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Writing Your Best Persuasive Essay – Tips, Techniques and Prompts

May 01, 2015 - Posted to Writing

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Writing Your Best Persuasive Essay – Tips, Techniques and Prompts

The purpose of persuasive essay writing is to choose a position on a particular issue and then attempt to convince your readers that they should agree with that position. Persuasive essays are assigned in a variety of classes. These could include History, English, Social Studies, Science, Journalism, Education, and Science. Writing a successful persuasive essay can be difficult, as it requires the ability to eloquently make and defend your point. If you are struggling with a persuasive essay, we hope that you will keep reading. The rest of this blog will contain persuasive essay tips and a few helpful persuasive essay prompts. Hopefully, no matter the subject or grade level, you will feel more confidence the next time you are faced with a persuasive essay.

Basic Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay

As with any other essay, you should start with an organized work area, and quiet place in which you can work. If you have chosen your topic, it is time to begin some basic research. If you haven't selected a topic, there are a few hints for you a little later on. As you are researching, it best to take very detailed notes. These notes will be very useful as you write your outline and your rough draft. Even if it is not required by your instructor, using note cards can be very helpful. Just remember that your notes should contain information that supports your point of view along with information that supports the other side of the debate.

Using your notes throughout your outline and rough draft phases will allow you to fill in relevant details, and to remember any points that you may have forgotten.

Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay that is Convincing

You don't need to change anybody's mind in order for your essay to be successful. What you must do is write an essay that is thoughtful, organized, and that presents your views in a way that demonstrates that you have done your research and are putting forward a reasonable argument. Achieving this starts with treating those who disagree with you with respect. To that end, you should avoid using emotional arguments that paint others as being uncaring or less than intelligent. Another important step to take is to address the points that your opposition might bring up. It is better to acknowledge a point and provide a counter argument to that point than it is to simply ignore it or to rely on an emotional response. Finally, choose your resources wisely. Your audience will respond better to verifiable data than suppositions and anecdotes.

Persuasive Essay Writing Prompts for All Students

If you need topic ideas for a persuasive essay, there are some good ideas listed here, divided by academic level, so that any student can find a topic that is suitable for him/her.

Persuasive Essay Topics for College Students

It is more difficult to juggle family and school than it is to juggle work and school.
College students are pressured to select a major too soon.
Students should not have to include their parent's income on the FAFSA unless the parents are actually going to help pay for their tuition.
Colleges should not limit the number of hours a student can take each semester.
Department heads should have more open office hours.
Study groups are more about socializing than studying.
There should be a limit on how many essays and papers a single instructor can assign.

Persuasive Essay Prompts for High School

High school students need more sleep and should be able to start school later in the day.
Same sex couples should not be barred from attending school dances.
Responsible students should be allowed to leave campus during lunch.
Tickets to school events have become too expensive.
Physical education classes should be mandatory in high school.
Parents, not the police, should determine appropriate curfews.
Graduated driver's license laws just make things inconvenient for parents.
Parents should not be allowed to read their kid's emails and texts.
It is unfair for malls to banish teenagers because most of the trouble is caused by adults.
It is more fun to attend a concert than it is to go to the amusement park.

A few Persuasive Essay Prompts Middle School Level

Boys and girls should not have separate gym classes.
Parents and teachers overestimate the influence of peer pressure.
Parents should treat kids in middle school as if they are more mature.
Middle school students should have more choices in the classes that they pick.
Students in middle school should be able to eat with their friends and not with their class.
There should be more sports offered as after school activities.
The age of twelve is too old for day care or a babysitter.
School principal's need to do a better job in protecting students from bullies.
Teachers need to give kids more time to finish homework assignments.

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