon when working on an essay outline is the position they would like to take on a specific issue. They should formulate it in a single sentence that captures the essence of the message the writer attempts to get across. It's important that it sounds compelling since your entire essay will revolve around it. Providing the rationale for the thesis statement and proving its legitimacy and ability to withstand opposition is the goal of a persuasive essay.
What to avoid when formulating a thesis statement:
So stay away from formulations like:
"Something should be done about the issue of homelessness in Los Angeles." You don't specify what should be done or why this issue is critical for the local community. Or
"There are as many downsides to using biofuel as there are advantages." Here, the writer does not take a stance, his position remains unclear, and there is no call for action.
Check out the examples of how the previous sentences can be reformulated to constitute strong thesis statements:
“Authorities of Los Angeles should provide affordable housing, soup kitchens, and job training to tackle with the issue of homelessness in this city.”
“In spite of belonging to renewable energy sources, biofuel still contributes to air pollution significantly and cannot be considered an ecological substitute for oil.”
Once you’ve done your research on a particular topic you’d like to discuss, you should write an outline which will help you comprehensively present your argument. The outline contains your notes on the topic, how you will introduce an issue, which arguments you'll discuss, and what evidence you will provide for each argument.
The introduction should contain a “hook” to grab the readers’ attention and a strong thesis statement. In a five-paragraph essay, each body paragraph should provide a new argument. You can dedicate two body paragraphs to evidence supporting your position and one to evidence that refutes any opposing views.
The conclusion ties all the evidence together, links your topic to a broader context, and offers a call for action. A detailed outline provides a clear format for your essay since it encompasses all the main elements the final writing will consist of and all the sources to back your claims.
Students should pay careful attention not to omit any of the essential elements of persuasive writing:
All three elements should be finely balanced, without giving too much space to any of them at the expense of others.
Title: Biofuel – a valid substitute for oil or just another air polluter
The students’ main concern when writing any type of essay is the grade they will get for their work. Here are some pointers concerning the grading system for persuasive essays:
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