The purpose of a persuasive essay: an academic guide

When you are writing a persuasive essay, it is important that you have a solid argument with which to persuade your reader. The persuasive essay needs to support an argument, or a side of the argument such that the reader supports your side. To do that, use the following tips:

  • The body of your paper is what your introduction alludes to. It is where you spell out in detail all of the examples that you have to support your thesis. Many students choose to organize their examples and support in terms of strongest to weakest or in some cases chronologically. You can choose whatever presentation method you believe is best suited for your particular assignment.

  • If you include statistics, facts, or quotations make sure that you have the correct citation. If you do not know which citation format you are expected to use, make sure you check with your teacher long before the paper is due. Do not wait until the night before to ask what format to use.

  • When you present supporting information whether it is a statistic or a quotation, you want to explain in that same paragraph why these examples or points prove your thesis. This cannot possibly be understated. The entire reason that you provide an example or a piece of evidence is to support your thesis. You have to make sure you finish the job by directly stating why the example you have provided is relevant. Far too many students simply include a statistic or a quotation but they never explain to the reader why that statistic or quotation supports their thesis. You have to remember that just because you drew a particular correlation does not mean that they will draw the same correlation. You need to spell it out directly.

  • When you are writing the core of your essay the first sentence of each paragraph is referred to as the topic sentence. This needs to function as a transition which signals to the reader that they are changing from one idea to the next. But the transition should also have a common thread which ties together all of the paragraphs in the body of your paper. If you started your first key paragraph with the word first, you should follow it by using the word second in your next paragraph and the words third in the paragraph after.

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