How to Write a Formal Persuasive Essay

Last Updated: 21 July 2023

You might quickly ask yourself what a persuasive essay is about. However, assuming you are assigned to write a persuasive essay, your instructor does so to raise your persuasion skills so that you can influence people around you.

Persuasion is all about convincing someone to do something or believe something. It may sound like a very easy thing to do but it is not.

It is something that most of us are not born with, yet it is significant in our careers, relationships, survival, online interactions, business, etc. Therefore, we must learn it from scratch to become good at it.

Through this detailed guideline, our expert persuasive essay writers will teach you how to be persuasive, especially by developing your persuasive writing skills.

This guide specifically focuses on information to help you write a persuasive essay that convinces the reader to believe something or do something. By the time you are done reading this article, you will be 100% sure of what to do to develop a great essay.

You will know the structure of a persuasive essay, how to write one, and the tips and tricks you need to follow to produce a brilliant persuasive essay. You should be able to easily get a good grade by following the information we have shared in this post. 

Let us dig right into it, won�t we?

What is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is written to persuade or convince the reader of something. The best way to write one is to use persuasive techniques such as logos, ethos, pathos, etc. It also goes by the names argument essay or a position paper.

Most types of college essays have a persuasive element to them. This means they attempt to convince the reader to believe an argument (the thesis statement). This is exactly what must be done when writing a persuasive essay. You must write it in a way to convince the reader fully of your main argument.

The main difference between other college essays and persuasive essays in terms of writing is that persuasive essays usually focus on controversial topics. Moreover, they are often written in such a way as to show the reader both sides of an argument and to convince them to side with the writer.

Therefore, you will know you have written a good persuasive essay if the reader completely agrees with you at the end of your essay.

Persuasive Essay vs. Argumentative Essay

Many students often confuse persuasive and argumentative essays. These two types of essays seem similar on the surface since both aim to present both sides of the argument and convince the reader to believe one. While these two types of essays may look similar, they are, in fact, very different.

The main difference is that persuasive essays focus on controversial topics. They are rarely about anything else. In contrast, argumentative essays focus on all types of topics. Just as long as there are two sides to the topic at hand.

Another difference is that persuasive essays focus on convincing the reader to believe one point. They often do not provide a lot of focus on the opposing side or argument. In contrast, argumentative essays do provide a contradicting argument or counterargument.

The last major difference is that persuasive essays can often be emotional and personal, especially when written by someone from a very personal point of view. In contrast, argumentative essays are rarely emotional or personal. They are usually very academic and consistent.

Formatting a Persuasive Essay

When writing a persuasive essay. Here are some formatting rules to adhere to

Check the special instructions from the instructor and adhere to them when formatting your paper.

Persuasive Techniques

To write a good persuasive essay, you must learn persuasive techniques. Several types of persuasive techniques are commonly used to convince or persuade people to do something. The most common ones are described below.

  1. Logos. Using logic, aka reason, you can persuade your readers to believe your statement or position on a particular matter. The best way to use logic to persuade is to explain your points clearly and logically.
  2. Pathos. You can convince your readers using emotion. You can do this by making them feel sympathetic, angry, or in any other way to make them side with your main argument. The best way to do this is to show them the emotional side of your position.
  3. Ethos. Using your authority, you can persuade your readers to believe your argument(s). This is usually what speakers with great reputations do to make the audience trust and believe them. The best approach to convince readers using your authority is to make it clear to them how you are a leader, an industry insider, a thinker, or a professional of what you are talking about.
  4. Repetition. You can persuade readers by repeating something repeatedly. This is usually considered manipulative, but it is a valid tool for convincing an audience. You can do this by stating the same thing differently several times in your essay. Alternatively, using the same word or phrase repeatedly.
  5. Good storytelling. This is also a popular tool for convincing people to believe something. You can use it in your essay by ensuring a good linear flow with flawless transitions between the paragraphs. This usually is all that one needs to write a persuasive essay.

Outline for a Persuasive Essay

Creating an outline for a persuasive essay is crucial before you start writing it. When you do, you will have created a map to follow from the start to the end of your essay. It will ensure your essay is well-planned and constructed.

The structure of a persuasive essay includes three sections - the introduction section, the body, and the conclusion. Each of these elements is important and must not miss in your essay.

1. Introduction

The introduction section is the first part of a persuasive essay. It presents what the essay is all about to the reader. A typical persuasive essay introduction will include three elements � a hook statement, some background info, and a thesis statement.

The hook statement hooks or grabs the attention of the reader. It is usually the first statement or sentence in the introduction. You must make the hook statement of your persuasive essay as exciting as possible to get the reader in the right mental space to get convinced by your essay.

Background information comes after the hook statement. It is a series of sentences to give the reader a glimpse of the topic.

The last element is the thesis statement, and it is your main argument for the essay.

Introduction of a persuasive essay = Attention Grabber + Background Information + Thesis Statement

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2. Body Section

The body section of your essay is the main section of your essay. It is where all your arguments, aka main points, should be. For a short persuasive essay, the body section will be two to three paragraphs long. The body section is usually much longer for a long persuasive essay, made of five or more paragraphs.

The best way to write body paragraphs for your essay is to ensure each paragraph focuses on just one argument. There is also a need to ensure the body paragraphs are written using the sandwich formula to make sure they make sense. Finally, yet importantly, there is a need to ensure flow throughout the body paragraphs to make your essay more convincing/persuasive.

3. Conclusion

This is the last section of every essay. Your persuasive essay must have a conclusion that wraps everything nicely. The conclusion should include a restatement of your thesis statement and main points plus a powerful statement that makes the final appeal to the reader.

It is important to ensure your conclusion is just a conclusion and nothing more. It should not include any new information, as this can confuse the reader. Make sure all your arguments and points are in the body section. This organization of your persuasion essay will make it easier to understand and, therefore, much more convincing.

Related: Steps for writing a strong essay conclusion.

Steps for Writing the Best Persuasive Essay

Follow the steps below to write the best persuasive essay.

1. Choose a Topic

This is the first thing you must do to create a persuasive essay. It is not easy to choose a topic for a persuasive essay. This is because the topic needs to be exciting to both the writer and the reader.

If asked to choose a topic, pick one that is argumentative and specific. If you choose one that is not argumentative, your essay will not be exciting. It also will not be persuasive. If your topic is not specific, your essay will be disorganized and all over the place.

If given a list of topics from which to choose one topic, you should choose the one you are most passionate about. This will ensure your passion or interest in the topic shows and hence it will help you sound more convincing.

Here are some topic suggestions:

  1. Should companies subject their employees to mandatory drug tests?
  2. Should people be allowed to keep exotic pets?
  3. Should rich countries pay more for pollution?
  4. Are ships polluting the environment more?
  5. Should governments invest in surveillance?

2. Choose a Side

After picking an argumentative and specific topic, you should choose a side. This will help you greatly with your research. Because once you have a side, you should find it easy to research points to support the side and convince the reader to agree.

You should choose the side you are most convinced about. Of course, if you are unfamiliar with the topic you want to write about, you should do some research before choosing a side. Doing so will give you the information you need to choose a side based on facts.

3. Do thorough Research

After picking a side on a topic, you should do thorough research. Your research should begin with searching credible scholarly databases for information related to the topic and the side you have picked.

Skim through the different relevant sources you find and identify the ones that contain solid evidence you can use to support the side you have picked. Once you have identified these sources, read through them to understand the evidence, including facts, statements, logical arguments, data, etc.

Related: how to write a discursive essay.

4. Create a Thesis Statement and an Outline

After conducting thorough research and finding evidence to support your chosen side, you should create a thesis statement. The statement is supposed to be your main argument for the essay you will be writing in a few. Hence, make sure you write a good one. If you write a bad one, you will find it difficult to convince your reader(s) to read beyond your introduction.

Once you write your statement, you should create an outline for your essay. Make sure your outline organizes the evidence you have collected very orderly. Most importantly, your outline must only have one key argument (evidence) per paragraph. After creating your outline, read it and imagine the final essay. Is it convincing? If no, edit your outline until you feel it will be fully convincing for the reader.

Take time to make a good persuasive essay outline. A brilliant outline will help you to construct a brilliant essay. In contrast, a bad outline will result in a bad essay.

5. Write the Introduction

After you carefully create the outline, the first thing you are supposed to do is to write the introduction. Since you already have an outline, it should be easier for you to write your introduction. Just follow what your outline says.

When writing your introduction, you should focus on three key elements � your hook statement, the background information you provide, and your thesis statement. Your hook statement is probably the most important one among these three.

This is because it must grab the reader's attention and start drawing them into believing your chosen side or position. Hence, you should make sure it is as convincing as possible.

5. Write the Body Paragraphs

Writing body paragraphs with an outline is much easier than without one. Simply follow your outline to create the perfect body paragraphs for your essay.

If something from your outline does not make much sense, ensure you eliminate it. Do not be stuck with a point or argument from your outline, yet it does not make sense. Revise or eliminate the point if you believe it does not add to the convincing you are trying to do in your essay.

When writing the body paragraphs for your essay, make sure you transition smoothly from one idea to the next. You do not want to create an essay with body paragraphs that are only scarcely related to each other. Each body paragraph may contain a different idea, but they should all read as one storyline.

6. Write the Conclusion

A conclusion at the end should follow the body paragraphs. The conclusion should summarize your essay and wrap everything up nicely.

Once you write your conclusion per your outline, you should take a break. This will help to reset your mind and prepare you for the next step. If you have time, the break should be at least half a day or a day.

7. Edit the Essay to Make It More Convincing

After taking a break from writing, you should edit your essay to make it more convincing. Read it from the reader�s POV (Point of View). Is there any part that could sound much better or more persuasive than it does right now? If your answer is yes, rewrite the part(s) to make your essay sound better.

Read your essay twice or thrice, making it more convincing each time. This is what will make your essay brilliant. So do not get tired of doing it. Remember, good things take time to build.

8. Proofread and Edit Your Essay

After making your essay the best it can be, you should proofread and edit it. This is the second last step necessary to make your persuasive essay an extraordinary persuasive essay.

You should proofread and edit your essay using a grammar checker and then manually. Using a grammar checker like will help you quickly identify and eliminate grammar errors, typos, etc. It can also help you to eliminate plagiarism/similarity.

Once you have edited your essay using a grammar checker, you should manually edit it one more time. Do this by reading it loudly to identify any parts that are incorrect, difficult to read, or unconvincing. Eliminate all of them.

9. Check If Your Essay Meets the Set Rules

When asked to write a persuasive essay, you will be given instructions on how to do it. The instructions could include the number of words, references, stylebook to follow, etc. Before submitting your essay for grading, you must ensure it meets all the set rules.

So begin checking each instruction and seeing if your essay follows it. If there is a problem somewhere, correct it before submitting your essay. You do not want to submit an essay that clearly does not follow all the instructions. If you do this, you will automatically not get an excellent grade. So look at the instructions carefully and ensure you have followed them to the letter.

After this step, your persuasive essay should be 100% ready to submit.

Tips and Tricks for Writing a Persuasive Essay

Follow the tips and tricks below to write a persuasive essay.

Use Persuasive Techniques

Many persuasive techniques have been used for ages in writings, speeches, and debates. They include pathos, logos, and ethos. Make sure you use these techniques generously in your essay to make it as convincing as possible. In addition, try to make sure your language is as convincing as possible.

Make the Reader Feel

One of the most convincing ways to write a convincing essay is to make the reader feel what you are discussing. You cannot just be factual and expect your essay to be extremely persuasive. You need to go beyond that and appeal to the reader�s emotions (happiness, anger, confusion, and so on). If you do this correctly, you can create an extremely convincing essay.

Be Assertive

College essays are usually written in a calm and composed manner because there is no sticking to an opinion. This is not the case with persuasive essays. The most brilliant ones are those that are extremely assertive, those that push the envelope. When you are assertive in your essay (using direct and appealing language), you will sound more convinced about your chosen position. You will also likely get a higher grade.

Include a Counter-Argument

While good persuasive essays choose a side and defend it nicely, excellent ones are those that go meet and possibly exceed the readers' expectations. They go beyond by showing the reader the counterargument to the chosen position and then dismantling it. Readers usually feel much more convinced and ready to side with a writer or speaker when they acknowledge a big counter-argument and then dismantle it. Therefore, make sure you do this to make your essay excellent.

Sample Persuasive Essay on "The Importance of Youth Sports Participation"

The Importance of Youth Sports Participation

Sports and body exercise are some of the ways through which the youth participate in the nurture and their environment. Engagement in sports is critical to the youths� healthy development as it improves their general health and social skills such as communication, teamwork, and perseverance (Coskuner et al., 2021). Youth learn the value of dedication and teamwork through participating in sports since they have to engage their friends. Sports has always been an integral part of human society. It is vital to encourage youths to participate in sports from a younger age as it promotes bodily, mental, and social improvement. Youth sports participation is important to physical and mental health and in developing capabilities that are carried into maturity.

Sports are crucial for a healthful lifestyle, and adolescent sports activity participation affords an outstanding manner to get youth moving. Sports assist to construct endurance, enhance coordination, and improve muscle mass, which may lessen the danger of weight problems and different fitness troubles (Cairney et al., 2019). Engaging in sports activities can help youth burn calories and maintain healthy body weight, lowering their danger of developing weight-related health issues such as diabetes, heart disorder, and joint problems (Coskuner et al., 2021). Scientific researches indicate that youths who do not engage in sports activities are more prone to lifestyle diseases. One observation posted in the Journal of Adolescent Health proved that everyday sports participation in childhood is related to a lower chance of growing metabolic syndrome (Cairney et al., 2019). Generally, clinical research has provided massive proof supporting the position of youth sports participation in decreasing the threat of lifestyle illnesses. By accomplishing normal physical activity through sports, youths enhance their physical and intellectual health outcomes, reduce the threat of developing chronic diseases, and expand lifelong healthy behavior.

Apart from physical health, youth sports participation also significantly affects mental health. Playing sports activities facilitates youngsters to construct self-confidence, lessens strain, and enhances their normal temper. It gives a platform to set and reap desires, which can result in an experience of achievement and enhance vanity. Regular engagement in sports through sports activities has been shown to increase the secretion of endorphins, which leads to someone being happy. Endorphins ensure a positive mood and lower the threat of growing melancholy or various mental health disorders. Moreover, sports activities provide a platform for setting and achieving goals, contributing to a feeling of success and increasing self-confidence (Aly & McNealy, 2021). When youngsters take part in sports, they study to triumph over demanding situations and setbacks, which could improve resilience and intellectual durability.

Also, youths broaden their socialization skills by interacting with peers and coaches in an advantageous and supportive environment. When youths participate in sports activities, they interact with friends and coaches in a supportive and high-quality environment, which can improve healthful social competencies. Studies have proven that sports activity participation can improve social capabilities consisting of teamwork, communication, and leadership (Coskuner et al., 2021). Sports activity participation also offers opportunities for youths to learn about diversity and appreciation for others. By interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds, youngsters can discover ways to respect differences and expand empathy and compassion for others.

In conclusion, sports activities and physical exercise play an essential role in the wholesome physical, mental and social development of youths. Regular engagement in sports activities can help reduce the risk of developing persistent illnesses, improve self-assurance, lessen strain, and enhance socialization capabilities. As such, it is essential to encourage teenagers to participate in sports activities from a younger age, as it can instill lifelong healthy behaviors and provide valuable existence abilities that can be carried into adulthood.


Aly, E. R., & McNealy, R. (2021). Socioeconomic Impacts on Youth Athletics-Analysis Study. Journal of Physical Education, 8(1), 71�80.

Cairney, J., Dudley, D., Kwan, M., Bulten, R., & Kriellaars, D. (2019). Physical literacy, physical activity and health: Toward an evidence-informed conceptual model. Sports Medicine, 49, 371-383.

Coskuner, Z., B�y�k�elebi, H., Kurak, K., & A�ak, M. (2021). Examining the Impact of Sports on Secondary Education Students' Life Skills. International Journal of Progressive Education, 17(2), 292-304.

Parting Shot on Writing Persuasive Essay

Persuasion is an important skill to learn. A skill can help you to convince others, win arguments, debate, and write great essays. In this post, you learned everything you needed to know about writing a persuasive essay. We hope our shared information will give you the confidence to write a brilliant essay.

If you cannot write a persuasive essay, kindly contact us for help. We are one of the leading assignment help companies in the world. We can help you to write your persuasive essay from scratch. We can also just do the proofreading and the editing if that is what you want.

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