This is a great question. Let me give you an outline.
The most important part of an essay is the thesis. You should put a lot of effort in crafting a thesis. Keep in mind that a good thesis is always debatable. Another way to think about this is: a thesis as an argument.
2. Supporting Points
A strong thesis has supporting points. The stronger your supporting points are, the better your thesis will be.
Since essays are usually based on texts, supporting points must come from the text. Ask yourself: What do you know and how do you know it?
One of the best ways to prove your point is through pithy quotes. Finding good quotes is really an art and skill. It takes thought and practice. So, you might want to jot down potential quotes while you read. This is a great habit to develop.
Form matters, not just content. So, make sure that your argument proceeds logically and with good style.
Make sure that you do not add something new in the conclusion. You do not want your reader to lose sight of the main argument.
No essay is perfect initially. So, learn to revise!
I wrote the above answer, but I suppose that I can give a few more points.
If you are going to write a successful persuasive essay, you have to have a persuasive point. if you do not have a persuasive point, then your essay will be weak. In other words, why should I believe that your main point is cogent. You will have to give great supporting evidence. If you are writing on a work, then you would need to have textual support.
After you give the thesis and supporting point, then you will need to have a good conclusion, where you wrap things up.
Here is a very brief outline:
1. Introduction with thesis and road map of your paper
2. Supporting paragraphs