Step-by-Step Guide to Write a Perfect Persuasive Essay

author By Mary Boies

Yes, it is still an essay! We know how writing a perfect essay is challenging to most students. The mention of persuasive essays sometimes sends chills down the spines of many students. However, the process is not as complicated as proclaimed. Let's get to the details.

When assigned to write a persuasive essay, you must use arguments and logic to convince your audience that your point of view is superior to alternative points of view. And the best way to do this is to offer solid evidence for these arguments, including statistical facts, research findings, quotes from scholars and experts, and logical reasons.

In this exhaustive step-by-step guide, you will learn what a persuasive essay is, how to write it in 6 simple steps, things to do and those not to do when writing, examples of persuasive essay topics, and examples of persuasive essay structure. This guide explains everything you need to write a perfect essay demonstrating your persuasive writing skills.

Do you want to nail your persuasive essay task? Then, read this to the end.

What is a persuasive essay?

A persuasive essay is an academic essay written to convince the reader about something or a point of view using logic and reason. Persuasive essay writing entirely entails exposing clear arguments and supporting these arguments using convincing facts and logical reasoning to show that your point of view is more legitimate when compared to the alternatives.

To write a convincing persuasive essay, you must structure your arguments correctly and use strong evidence (research, facts, data, quotes, and logical reasons).

The best structure for persuasive essays is the standard introduction-body-conclusion essay structure, otherwise known as the five-paragraph essay format.

You must include things in your persuasive essay structure to make it a proper persuasive essay. Through this post, our expert writers will teach you about these and other important facts about persuasive essays.

Persuasive Essays vs. Argumentative Essays

While persuasive essays are somewhat similar to argumentative essays, there is a significant difference between the two types of essays.

When writing a persuasive essay, you choose a side and focus ninety-five percent of your essay on convincing the reader to agree. In this case, you choose a point of view and present arguments that support your point of view to convince the readers of the truth and legitimacy of your point of view.

In contrast, you are not supposed to choose a side when writing an argumentative essay. Instead, you are supposed to present both sides. In other words, you are required to present all the arguments for and all the arguments against a position. Then, you show both points of view or sides of the coin to the readers, describe the arguments and counterarguments, even when you do not agree with them, and conclude by letting the readers decide what is better for them.

So, it is fair to say that persuasive essays are quite different from argumentative essays.

How to write the perfect persuasive essay in six steps

Now that we understand the difference between persuasive and argumentative essays explained and shed light on its definition, it is now time to get to the real gist of this writing guide: How do you create a persuasive essay that will wow your professor?

We will begin with the step-by-step guide on starting and ending a persuasive essay and then later look at some general writing tips you can use to complete a persuasive essay writing task.

Step 1: Choose a side

The most important thing to do before writing a persuasive essay is to choose a side. First, you need to choose a side to defend in your essay. Once you choose a side, your work will try to convince the reader to support your side using logical reasoning and strong evidence.

So, make sure the side you choose is one that you can easily support. If you do this, you can write your persuasive essay easily. By easily supporting, you should ensure you have credible arguments/evidence supporting the side you want to choose.

If you do not find good arguments/evidence to defend your chosen position, choose the opposite if there is more evidence.

Step 2: Conduct research

After choosing a side, you should research to comprehensively understand the position you want to defend.

Your work in the essay will be to convince the reader to side with you. Therefore, you must understand the side fully to convince someone else to agree.

When conducting research, you should focus on information from academic studies, expert opinions, reputable media sites, and credible websites. You can perform source evaluation using the CRAAP test.

You need to bring on onboard expert opinion, scholarly findings, research findings, relevant media news pieces, and historical examples. If you don't believe in your research skills, you can work with your librarian for good scholarly sources based on your topic.

When conducting research, it is essential to take your time to get all the key evidence you need to persuade your reader to side with your position. Note down all the important information that could help you.

Step 3: Pinpoint the strongest evidence

Once you have conducted thorough research, you should pinpoint the strongest evidence. Persuasive essays are never long - they are usually short and to the point. So, you need to pinpoint the strongest evidence in your research to ensure your essay is not long.

Do this by identifying the most convincing points or arguments you noted in STEP 2 above.

The strongest point or evidence should help you to write your thesis. The thesis will be the main argument or position you will defend in your essay. Therefore, after stating your thesis, you should ensure the strongest evidence you have identified supports it.

Step 4: Outline your persuasive essay

After researching and identifying the strongest evidence, it is time to outline your persuasive essay. The importance of outlining your essay is to ensure it has a good structure and flow. Outlining your persuasive essay will also make it easier for you to write because a good outline will tell you what to talk about next in your essay.

If you properly outline your persuasive essay and then you follow the outline, you should be able to write an excellent one. [Jump to the section below to learn how to write a persuasive essay outline]

Step 5: Write your first draft

After completing the outline for your persuasive essay, you should write your first draft. To write your first draft, follow the outline you made in STEP 4 above.

Remember, your first draft is your first draft. So, you should follow your outline and write it. Don't focus on writing the perfect essay; write an expanded version of your outline. Then, write until you are done.

When you are done writing your first draft, forget about it for about 12 hours. Editing your first draft immediately after you are done writing is not very useful since your mind will be tired, so you won't see many grammar or spelling mistakes.

Step 6: Create the final draft

About 12 hours or more after writing your first draft, you should embark on creating your final persuasive essay draft. The first thing you should do is read and rephrase anything difficult to understand. And then, you should reread your work to remove all the grammar and spelling mistakes you can identify. Lastly, you should read your draft to ensure all your arguments are clear and on point.

Clear and on-point arguments will help you convince your reader to agree with your point of view. You can always use proofreading software like Grammarly to check your work for standard grammar and punctuation mistakes.

If following the six steps above sounds a bit overwhelming, you can always order a persuasive essay from our expert persuasive essay writers. They will be happy to write your persuasive essay for you so you can be confident enough to write one on your own next time. It will be well-structured, correctly formatted, and 100 percent original.

Here is a checklist to use before submitting the persuasive essay for grading:

  1. Is the essay written as per the instructions in the essay prompt? You can use a reverse outline for this.
  2. Has the essay met the word count?
  3. Is the essay structured well?
  4. Is the paper devoid of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors?
  5. Is the essay clear, concise, cogent, complete, compelling, and consistent?
  6. Are the claims well-supported by credible, relevant, authoritative, accurate, and purposeful evidence?
  7. Is there room for improvement?
  8. Is the essay convincing?
  9. Is the essay titled correctly?

How to create a persuasive essay outline

You now know what you must do to write a persuasive essay. In this section, you will discover how to create an outline or a map to make it easy to write the actual essay.

A good persuasive essay outline should enable you to write an impressive essay that can get maximum points.

There are different types of persuasive essay outlines. However, the critical elements in each outline are the introduction, body, and conclusion. Below is what each element entails and should include when outlining your persuasive essay.

1. Introduction

The introduction is usually just one paragraph. When outlining your introduction, write the hook (the attention-grabbing opening sentence), the background information you will include, and your thesis statement. Make sure everything is brief when outlining your introduction. You will write everything you think you should write in your actual essay.

2. Body paragraph 1

Persuasive essays typically have three body paragraphs. Each body paragraph focuses on a single argument or idea supporting your thesis statement.

When outlining the body paragraph, you should briefly note your main supporting argument for the paragraph plus the evidence you will use. You should also note the examples you will use if any. Use good transition words and phrases to link paragraphs.

3. Body paragraph 2

When outlining body paragraph two, you should briefly note your main supporting argument for the paragraph plus the evidence you will use. You should also note the examples you will use if any.

4. Body paragraph 3

When outlining the body paragraph three, you should briefly note your main supporting argument for the paragraph, plus the evidence you will use. You should also note the examples you will use, if any.

5. Conclusion

Your essay's conclusion should include a rewrite of your thesis, a summary of your main arguments, and information to summarize everything. You should conclude your essay with a clear and powerful sentence that ensures your reader is fully convinced about your position.

Your persuasive essay should include counterarguments to the position you take. Of course, you should refute the counterarguments. You can include the counterarguments in a paragraph before the three standard body paragraphs or in one after the three body paragraphs. Your professor will only consider your essay complete if you include counterarguments to your position and refute them.

Related Article:

Persuasive Essay Outline Example

This persuasive essay sample is on the topic "women are stronger than men today."

  1. Introduction
  1. Body paragraph 1
  1. Body paragraph 2
  1. Body paragraph 3
  1. Counterarguments
  1. Conclusion

How to begin a persuasive essay 

To begin writing your essay, you must first prepare an outline. The outline is a map. It should guide you to write a well-structured essay. Once you have an outline, you should write the first section of your essay, the introduction.

The introduction is critical because it is in the introduction that your professor will decide if your essay is worth reading. Therefore, you should begin with an attention-grabbing opening sentence to hook your professor or anyone who reads your essay. The sentence should be a quote, a fact, a piece of data, an anecdote, or something interesting related to your topic.

The opening sentence should include background information on the topic and your thesis. Your thesis should clearly state what you will be trying to do in your essay.

The introduction should be followed by strong arguments supporting your position in your thesis.

How to end a persuasive essay

After writing your essay body paragraphs, you should end your essay by writing a conclusion. Ensure the conclusion begins by summarizing all your main arguments (the key points you used to support your thesis). You should then proceed to restate your thesis. By restating, we mean you should rewrite in very different words.

You should then link the thesis to your supporting points or arguments.

Lastly, you should end your persuasive essay with a powerful closing sentence. The purpose of this sentence is to give your reader food for thought. A persuasive essay with a good closing sentence will certainly earn you extra marks during grading.

Persuasive essay topics

If you are asked to choose a persuasive essay topic, you should make sure the topic you choose is not common knowledge. If it is common knowledge, there is no need to try and make your reader agree with you.

Usually, when a professor asks you to write a persuasive essay, they will clarify the topic. This means you will be asked to write a persuasive essay most of the time and will not have to create your own topic. However, you will be asked to write a persuasive essay without a topic at some point in college life. Therefore, you will have to come up with the topic, and the first thing you will have to ensure is that it is not very obvious.

The second thing you must ensure is that the topic interests you.

When asked to write a persuasive essay, the easiest or most fun topics to write about include religion, animal rights, gender issues, global warming, politics, and culture.

Examples of beginner persuasive essay topics

Examples of intermediate persuasive essay topics

Examples of advanced persuasive essay topics

Dos and Don'ts when Writing a Persuasive Essay

Here are some useful tips to help you write your persuasive essay better and without hurdles.


When writing your persuasive essay, ensure that you at least do the things we list below. Our top persuasive essay writers have used these tips to write persuasive essays that end with good grades.

  1. Set your position from the onset. You should let your readers know your position and maintain it throughout your essay. For instance, if you are writing a persuasive essay on euthanasia and decide to support euthanasia, ensure that the position is clear from the introduction and keep the position throughout your arguments.
  2. Do use strong evidence throughout your essay - Using strong evidence, e.g., logical arguments, research, class material, and so on, will make it more convincing for the reader.
  3. Remember to start with a strong hook - A strong hook statement engages your reader and makes them want to read more. So, take your time to develop a good hook statement at the beginning of your essay.
  4. Do give examples generously - Whenever you can, you should give examples. Examples are great for persuading other people to see things from your point of view. Use specific, relevant, and realistic examples to fortify your point of view.
  5. Do think about counterarguments - For your persuasive essay to be complete, you must dedicate at least a paragraph discussing key counterarguments and then refuting them with evidence. This will convince the reader, even more to agree with your position. Refutation shows maturity in your writing and excellence in your research. When you disprove the opposing claims, you prove your point better. Therefore, search for sources of information that support your point of view and those that refute the opposing positions.
  6. Do use an outline - Before you start writing your essay, you should create an outline and follow it. This will give your work a nice flow.


In light of writing persuasively, some things can easily hinder you from convincing your readers or achieving the best grade you probably targeted. Unfortunately, this don'ts is common for students who get low grades and bad feedback on their essays. So take note, learn, and perfect your persuasive essay writing game.

  1. Don't be negative - The most persuasive essays are filled with positivity and effective rhetoric. So, avoid negative language or threatening language.
  2. Don't forget to proofread your work - No writer is too good a writer not to proofread their work. However, suppose your work is filled with mistakes. In that case, it will be difficult and frustrating for your reader to read it and get convinced or persuaded.
  3. Don't write in the first person - writing in the first person will make the reader feel like they are reading your opinion, not facts and substantial evidence. So, avoid using "I" in your work.
  4. Don't use unclear terms - When you are done writing, you should investigate your essay for unclear terms and eliminate or clarify them. This will help to ensure your essay is easy to understand from start to finish.

Persuasive Writing Strategies

According to the father of rhetoric, Aristotle, a persuasive speech (or writing) balances ethos, logos, and pathos.

1. Ethos

Ethos is all about credibility. People are more likely to want to listen to credible people than those who are not credible. Therefore, you should let the reader know your ethos or credibility if possible. You can do this by showing good sense (logical reasoning and composure), good character (giving examples and citing sources), and goodwill (identifying with your reader).

Showing credibility throughout your persuasive essay will make your essay more convincing. And will increase your likelihood of getting a high grade.

2. Logos

Logos is probably the easiest way to convince people. People always want to see logical reasoning. So, ensure your writing is well-organized and that everything is easy to understand. This will make your writing easier to understand.

3. Pathos

Pathos is all about emotion. You can use emotion in two ways to convince your reader to agree with your point of view - appeals to emotions and appeals to needs. Focusing on positive feelings using personal examples and narratives makes you more likely to convince your reader than using negative appeals or emotions.

By appealing to human needs (self-actualization, esteem, security, and basic needs), your writing will be easier to understand and more convincing. Most TV adverts nowadays appeal to one or more needs to persuade people. So, you should also appeal to these needs whenever you can to make your essay more persuasive.

Related Reading: How to write a perfect persuasive essay.

Final Remarks

Writing persuasive essays is not the easiest thing to do. However, you should practice and master it because persuasive essays are widespread in college. They are common because they make you think, take a position, research that position, and then defend your position convincingly.

Suppose you believe you can follow the information in this article to write an excellent persuasive essay. In that case, you should go ahead and do so. However, if you are still confused, you should order a custom persuasive essay from one of our writers. If you do this, you will get an excellent persuasive essay that is 100 percent original, giving you the confidence to write your own the next time you have a persuasive essay assignment.

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