Making a persuasive essay in 5 steps


  1. Know Your Argument
  2. It is possible to persuade another person of something only when you know to be the case; never try to argue something of which you yourself are not convinced. So, choose a very clear, very simple point that you want to make, but try to also choose something that is interesting, in order to engage your reader

  3. Carefully Plan Your Route
  4. An essay is a process of developing an argument. You must carefully move from step 1, through to your final step. You cannot, for example, argue from A to D, you must plan your argument in the easy increments of demonstrating: ‘A is the case, therefore B, therefore C, and finally, D is proven’.

  5. Carefully Choose Evidence
  6. Your argument will need to be evidenced, and cannot rely on unsupported opinion. Imagine you are in court, you have an idea of the way a particular thing is, but your audience, the jury, do not share your point of view. You need to refer them to the evidence which supports your reading. They should see what you see, and say: ‘Ah! now I see!’

  7. Write a Draft
  8. You need to write a first rough draft to see if the argument works. Do not spend ages crafting each step if the argument is flawed, of, if you cannot find evidence to support your claims. By drafting a quick demonstration piece, for yourself, you can see if it works, and then spend time on the developing the argument’s steps.

  9. Seed the Essay
  10. Once your essay is complete, go back through and use a few key phrases that ensure your reader sees the consistency of your train of thought. Try, in each paragraph, to put something like a signpost, so that your reader is on the same page. Essentially, you want, when you move through, to be saying: ‘and so we have seen from this that A is the case’; ‘Now we can see that B is the case’. Do as much work as you can for your reader, take them with you.


Objectives

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