What is the best way to write a persuasive essay?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There isn't a "best" way to write a persuasive essay, but there are strategies that you should employ. I am going to have to stay somewhat vague with my advice because I don't know the topic of your essay. The first strategy is going to be true of any essay type. You have to grab the reader's attention right away. I call it the "attention getter." Other teachers call it the hook. It doesn't have to be complex, so don't overthink it. You could begin the essay by asking a question. This immediately gets the reader thinking about a potential answer so that he/she is primed for your topic and reasons. You could also begin with a quote or strong emotional statement. Be careful of the emotional statement in this kind of essay. You want your reader on your side, so make it an emotional statement that the reader is going to agree with. Once you have the introduction all set, then you have to convince your reader of your argument, whatever that may be. You can go for a reader's pathos or logos. The pathos focuses on an emotional response. Budweiser does quite well with this when they show puppies, attractive men, and emotional music. You don't have the benefit of hitting multiple senses, but the strategy remains the same. Get the reader emotionally invested. Logos will target the logic and reasoning centers of the reader's brain. This kind of support can be seen in advertisements that say that four out of five dentists recommend something. I recommend using both strategies. One strategy that works in a variety of situations is something called "card stacking." This strategy has you discuss many advantages to your argument, and it conveniently leaves out possible negative information. The goal is to stack the deck in your favor so that your reader is hit with good thing after good thing about your argument. Finally, the closing of your essay should motivate your reader to do something. Assume that you have convinced him/her that your point is valid. Now give the reader an action to take and end the essay.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team