The Persuasive Essay


     The persuasive writer must convince his or her reader that the point of view or course of action he or she recommends is valid. The writer must develop a limited topic, which is well defined and debatable, that has more than one side. It is important that the author understand other sides of the position so that the strongest information to counter the others can be presented. In the essay, only one side of the issue is presented.

     There is a specific format to be followed.

·         The topic sentence cannot be a fact as facts cannot be debated—facts are facts.  This first sentence should be a clear and direct statement of position. This statement directs the readers to follow along with your logic toward the specific stated conclusion that you want them to support. Do not make it personal so do not use personal pronouns. Make it definitive.

·         Then, in the same introductory paragraph, state the three best reasons you have for supporting  your position as the remainder of the opening paragraph. These reasons become the topics of each of the three supporting paragraphs. Again, be sure they can be supported with additional separate facts.

·         In the body of the essay, the writer uses specific evidence, examples, and statistics and not broad generalizations or personal opinions to persuade the reader that the stated position is a valid one. Each topic sentence for the support paragraphs have been introduced in the beginning paragraph. Each additional sentence must closely relate to the topic and the sentence that came before it. This way, the logic of the argument is easy to follow.

·         Be sure to use adequate transitions between paragraphs as they make it easy for the reader to follow the logic of the presentation.

·         As one closes the essay, it is most important to clearly redefine the topic and restate the most compelling evidence cited in original form. Remember, this is the last chance to remind the reader and convince him/her to accept the writer's position.

·         Do not introduce new material in the conclusion.