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Essay Writing Tips: Being persuasive

In a persuasive essay your responsibility as the writer is to persuade or convince the reader to see your unique point of view. Some people are natural at this and the words just flow out. For others, it may seem uncomfortable and they really struggle with it. Don’t give up before you even start. You could turn out to be a better persuasive writer than you realize.

It helps to have a subject you are really passionate about. This passion will come out in your writing and your reader will feel it. You must also be somewhat knowledgeable about the subject. If you aren’t, you’ve got work to do! Passion without knowledge won’t win over your reader.

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Something that makes you angry
  • Something that you love
  • Something that makes you frustrated
  • Something you feel compelled to change in the world
  • Something that crushed your spirit

You must maintain good form in this kind of essay. The introduction is where you will state your opinion, and your plan as to how to back it up. The body of the essay will bring out all the points that plead your case, that give structure and support to your opinion. The concluding paragraph is a summary of what you’ve just said. It’s basically a recap of the introduction.

Take your basic points and form them into an outline. Write each paragraph following this outline to keep you on track. After you’ve filled in all the headings of your outline, look at the entire thing. Have you missed anything? Have you covered each point thoroughly? Have you validated your opinion? If you were the reader, would you be convinced?

Make sure to use reputable sources, and give proper citation to everything you used. Editing is one of the final steps, and you can’t skip it. Editing alone can make or break the essay. It should be proofread for spelling and grammar errors, and reviewed for the flow of logic and ideas.

Get someone else to read your essay and give you feedback before you finish editing. If you have made a mistake, chances are you won’t find it. It takes a new pair of eyes to find it. In some circumstances, there may not be someone else you can get to help you proofread. In that case, put your essay away for a day or two and forget about it. When you get it out again to review it, you will be able to read it from a fresh viewpoint.