Persuasive writing is a skill that can be used for good or evil. It can be used to influence people to take a particular action, or it can be used by unscrupulous businesses to dupe their customers into buying products they don’t need. However, in the right hands, persuasive writing can be an extremely powerful tool.
This article will teach you How to Write a Persuasive Essay and apply techniques to convince your readers to take actions that you want them to take. By following the advice in this article, you will be able to write persuasive essays that are both effective and engaging.
What is a Persuasive Essay?
Persuasive essays are essays that aim to convince the reader of a particular point of view. They can be written in any format, but they typically take the form of an argumentative essay, in which the writer tries to persuade the reader to agree with their position on a particular issue.
A persuasive essay usually starts with a thesis statement (a bold, declarative sentence that sets the tone for the essay), followed by a body paragraph or two that establish the author’s position on the issue at hand. The writer then spends the rest of the essay trying to convince the reader of their point of view by making logical arguments and citing evidence.
There are many different types of persuasive essays, but all share some common elements. First and foremost, a persuasive essay must have a thesis statement that is clear and concise.
This statement will provide focus for the rest of the essay, and it should be backed up by evidence from both primary and secondary sources. In addition, a persuasive essay must make clear arguments based on logic and reason rather than emotion or personal opinion.
Last but not least, persuasive essays always strive to persuade rather than convince; they should leave the reader with a desire or hope to change their position on the issue.
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How to Write a Persuasive Essay
One common formula for the persuasive paper is the 5-Paragraph Essay. If you don’t have much experience with essay writing, this is a good method to start with, since it’s basic and straightforward. The 5-Paragraph Essay incorporates the elements listed above in the following basic structure:
- Introductory paragraph with a clear, concise thesis.
- Three body paragraphs that offer evidence and analysis connecting that evidence to the thesis.
- A concluding paragraph that sums up the paper by reevaluating the thesis in light of the evidence discussed in the essay’s body.
While the 5-paragraph structure gives you a helpful formula to work with, it’s only one among many valid options, and its suitability will depend on other factors like the length and complexity of your essay. If you’re writing a paper that’s more than 3 or 4 pages long, it should be more than 5 paragraphs.
In most cases, the structure of a longer essay will be similar to that of the 5-paragraph essay, with an introduction, a conclusion and body paragraphs performing the same basic functions—only the number of body paragraphs will increase. The length of the paragraphs may also increase slightly in proportion to the length of the essay.
Persuasive Essay Outline
Writing an outline is a big step for writing persuasive essays. An outline helps to get your thoughts well-organized and makes the writing process simpler.
A standard persuasive essay structure is quite similar to other types of essays and consists of three main elements: an introduction, body, and conclusion. Each element plays its own role in the paper.
You will be required to follow the persuasive essay format and cite it according to one of the common citation styles, such as APA or MLA.
Here is a brief note on what each part of this paper consists of and what purpose each part has:
Introduction: This consists of a hook, background info, and a thesis statement. It should be straight to the point, engaging, and concise. The main purpose of the introductory paragraph is to define your topic and position, grab the reader’s attention, and give a sneak peek into the topic’s background.
Main Body: Consists of several paragraphs, each focusing on a separate idea with supporting evidence. It should be logical, contain valid arguments, and be interesting. As a general rule, such an essay has from 3 to 5 body paragraphs. In the final body paragraph of your paper, you can also state the opposing opinion and provide counterarguments—this will strengthen the persuasive effect of the text.
Conclusion: Consists of a short summary of key points, a restated thesis, and additional information to leave readers some food for thought. To consolidate the convincing effect of your paper, it should be clear, logical, and powerful.
To give you a better idea of how a persuasive essay outline should be formed, here is a sample on the topic “Are Women Weaker Than Men Today”:
Hook: “In the 21st century, women are more than housewives.”
Background Info: “For ages, the debate on whether women are weaker or stronger than men have not faded.”
Thesis: “The era of male dominance has come to an end. Today women can do and be pretty much everything men can.”
2. Main Body
Argument #1: The strength of a woman from a family perspective + supporting facts, stats, and evidence
Argument #2: The strength from a work perspective + supporting facts, stats, and evidence
Argument #3: The strength from a society perspective + supporting facts, stats, and evidence
Summary of all arguments
Thesis restatement: “Women were perceived as a weaker sex for centuries. However today, looking at modern women examples, we can mark this statement as false.”
Food for thought: “Over the past decades, women from all over the world have proven that they can do anything a man can do and succeed. Their success is the best indicator of their strength. And, even though there is nothing else to prove, women are still seeking to take a more active role in modern society.”
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What Makes a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?
Theoretically, you could write a persuasive essay about any subject under the sun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Certain topics are easier to write a strong persuasive essay on, and below are tips to follow when deciding what you should write about.
It’s a Topic You Care About
Obviously, it’s possible to write an essay about a topic you find completely boring. You’ve probably done it! However, if possible, it’s always better to choose a topic that you care about and are interested in. When this is the case, you’ll find doing the research more enjoyable, writing the essay easier, and your writing will likely be better because you’ll be more passionate about and informed on the topic.
You Have Enough Evidence to Support Your Argument
Just being passionate about a subject isn’t enough to make it a good persuasive essay topic, though. You need to make sure your argument is complex enough to have at least two potential sides to root for, and you need to be able to back up your side with evidence and examples.
Even though persuasive essays allow your opinion to feature more than many other essays, you still need concrete evidence to back up your claims, or you’ll end up with a weak essay.
For example, you may passionately believe that mint chocolate chip ice cream is the best ice cream flavor (I agree!), but could you really write an entire essay on this? What would be your reasons for believing mint chocolate chip is the best (besides the fact that it’s delicious)?
How would you support your belief? Have enough studies been done on preferred ice cream flavors to support an entire essay? When choosing a persuasive essay idea, you want to find the right balance between something you care about (so you can write well on it) and something the rest of the world cares about (so you can reference evidence to strengthen your position).
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It’s a Manageable Topic
Bigger isn’t always better, especially with essay topics. While it may seem like a great idea to choose a huge, complex topic to write about, you’ll likely struggle to sift through all the information and different sides of the issue and winnow them down to one streamlined essay.
For example, choosing to write an essay about how WWII impacted American life more than WWI wouldn’t be a great idea because you’d need to analyze all the impacts of both the wars in numerous areas of American life.
It’d be a huge undertaking. A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible.
How to Choose a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?
Follow the below-given steps to choose good persuasive essay topics.
1. Consider Your Interest
The first step of your exceptional persuasive writing is to choose a topic of your interest. You can talk about the issue more convincingly if you are personally concerned about it. Similarly, your research and writing skills will be better because you are more informed on the topic.
It is because the primary purpose of this academic paper is to convince the readers about your opinion using evidence. Thus, there is no point in persuading the audience about the matter you are not sure or convinced.
2. Narrow It Down
Choosing broad topic ideas for persuasive essays can cause confusion as you will have to struggle a lot to find the information. Therefore, narrowing down your focus on a single aspect will make your persuasive speeches easy to handle.
3. Talk About Controversy
There are always a few people who have a different opinion regarding some controversy. It does not mean that you have to talk opposite to the general trend.
You can just share your opinion, ensuring that it is logical and makes sense.
4. Pick the Stance You Agree With
Make sure you choose persuasive argument topics with two potential sides. Because writing a persuasive essay aims to persuade the readers regarding some specific stance.
For this, you need to be careful while picking the stance for your essay. If you select the side you don’t agree to; you will not be able to convince your audience about it.
5. Find Strong Evidence and Examples
Conduct in-depth research to find strong evidence and examples to back up your side. Use both primary and secondary sources to collect different points of view, facts, and statistics. It will make your study more compelling and impressive.
6. Avoid Common Pitfalls
When coming up with a topic, many students think about whether their professors will like it or not. Overthinking these aspects doesn’t help you choose the essay topic wisely.
Instead, try to be creative and choose persuasive writing topics you are most passionate about or wish to write on.
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Persuasive Essay Topics
Best Persuasive Essay Topics
- The government should impose household trash limits.
- Nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent against foreign attack.
- Teens should be required to take parenting classes.
- We should teach etiquette in schools.
- School uniform laws are unconstitutional.
- All students should wear uniforms.
- Too much money is a bad thing.
- High schools should offer specialized degrees in arts or sciences.
- Magazine advertisements send unhealthy signals to young women.
- Robocalling should be outlawed.
- Age 12 is too young to babysit.
- Children should be required to read more.
- All students should be given the opportunity to study abroad.
- Yearly driving tests should be mandatory past age 65.
- Cell phones should never be used while driving.
- All schools should implement bullying awareness programs.
- Bullies should be kicked out of school.
- Parents of bullies should have to pay a fine.
- The school year should be longer.
- School days should start later.
- Teens should be able to choose their bedtime.
- There should be a mandatory entrance exam for high school.
- Public transit should be privatized.
- We should allow pets in school.
- The voting age should be lowered to 16.
- Beauty contests are bad for body image.
- Every American should learn to speak Spanish.
- Every immigrant should learn to speak English.
- Video games can be educational.
- College athletes should be paid for their services.
- We need a military draft.
- Professional sports should eliminate cheerleaders.
- Teens should be able to start driving at 14 instead of 16.
- Year-round school is a bad idea.
- High school campuses should be guarded by police officers.
- The legal drinking age should be lowered to 19.
- Kids under 15 shouldn’t have Facebook pages.
- Standardized testing should be eliminated.
- Teachers should be paid more.
- There should be one world currency.
- All problems facing humanity could be fixed with better technology
- Embalming is a dangerous practice
- Euthanasia should be illegal
- Exotic pets are a significant danger to their owners
- Humans are intrinsically good
- Schools should have less technology
- Social media sites should be able to ban users without being accused of censorship
- The benefits of space exploration outweigh the costs
- There shouldn’t be a limit to how many terms a president can serve
- The work week should be four days
Funny Persuasive Essay Topics
- How bad decisions make a person wise?
- Why is adult life more difficult than teenage life?
- Vegetarians do not care much about animals. Analyze the concept.
- Why are fathers a better option to be friends than mothers?
- Never add your parents as friends on social media accounts. Why?
- Explain why men should not be judged for wearing pink.
- How do pets see their owners?
- Discuss the reasons why people hate Monday.
- How can AutoCorrect ruin your life?
- Why are crushes so fun to have?
Sports Persuasive Essay Topics
- Animal sports, including race or fighting, are immoral. Evaluate.
- Bodybuilding is risky for women. Why?
- How do energy drinks impact the performance of athletes?
- Are women better dancers and swimmers as compared to men?
- Athletes are born, not trained. Elaborate on the concept.
- Is practicing sports the best way of relieving stress?
- Men are more prone to injuries during sports events than females. Why?
- Badminton or Tennis? Which one is better?
- Why is swimming so good for you?
- What is the reality of WWE?
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Persuasive Essay Topics for College
- Books should never be banned
- Why should colleges ban the use of mobile phones on campus premises?
- Immigration challenges can easily be solved by fencing the borders. How?
- Why must sociopaths and psychopaths be sentenced to death?
- Why should parents keep a check on children’s internet activities?
- How does feminism devalue motherhood?
- Kids’ cartoons must be scrutinized for inappropriate content. Discuss.
- Discuss why traditional classes are better than distant learning?
- How banning weapons production can reduce terrorist activities across the globe?
- Discuss why female students should take part in wrestling and boxing?
- What is the best age for driving a car?
- Churches should not be taxed
- Climate change is the biggest issue that humanity has ever faced
- Countries should focus primarily on themselves, rather than spending resources on global issues
- Filming should be allowed in Court Rooms
- Fracking should be legal
- Freedom of speech should have its limits
- Humanity will ultimately bring about its own destruction
- Morality cannot be objective
- Music is not as good now as it was fifty years ago
- Nuclear power is too dangerous to rely on
- Obesity is the greatest threat to world health
- Police should be abolished
- Prisons should be privatized
- The scientific method is flawed
- Does technology make us more alone?
- Do Apps help you or just waste your time?
- Does Facebook ever make you feel bad?
- Is getting fired for what you say on Facebook justified?
- Should people be allowed to hide their identities online?
- Online learning vs face to face learning
- Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?
- Should companies collect information about you?
- The marketing of alcohol to college students
- Chronic diseases and mental illnesses are different. Discuss.
Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics
- Animal testing of pharmaceuticals should be allowed
- College athletes should be given a salary
- Dementia can not be prevented
- Interns should be paid for their work
- It is possible to separate the art from the artist
- Lab-grown diamonds are killing the jewel industry
- More land should be devoted to agriculture
- Slang should be considered its own language
- There are too many people with college degrees
- The death penalty should be abolished
Persuasive Essay Topics for University Students
- Why is it important to wear bike helmets?
- Influence of video games on children
- Should the death penalty be banned?
- Is homeschooling effective?
- How can global warming be stopped?
- Should gambling be legalized?
- Cloning should be banned
- The commercial side of education
- Is it possible to live on the Moon?
- The threats of overpopulation
Controversial Persuasive Essay Topics
- Abortion should be legal
- Why should gay marriages not be allowed?
- A man is the product of society, not nature. Discuss.
- Why should the American legal system support discrimination against minorities?
- Should sex education be a must for younger teenagers?
- Why is the Internet not safe for young children?
- Should children be allowed to drive?
- Dating in the workplace should not be allowed. Why?
- Should euthanasia be legalized for terminally ill patients?
- Why should children be separated from abusive parents?
- Why should repeat offenders be charged with the death penalty?
- A college degree isn’t worth it anymore
- Donald Trump was a good president
- God does not exist
- Guns should not be banned
- Religion has done more harm than good
- Studying humanities is pointless
- The ‘American Dream’ is a scam
- The minimum wage should not be raised
- We are living in a simulation but don’t know it
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Easy Persuasive Essay Topics
- Why do most people use public transport for traveling purposes?
- Pollution is affecting the ozone layer. How?
- Why should we use disposable diapers?
- Is it important to keep the environment clean?
- Why should female workers have the same salary as male workers?
- Is it unethical to eat meat?
- Explain why children should not watch horror movies.
- Fairy tales are good for kids. Discuss.
- How is parental pressure on children dangerous?
- Why should men not wear pink?
1. What is persuasive essay writing?
Persuasive essay writing is also known as argumentative essay. It is a piece of writing where the writer uses logic and reason to show that your idea or point of view is more valid than another idea. You should support them with facts and logical reasons.
2. How many paragraphs in a persuasive essay?
The basic structural persuasive essay outline is, indeed, 5 paragraphs. It can be more, of course, and often will be, as you should try to keep each point supporting your main argument, or thesis, to one paragraph.
3. How do you write a thesis statement for a persuasive essay?
Your thesis statement presents your opinion or argument in clear language. It is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph. For a persuasive essay, it’s especially important that you present your argument in clear language that lets your readers know exactly what to expect. It also should present the organization of your essay.