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Persuasive Essay

Definition:

"A persuasive essay uses reasoned argument to persuade the reader to adopt or agree with the position being proposed in the opening statement. Experts are often quoted to support the central argument and give it additional credibility."

It is best to follow a logical sequential structure in constructing a persuasive essay: choose your position, state your purpose, analyze your audience, research your topic by textual and other means and structure your essay in the formal style with the emphasis on evidentiary support of points made. The argument must be convincing so that the conclusion restates the thesis almost as a fact rather than an opinion.

In order for a persuasive essay to succeed, it must have strong evidence, show wide reading and develop a debate. Opposing arguments to the proposed thesis must be confronted and defeated by logical, reasoned argument; this will test the strength and viability of your thesis. Make a clear distinction between fact and opinion.

Take care when choosing the position you are about to take as it will need to be strong enough, supported by quotation, to convince the reader that your position has more validity than others. It is not just a case of taking up an idiosyncratic, personal stance and then seeking to find evidence to support it. Rather, it is reading widely around a subject to suggest which point of view seems to you most valid and provable. Try to come up with an original idea which adds to a body of knowledge; originality will get you extra marks but the essay must demonstrate clearly where the idea has come from by setting it in textual and critical context. The persuasive essay should follow the same essay structure as other formal essays.

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