What Is a Persuasive Essay
A persuasive essay is one of the common types of essays. As its name suggests, the primary purpose of this essay is to persuade or convince the reader that a certain claim or viewpoint is right. A persuasive essay can be written from either a subjective or an objective point of view simply because persuasion is found in a variety of settings: from informal communities to large formal groups. Therefore an assumption can be made that persuasive essays are given to students of all educational levels to hone their persuasive and argumentation skills. Obviously, persuasive essays train written skills, allowing students to read around, search for proper arguments or think carefully what points should be brought up by in a persuasive essay.
The next step in persuading your audience is oral persuasion, which refers to oratory skills. The latter are harder to master but are an essential skill to acquire. Therefore, a persuasive essay can be viewed as an assignment that is given to students during their later high school or early college/university years to help them better master the art of conviction.
Persuasive Essays vs. Argumentative Essays
These two essay types resemble each other like two identical twins. However, there is a slight difference that allows you to tell those twins from one another. That difference stems from the purpose of each essay, so let's review them briefly. The main goal of the persuasive essay is to persuade the audience, while the primary purpose of argumentative essays is to bring up the argument, voice the pros and cons, the strengths and weaknesses and generally - to describe things or events in their duality. As an illustration, compare the way a persuasive essay topic sounds to how the argumentative essay topic is put:
- Persuasive Essay Topic: Smoking should be banned.
- Argumentative Essay Topic: Should smoking be banned?
As seen from the example above, in the persuasive essay the topic is introduced in the form of a declarative sentence. It implies the reader that the statement is true - and text in the body of the essay will support the topic. The argumentative essay topic is actually a question, which prompts the discussion. The question invites the author and the reader to look for all possible choices and all possible arguments. Respectively, contents of each paper will differ depending on its topic.
Persuasive Essay Outline
Unless specified otherwise, persuasive essays will take the 5 paragraph format. This means that the persuasive essay will contain the following structural elements: the introduction with the topic sentence, two to three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The introduction will present the problem to the reader and will simultaneously serve as an attention getter. Body paragraphs will elaborate in greater detail on the information presented in the introduction. The language in your persuasive essay can be either formal or informal - that depends entirely on your audience.
We have a great article that explains essay structure in the greater detail. The language in your persuasive essay can be either formal or informal - that depends entirely on your audience. If you are trying to convince a friend or a relative, the informal language would make sense; however, if you are writing for a formal group (teacher, unknown people), then it would be best to use the formal style.
Transition Words for Persuasive Essay
- Agreement and Comparison: also, and, likewise, in addition;
- Opposition and Contradiction: rather, but, and or;
- Cause and Purpose: in that case, as a result, under those circumstances;
- Effect and Outcome: accordingly, thus, consequently, then;
- Result: as shown above, as can be seen, in the final analysis, all things considered.
If you are looking for persuasive essay examples, here is a great one below:
Persuasive Essays by PrivateWriting
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