Writing the Persuasive Essay Objective

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Writing the Persuasive Essay


  • Your purpose in writing an argumentative or persuasive essay is to convince your readers to share your viewpoint on a particular topic.


  • Be especially mindful of your audience when writing a persuasive essay.
  • Your audience’s beliefs and values will influence your ability to persuade them and influence the types of evidence you will choose to support your argument.

Choice of Topic

  • Within the parameters of the assignment, choose a topic you feel strongly about.
  • In addition to persuading your audience, your goal is also to provide a clear and intelligent explanation of your position. Therefore, choose a topic you already have some knowledge about.

Structure of the Persuasive Essay

  • You may structure your persuasive essay in one of two ways: You may begin with your position and then provide your support for your position, or you may present your evidence and conclude with your position

Logical Errors

  • When providing evidence or support for your position, avoid the following errors in logic:
  • Ad hominem (to the person): criticizing a person’s position by criticizing that person’s character.
  • Ad populum argument (to the people): appealing to the bias of your audience instead of using facts.
  • Utilizing the testimony of an unqualified authority to support your argument.
  • Oversimplification: suggesting a simple solution to a complex problem.

Concluding Your Essay

  • In order for a persuasive essay to be effective, the writer must end his or her paper decisively.
  • One possible way to conclude the essay is a call for action to resolve the issue being addressed in your essay.
  • Another conclusion is a thought-provoking question.
  • On the other hand, you might choose to end your essay by suggesting the necessary steps to resolve the issue you have identified.


  • Miller, George, ed. The Prentice Hall Reader,
  • 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall,
  • 1998.

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