How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Outline and Examples

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Outline and Examples

The average student spends a minimum of ten hours per week studying and writing essays of different kind such as persuasive essays and opinion essays. It is not just the time spent in school that students spend working on assignments, but also the time they spend outside of school completing homework or reviewing notes. The most common type of essay is persuasive, which requires a writer to take an argumentative stance and defend it with evidence from their research. Writing a persuading essay can be challenging as there are many different ways to argue for your point of view, so we have created this blog post containing information on how to write a persuasive essay. We hope you find this helpful!

Persuasive Essay Definition

What is Persuasive Writing? A persuasive essay is a type of writing that aims to convince the reader about an idea. It can be written in various styles, but it usually includes arguments and evidence from sources such as experts or studies. In order to write a convincing argument, you need to have strong reasons for why your idea should be accepted. For example, if you are trying to persuade someone that puppies are better than kittens because they are cuddlier and more fun, then you would want to include examples of times when people found themselves petting a puppy rather than a kitten.

To understand what makes for persuasive writing, it’s helpful to know how persuasion works – more specifically, in the context of modern psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience.

A persuasive essay was originally used in courtrooms where lawyers would present their case before the judge and jury with the intent on swaying them into making their decision based on one party’s opinion.

To construct a strong argument you need to use evidence and reasoning from studies, statistics and sources which support your stance (or side) on the issue at hand.

Persuasion can be broken down into three core aspects:

  • Invoking emotions
  • Building arguments based on logic or evidence
  • and making a request

Steps of Writing a Persuasive Essay

Here are the steps to follow when writing a persuasive essay

  1. Listen: Make sure you know what the topic at hand is all about so that you can research it more thoroughly than anyone else would need to.
  2. Brainstorm: Get out your notepad and write down ideas.
  3. Outline: Create a detailed outline of how you want the essay to look like, including sections for introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion and any supporting evidence or examples that will be needed.
  4. When it comes to the Actual Writing:
  • Provide an overview for those who are unfamiliar with the topic;
  • Define what persuasion is and how it works, provide examples to support your definition (give some concrete details such as “persuasion can be broken down into three core steps: invoking emotions, building arguments based on logic or evidence, and making a request.”);
  • Inform readers about why this text needs to exist–why do they care? Give them an example that relates back to something in their own life/daily routine;
  • Leave readers with a call to action–what should they do next? What’s the takeaway from reading this article? Whom does it benefit?

Persuasive Essay Structure, Template and Outline

Structure

Introduction (Thesis) – The introductory paragraph of a persuading essay should introduce the piece by pinpointing what it’s about with a thesis statement. This is usually done in one sentence which gives readers an overview as they begin reading the text. For instance “I argue that public schools are more important than private ones.

Body Paragraphs – Each main point should have its own section heading with at least three body paragraphs. The first sentence of each paragraph should be an explanation of how the point connects to the thesis and then it should dive into supporting evidence or arguments for that particular topic (Check the Outline below).

Conclusion – Conclusions can come in many forms, but they usually sum up a piece by asserting its main points again with further explanations why those assertions stand as valid conclusions. They might also include information about what readers can do if they’re interested in pursuing this issue further on their own terms, such as reading more related essays or books from other authors which discuss these topics at greater length than is possible within a blog post like this one.

Outline

Topic sentence + Introduction paragraph;

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Body paragraphs with three subtopics each which are supported by evidence from other sources or personal examples;

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Conclusion paragraph so reader feels persuaded after reading entire paper.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

50+ Original Persuasive Essay Topics

Here some original persuasive Essay topics:

  1. The benefits of having an open office layout
  2. The benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle
  3. Why you should always wear sunscreen
  4. Benefits of meditation for kids
  5. How to write the perfect persuasive essay? (this is what we are writing)
  6. What do I need in order to be successful?
  7. Should cellphones be banned from school campuses, and if so why?
  8. Do children learn better when they have recess or more time spent on academics during the day?
  9. Is there too much pressure placed on today’s youth by parents, teachers, coaches and society as a whole to excel academically at an early age? Explain.
  10. Which country would you like your child to live in while he/she grows up: America or China ? Why?
  11. What are some pros and cons about today’s text-based communication?
  12. What are some benefits and challenges of making a career change at the age of 40 or 50, when most people think you’re too old to make any changes in your life?
  13. How do I know if my child is gifted? Why does it matter so much anyway?
  14. Why would someone want to be an entrepreneur instead of working for someone else and getting paid more money per hour?
  15. Some say that kids these days don’t get enough exercise. Do you agree with this statement and why/why not ?
  16. Does our generation (Millennials) have a greater chance than past generations did as individuals to experience success financially, socially, academically etc.? Explain with examples from different generations what this means.
  17. Do you agree with the following statement: “All these people making claims on social media that they’re well-organized are really just trying to show off their OCD tendencies because it is less socially acceptable than ever before?”
  18. What is your opinion of a new law in North Carolina which requires all students to use the bathroom matching the sex listed on their birth certificate? Do you think this will promote an inclusive society or do more harm than good for transgender individuals?
  19. How much power should employers have over employees who complete work at home from themselves and not from within company premises, like when using software such as Skype or emailing colleagues outside of company hours ?
  20. Are standardized tests holding back some children by putting undue pressure on them to perform well and depriving others of the opportunity to be assessed?
  21. What are the benefits that go beyond education from having mandatory recess in schools ?
  22. The benefits of digital textbooks
  23. Cell phone addiction is not a good thing
  24. How to be more productive during work hours
  25. Why we need stricter gun control laws?
  26. What are the pros and cons of homeschooling vs. traditional schooling for children?
  27. Is it worth investing in gold coins or diamonds over stocks, bonds, or real estate as an investment vehicle for retirement? Why/why not? What about savings accounts and CDs–are they reliable enough to provide financial security in one’s old age? Discuss!
  28. The benefits of having a regular sleep schedule
  29. The pros and cons of genetically modifying children
  30. How to prevent the next mass shooting in America
  31. What can be done about gun violence?
  32. Why is society so apathetic towards climate change?
  33. Is it ethical for an animal rights organization to use violent tactics against people who wear fur coats?
  34. Should all sex offenders have their names published on public record, even after they’re released from prison or committed suicide as punishment for their crimes? Why or why not.
  35. Do you consider yourself a person with good manners when using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.? (this is your chance to show off some personal details)
  36. Are there any negative side-effects to the “selfie” obsession?
  37. Do you consider yourself a victim of partner abuse and domestic violence? If so, how did it happen or make its way into your life?
  38. What are some important tips for maintaining mental health in today’s world that isn’t always easy to do with all the pressures from society such as school, work etc.?
  39. The benefits of a standing desk
  40. Why mothers should be entitled to paid maternity leave
  41. How paying attention to your posture can help you live longer
  42. What would happen if there was no internet?
  43. The benefits of working remotely
  44. Why it’s important to establish a routine and stick with it
  45. How the media can be biased
  46. Which is more effective: extroverts or introverts?
  47. The advantages of being an entrepreneur.
  48. An argument for why people should care about climate change. What are the disadvantages of living in America today?
  49. Overcoming your fear by trying something new (whether that’s public speaking, singing, taking up a sport–whatever)
  50. Should we always do what our parents want us to do? Why/why not?
  51. The importance of voting
  52. How our society has become overly sexualized
  53. Why students should take AP courses in high school
  54. What the benefits are to working from home
  55. Whether or not it’s ethical for parents to cut their children out of inheritance if they don’t follow family tradition.
  56. Why we should continue to teach cursive in schools
  57. The topic of genetically modified foods and the potential dangers they pose on human health, specifically pertaining to environmental factors such as increased pesticide use.

Persuasive Essay Examples

Sample 1

Our example essay will follow this structure:

Introduction+ Thesis

The five paragraph outline was made famous by E R White who first published it in 1918 but has since been widely used around the world for all sorts of essays and speeches where people try to persuade their audience about some topic; regardless if they themselves have knowledge on this matter. Our example essay will follow this structure.

Body Paragraph One (Supporting Argument):

Construct a strong argument you need to use evidence and reasoning from studies, statistics and sources which support your stance (or side) on the issue at hand. These types of arguments are also commonly called ‘persuasive texts’.

Body Paragraph Two

As Essay-writing’s tutor Dr Lengsfeld explains “the basic idea is that you present your argument in a structured, coherent manner.”

Body Paragraph Three

This is the concluding paragraph of the essay which you should use to restate and reinforce your point. It helps if you briefly summarize what has been argued so far before making an appeal or call to action.

Conclusion

The conclusion includes any final thoughts that may be relevant on this topic such as voicing opinions about how it could be applied into real life situations and future research (this can be done by giving some tips)

Sample 2:

If you’re a gamer, then I’m sure that at one point or another in your life you’ve come across an article titled “Why Your Gamers Needs To Stop Playing.” As of late there have been articles with titles such as this popping up all over the internet. One has to wonder how these people came up with their article title and why they felt compelled to write it. What is it about video games? Why do some find them so enticing while others seem not able to resist playing even though deep down they know it’s bad for them?

What do we want from our readers?

We want our audience to be aware that those who are writing anti-gaming articles are doing so because they see gaming as a threat to their livelihood. We want our audience to know that they are not alone in having this addiction and we have the tools available for them to break free from it.

It’s important for those of us who are gamers, or who work with games professionally, take time out of each day to play video games as if they were a part of an experiment–to see what it feels like not playing; how life is without gaming. It may be painful at first but eventually you’ll find yourself feeling lighter and more energized even when sitting idle while others spend hours on end glued to their screens.

I’ve been working hard all week writing about a topic I’m passionate about: anti-gaming articles being published by the media. I could tell you about all of my research, or maybe just share a few interesting points with you–but in the end it’s really not your business what I do for work.”

Sample 3:

In “Against Public Shaming,” Jon Ronson explores the effects that public shaming has on its victims, and what it does to society. He talks about a woman who was found guilty of welfare fraud in Florida for taking benefits she wasn’t entitled to. The woman’s name is Rachel Dolezal, and her case went viral when someone posted her picture online with the words “Welfare Queen” across her face;

Ronson argues: Some people support this type of punishment because they believe that these types of punishments are making our society better by sending a clear message against cheating the system (p. 19). The problem with this belief is that not everyone can be shamed publicly without risking harm or consequences.

The other problem with this belief is that collectively shaming people on welfare does not solve the underlying problems of poverty and inequality. Ronson argues: “What we really need to do is change what’s going on in society, so nobody needs to cheat the system anymore” (p. 20).

Key Takeaways and Tips

  • Persuasive paragraph should be a short and concise composition that is written to persuade readers on an issue.
  • Persuasive text should consist of three core steps–invoking emotions (to make readers want what you’re selling), building arguments based on logic or evidence, and making requests.
  • A good persuasive essay needs a clear thesis statement that includes your purpose/goal for writing it as well as your desired outcome; the body paragraphs must then back up those points with facts, stories from personal life experience, statistics, and other evidence to make your argument
  • A persuading essay should be written in an engaging voice that is specific, knowledgeable and trustworthy. The tone can either be supportive or challenging depending on what the writer wants their readers to feel–either way it needs to sound like a person with credibility speaking on behalf of another
  • The conclusion will summarize the points you made throughout your writing and restate what you want from your audience. It also gives them one last chance to change their minds about whatever subject you’re trying to convince them of.

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