Homework Center: Writing Skills: How to Write a Persuasive Essay
How to Write a Persuasive Essay
The purpose of a persuasive essay is to convince the reader to agree with your viewpoint or to accept your recommendation for a course of action. For instance, you might argue that the salaries of professional athletes are too high. Or you might recommend that vending machines be banned from your school cafeteria. A successful persuasive essay will use evidence to support your viewpoint, consider opposing views and present a strong conclusion.
Some people worry that adopting a school uniform policy would be too expensive. However, there are ways to lessen the cost. For example, in Seattle, Washington, local businesses help to pay for uniforms at South Shore Middle School. In Long Beach, California, graduating students donate or sell their old uniforms.
Use evidence to support your viewpoint. Statistics, facts, quotations from experts and examples will help you to build a strong case for your argument. Appeal to the reader's sense of logic by presenting specific and relevant evidence in a well-organized manner.
Consider opposing views. Try to anticipate the concerns and questions that a reader might have about your subject. Responding to these points will give you the chance to explain why your viewpoint or recommendation is the best one.
Present a strong conclusion. All your evidence and explanations should build toward a strong ending in which you summarize your view in a clear and memorable way. The conclusion in a persuasive essay might include a call to action.
TIP: Use a pleasant and reasonable tone in your essay. Sarcasm and name-calling weaken an argument. Logic and fairness will help to keep it strong.