How a persuasive essay introduction works

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The introduction is an important part of the essay which functions as setting for your topic, problem and argument. Like other writing works, a persuasive essay requires a good concise introduction which will acquaint the reader with the things you will discuss further on.

This paragraph has its functions, structure and elements. All of them are to be considered with a special attention if you want your paper to be effective and easy-to-understand. The introduction of a persuasive essay is its imperative element as it arranges the facts to be included in a coherent and meaningful structure. Most importantly, it presents the argument to the readers and shows them its purpose from the very start. For the better understanding of what a persuasive paper is, you can imagine a lawyer in court who is defending his client before a judge. The judge decides whether the defendant is guilty or not. For this, he has to agree or disagree with the lawyer’s arguments. The lawyer in his turn lays out the facts in the way which he thinks will be the most effective for the client. He selects only most powerful arguments which will be reviewed in detail during the trial. But first, he airs them to the judge. Like the lawyer, the writer of a persuasive essay makes an opening statement – writes an introduction.

A convincing not descriptive introduction

The effect of the opening paragraph depends on a strong persuasive argument; please remember that in the introduction the writer presents the argument, not discusses it. It is a common mistake made by students who write their argumentative intro.

Another typical mistake of the students assigned to write a persuasive paper is making their introduction too mysterious or too emotional. A persuasive essay is not a detective or love story as well as it is not a history or action paper. All these genres won’t work for an essay, the purpose of which is to present the claim and argue into it. Therefore, you should demonstrate the claim ahead of time so that the reader can understand and follow it throughout the body paragraphs. Your essay is the place where facts, not feelings, rule.

Your major purpose is to introduce a strong argument to force the reader take up your position. You do not tell or describe, you make the others agree with your point using different persuasive techniques.

How to compose the introduction

Your introduction will work best if you write the sentences in the following order:

  • A hook. The best way to start your persuasive essay introduction is to pique the interest of your readers. This method is called a hook. For a persuasive paper, a hook can be a mini story, a quote, a surprising fact, a stunning statistics or an appealing question. However, you should be careful with the statistics and facts that is why use only verified sources. A statement with a hook kills two birds with one stone – grabs the reader’s interest and introduces the topic.
  • Background. Your topic should be provided with the background for better understanding of the issue by the audience. With the history and context provided, it will be easier for the writer to explain and argue the point. For example, if your purpose is to convince the reader that the death-penalty must be reinstated in Europe, your introduction has to include some information about the history of capital punishment and the statistics showing that the crime rates were much lower when the execution was legal.
  • A thesis statement. A persuasive essay cannot do without a thesis, a single sentence, which sums up your point. A thesis is a position of the writer, not a fact, which is potentially agreed or disagreed by the readers. For instance, if your topic about the current situation within the EU that is at the threat of disintegration, your thesis may sound like this, “The European Parliament should reconsider its interstate relations policies as many members are not satisfied with their current roles and duties which may result in their outright exit from the EU”. A thesis statement may include one strong argument or several persuasive arguments. Once the thesis stated, you fill the body paragraphs with the supportive evidence.

The introduction is like a roadmap for other parts of the paper. It highlights the topic and sets up your point rather than analyses, supports and argues. In your first paragraph try to avoid fillers such as “I am going to explain why” or “I will prove the fact that”, etc. They do not add meaning to the point and steal precious space. Accumulate the facts, evidence, analysis data that describe your argument in the body paragraphs and let your introduction concisely state the topic and argument.

Polish your essay

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This process includes everything that can make your paper flawless, well-composed and meaningful. Your task is to revise, edit and proofread the draft several times and have others to read it either.

Use this to-do thing list for better revision of the essay structure and spotting the errors:

  • Print out your draft
  • Read the essay aloud
  • Use spell and grammar checkers, but do not rely on them entirely and better show your draft to someone else
  • Check if you have followed the required format
  • Check if the counterarguments are presented fairly
  • Check if the paragraphs are connected logically
  • Check if the argument is supported by proper evidence
  • Revise the citation rules
  • Look back to your professor’s instructions once more and see if you have followed all his advice

Essential tips

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These recommendations will be useful for those who do not want to step aside the persuasive path and keep writing as convincingly as possible.

  • Consider who will read your essay. Keep in mind that persuasive techniques can affect the readers differently. What is convincing to one group of people can turn unpersuasive to the others. Actually, your main reader is your professor; however, you should think who else may find your paper interesting. The persuasive approach you choose directly depends on the target reader. One topic can address two or more types of readers.
  • Choose topics that appeal to your interests and views. With a topic that you are really passionate about, you will sound eloquent and serious.
  • Select a deep and complex topic. Too broad topics are not good for persuasive essays as you will find difficult to compose a meaningful and interesting argument.
  • Choose a narrow topic for your persuasive essay rather than a broad one. It will be easier to explore the issue and find relative evidence.
  • Keep a balance between arguments and counterarguments.

While writing a persuasive introduction, keep in mind that a good intro has the following features:

  • It is easy to read
  • It is engaging and challenging
  • It is specific

To hook your readers, use these persuasive techniques:

  • Repetition. Return to your thesis several times throughout the paper so that the readers will not forget or miss your point.
  • Quotations. They are powerful persuasive elements as the wisdom they have belongs to the pen of notable people whose opinion is widely respected.
  • Add pressure to the problem. Show how serious the issue is. Agitate the situation so that the reader can realize that the problem is much more severe than it seems to be. In this way, you will draw their attention to your argument and then offer a solution.

Though the mentioned-above tips are definitely helpful, we feel that you still hesitate whether you have written a decent persuasive paper. If yes, you can find more essay tips on this website or ask an expert author to write a paper from scratch.

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