A persuasive essay is the type of academic essay that you write when you are arguing a point or making a case for a certain point of view. Persuasive essays, also called argumentative essays, are at times confused with research essays/papers because both of them are centered on facts. The difference is that while research papers explain facts about a certain thing/topic, persuasive essays go a step further to present a well-explained and well-founded point of view about those facts.
A persuasive essay assignment tests your ability to persuade others to embrace your convictions; it also tests your resolve in arguing your point of view. Your dedication to convincing your audience that your position is worth considering is what your teachers and professors wish to see and assess.
The objective of a persuasive essay is to convince your audience to agree with or embrace your position or argument. When writing these essays, we use these three elements of persuasive writing:
1) Ethos (Appealing to Logic)
We first endeavor to appeal to logic in our arguments. We do this by presenting all the facts that support your position and logically justifying them. For us to be adequately convincing, we provide solid, irrefutable, and verifiable information that backs your claim. Such information can include links or references to authoritative websites, online journals, or books that speak on the subject matter.
2) Ethics (Appealing to Ethics)
Readers also tend to respond positively to arguments with hooks that appeal to them from an ethical point of view. Emphasizing the ethically correct nature of your position appeals to your reader’s desire to stand for the right thing, so we try to do so in these essays.
3) Pathos (Appealing to Emotions)
We also endeavor to win over your audience by structuring your argument to appeal to the emotions of your readers. We do so by including statements about your argument that draw empathy/sympathy, fear, anger, sadness, joy, disgust, surprise, or trust out of your readers e.g. emotional things said by different people about your argument.
One sure way in which you can appeal to your readers is by expressing your convictions with a lot of passion. Passionate writing almost always draws in its readers on account its detail, its articulation, and its unabashed conviction. You should first take it upon yourself to fully understand the subject or topic. In doing this, you should embrace your convictions and write an essay with the kind of passion that draws attention.
2) The Use of Persuasive Language Features
You need to write your persuasive essay with personal pronouns like “your” and “you” because your readers will find it easier to connect with your conviction when they feel like you are speaking directly to them. You should also include strong adjectives, powerful verbs and technical language where applicable.
3) Pros and Cons
When you use pros and cons in your argument, you enable the reader to see how you arrived at your position/conviction after considering both sides of the argument, and so it helps to win them over. Pros and cons also help to make your argument look unbiased and more credible. For these reasons, you should also include the pros and cons when we are writing these essays. To make the pros and cons more effective or helpful, we try to show that your side of the argument is stronger or weightier. So, the set of pros that you'll provide will be stronger and longer than the set of cons.
4) The Use of Rhetorical questions
Rhetoric questions may not require an answer, but they make your readers think. They make your readers question facts of the topic or subject in the light of your arguments or position, so we also endeavor to use rhetorical questions in these essays. You know that rhetorical questions can sound insensitive and at times offensive if not carefully used, so you should also watch out for that.
Here are some guidelines that you need to follow when preparing to write a persuasive essay:
1) Choose an Opinion/Position
You start by choosing a position and building a case around that position. Your teacher or professor may provide the position that you are required to argue out in the essay, but this is not always the case. More often than not, you may have to choose the position or opinion that you want to argue out in the essay for yourself from the instructions and information provided. You must choose a position that you can confidently and passionately defend.
2) Do Your Research
Your understanding of the subject or topic needs to be thorough, so you must study and research the subject extensively. Explore both sides of the argument and then organize all the facts in a well-structured manner.
3) Understand Both Sides
A good persuasive essay also requires a thorough understanding of the different sides of the subject or issue being discussed because it is only then that you’ll be able to effectively disprove the opposing claim.
4) Write the Outline
You can start the introduction with a statement that grabs the attention of the reader and stirs up curiosity for more. Your introduction should also provide some background information about the subject that you are writing about, and it should also include your thesis statement that firmly declares your position.
b) The Body
The body paragraphs should explain your position, providing sufficient facts that anchor your claim. Each paragraph should have its point. It is also good to dedicate the last body paragraph to talk about the opposing view of the argument and why the position that you have taken is better than the opposing view.
c) The Conclusion
The conclusion summarizes all your arguments that reaffirms the position that you took. It may also include a call to action based on the position that you took.
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