A persuasive essay is a piece of academic writing aimed at proving a certain point or an argument by means of universal reasoning and logic. Its main objective is to reach out a reader and influence his or her point of view on a particular subject. The evidence behind an author’s argumentation is typically based on concrete facts and statistics, relative case studies, expert opinions, and hypothesis.
To outline a persuasive essay, make sure you check the following boxes:
- First things first, decide which stance you will be proving. If there is a key issue, choose your side and think of a solution you could offer.
- Think of your readers. Is your audience more likely to agree or disagree with you?
- Go big on researching. To prove a point, you need a solid evidence and backstory to why your opinion is especially relevant and sufficient. It is often not enough to just provide a reader with your own opinion and support it with your own belief system. Rather support it with hard evidence, such as numbers, statistic research, and previous quantitative and/or qualitative findings.
- Structure the order in which your arguments will be presented by considering the above-stated points like your target audience, topic, and essay objective.
Four ways to support the argument
You can support a persuasive argument in different ways depending on what kind of the evidence is available. While researching the topic, you are making careful notes of the evidence that can be useful for your paper, so in the end, you see what evidence will work best for your argument.
Please note that sometimes it is impossible to find appropriate information for the claim support because of various reasons. In this situation, you should inform the readers about it. They also have to know that some available data is imperfect. Experienced researchers admit that they rely on incomplete information which in the course of the time can become false when more reliable data appears.
The argument is commonly supported by:
- Facts. It is a powerful way to convince the audience as factual data, which may come from research, observation or writer’s experience, is irrefutable and can be found by everyone. It is important not to replace factual data with truths as a truth stands for people’s beliefs and ideas which are impossible to prove.
- Statistics. Many researchers consider statistics as an excellent poof, however, you should be careful with the sources. Check if this or that statistical evidence comes from a credible source. Moreover, when referring to the statistics in your paper, all sources must be cited.
- Examples. To strengthen the argument, a writer uses examples which function well as a proof and often make an essay more vivid and interesting. As a persuasive argument requires being specific, it is advisable to support it by an example which further can be fortified by statistics.
- Quotes. Make reference only to the expert opinion in the field you are researching as only it can be a credible support for your argument.
How to hone the argument
Once you have developed an outline and possibly have even written your first draft, proceed by polishing your arguments. Follow these steps:
- Make sure you are well-informed about the topic of your essay. It is never a bad idea to write notes and research other sources than just the Internet.
- Test the main argument of your essay. It is expected that your argument has two (alternatively more) sides open for a debate. To ensure your thesis is debatable, try to articulate an opposing to your stance on the issue that your topic revolves around.
- Aim at proving the opposing stance wring. Search for inconsistencies or misconceptions and point them out, while simultaneously supporting your side of the argument.
How to check if the evidence is solid
Strong evidence is measured by these criteria:
- Relevancy. Speak on the problem that matters.
- Authenticity. To ensure that the information you provide is accurate, take the same data from different sources.
- Adequacy. Focus on the most significant points of your argument and try to be as specific as possible in supporting them. Less important ideas are also worth considering if your argument requires them.
- Representativeness. It means you cannot talk about the issue as a whole if your data covers only its part. Refer to the available information but mention the problem to the readers.
- Details. The more specific you are, the stronger the argument is.
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