Caleb S.
Caleb S.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay - The Ultimate Guide

11 min read

Published on: Jan 3, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2023

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So you're stuck. Confused about how to start your essay, let alone finish it?

You are not alone! In fact, most students think that writing a persuasive essay is all about being convincing. But really, it's more than that. You need to provide evidence and back up your points with solid reasoning. 

Clueless about how to do it?

We have the perfect solution! Our guide will show you how to write a persuasive essay that will win over your reader. We'll walk you through the entire process, from coming up with a good topic to making your argument strong. Plus, our examples and a topic list will lessen your pain in no time.

Without further delay, let's get started!

What is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is an essay that aims to convince readers to accept the writer's opinion or view. It encourages the readers to see and analyze an issue from the writer’s perspective.

Unlike an argumentative essay, the goal of persuasive essays is not only to convince but also to convince the readers to take an action.

Ultimately; these essays use evidence, facts, logic, and emotional appeal to support the writer's stance. These tools help you learn how to argue against competing ideas and form logical arguments. In addition, this also helps to present your point of view clearly and concisely.

Now that you’ve understood the persuasive essay definition, its goal, and its importance, continue reading to learn the elements of your persuasive essay.

Essential Elements of a  Persuasive Essay

When it comes to writing a persuasive essay, there are three key elements that you need to keep in mind: 

  • Ethos
  • Pathos
  • logos

Let's quickly skim through them one by one for you. 

  • Ethos

Ethos is all about your credibility as an author. You can do this by showing that you have knowledge of the subject or that you have personal experience.

So, use reliable sources to back up your claims in a clear, concise, and authoritative style. This way it makes it easier for readers to trust what you are saying.

  • Pathos

Pathos is all about emotions. You need to be able to evoke an emotional response to persuade your reader to accept your view. 

  1. One way to do this is by telling a personal story or using vivid language that creates a  strong mental image. 
  2. Another is to appeal to the reader's values or beliefs.

By appealing to their emotions, you will make it more likely that they will be persuaded by your argument.

  • Logos

Logos is an appeal to logic, and it is often used in persuasive writing. The goal of logos is to rationalize an argument and make it more persuasive. 

When incorporating logos into your writing, there are a few things to remember.

  • Use sound reasoning and clear examples to support your claims. 
  • Avoid using emotionally charged language.
  • Focus on presenting your argument calmly and rationally. 

Using ethos, pathos, and logos, you will be able to write an essay that is both convincing and winning.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is one of the most popular types of essays, and it's no surprise why. In a persuasive essay, you choose a side and then argue your point with evidence and reasoning. 

The goal is to persuade your reader that your position is the best one. To do this, you'll need to know the prerequisites of a persuasive essay. 

How to Start a Persuasive Essay?

Persuasive essays can be tricky because you're trying to convince someone on something. But if you follow this guide, you'll be able to write a persuasive essay that will influence even the most stubborn reader. 

1. Choose a Topic and Select Your Position

The topic should be something that you are passionate about and that you can argue convincingly. Remember that your goal is to persuade the reader to see things from your point of view.

2. Understand Your Reader

Knowing your reader is a critical and often overlooked step when it comes to writing a persuasive essay. 

This knowledge allows you to think like your target audience and understand their viewpoints and expectations.

Once you know the intentions of your reader, you'll be better equipped to write an effective persuasive argument by crafting language tailored specifically to their needs. 

3. Do Your Research

Once you have chosen a topic, it is time to do your research. You will need to find credible sources that support your argument. Be sure to take notes and brainstorm as you read so that you can easily cite them when writing your essay.

4. Point out the Strongest Evidence

It is essential to select the information that best supports your opinion and makes it more believable.

Crafting an essay that centers around strong evidence is key to ensuring that your message is logical till the end of your essay.

5. Start with an Outline

Before you start writing your essay, make an outline. This will help you organize your thoughts and arguments so that they flow smoothly.

Here is how to form an outline:

Outline of a Persuasive Essay 


  • Hook Statement
  • Background Information
  • Thesis Statement


(Follow this outline for each of the three body paragraphs )

  • Topic Sentence
  • Supporting Details
  • Evidence
  • Concluding Sentence


  • Rephrased Thesis Statement
  • Summarized Arguments
  • Final Appeal/Call To Action 

A persuasive essay outline will help you to stay on track and not deviate from your main points.

Steps to Write a Persuasive Essay

In general, persuasive essays are typically written using a five-paragraph structure. 

This includes:

  • An introduction
  • Three body paragraphs
  • Conclusion

With some practice; you can learn how to write a persuasive essay that will be well-argued and convincing.

How to Write an Introduction Paragraph?

Introductions are one of the most important parts of an essay, yet many students find them difficult to write.

An effective introduction captures the reader's attention, sets the tone for the essay, and gives the reader a clear idea of what to expect. 

  1. Start with a hook to get your reader's attention. 
  2. Give some background information on your topic so the reader knows what you will be discussing.
  3. Narrow your focus and state your thesis statement, which is the main point of your paper. 

By following the suggestions above, you can write an engaging and well-organized thesis statement that will set the stage for the rest of your paper.

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How to Write a Body Paragraph

A body paragraph is the portion of the essay where you present your main points and provide supporting evidence. 

In order to write a successful body paragraph, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. The three body paragraphs should each focus on one piece of evidence that supports your main argument. 
  2. Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence 
  3. Then present this evidence clearly and concisely while explaining its relevance to your argument.
  4. Finish up each body paragraph with a sentence or two that further underscores the importance of this evidence in relation to your central claim.

How to End Your Persuasive Essay?

The conclusion of a persuasive essay is just as important as the introduction. It's your last chance to make an impression on the reader. So, you want to make sure it's strong and persuasive.

  • The conclusion paragraph should; 
    Restate both your stance and your main argument.
  • Include supporting evidence.
  • Leave the reader with something to think about - perhaps by posing a question or offering potential solutions to the problem at hand. 

While there is no one formula for writing the perfect persuasive essay, following these steps will help you write an effective conclusion.

With this step-by-step guide and watching the video below, you can write an effective persuasive essay on almost any topic!

Persuasive Essay Format

It would be regrettable to receive a poor grade on an essay because of incorrect formatting, wouldn't it?

There are some general requirements that all essays must follow regarding word count, font type and size, spacing, and alignment. 

These requirements are as follows:

  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Appropriate citation format as per your disciplines such as MLA, APA, or Chicago.
  • Word count must be 500, 1500, or 2000 words.
  • The preferred font is Times New Roman in 12-point size. However, 16 points can be used for the title unless stated otherwise. Arial and Georgia fonts are also acceptable to use.
  • All essay content must be double-spaced; 1.5 works too.
  • The text should be aligned and justified.

Expert Tip

This teacher's checklist is a great way to check the structure and format of your essay. By following this checklist, you can ensure you haven't missed any important points. 

Persuasive Essay Examples

To give you a better idea of what a persuasive essay looks like, here are a few examples of persuasive essay PDFs.

Expert Tip

It's always a good idea to read examples of persuasive essays before getting started on your own writing. For this, check out our persuasive essay examples on how to win readers.

Good Persuasive Essay Topics

If you're not interested in your own persuasive essay topic, how can you expect others to be?

Indeed, coming up with an original idea that holds the reader's interest can be a daunting task. 

To get started, take a look at some persuasive essay topic ideas below.

  • Discuss whether drug tests can help reduce crime rates.
  • Is it necessary for every student to learn a foreign language?
  • Why The United States is the land of opportunity?
  • Why is it profitable to become a professional athlete?
  • Does social media contribute to gender biases?
  • Why do video games promote violence?
  • Is Year-round school too much for younger students?
  • Why vaccinations are important?
  • Animal cruelty: Why it's wrong and what can be done about it.
  • Gun control: Why stricter laws are necessary?

Choosing a good persuasive essay topic is half the battle; Persuasive essays are only as effective as the arguments they put forth. That's why picking the right topic is essential. 

Remember: The best persuasive essays are ones that delve deep into their chosen subject matter. Alongside give the reader new information and perspectives throughout the essay.
So choose wisely!

Still tired of searching for a good topic? 

Expert Tip

Check out these amazing persuasive essay topics to find the best topic for your essay!

Tips to Write a Compelling Persuasive Essay

Amazing persuasive essay writing relies heavily on efficient and effective techniques to get your point across.

A great way to ensure you’re executing your ideas successfully is to follow a few tips before and when writing. 

Here are some tips and resources to help you get started.

  • Start with an attention-grabbing hook.
  • Make sure your thesis statement is clear and arguable.
  • Do your research and back up your claims with evidence.
  • Be aware of the other side's arguments and refute them accordingly.
  • Use strong language that leaves no room for interpretation.
  • Be persuasive, not emotional.
  • Appeal to the reader's logic, not their emotions
  • Use credible sources to support your claims.
  • Cite as you write to ensure accuracy and proper formatting
  • Edit and proofread your essay before submitting it.

Knowing the right techniques can make a big difference when it comes to making your argument clear, interesting, and convincing.

Let’s recap!

So far, we have delivered the ultimate guide to persuasive essay writing. Following these simple steps, you can create a well-crafted and convincing argument for your position. So, leave your reader with no choice but to agree with you with our help.

The persuasive essay is a difficult form to write, but it can be very rewarding. If you are looking for help writing a compelling essay, a persuasive essay writer at is here to assist you. 

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What are the 4 Goals of Persuasion?

The goals are to persuade the audience to 

  • Adopt a new way of thinking
  • Discontinue an old belief
  • Deter them from a particular idea
  • Cause them to continue believing what they already do. 

What are the 7 Types of Persuasive Writing?

The 7 types of persuasive writing are:

1. TV commercials or print ads.
2. Newspaper editorials.
3. Personal opinion or thought pieces.
4. Letters to the editor of a newspaper or magazine.
5. Testimonials from customers or clients 
6. Political speeches 
7. Position papers 

What are the 2 Common Strategies to Persuade?

Positive and negative reinforcement are common persuasive strategies used by teachers, parents, and public speakers.

Caleb S.


Caleb S. (Literature, Linguistics)

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

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