How to Write a Persuasive Essay or Paper: Ways to Develop a Topic, Write for an Audience, & Provide Evidence

Write a Persuasive Essay

Write a Persuasive Essay

How to develop a good topic, write for a specific audience, present evidence clearly and convincingly, and cover the opposite side fairly and accurately.

What is the point of a persuasive essay, anyway? To persuade of course! Okay, enough with the obvious stuff. Teachers and professors who assign a student to become an essay writer and compose a persuasive essay or paper have a few specific things in mind.

First, they want students to develop an idea that isn’t too broad, specific, or used. Second, they want students to imagine an audience that does not agree with the topic they present. Third, they want students to learn how to research and present their evidence clearly and convincingly. Fourth, they want students to present the opposite side fairly and accurately. Fifth, they want students to develop better paper-writing skills.

Developing an Idea That is Unique and Specific but Relatable

Finding an argument can be the most difficult part of developing a persuasive paper. Teachers and professors have read the same topics year in and year out, so don’t bore your professor with an essay on the death penalty or abortion.

Besides being frequent topics for persuasive essays, they are also hot-button and broad topics that you aren’t likely to change your audience’s opinion on in a few pages, no matter how good the argument is that you present.

If you have your heart set on one of these topics, try choosing a specific aspect in one of the topics to support or argue against. In any topic, it is a good idea to narrow your topic to a specific incidence.

Convincing the Reader to Validate Your Argument

Your goal, as a writer, is to convince the reader (who for whatever reason disagrees with the argument you present) to validate your argument.

Imagining the audience and its viewpoint on the subject matter at hand will help you to do this successfully. This is a skill that will be beneficial not only for the assignment, but for future papers, projects, and ultimately careers.

If you cannot create a completely fictional audience, imagine your professor, classmates, friends, and family who would not (or pretend that they would not) agree with your argument. Develop ideas and a thesis based on their viewpoint.

How to Present Your Evidence in a Clear and Convincing Manner

Find reliable sources, and whatever you do, do not use Wikipedia as a source. Use only scholarly sources unless it’s a casual persuasive paper in which case interviewing peers and mentors might be acceptable.

Don’t forget about the counter-argument. Completely ignoring the other side of the issue will make it look as though you are hiding something, ensuring others do not trust your argument. Present the opposite side of your argument in a fair, accurate manner.

By practicing these steps, you will not only learn how to write a better persuasive essay or paper, but you will also develop the skills needed to write future essays both in class and out of class.

Remember to choose a persuasive essay topic based on your interests and passions. If you don’t care about an issue, how can you be expected to convince an audience to join your side?

About the author: Jared Watney is a professional writer on Besides, he is a passionate stories writer. In this case, he dreams of self-publishing his book. Moreover, Jared started drawing images for it by himself.