The ability to persuade, whether in speech or through writing, is an essential quality that you should strive to develop as a student. A persuasive essay focuses on convincing readers about a certain issue or idea, often something that you believe. Your persuasive essay should, therefore, be based on something that you can express an opinion about. As a student or out of school, you will find yourself arguing about many things such as the negative influence of social media on students, or the need to lower the salaries of our politicians.
Before you begin writing a persuasive essay, it is important that you the close similarities and significant differences between this form of writing and argumentative essay writing.
Key Points to Understand Concerning Argumentative and Persuasive Essays
In both persuasive and argumentative writing, you are expected to takes a position either against or for a particular issue or topic. Subsequently, you should present your argument in a manner that convinces the readers to agree with your position on the matter.
Since both persuasive and argumentative essays seek to accomplish the same goal of convincing, it is important that you are keen to distinguish how each type of essay should be presented in writing.
The following are the distinguishing factors between persuasive and argumentative essays:
- Your persuasive essay should convince the reader to agree with, or adopt your opinion on a particular matter.
- Your argumentative essay should convince the readers to recognize or accept that your viewpoint is more valid.
- The tone of a persuasive essay is more aggressive and emotionally charged since your argument is based on a combination of both emotions and facts. You do not necessarily need to support your claims with evidence while writing a persuasive essay.
- The tone of an argumentative essay is calmer, with little or no traces of emotion (logic-based). Your goal here should be to get the readers to acknowledge that your side of an argument is worthy of consideration. Also, base your arguments solely on reasons, factors, and other evidence that validate your viewpoints.
- In persuasive writing, you should only offer the ideas or claims that help advance your position. You do not need to acknowledge the counter claims that might be, or are being raised against your argument, meaning that you only present your perspective on an issue.
- Argumentative essays are more formal in structure since they acknowledge the claims raised by the opposition, compare different ideas to establish a standpoint, and always offer evidence to claims raised.
Once you have understood the key differences between persuasive and argumentative writing, then you are in a better position to ensure that your essay does not fall outside expectations.
Remember, persuasive essays might make “arguments” however, they do not include the formal elements of writing included in argumentative essays.
The Four-Step Process to Writing Persuasive Essays
The following four steps to assist you to develop an excellent persuasive essay:
Before you begin writing, you need to identify and choose your position for which you are going to write about. Determine your audience since when you understand the perspective of your readers, you will be in a better position to persuade them otherwise. Also, ensure that you inform yourself adequately on the issue through research and then identify key points that you can use in your argument.
- Prepare a draft of your persuasive essay
The best approach to writing an essay is to write a draft or outline which adheres to the structure of an essay (introduction, body, and conclusion). Your draft should also contain key points and notes to support your arguments in your final draft.
- Revise your persuasive essay
Once you have written your essay based on the outline prepared, revise the entire paper to modify, reorganize or review your presentation. Some factors to put into consideration at this point include:
- Does your essay support your position firmly based on relevant points and facts?
- Is the essay intriguing, by effectively capturing the readers’ attention and keeping the reading?
- Does the essay challenges opposing claims and refute them effectively?
- Editing and publishing
The last step in writing your persuasive essay involves ensuring you have proofread and corrected both syntactical and grammatical errors in order to enhance clarity and style. You can even ask one of your classmates to read the essay offer suggestions before you publish or submit the work to your professor.
Since your persuasive essay seeks to convince or sway your audience to a particular standpoint on an issue, the paper can be more effective if you employ various persuasion techniques. Always seek to have your readers “hooked” in your argument. Other techniques you can use to be more persuasive include:
- Social validation
- Agitation on the issues, and
- Using a strong and authoritative language
Once you have observed all the tips offered here, you can be sure that nothing will stand your way to becoming an excellent writer of persuasive essays.