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How to Write a Persuasive Essay for College

What makes a good persuasive essay?

❶Persuasive essays, like argumentative essays, use rhetorical devices to persuade their readers.

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For example, climate change is a topic, but "state governments should reduce the number of coal-fired power plants" is a thesis.

Brainstorm the specific arguments you will use to prove your thesis. Set a timer for three to five minutes, and jot down every argument you can think of that supports your thesis. Choose the points you will find easiest to argue convincingly. Make a quick outline showing the order in which you will make your arguments and the evidence that supports each. As you draft your persuasive essay, every sentence you write should use reason and evidence to show the reader why your thesis is true.

Your introduction presents the thesis you will defend and the evidence you will offer to support it. Your body paragraphs make specific claims that build on one another to support your thesis and offer evidence to back up those claims.

Your conclusion summarizes your arguments and presents the response you want from your reader. Before submitting your persuasive essay, make sure your argument is strong and sound. Review it and correct:. Be sure the essay uses transitional words and phrases such as "so," "however," and "on the other hand" to clarify the connections of your argument.

It's stronger if it anticipates and addresses challenges a reader might make to your claims. University of Illinois English professors, Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, advise "planting a naysayer in your text" to strengthen your argument by demonstrating that you have already considered opposing viewpoints. Shandi Stevenson is a teacher, tutor and author whose work has appeared in national and international publications including "Shibboleths," "Homeschooling Today," and "Resort Living.

Do you feel angry about it? Are you excited that taking a particular action on this issue could do a great deal of good to many people? On the other hand, it isn't necessary to feel strongly about your topic.

Sometimes you even may be asked in an assignment to take a stance opposite your beliefs. If you are asked to argue for a particular position, do some role-playing: This may be challenging, but it is also rewarding. Learning to be persuasive on a subject you yourself do not support wholeheartedly is a valuable life skill-think of marketing, legal, education, and human resources professions, for example.

When you practice looking at an issue from many sides, you may find that you have learned something. Anticipating and overcoming objections Discussing your topic with others before you start to write may eliminate certain directions your writing could take as well as suggest others. Ask other people how they feel about the issue; test your opinions and reasons on them. Listen closely to their opinions, especially to those with whom you disagree.

This will give you a preview of responses you can expect from your audience. Ask people why they feel the way they do. The initiative is yours—you must acknowledge and genuinely understand opposing views and overcome them with the force of your persuasion, for hostile or indifferent readers are not likely to go out of their way to understand you.

Take opposing viewpoints seriously and do not oversimplify them. It is not effective or convincing to base your argument on easily refutable points.

Gather facts and evidence that support your position and refute opposing positions. Look online, in newspapers, and in magazines for current articles on the subject.

Take careful notes on what you read and use these notes to build a strong argument. Discuss your list of arguments and evidence with someone else to make sure you have covered all the important related points. Draw up a thesis statement—sometimes called a proposition , a statement of what you propose to prove in your writing—and list your reasons underneath it. Beneath each reason, list the facts, figures, examples, or quotations that help support it. Always state the proposition in positive terms: Convincing readers Give your reader—even an unsympathetic reader—the respect due him.

It is not persuasive to suggest that your opponents are morons who simply do not understand the matter, or that they are vicious sociopaths with a destructive hidden agenda. Rely on logic rather than emotion, using words that will elicit a positive reaction from your audience.

What should you write about?

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Top Persuasive Essay Topics to Write About in Until then, you can use these wonderful ideas to help you write the ultimate persuasive essay for your next college project. Persuasive Essay Topics that are Easy. Parental Instincts encourages good and bad ethics in children;.

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Guide to writing a persuasive essay. Guide to writing a persuasive essay. A good way to test the strength of both your topic sentences and your argument as a whole is to construct an outline of your paper using only your paper's thesis statement and topic sentences. Hamilton College. College Hill Road, Clinton, NY

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In a persuasive essay, you seek to convince a reader that she should adopt and act on your opinion. To do this, your essay must build a chain of reasoning to the conclusion you want your reader to reach and offer evidence to support each link in the chain. writing a persuasive essay A persuasive essay tries to convince the reader to agree with the writer's opinion on a subject. In your persuasive essay you do three things.

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Writing a persuasive essay is a lot like other forms of persuasion, but you need good persuasive essay topics to start your essay right. This post will give you 15! College persuasive essay topics. Should we stop using belts when driving? Persuasive essay topics for middle school. Select one of these topics to write a good persuasive essay and you will not regret it. These themes are destined to turn into fun and creative writing. And that's exactly what you need when working on such a piece.