Writing Handout E-5:
Argumentative (Persuasive) Essay Guidelines
Structuring a Argumentative (Persuasive) Essay
A persuasive essay is simply a writer’s attempt to convince readers of the validity of a particular opinion on a controversial issue. The following steps should help you write a persuasive essay. 1. Carefully select a topic
Choose a topic that interests you. An argument does not have to be a burning issue, but it must be a debatable topic. It can be anything you feel strongly about. 2. Identify the controversy
Your introduction should clarify the controversy or issue. Your thesis states your position on the issue. You must take a stand on the issue.
3. Provide support
The body paragraphs of the essay should provide specific support. These supports may include personal experience, statistics, examples, facts, or experts’ opinions. They may be garnered from television shows, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, studies, or interviews. 4. Organization
Include enough details to support your position; however, select only the facts that are relevant.
5. Consider differing opinions
A persuasive essay may be strengthened by acknowledging conflict viewpoints and repudiating them.
6. Provide a forceful conclusion
Restate your position in different words from the introduction. Do not introduce new material in the conclusion. You may want to conclude by encouraging some specific call to action (see the attached sample essay).
Note to students: The following essay is a sample to illustrate format. Course instructors have copies. Duplication or near duplication would be regarded as plagiarism.
E-5 Argumentative/Persuasive Essay Guidelines (July, 2011; g:ASC:EngRead)
An effective title
should grab a reader’s
interest. Title is not
An example provides
introduction to the
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