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The goal of writing a persuasive essay is to persuade or convince the reader to believe something. Writers do this through the use of logical arguments and emotional appeals. While there is no one correct way to write these essays, this page will show you some good practices to consider when learning how to write a persuasive essay. Here is a brief overview of the contents on this page. Introductory Paragraphs The introductory paragraph is the first-paragraph in the persuasive essay. Attention Catchers The attention catcher or lead should be the first sentence in the persuasive essay.
It is the writer’s first chance to make an impression on the reader, so it should not be spent thoughtlessly. A good attention catcher is angled in a way that immediately pushes the reader toward the writer’s position. Do you think students should have to wear uniforms? Notice that this question is open-ended and does not provide an opinion. If my students wrote this, I would not know which side they were arguing. This should not be the case.
The writer’s position should be clear before they even mention it based on the strength of their attention catcher. Do you think students should be forced to wear pants when it is over 100 degrees? This example is much stronger because the writer’s position is clear from the first line. They ask a question to which they already know the answer. Persuasion is about forcing others to think along your lines. Practice this in your writing by using attention catchers that are angled toward your position. It may take more time to write your attention catcher than any other sentence in your essay, but this is time well spent in my opinion.
Attention Catching Techniques Here is a short list of attention catching techniques for persuasive essays. This list is not to be thought of as exhaustive, but rather as a few guiding examples to help you get started. I encourage you to combine and experiment with these techniques as your writing develops. Asking a Question: This is my favorite technique because it can be used on any topic at any time. Additionally, it has a strong rhetorical effect on readers: people are conditioned to think about questions because answers are often expected of them. When you ask a question in your paper, readers are more likely to consider your ideas. As with any attention catcher, you’ll want to take your time making a good one that begins persuading your audience immediately.