Tips for persuasive essay writing
There are many different ways that an author can write an essay. Which format an essay is written in will depend on the subject that the author has chosen and the reason they are writing the essay. For example an essay written for a high school assignment will be different in format and content to a piece written as a university or college dissertation.
If you choose (or are told) to write a persuasive essay, before you begin writing there are a few things you should understand.
Before even thinking about a persuasive essay format, you must clearly understand what exactly you are being asked to do. The assignment is one in which the author is trying to convince the reader of a particular point or idea. For example, most advertisements through their content, structure and - very importantly - semiotics are telling a persuasive story. They are saying to their audience that their product will solve a particular problem. Writing a persuasive essay, the author is trying to convince the reader of their ideas regarding the topic they have chosen to write about.
When somebody is set to write a persuasive piece, as coursework for an English class for example, the number of topics they may be given to write about is infinite. A quick Internet search will give plenty of example subjects and titles for a persuasive writing assignment.
Any good essay is well planned out before the author starts writing. This is no different when writing a persuasive paper. It is important that the author selects the subject they are going to write about carefully. If you select a good subject you should be able to 'open it up' to be examined and written about quite easily. Once you have done this you can begin planning your essay and how to write it. After you have selected your subject you must consider what way you would like to persuade the reader that your view is the correct one. Now you can roughly define your persuasive essay format.
You can put forward your argument in a number of different ways. You may write about the points expressed by other authors and proceed to disprove them, stating your own opinions on a one-by-one basis. For example, if you were writing an essay persuading the reader of the benefits of protectionist economics you may address the points made by the critics of protectionism addressing each as you go along and finishing each point portraying the protectionist policy in a positive light. You should also remember that a persuasive essay is not a comparative one and therefore you do not have to address the advantages and criticisms of the subject you are writing about, you may simply cover the points you want to and giving them a positive presentation.
As with all essays it is important that you research and develop the ideas you wish to cover before you begin to write. All good work, be it for a high school assignment or as part of study for a masters degree, is well researched. It is no good trying to write about something if you find out that the point you are trying to make can be easily struck down by your academic peers. You must find evidence to support your claims and give your work credibility.
Also, it is very worthwhile having your work proofread before it is completely finished.
Finally, when you have covered all the points you want to make you should bring them together in a concise and persuasive conclusion that will hopefully make, for the reader, your ideas convincing.