Tips on How to Perfect Your Persuasive/Argumentative Essay

Many students get puzzled when they are assigned to create a persuasive essay. On the one hand, it seems to be rather plain to compose since you are to persuade someone to think the way you do.

On the other hand, if you think better, it is complicated t do this. There are a lot of things you ought to learn to understand how to write an argumentative essay:

  1. Elements of a good paper
  2. Argumentative essay structure
  3. Tips on how to perfect your writing
  4. Types of argumentative essays


Some specific components are required in a persuasive paper. The first and most essential element in a persuasive essay is the position, or what side you are on. You should state the position and not only.

It is crucial to give reasons or to explain why you think the way you do in the essay. The reasons will make your paper more persuasive. In order to strengthen this, support the reasons with proof, or facts and data which prove them.

  • establishing facts to support an argument
  • clarifying relevant values for your audience (perspective)
  • prioritizing, editing, and/or sequencing the facts and values in importance to build the argument
  • forming and stating conclusions
  • "persuading" your audience that your conclusions are based upon the agreed-upon facts and shared values
  • having the confidence to communicate your "persuasion" in writing

However, the best essay additionally incorporates counterarguments, in some cases shortened to counters, which are the reasons why the opposite side's contentions are inaccurate. The spacious approach to a problem wins confidence and readers are likely to believe you.


An argumentative paper as any other type of paper usually consists of the intro, the main body, and the conclusion. However, if we expand the structure, we will see that the main body includes several parts, the introduction might be followed by the background, and there may also be two conclusions. Sounds more complicated now, doesn’t it?

But don’t be afraid, we are here to observe each part and inform you about the content of all paragraphs. The intro usually consists of two sections and contains the thesis statement for an argumentative essay. It should be interesting and clear. If the topic is specific, you can add a background section which will explain your claim.

In the main body, you are supposed to provide supporting evidence to prove your opinion. It would be better if you could write two or three different conformations. To make them more persuasive don’t keep to the introduction of the evidence only.

Explain each argument and make sure you do it in a comprehensible way.

The other part of the main body should include the argument against yours. Try to predict which counterarguments your readers may think about while reading the paper. Let them see the opposite side and then turn to your point again. Thus, you will seem more objective and convincing.

Finally, compose the perfect conclusion. Restate your thesis and remind the readers of all arguments for it. If you intend to make an impression and show you have used your analytical skills and critical thinking, create the second conclusion. There you can look at your thesis more globally and try to understand the significance of your claim.

Writing Strategies

Think of the questions posed in the assignment
while you are reading and researching. Determine

  • facts
  • any sources that will help you determine their reliability (as well as for further reference)
  • what prejudices lie in the argument or values that color the facts or the issue
  • what you think of the author's argument

List out facts; consider their importance: prioritize, edit, sequence, discard, etc.
Ask yourself "What's missing?"

What are the "hot buttons" of the issue?
List possible emotions/emotional reactions and recognize them for later use

Start writing a draft!
Start as close as possible to your reading/research
Do not concern yourself with grammar or spelling

  • Write your first paragraph
    • Introduce the topic
    • Inform the reader of your point of view!
    • Entice the reader to continue with the rest of the paper!
    • Focus on three main points to develop
  • Establish flow from paragraph to paragraph
    • Keep your voice active
    • Quote sources to establish authority
    • Stay focused on your point of view throughout the essay
    • Focus on logical arguments
    • Don't lapse into summary in the development--wait for the conclusion
  • Conclusion
    Summarize, then conclude, your argument
    Refer to the first paragraph/opening statement as well as the main points
    • does the conclusion restate the main ideas?
    • reflect the succession and importance of the arguments
    • logically conclude their development?
  • Edit/rewrite the first paragraph to better telegraph your development and conclusion.
  • Take a day or two off!
  • Re-read your paper with a fresh mind and a sharp pencil
    • Ask yourself:
      Does this make sense? Am I convinced?
      Will this convince a reader?
      Will they understand my values, and agree with my facts?
    • Edit, correct, and re-write as necessary
    • Check spelling and grammar!
    • Have a friend read it and respond to your argument.
      Were they convinced?
    • Revise if necessary
    • Turn in the paper
    • Celebrate a job well done, with the confidence that you have done your best.

How to respond to criticism:
Consider criticism as a test of developing your powers of persuasion.
Try not to take it personally.

If your facts are criticized,
double check them, and then cite your sources.

If your values are criticized,
sometimes we need agree "to disagree". Remember: your success in persuading others assumes that the other person is open to being persuaded!

Fear: If you are not used to communicating,
especially in writing, you may need to overcome fear on several levels. Writing, unlike unrecorded speech, is a permanent record for all to see, and the "context" is not as important as in speech where context "colors" the words. For example: your readers do not see you, only your words. They do not know what you look like, where you live, who you are.

Hopefully in school, and class, we have a safe place
to practice both the art of writing and of persuasion. Then later, when we are in our communities, whether work, church, neighborhoods, and even families, we can benefit from this practice.

Persuasion also has another dimension:
it is built with facts, which illustrate conclusions. Of course, this means you need to know what you are talking about, and cannot be lazy with your facts, or you will not succeed in convincing anyone. This shows another level of fear: Fear of making a mistake that will make your argument or persuasion meaningless. Since you are writing, and the words are on paper for all to see (or on a web site!), you need to work to make sure your facts are in order.


  • Create a catchy title. This will hook your readers, and they would like to read your work at once. Introduce the topic but make it intriguing.
  • Do research. To be persuasive, you should be aware of what you are writing about very well. Visit the library, read some books and turn to reliable online resources. Try to use up-to-date information.
  • Add some quotes to be even more convincing and to show the readers you have done a good job, and some famous people share your viewpoint.
  • Take a break. Before you check your paper, put it away for several minutes. Then look at it again, and you will see everything with a fresh eye.
  • Check your spelling and grammar mistakes. Be careful with quotations, use proper punctuation.
  • Look at how your paper is structured and check whether you have missed something important.


Do… Don't...
…use passionate language …use weak qualifiers like “I believe,” “I feel,” or “I think”—just tell us!
…cite experts who agree with you …claim to be an expert if you’re not one
…provide facts, evidence, and statistics to support your position …use strictly moral or religious claims as support for your argument
…provide reasons to support your claim …assume the audience will agree with you about any aspect of your argument
…address the opposing side’s argument and refute their claims …attempt to make others look bad (i.e. Mr. Smith is ignorant—don’t listen to him!)

Types of argumentative papers

Argumentative essays take a gander at a thought or an issue and present each side individually. Despite the fact that all argumentative essays ought to examine each side of the contention, different types of this kind of paper manage an alternate way to deal with showing the data.

Types of argumentative essays:

  1. Persuasive presents a contention and attempts to convince the peruser that one side of the contention is superior to the others. These sorts of paper ought to begin by plainly expressing the creator's perspective and ought to utilize the proof to bolster that perspective all through. As various sides of the argument are mentioned, the author ought to negate these perspectives to induce the peruser that his perspective is the correct one.
  2. Research depends vigorously on outside sources to make and support the fundamental contention. When composing an argumentative research paper, it's essential to adopt an adjusted strategy. Authors must attempt to refer to a similar measure of sources for the contrasting perspectives concerning the fundamental contention.
  3. The analysis concentrates on other persuasive articles. The reason for this kind of article is to break down another writer's claim. Major components of analysis incorporate influence, prove, clarity of composing, introduction and style. In spite of the fact that this is an analysis paper, it is likewise an argumentative paper, the essay writer must use a reasonable defense about the quality and influence of the paper she/he is assessing.
  4. Personal does not have to depend on research to make the case. This sort of paper relies on feeling and individual taste; consequently, the creator must present a convincing defense in light of his own subjective thinking. Research can also be used to make the primary contention more compelling. What's more, all sides of the issue ought to be considered to additionally approve the writer's view and persuade the peruser that it has been very much created.

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