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Can you persuade people easily?
If you can, then kudos to you. But can you persuade people the same way through your writing?
Well, persuasive essay writing or persuasive writing is quite a bit tough as it is all about persuading your audience with rock-hard rhetoric, infallible logic, uncontestable evidence AND a heavy dose of emotion. You need to be a master of non-verbal argumentation, a magician with words, and extremely tactful when it comes to presenting a coherent & structured persuasive discourse. All of Aristotle’s infamous Three Means of Persuasion (Ethos, Pathos, & Logos) come into play in a
A clear, structured presentation, a smooth flow of ideas & arguments, and a seamless narrative are essential for any persuasive write-up. If you are not coherent and articulate in your discourse, there’s little chance of engaging your audience, let alone persuading them.
Our focus in this article is to discuss in-depth the structure and outline of one of the most common variations of persuasive writing, persuasive essays. But before we dive into the persuasive essay outline, let’s first define the key features of persuasive essays.
There are few better ways to define the key features of a subject than comparing & contrasting with something strikingly different or similar.
Persuasive essays are another term for argumentative essays. They couldn't be more wrong, as persuasive essays ARE NOT the same as argumentative ones. There are certain subtle but significant differences between the two.
· Argumentative writing is about convincing readers to acknowledge your arguments and make them consider another different point of view on a subject.
Persuasive essays aim to persuade readers and make them agree with your perspective/ideas/opinion on a particular topic.
· Unlike argumentative writing, persuasive writing uses a heady mix of logic, facts, and emotion to convince the audience about the writer’s veracity and correctness.
· Argumentative writing compares & contrasts arguments and counterarguments, looks at a topic from multiple perspectives, and uses explanations, evidence, & logic to show why a chosen slant is the right one tactfully.
Persuasive writing is only concerned with proving its point right. Persuasive essay writers must write with a singular conviction that their ideas, perspective, and way of thinking is the only valid & right one.
Persuasive writers may present other viewpoints but only refute them by highlighting their weaknesses & emphasize the strengths of their arguments.
· It is the audience you are persuading, so you need to think about what they might think & react. Persuasive essays must cater to the audience's way of thinking and use every trick in the rhetorical & persuasive skill book to persuade them about the failings of their ideas & the correctness of the writer’s.
In that sense, persuasive essays are more aggressive and attacking than argumentative essays. While argumentative essays share a conviction with explanation & evidence without caring about whether the audience agrees, persuasive essays attack, coax, and coerce readers to take their side.
Persuasive essays are much more personal, emotional, passionate, and vitriolic.
In short, persuasive essays will require you actually to argue for your arguments with aggression! It won't be enough to present your POVs and arguments with explanation & evidence; convince the audience with conviction why you are right and that your arguments are the only valid ones.
You won't achieve much success in your persuasions if you do not know how to present your ideas, logic, and arguments articulately & cohesively. An outline is, thus, of utmost importance.
A Generic Persuasive Essay Outline
For a typical four-paragraph essay, here’s a tentative persuasive essay outline or framework that you can follow.
You should know the drill regarding introductions unless this is your first time writing an essay.
· The Hook
Hook readers with an attention-getter, preferably something eye-catching, thought-provoking or shocking. This is all the more vital for persuasive essays where you need to play on your audience’s way of thinking and emotions.
A quote, scenario, statistics, question, controversial statement, or vivid description of the topics can be the perfect start to your essay.
· Transition seamlessly from the hook to your stance on the topic. Do not forget to add essential background information to bring them up to speed about the topic and as necessary for your stance & arguments.
· Thesis or Opinion Statement
State your stance on the topic clearly and confidently in the thesis statement. Wrap it up within two sentences.
· As you draw the intro to a close, mention the primary points/arguments you will use to persuade the reader briefly.
This is the meat of the matter, so take good care while working on it. Ensure your points, reasons, logic, and/or arguments are strong enough to shake the views & beliefs of your readers. As discussed, emotional appeal is a vital aspect of persuasion, so use the points & arguments to appeal to emotions as much as logic.
· Structure Your Information
Topic sentences of body paragraphs should be your position/argument.
The body of the paragraph should showcase the irrefutability of your position. Show them the logic, stir up their emotions, present solid logic & evidence, and present any information that makes the audience think twice about their stance.
Nudge them with ethos, pathos, and logos towards your viewpoint. Close the paragraph impactfully and with an effective transition to the next paragraph.
· Each paragraph should present a point supporting your stance and then use all the elements of persuasion to showcase its validity. Every new paragraph should have something new to say. With every paragraph, your audience should move closer to accepting your stance.
Stand firm and confidently with your stance. Give it all you have got & use explanations, evidence, and all forms of persuasion to establish that only your position is the right one!
· Direct citations, quotes, and prominent examples are the perfect way to reinforce your claims and thereby rejig your audience's thought processes. The more authoritative the supporting information, the easier the persuasion will be.
· Touch A Chord
Make sure emotions must run high in a persuasive essay. Stirring up strong emotions and using them to your advantage is a prominent rhetorical approach to persuasion and, when combined with logic, can convince even the most courageous mindsets.
· Persuade, Not State
Remember, it isn't enough to state a reason and supporting evidence & then explain their significance & infallibility. You will NEED TO PERSUADE using effective rhetorical & persuasive techniques!
· Smooth & Seamless Narrative
Transitions help you weave through thoughts & ideas, making them vital to developing a cohesive write-up. Avoid using the same ones or weak transitions for maximum effect.
· The final body paragraph in a persuasive essay is the rebuttal or counterargument.
Address a potential counter to your ideas, but only refute or rebut it. Point out its flaws, weaknesses, and/or limitations and show how your ideas trump its opposition easily.
The concluding paragraph of a persuasive essay needs to restate the thesis or opinion statement, summarize the main reasons/points/arguments, and wrap things up with a thoughtful comment. Bring the essay to a close with something thought-provoking and emotionally stirring to leave a lasting impact and convince your readers about the strength of your persuasive discourse.
Well, that’s about it for this write-up. Hope it comes in handy when you embark on any persuasive essay assignment. Sharpen your persuasion skills and boost your knowledge to deliver pitch-perfect persuasive essays, and if need be, look for professional help from the experts at EssayHack.io.
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