While many instructors use the terms persuasive essay and argumentative essay interchangeably, there is a slight difference between the two. As a general rule, argumentative essays tend to be data backed. Persuasive essays use arguments that are intended to get readers to form opinions based on appeals to emotions, morals, and ethics.
For example, an argumentative essay might claim that eating a vegetarian diet reduces cancer risk by 15%. A persuasive essay would claim that eating a vegetarian diet is the only way to put an end to cruel farming practices.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that writing a persuasive essay is easy. You still have to work hard to form a cogent argument in your favor.
Pick a Topic That Evokes Strong Opinions. The most interesting persuasive essay topics for both readers and writers are ones that involve very strongly held opinions. You’ll find lots of sources to support both sides of the issue. You can also employ lots of evocative writing to make your points.
Try Having a Topic Selection Brainstorming Session With Classmates. If you are part of class, study group consider organizing a brainstorming session. This will help you and your fellow students come up with some great topic ideas.
Ask Your Instructor Which Topics Have Been Most Interesting in The Past. While you instructor probably won’t give you topic ideas directly, they may be willing to share some previous topic ideas that have worked very well. You shouldn’t take these directly, but they can help get some ideas flowing.
Consider a Topic You Feel Strongly About. Do you have a pet issue or topic that really gets your blood boiling? You should strongly consider basing your persuasive essay on that topic. Remember that if you are passionate and knowledgable about something, you will enjoy writing about it. Even better, your knowledge means that you don’t have to research as much.
Make Sure The Topic Has Broad Appeal. While it’s a good idea to pick a topic that you care about, be careful not to pick one that is only interesting to you and a handful of other people. For example, if you are a guitar enthusiast, you might have very strong opinions on which brand of guitar strings are best, but most people won’t find an essay on that very interesting.
You Should Still Include Some Statistics or Other Data in Your Essay
Take a Unique Angle to Make Your Essay Interesting
Expand Your Vocabulary And Use Descriptive Phrases
Get an Early Start And Work on Your Essay Daily
Keep Your Notes Well Organized
Write an Outline Even if It’s Not Required
- Find an expert who agrees with you and quote them in your essay.
- Use emotionally persuasive language.
- Research opposing points so that you understand them.
- Appeal to ethics and morals.
- Watch out for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Use derisive language to belittle those who hold opposing views.
- Pander or use emotionally dishonest tactics.
- Ignore Important Opposing Views
- Forget to cite your sources
- Wait until the last minute to request help on your essay.
- Failing to Write a Strong Conclusion - This is your last chance to drive your point home. Show how your arguments fall into place.
- Being Dishonest About The Opposing View - Avoid constructing strawman arguments.
- Leading Off With Your Weakest Point - Start with the strongest argument you have. It will give the rest of your paper credibility.
- Failing to Make an Emotional Connection - Your audience is more likely to believe your arguments if they resonate personally with them.
- Not Following Instructions Completely - double check your rubric. Don’t miss any important details.