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    • A persuasive essay is an essay used to convince a reader about a particular idea or focus, usually one that you believe in.

      Your persuasive essay could be based on anything about which you have an opinion.
      Students should have lockers because it will stop people from stealing their stuff. For example, the children won't have to worry about their books, homework assignments, and personal belongings being stolen. The reason for this is that the children will have their own lockers plus their own locks, which only they have the combination to. This will reduce cases where things are being stolen.

      Whether you're arguing against junk food at school or petitioning for a raise from your boss, the persuasive essay is a skill that everyone should know.


      Part One of Four:
      Writing PersuasivelyEdit

      1. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/5\/5a\/Write-an-Argumentative-Essay-Step-3-Version-2.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-an-Argumentative-Essay-Step-3-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/5\/5a\/Write-an-Argumentative-Essay-Step-3-Version-2.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-an-Argumentative-Essay-Step-3-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
        Choose a strong, defendable stance for your thesis statement. The thesis statement is your argument boiled down to one sentence.
    • For a persuasive essay, this statement needs to take a strong, active stance on the issue.
      Students also should have lockers so they will have a clean place to put their books. What I mean by this is that many desks are rusty and have gum stuck under them. Also, if you put you stuff into a crate then it is easily collecting dust. This connects to my argument because their stuff will be kept very clean in a neat environment if students are given lockers to use.

      Don't try and play both sides and be wishy-washy -- it won't persuade anyone.
      • Good: "Affirmative action relegates minorities to "helpless" status, keeps the best minds from the best positions, and should be eliminated."
      • Bad: "Affirmative action does help many minorities, but it hurts some other groups as well."
      • Note that you can persuade people to be open-minded. Saying "affirmative action is a nuanced issue in need or serious overhaul, not to be destroyed or continued completely," still shows you taking a strong, defendable stance.
    • 2
      Use clear, directed topics sentences to begin each paragraph. Consider the beginning of each paragraph as a mini-thesis statement. This allows your argument to flow cohesively. You build the argument brick by brick for the reader so there is no confusion.
      Imagine a child as young as ten years old on the website Facebook chatting with a grown man or grown woman. Should parents let their children as young as ten years old be on Facebook? I think parents should not let their children or child be on Facebook because on Facebook there are a lot of things that are said and done that a child of that age should not be able to see.

      • Good: "The destruction of the world's rainforests also destroys the incredible potential to find medical and scientific breakthroughs in the diverse, mysterious ecosystem."
      • Good: "The rainforest is home to a wide variety of plants and animals that may have medical and scientific benefits -- benefits we lose if we keep destroying it."
      • Bad: "Destroying the rainforest is not a good thing."
    • 3
      Interweave facts and references to back up your claims. The best rule of thumb is, whenever you make a claim or point that isn't common sense, you need to back it up. One of the best ways to do this, however, is in reverse. Let the evidence lead to your arguments -- bringing the reader with you.
      • Good: "A recent poll shows that 51% of young white millennials believe they suffer as much discrimination as minorities. Young white millennials may believe in having racial equality, but they also believe that they've already found it.[1]
      • Good: "Equality and liberty aren't just good for individuals, they're good for society. Furthermore, the lack of this liberty is said to be “a source of perversion and demoralization” to everyone involved, and prevents “any really vital improvement.
      .. in the social condition of the human race” (Mill, 98).
    • Bad: "The prisons system has kept dangerous drugs and criminals off the streets, and Americans are definitely safer because of it." Unless you back it up, this claim is meaningless.
  • 4
    Keep your sentences short and to the point. Only make one point or argument in each sentence.
    What would you think if you had to put your personal belongings in a crate, and every time you turn around something of yours were stolen? That is why I think students should have lockers. To protect their things, keep their things somewhere clean, and so they won't have to complain about carrying everything at once.

    You want the reader to be able to build the argument logically, but this is impossible if they get lost in the weeds.
    • Good: While the United States’ founding fathers were intellectual, the same could not be said for the majority of the populace. Education was the right of the wealthy, and achieved through expensive private schools or tutors.
      In conclusion I think students should have lockers. If we have lockers stealing in school would go down, it would create a safe and clean place for students to put their things, and students would complain less and be healthier. If we had lockers, the school would be a happier place for everyone. If you don't want your things stolen, contact your principal and demand lockers for your school.

      In the early 1800’s, Horace Mann of Massachusetts devoted himself to rectifying that situation.
    • Good: Public education is no longer a priority in this country. As it stands, only 2% of tax dollars go to schools.[2] Clearly, we need to find a way to increase this budget if we expect to see any real improvement in our education system.
    • Bad: The United States was not an educated nation, since education was considered the right of the wealthy, and so in the early 1800's Horace Mann decided to try and rectify the situation.[3]
  • 5
    Use a variety of persuasion techniques to hook your readers. The art of persuasion has been studied since ancient Greece. While it takes a lifetime to master, learning the tricks and tools will make you a better writer almost immediately. For example, on a paper about allowing Syrian refugees, you could use:
    • Repetition: Keep hammering on your thesis.
      When a child that young is on a website like Facebook they might get excited and go overboard. For example, the child might tell where they live, their address, and a lot more information that is not needed.

      Tell them what you're telling them, tell them it, then tell them what you told them. They'll get the point by the end.
      • Example: Time and time again, the statistics don't lie -- we need to open our doors to help refugees.
    • Social Validation: Quotations reinforce that you aren't the only one making this point. It tells people that, socially, if they want to fit in, they need to consider your viewpoint.
      • Example: "Let us not forget the words etched on our grandest national monument, the Statue of Liberty, which asks that we "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” There is no reason why Syrians are not included in this.
    • Agitation of the Problem: Before offering solutions, show them how bad things are.
      My final reason why I think students should have lockers is so students won't complain about caring everything at once. The things that they may be caring everyday are very heavy. This is important because students may suffer health problems from having to carry all their stuff everywhere. Why carry books everyday why you can eliminate the pain by having a locker to store the things you don't need? Also, they're always whining about having to carry all their books. If we had lockers everyone would be happier.

      Give them a reason to care about your argument.[4]
      • Example: "Over 100 million refugees have been displaced. President Assad has not only stolen power, he's gassed and bombed his own citizens. He has defied the Geneva Conventions, long held as a standard of decency and basic human rights, and his people have no choice by to flee.
  • 6
    Be authoritative and firm. You need to sound an expert, and like you should be trustworthy.
    In conclusion I think parents should not let children under age get on Facebook because many different things can happen.

    Cut out small words or wishy-washy phrase to adopt a tone of authority.[5]
    • Good: "Time and time again, science has shown that arctic drilling is dangerous. It is not worth the risks environmentally or economically."
    • Good: "Without pushing ourselves to energy independence, in the arctic and elsewhere, we open ourselves up to the dangerous dependency that spiked gas prices in the 80's."
    • Bad: "Arctic drilling may not be perfect, but it will probably help us stop using foreign oil at some point. This, I imagine, will be a good thing."
  • 7
    Challenge your readers. Persuasion is about upending commonly held thoughts and forcing the reader to reevaluate. While you never want to be crass or confrontational, you need to poke into the reader's potential concerns.
    • Good: Does anyone think that ruining someone’s semester, or, at least, the chance to go abroad, should be the result of a victimless crime? Is it fair that we actively promote drinking as a legitimate alternative through Campus Socials and a lack of consequences? How long can we use the excuse that “just because it’s safer than alcohol doesn’t mean we should make it legal,” disregarding the fact that the worst effects of the drug are not physical or chemical, but institutional?
    • Good: We all want less crime, stronger families, and fewer dangerous confrontations over drugs. We need to ask ourselves, however, if we're willing to challenge the status quo to get those results.
    • Bad: This policy makes us look stupid. It is not based in fact, and the people that believe it are delusional at best, and villains at worst.
  • 8
    Acknowledge, and refute, arguments against you. While the majority of your essay should be kept to your own argument, you'll bullet-proof your case if you can see and disprove the arguments against you. Save this for the second to last paragraph, in general.
    • Good: It is true that guns can be used to protect you against threats. However, it has been proven time and time again that you are more likely to hurt yourself with a gun than protect you against someone else.
      If a parent approves of a child being on Facebook it is very inappropriate. Because that child may tell a story about their age and someone much older may see it and think their telling the truth and start sending them messages and the child might not like it at all.

    • Good: While people do have accidents with guns in their homes, it is not the governments responsibility to police people from themselves. If they're going to hurt themselves, that is their right.
    • Bad: The only obvious solution is to ban guns. There is no other argument that matters.
  • Part Two of Four:
    Laying the GroundworkEdit

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      Read the prompt carefully. In most cases, you will be given a specific assignment for your persuasive essay. It’s important to read the prompt carefully and thoroughly.[6]
      • Look for language that gives you a clue as to whether you are writing a purely persuasive or an argumentative essay. For example, if the prompt uses words like “personal experience” or “personal observations,” you know that these things can be used to support your argument.[7]
      • On the other hand, words like “defend” or “argue” suggest that you should be writing an argumentative essay, which may require more formal, less personal evidence.
      • If you aren’t sure about what you’re supposed to write, ask your instructor.
    2. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/b\/bf\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-2-Version-3.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-2-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/b\/bf\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-2-Version-3.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-2-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Give yourself time. If you can, make the time to craft an argument you'll enjoy writing. A rushed essay isn’t likely to persuade anyone. Allow yourself enough time to brainstorm, write, and edit.
      • Whenever possible, start early. This way, even if you have emergencies like a computer meltdown, you’ve given yourself enough time to complete your essay.
    3. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/4\/42\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-3-Version-3.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-3-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/4\/42\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-3-Version-3.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-3-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Examine the rhetorical situation. All writing has a rhetorical situation, which has five basic elements: the text (here, your essay), the author (you), the audience, the purpose of the communication, and the setting.[8]
      • The text should be clear and well-supported with evidence (and considered opinion, if it’s allowed).
      • You, as the author, need to retain credibility by doing necessary research, stating your claims clearly, and providing a fair argument that doesn’t misrepresent facts or situations.
      • The purpose of the communication here is to convince your readers that your view on your topic is the most correct one.[9]
      • The setting varies. In many cases, the setting will be a classroom assignment that you turn in for a grade.
    4. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/3\/32\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-4-Version-3.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-4-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/3\/32\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-4-Version-3.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-4-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Understand the conventions of a persuasive essay. Unless your prompt or assignment states otherwise, you’ll need to follow some basic conventions when writing your persuasive essay.
      • Persuasive essays, like argumentative essays, use rhetorical devices to persuade their readers. In persuasive essays, you generally have more freedom to make appeals to emotion (pathos), in addition to logic and data (logos) and credibility (ethos).[10]
      • You should use multiple types of evidence carefully when writing a persuasive essay. Logical appeals such as presenting data, facts, and other types of “hard” evidence are often very convincing to readers.
      • Persuasive essays generally have very clear thesis statements that make your opinion or chosen “side” known upfront. This helps your reader know exactly what you are arguing.[11]
    5. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/1\/1e\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-5-Version-3.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-5-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/1\/1e\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-5-Version-3.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-5-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Consider your audience. What’s persuasive to one person may not be persuasive to another. For this reason, it’s crucial to consider to whom you are targeting your essay. Obviously, your instructor is your primary audience, but consider who else might find your argument convincing.[12]
      • For example, if you are arguing against unhealthy school lunches, you might take very different approaches depending on whom you want to convince. You might target the school administrators, in which case you could make a case about student productivity and healthy food. If you targeted students’ parents, you might make a case about their children’s health and the potential costs of healthcare to treat conditions caused by unhealthy food. And if you were to consider a “grassroots” movement among your fellow students, you’d probably make appeals based on personal preferences.
    6. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/c\/c4\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-6-Version-3.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-6-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/c\/c4\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-6-Version-3.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-6-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Consider your topic. You may have a topic assigned to you. However, if you have to choose your own, there are a few things to consider:
      • Pick something that appeals to you. Because a persuasive essay often relies heavily on emotional appeals, you should choose to write on something about which you have a real opinion. Pick a subject about which you feel strongly and can argue convincingly.
      • Look for a topic that has a lot of depth or complexity. You may feel incredibly passionate about pizza, but it may be difficult to write an interesting essay on it. A subject that you're interested in but which has a lot of depth — like animal cruelty or government earmarking — will make for better subject material.
      • Begin to consider opposing viewpoints when thinking about your essay. If you think it will be hard to come up with arguments against your topic, your opinion might not be controversial enough to make it into a persuasive essay. On the other hand, if there are too many arguments against your opinion that will be hard to debunk, you might choose a topic that is easier to refute.
      • Make sure you can remain balanced. A good persuasive essay will consider the counterarguments and find ways to convince readers that the opinion presented in your essay is the preferable one. Make sure you choose a topic about which you’re prepared to thoroughly, fairly consider counterarguments. (For this reason, topics such as religion usually aren’t a good idea for persuasive essays, because you’re incredibly unlikely to persuade someone away from their own religious beliefs)
      • Keep your focus manageable. Your essay is likely to be fairly short; it may be 5 paragraphs or several pages, but you need to keep a narrow focus so that you can adequately explore your topic. For example, an essay that attempts to persuade your readers that war is wrong is unlikely to be successful, because that topic is huge. Choosing a smaller bit of that topic -- for example, that drone strikes are wrong -- will give you more time to delve deeply into your evidence.[13]
    7. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/2\/27\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-7-Version-2.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-7-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/2\/27\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-7-Version-2.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-7-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Come up with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement presents your opinion or argument in clear language. It is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph. For a persuasive essay, it’s especially important that you present your argument in clear language that lets your readers know exactly what to expect.[14]
      • It also should present the organization of your essay. Don’t list your points in one order and then discuss them in a different order.
      • For example, a thesis statement could look like this: “Although pre-prepared and highly processed foods are cheap, they aren’t good for students. It is important for schools to provide fresh, healthy meals to students, even when they cost more. Healthy school lunches can make a huge difference in students’ lives, and not offering healthy lunches fails students.”
      • Note that this thesis statement isn’t a three-prong thesis. You don’t have to state every subpoint you will make in your thesis (unless your prompt or assignment says to). You do need to convey exactly what you will argue.
    8. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/6\/62\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-8-Version-2.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-8-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/6\/62\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-8-Version-2.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-8-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Brainstorm your evidence. Once you have chosen your topic, do as much preparation as you can before you write your essay. This means you need to examine why you have your opinion and what evidence you find most compelling. Here’s also where you look for counterarguments that could refute your point.[15]
      • A mind map could be helpful. Start with your central topic and draw a box around it. Then, arrange other ideas you think of in smaller bubbles around it. Connect the bubbles to reveal patterns and identify how ideas relate.[16]
      • Don’t worry about having fully fleshed-out ideas at this stage. Generating ideas is the most important step here.
    9. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/f\/f5\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-9.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-9.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/f\/f5\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-9.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-9.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Research, if necessary. Once you have your ideas together, you may discover that some of them need research to support them. Doing your research before you begin “writing” your essay will make the writing process go smoothly.
      • For example, if you’re arguing for healthier school lunches, you could make a point that fresh, natural food tastes better. This is personal opinion and doesn’t need research to support it. However, if you wanted to argue that fresh food has more vitamins and nutrients than processed food, you’d need a reliable source to support that claim.
      • If you have a librarian available, consult with him or her! Librarians are an excellent resource to help guide you to credible research.

    Part Three of Four:
    Drafting Your EssayEdit

    1. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/7\/7d\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-10.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-10.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/7\/7d\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-10.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-10.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Outline your essay. Persuasive essays generally have a very clear format, which helps you present your argument in a clear and compelling way. Here are the elements of persuasive essays:[17]
      • An introduction. You should present a “hook” here that grabs your audience’s attention. You should also provide your thesis statement, which is a clear statement of what you will argue or attempt to convince the reader of.
      • Body paragraphs. In 5-paragraph essays, you’ll have 3 body paragraphs. In other essays, you can have as many paragraphs as you need to make your argument. Regardless of their number, each body paragraph needs to focus on one main idea and provide evidence to support it. These paragraphs are also where you refute any counterpoints that you’ve discovered.
      • Conclusion. Your conclusion is where you tie it all together. It can include an appeal to emotions, reiterate the most compelling evidence, or expand the relevance of your initial idea to a broader context. Because your purpose is to persuade your readers to do/think something, end with a call to action.
    2. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/0\/07\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-11.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-11.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/0\/07\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-11.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-11.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Come up with your hook. Your hook is a first sentence that draws the reader in. Your hook can be a question or a quotation, a fact or an anecdote, a definition or a humorous sketch. As long as it makes the reader want to continue reading, or sets the stage, you've done your job.[18]
      • For example, you could start an essay on the necessity of pursuing alternative energy sources like this: “Imagine a world without polar bears.” This is a vivid statement that draws on something that many readers are familiar with and enjoy (polar bears). It also encourages the reader to continue reading to learn why they should imagine this world.
      • You may find that you don’t immediately have a hook. Don’t get stuck on this step! You can always press on and come back to it after you’ve drafted your essay.
    3. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/4\/42\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-12.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-12.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/4\/42\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-12.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-12.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}
      Write an introduction. Many people believe that your introduction is the most important part of the essay, because it either grabs or loses the reader's attention. A good introduction will tell the reader just enough about your essay to draw them in and make them want to continue reading.[19]
      • Put your hook first. Then, proceed to move from general ideas to specific ideas until you have built up to your thesis statement.[20]
      • Don't slack on your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is a short summary of what you're arguing for. It's usually one sentence, and it's near the end of your introductory paragraph. Make your thesis a combination of your most persuasive arguments, or a single powerful argument, for the best effect.
    4. {"smallUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/c\/ce\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-13.jpg\/v3-460px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-13.jpg","bigUrl":"http:\/\/\/images\/thumb\/c\/ce\/Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-13.jpg\/v3-760px-Write-a-Persuasive-Essay-Step-13.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":760,"bigHeight":570}