Tips for composing a Persuasive Essay

Writing a persuasive essay can be a challenge for many students but there really are just two main aspects of the process that you need to pay close attention to:

Drafting the Essay

Drafting is the first step of the writing process, and chances are you will go through several drafts before you finish the paper. When you are writing your drafts of the essay keep the following points in mind.

  • The introductory paragraph needs to really grab the attention of the reader and make them want to read your essay. A quote, statistics, or a short few sentence story can be a good way to create the hook you need to get the reader interested.
  • The thesis statement needs to clearly outline your topic and what stand you are taking- for or against.
  • Each body paragraph needs to address a separate point in the argument and each one should also have its own unique evidence that is used to back up the points made in that paragraph.
  • Be creative and keep the article interesting.
  • Don’t assume that you reader knows as much about the topic as you do, so be sure you take a few sentences in each paragraph to explain the point you are making and ensure the reader will understand what you are saying.
  • The concluding paragraph needs to review all the points made in the body paragraphs. You can also end your paper with a call to action that challenges the reader to make their own decision and take action on the topic you have been talking about.

Revising the Essay

During the revision portion of the essay you will need to review, modify,and edit your paper. Keep these considerations in mind:

  • Does the essay take a stand and acknowledge a position on the issue you have chosen and is that stand supported by relevant facts, data, quotes, and examples?
  • Does the essay have an effective hook that will grab the attention of the reader and make them interested in reading your essay?
  • Does each paragraph present a new point that is supported by good facts and logical arguments?
  • Is the opposing viewpoint presented and accurately countered?
  • Is the essay grammatically sound with good word choice, examples, layout, flow, and proper spelling and punctuation usage?
  • Does the concluding paragraph summarize the overall stand you took in the essay and challenge the reader to make their own choice and take action on this topic?