Writing guides07 March 2022

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Persuasion is a skill that every person should master to the moon and back. This important talent lets anyone reach their achievements brilliantly. College time is a great opportunity to train your persuasive writing and improve your confidence in any idea. In our guide, you will learn how to create a persuasive essay outline, write, edit, and format the whole draft.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

Before you start working on your task, it is beneficial to clarify what it means. For example, a persuasive essay is a form of academic writing where an author influences the reader with their idea. The purpose of the persuasive essay is to show the audience two opposite concepts of the same question.

Looking for your topic among persuasive essay ideas, students should remember they need to be acknowledged in it. With this type of writing, they can easily train their critical thinking and explain their argument to readers.

How to Start a Persuasive Essay

Having issues with the persuasive essay writing process, students often forget to prepare for it efficiently. Look at what students should do before typing a title for the task in their text editors.

1) Make sure you know the question.

The biggest mistake of newbie persuasive essay writers is a lack of knowledge of the topic. For instance, as in the following example, you will see how the author shows the disadvantages of smoking cigarettes in detail. Indeed, there are many persuasive essay topics to choose from, yet you need to find which resonates with you the most.

Knowing the question will help you to analyze all pros and cons of the issue you write about. Readers feel the confidence and believe a writer with reliable arguments.

2) Choose which position you will stand for.

So, you’ve decided on the positive and negative aspects of your persuasive essay’s question. At this stage, you need to take the stance. Depending on which side you follow, your persuasive essay’s tone will vary.

An author who works on a persuasive essay should remember to choose only one side and dedicate the whole text testifying to this. Analyze first what matters to you and give yourself an answer that your moral principles don’t mismatch the position you stand for. At this stage, you have a brilliant start that will bring you to efficient research.

3) Research among various sources.

As was told in the previous tip, the better you comprehend your viewpoint, the easier it will be to look for solid evidence from the references. The best sources are books, both fiction and non-fiction. It is also recommended to use science articles, blog posts, and other text material to link to your persuasive essay.

If you don’t have enough knowledge to depict your topic thoroughly, start by watching videos from bloggers or professional documentaries. It doesn’t matter how you choose to enhance your skills; the main goal is to know enough for writing about the topic.

4) Create a persuasive essay outline.

Combining all the collected information puts you on the path of successfully writing an essay. Distribute the information through the main persuasive essay sections. Build a skeleton with an introduction title, three main points for body paragraphs, and the last two sentences for comparison.

Remember, an essay’s outline is just a plan of how it would look. As an author, you should understand clearly what you are writing about. Therefore, having this plan is enough for further work with a first draft.

Splitting an extensive process into smaller actions will help newbies to understand the methods of clever writing. Keeping this list in mind, you will know which logical steps come after each other.

persuasive essay
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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Having lost in persuasive essay examples? Don’t worry because you can always generate your own template. Anyway, every task on a persuasive essay has unique requirements and demands an individual approach from a student. If you are writing it for a college class, the main goal is to show your teacher the ability to think critically. Avoid hesitating about your viewpoint even if it doesn’t meet the majority opinion.

After you’re acquainted with the rules that help you start your persuasive essay, you can track the upcoming list of step-by-step writing.


1) Provide a hook statement.

Show how your viewpoint is distinct from others so that your persuasive essay has great value among scholarly researchers. To engage readers with your text, you need to come up with a hook. Place it in the introduction and write the sentence that will instantly grab the readers’ attention.

2) Reveal background information.

The length of background information varies based on how much content and analysis you will provide. Obviously, each analysis subject should have one introductory sentence.

3) Depict the main idea in your thesis.

A thesis statement is a core argument of persuasion that the entire essay is based around. Tell your readers what you think concerning the topic. For example, if it is the question, “Should people who download music and movies illegally be penalized?” you need to answer it in a thesis statement sentence.

It is recommended to write a thesis statement after seeing what your content is truly about. Therefore, if you haven’t prepared your introduction, you can start with the following persuasive essay section first.


Depending on the subject of analysis, thesis, or essay requirements (word length, number of pages, etc.), the body paragraphs in a persuasive essay will vary.

4) Construct the topic sentence.

This is the sentence in the body paragraph that introduces the author’s argument. Here, the writer needs to emphasize the strong and supportive words that defend the statement. Each body paragraph should have a new topic sentence that refreshes and hold up the overall idea.

5) Come up with an argument.

An argument is a core element of a persuasive essay. It serves the purpose of audience persuasion. This part should include facts, data analysis, or quotes from resources to provide evidence to the reader.

6) Write an explanation.

The explanation should serve as a boost for an argument giving it even more credibility. Readers can relate your persuasive essay explanation to evidence and see the rationalistic seed.

Concluding paragraph

7) Define the central idea.

After fully explaining the argument in a persuasive essay, use a concluding sentence to sum up your previously mentioned points. Think of it as a short but efficient summary. Usually, the conclusion is the thesis restatement, so when you prove it throughout the essay, it is crucial to make it known by the end.

8) Summarize key points.

Here, the author can briefly explain how the main arguments defend the thesis statement, and so these explanations are reasonable and logical.

9) Add an overall concluding statement.

Make sure the reader understands the importance of your research. The argument the author portrays throughout the essay should be clear and concise as well.

Persuasive Essay Format

When defending an argument’s authenticity, you need to work on your evidence. Usually, authors take citations from books, documents, articles, or other scientific works. To place them correctly in a persuasive essay, consider the formatting style your instructor has assigned to follow.

MLA persuasive essay format characteristics

In-text citation:

When referring to an author, place their name either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of the sentence.

Annotated bibliography:

  • Books

Author’s last name, first name. Book title. Additional information. City of publication: Publishing company, publication date.

  • Webpage

Author’s last name, first name (if obtainable). “Title of source within a project or database.”Title of site, project, or database. Editor (if obtainable). Electronic publication information (Date of publication or the latest update, and name of any sponsoring institution or organization). Date of access and URL.

  • Newspaper or magazine articles

Author’s last name, first name. “Article title.” Periodical title Volume # Date: inclusive pages.

  • Dictionary or encyclopedia

Author’s last name, first name. “Title of Article.” Title of Encyclopedia. Date.

Chicago persuasive essay format characteristics

In-text citation:

(Author Last Name Year, page #).
Remember that this specific version uses footnotes and endnotes, not references in the sentences of your persuasive essay.

Annotated bibliography:

  • Books

Last Name, First Name. Year Published. Title of Book. Publisher City: Publisher Name.

  • Webpage

Author Last Name, First Name. Last Modified Year. “Page Title.” Website Title. Last modified Month Day, Year. URL.

  • Newspaper or magazine articles

Author Last Name. Year. “Article Title.” Journal Title volume #, no. [issue #] (Season or Month Published): page range. DOI as a URL.

General requirements of persuasive essay format

Word count: 500, 1500, or 2000.
Font: Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia, 12-point; a 16-point for the title of the persuasive essay unless stated otherwise.
Spacing: 1.5 or double-spaced.
Alignment: Justified.

Rephrasing borrowed ideas is not the most fitting way to develop your persuasive essay. This might be a solid ground for you to be caught with plagiarized content. So to not let it happen, follow the earlier recommendation on one of the most popular essay formats for persuasive writing and keep your essay unique.

Extra Tips for Efficient Persuasive Essay Writing

 – Avoid unknown words.

Sometimes overusing vocabulary is not the best idea. In a persuasive essay, an author can provide various words to explain something but not overload the whole text with them. Use simple, effective phrases your reader can easily understand.

  – Make sure the essay has proved the thesis.

While editing, the author can notice some inconsistencies in their persuasive essay. Track whether the thesis statement is relevant to the overall content and improve it if needed. Even if your evidence is not so strong, you need to find something that enriches your thesis statement throughout the text because this is a very important component.

 – Show why your position is more credible than the opposing one.

After you work with the essay’s composition, you need to ensure that your text persuades readers actively. When an author uses a counter-attack strategy afterward, it may sound even more convincing for the audience rather than passive depiction. Don’t being afraid of presenting one evidence after another in your body paragraphs.

 – Get feedback.

It is essential to have a friend or coworker read your persuasive essay from their perspective. Make sure it is understandable to others, and the text is without any grammatical, punctuation, or spelling issues. The author’s awareness can be limited when noticing mistakes, so it is great to ask someone for help with your editing process.

persuasive essay topics
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Persuasive Essay Topics to Inspire

  1. Public safety is more vital than individual privacy.
  2. Eating meat ruins moral principles.
  3. Education testing is not efficient.
  4. Celebrities’ privacy should be more protected.
  5. Pregnant couples should take parenting courses.
  6. Internet access should be free.
  7. Legal marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco.
  8. Annual driving tests should be mandatory for the first five years after getting a license.
  9. Recycling should be obligatory for everyone.
  10. Every family should have a natural cataclysm survival plan.

Persuasive Essay Sample

The Dangers of Smoking Cigarettes

Why is it dangerous to smoke cigarettes? It is dangerous to smoke a cigarette because its substances can cause illnesses. Those affected are not just the smokers themselves but also second-hand smokers, especially elderly people, children, and babies. However, smoking has become an addictive leisure, and it is estimated that over a billion people smoke, and most of them are men.
It has been proved that nicotine is one of the major substances found in cigarette smoke that is highly addictive and dangerous to one’s health. It can cause ear and sinus disease, respiratory damage, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers (Partel 817).

However, another study has shown that cigarette smoking has two phases of producing free radicals: the tar phase and the gas phase. Common free radicals that can be found in the tar phase are quinone or hydroquinone, which promote the reduction of oxygen to superoxide. It is also known that superoxide can cause damage to the DNA (Church and Pryor 122).
Moreover, in the gas phase, smoke produces nitrogen oxide, which oxidizes to form nitrogen dioxide. However, nitrogen dioxide reacts to several radicals that help form other harmful substances. An example of this is peroxyl radicals that deoxygenate with the help of nitrogen oxide to form alkoxyl radicals, which is a reactive substance that can cause damage to the lungs (Church and Pryor 123).

Therefore, smoking a cigarette is a very dangerous kind of habit because it can affect everyone, not just to the smokers but also to the people who come in contact with the smoke. This can result in a high risk of mortality because it can cause several kinds of diseases.

Works Cited

Church, Daniel F., and William A. Pryor. “Free-Radical Chemistry of Cigarette Smoke and Its Toxicological Implications.” Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 64, 1 Dec. 1985, pp. 111–126., doi:10.1289/ehp.8564111.
Partel, Dilip R. “Smoking and Children.” The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, vol. 66, no. 6, Nov. 1999, pp. 817–824., doi:10.1007/BF02723844.

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Affordable prices, reliable specialists with degree certificates, and an individual approach will inspire you to write your own essays with admiration. On our website, you can find a blog with prompts and guidelines to improve your writing skills. There are many articles not only on persuasive essay writing but also on the method of creating an opinion essay painlessly.

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