Persuasive Essay

Updated: Nov 3, 2016

What is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is one of the commonly found essay types. As its name suggests, the primary purpose of this essay to persuade or convince the reader that a certain claim or viewpoint is right. Persuasion essays 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 the essay. If you have any questions about writing an essay - click here.

The next big 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 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 persuasion essay topic sounds to how the argumentative essay topic is put: 

  • Persuasive: Abortions should be banned.
  • Argumentative: Should abortions be banned?

As can be seen from the example above, in the first case 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 Format

Unless specified otherwise, persuasive essays will take the staple 5 paragraph format. This means that the 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. 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, 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.

Persuasive Essays by PrivateWriting

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