A persuasive essay is one in which you take a stance on a topic and argue your position. But what goes into a good persuasive essay? In this post, we walk you through the basics of writing one, including:\r\n\r\n \tSelecting an essay topic and a position to argue.\r\n \tResearching information to support your arguments.\r\n \tConsidering competing points of view.\r\n \tPlanning and outlining your essay.\r\n \tRevising and proofreading your essay.\r\n\r\nRead on below to find out more.\r\n1. Selecting an Essay Topic and Position\r\nA good persuasive essay topic will be something where you need to take a position and defend it, not a simple matter of fact.\r\n\r\nFor instance, you could write a persuasive essay about the social effects of economic inequality, arguing that it is either harmful or beneficial overall. But you wouldn\u2019t write about the water cycle, because it\u2019s a well-understood natural process with no room for debate.\r\n\r\nWhen choosing an essay topic for a persuasive essay, then, make sure to:\r\n\r\n \tCheck your essay prompt for guidance on what to write about.\r\n \tSelect a subject where there is room for debate, not just a set of facts.\r\n \tFind something that you care enough about to argue for a position.\r\n \tAvoid topics that are too big to answer in a single essay (e.g., you might struggle to reach firm conclusions if you\u2019re writing about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything).\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll then need to decide the position you\u2019ll take on your topic. Typically, this means either arguing for or against a proposition: If you were writing about recycling, for instance, you could argue either that "Recycling is essential for the environment" or "Recycling is a waste of time and effort." In the essay itself, you\u2019ll then need to persuade the reader of the position you\u2019ve chosen.\r\n2. Research the Subject Area\r\nOnce you know what you\u2019re writing about, it\u2019s time to start your research! You may know something about the topic already, which is a great start, but you still need to back this up with evidence and arguments.\r\n\r\nTo do this, look at what other people have said on the topic. Focus on reliable sources \u2013 books, journal articles, and academic websites \u2013 and note down any facts, research, or expert opinions that either support or challenge the position you\u2019ve decided to argue in your essay.\r\n3. Consider Different Points of View\r\nAs part of your research, don\u2019t forget to consider different points of view. This means looking at arguments against your position as well as finding things that support it. There are two key reasons to do this:\r\n\r\n \tIt will show you\u2019ve reached a conclusion after looking at all the evidence rather than just picking a position and sticking to it regardless.\r\n \tLooking at potential objections to your argument means you can address them in your essay, strengthening your own position in the process.\r\n\r\nYou may even change your initial thoughts on the subject after researching it (e.g., if you were planning to argue that recycling is a waste of time, you might end up thinking it is more important than you realized). This is fine!\r\n\r\nIn fact, you can even use this to frame your essay: e.g., "When I began researching this topic, I thought [X]. Now, however, I believe [Y]. In this essay, I will explain why I changed my opinion and the arguments that led me to do so."\r\n4. Planning a Persuasive Essay\r\nAs with any essay, you need to plan what you\u2019ll write before you start writing. And the best way to do this is to prepare an essay outline. For a persuasive essay, this usually includes four main sections:\r\n\r\n \tIntroduction \u2013 A paragraph where you introduce the essay topic and your thesis statement (i.e., the position you will argue for in the essay).\r\n \tMain Body \u2013 A series of paragraphs in which you present each point of your argument and supporting evidence (e.g., research or expert opinions). Each paragraph should cover one main point, with the number of points required depending on the essay length.\r\n \tConclusion \u2013 A final paragraph where you sum up how your arguments support your thesis. Try to end on a recommendation that follows from your position (e.g., "Based on these points, we need to recycle more").\r\n \tReferences \u2013 If required, include a list of sources used in your research.\r\n\r\nWhen you have worked out what you want to say, it\u2019s time to start writing!\r\n5. Revise and Proofread Your Essay\r\nWhen you have a finished first draft, it\u2019s time to redraft and polish. First, though, take a break. Ideally, you\u2019ll leave it overnight and come back in the morning with fresh eyes. This will help you spot areas that you could improve, making the redrafting process much easier.\r\n\r\nAnd when you\u2019ve finished redrafting, don\u2019t forget to have your essay proofread! This will ensure the final document is error free and easy to read, improving your chances of getting good marks.