Argumentative Essays: MLA Sample Argumentative Papers
- Choosing a topic
- Evaluating Sources
- Writing Arumentative Essays
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- Annotated Bibliographies
- MLA Sample Argumentative Papers
MLA Sample Argumentative Papers (Note: these sample papers are in MLA 7th ed. format).
- MLA Sample Argumentative Paper 1
- MLA Sample Argumentative Paper 2
- MLA Sample Argumentative Paper 3
- MLA Sample Argumentative Paper 4
- MLA Sample Argumentative Paper 5
- MLA Sample Argumentative Paper 6
For sample papers in MLA 8th or 9th ed., please ask a librarian or check the Documenting Sources in MLA Style: 2016 Update: A Bedford/St. Martin's Supplement pp. 30-41, at Skyline College Library's Ready Reference shelf.
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Things To Consider While Writing An MLA Format Persuasive Essay
Writing a persuasive essay is actually one of the simplest things that you need to do. More often than not we come across students who are able to write some really good and compelling papers, and they are supposed to get some high marks for their efforts. However, as fate would have it, this does not happen. The main reason for this is because in as much as the students are able to write some of these papers, the challenge for them comes in referencing their work.
It is so sad that to date there are so many students who hardly ever know what to do or how to write a very good paper and reference it appropriately. One of the main mistakes when it comes to MLA style goes down to the teachers and the learning institutions. In most learning institutions, the APA style is predominantly used, and not so many teachers take their time to teach the students about the other styles. Therefore when the students are asked to write in this format, things become a bit hazy for them.
The following tips will help you write a really good persuasive essay and format it in MLA style:
- Margins – always make sure that you have the margins to your paper set appropriately, at one inch across all the sides of your paper
- Font – in MLA style, as is the case with most of the other styles, the font that is applicable is Times New Roman. In some cases you may be allowed to use Arial or Calibri, but if that is not specified, always use Times New Roman, and use font size 12
- Spacing – You have to space your work accordingly. Before you start working on the paper, make sure that you adjust your word document to double spacing so that you do not forget anything. Remember that this spacing module will also apply for the references, quotations, notes and everything else in the paper
- Months – When you are working on this paper and you are about to write anything about the dates, make sure that you have the months abbreviated accordingly. In this regard, your months are supposed to be shown as follows (Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. June. July. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.)
If you follow these simple rules, you can go on to write a good paper, and reference it appropriately. You will certainly have the good marks to show for your effort.
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Sample Argument Essay in MLA Format
Note that the first page of the argument should have a heading on the left hand side (not in the header) with the student’s name, the instructor’s name, the course, and the date. The title should be centered on the page with no special formatting. On subsequent pages, the author’s last name and the page number should be in the header justified to the right. (ie Doe, 2). In-text citations should reference the author’s last name (or the first word of the Works Cited listing) and a page number, if applicable. If there is no page number, only include the author’s last name. Note that the entire paper should be double spaced.
An Innovative Approach to Eliminating Food Insecurity
Did you know that three in four college students will go hungry at some point of their college career? Even though there are campus food banks popping up around the country, the problem still exists. Campus gardens might be away to enhance what food banks are already doing. Wasatch Gardens provides an innovative solution for fighting hunger on college campuses through creating community gardens that can assist the efforts of food banks.
Wasatch Gardens was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1989. Their mission is “To empower people of all ages and incomes to grow and eat healthy, organic, local food” (Wasatch). In order to accomplish their mission, Wasatch Gardens helps people start and maintain community gardens. Whether these gardens are for a neighborhood, a local homeless shelter, or even a school, they are teaching others that “the quality of a community is directly related to the quality of its food” (Wasatch). With their five programs, Community Garden, Youth Garden, School Garden, Community Education, and Green Team Farm, they “offer garden space, educational programs, and community events to empower people to grow, harvest, preserve, and prepare fresh, healthy food” (Wasatch). This organization does its best to help people create a sustainable way to grow food that empowers members of the community.
Food insecurity is a growing problem in the US, and the issue is even more challenging for students who have additional costs related to funding their education. In the state of Arizona, food insecurity affects as much as 20% of the population: “One in five Arizonans lacked the
money to buy food at least once in 2012, according to Feeding America, a non-profit organization consisting of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations across the U.S.” (Szabo). These numbers are even higher for students, who are often working part-time to enable them to handle the rigors of academic life. In Yavapai County alone, the number of people struggling with food insecurity, which means they are not able to purchase adequate food for themselves or their families, is estimated to be around 17%. Add to that the increased cost of education, tuition, books, and fees, and the need to spend more time working on classwork, and students are even more likely to fall into this category. Food insecurity among students leads to a decreased ability to learn effectively, but, even more significant, it decreases a student’s ability to successfully complete his/her education.
Especially in the community college setting, many students have families to care for and are trying to balance school, work, and family on a very limited budget. When the choice is between food and books, students often must choose food, which leaves them without the necessary tools they need to succeed in their courses. Surviving on affordable options like Ramen and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese can leave students without energy to give all their attention to their studies.
Wasatch Gardens provides an innovative solution to the problem of food insecurity by helping communities start community gardens. In one instance, they started a community garden down the street from a homeless shelter. Women from the shelter can work at the garden for a salary, and food from the garden is sold at a discount to a local Head Start program: “Each woman also gets a 6-foot stretch to plant whatever she likes. Lynette, whose Pomeranian-Chihuahua service dog, Ed, watches her patiently, chose melons, green beans, beets and snap peas so sweet they’d pass for candy in a blindfold test” (Piper). Not only does planting a garden empower these women to make positive choices, but it provides a living. “Team members earn $9 an hour for a minimum of 20 hours per week and attend Friday classes on job skills. The land is leased by Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency at a cost of $1 per year, and the produce is sold at a cut rate to the Head Start program for disadvantaged children.” (Piper). What is really innovative about this program is that it is helping the women at the homeless shelter, as well as giving back to the community in other ways. The Wasatch Gardens also serve “roughly 1800 to 2000 kids per year” in their youth education program, as well as “80 refugee families per year” in the garden (Modern). The gardens, then, are helping a vast number of people in many different circumstances. “Not only do these gardens support Salt Lake City’s dedication to increase local food production, they invigorate our neighborhoods by putting vacant lots to use in ways that support community engagement and biodiversity — all while limiting our communities’ carbon footprints,” notes the SLC Green Blog (Interested). Community gardens, then, not only help the community members who need it, they also make communities better.
Community gardens are working to combat hunger in other areas of the country, as well. Right here in Arizona, community gardens are providing another way to combat food insecurity. “Non-profit organizations nationwide have started teaching lower-income communities to create their own vegetable gardens. The non-profit group, which is funded by donations and grants, formed partnerships with nearby churches for the gardens” (Szabo). As in Salt Lake City, these community gardens are giving people a sense of pride, as well as providing for their basic needs. “Experts say urban gardening is a cheaper and more nutritious option than purchasing food.” (Szabo). In addition to providing more nutritious food at a lower price, working in the gardens also serves as therapy: ‘There‘s mountains of research that talks about the benefits of getting your hands dirty, as far as therapy goes,” he said’” (Piper).And it’s making a difference! “The garden produces enough food that Alvarez doesn’t need the food banks. In fact, he gives extra produce to church members or friends.” (Szabo). Ron Finley, known as the Guerilla Gardener of LA, notes something similar: “There’s another time when I put a garden in this homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles. These are the guys, they helped me unload the truck. It was cool, and they just shared the stories about how this affected them and how they used to plant with their mother and their grandmother, and it was just cool to see how this changed them, if it was only for that one moment.” Participation in the garden projects provide a hand up, instead of a handout for people who need it most.
A similar solution is working on college campuses. College campus community gardens offer a way to expand on the offerings of campus food banks. One thriving example is the Montclair State University Community Garden. After doing a survey that found that “over 4 out of every 10 students who responded to the survey may be Food Insecure during the academic semester, and may not have access to enough food, or have only low quality foods, on a regular basis” (Montclair). In response, the campus decided to start a community garden.
Founded in 2018, the garden has “reclaimed and revitalized underutilized space on the campus, and has established 20 raised garden beds, totaling 1,000 square feet of growing space” (Montclair). Students must apply for space in the garden, which provides food for the school’s food pantry, as well as for community food banks. Not only do they provide fresh, healthier food, but since the food is grown right on campus, it is easily accessible and costs less money than stocking the shelves in a food pantry. In addition, working in the campus garden can provide money making opportunities for students, as well as additional operating funds for the food bank when extra produce is sold to the campus dining facility. The vision of the garden is to “strengthen the connections between members of the Montclair State University community and bring our community closer together, while sustainably providing fresh foods and educational resources to our community members in need” (Montclair). Like the Wasatch Gardens, the community garden at Montclair does more than just fee students. It also supports the community as a whole, improving relations with the community while it assists students in need. Following the model created by Wasatch Gardens can expand upon the offerings of a campus food bank and really help students.
While starting a community garden on campus might have some initial costs, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Colleges already pay for landscaping—why not plant edible landscaping and enlist students in the project? Not only would this help to round out a campus food bank, but it could even reduce costs for the college as students take on some of the work of landscapers. In addition, many colleges already have agricultural programs. Campus community gardens could be an innovative way to allow those students to get real experience running a community garden as they plan planting space, production, and coordinate getting produce to the campus food bank and to other community organizations, as well. Colleges can and should set an example for their communities by implementing this innovative and sustainable solution to food insecurity.
Those who are interested in this idea can show their support by educating themselves about the benefits of community gardens, as well as food insecurity. Donating to organizations like Wasatch Gardens allows them to continue to grow and provide a model for the rest of the country for a way to give people dignity and self-respect as they learn how to feed themselves, even as their efforts help others.
Wasatch Gardens provides college campuses with a model for an innovative solution that can help to alleviate food insecurity on their campuses. Even for colleges that already have a campus food bank, adding a campus garden might be a way to enhance what food banks are already doing. Not only would campus gardens provide nutritious food for students, but it could provide job experience for agriculture students and provide a living wage, as well. College campuses would do well to consider the benefits of incorporating a community garden on their campuses.
Works Cited Page
Note that the Works Cited page should be on a NEW page. (Use the Insert Page function in Word!). Works Cited should be centered at the top of the page in regular font. Sources should be listed in alphabetical order. Sources should use a hanging indent. The student’s last name and page number are in the header and should be justified to the right margin. The entire Works Cited page should be double spaced, with no extra spaces.
Finley, Ron. “A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA.” TEDTalk, February 2013.https://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerrilla_gardener_in_south_central_la
“Interested in Joining a New Community Garden?” SlcGreen Blog, 23 May 2019, slcgreenblog.com/2019/05/23/support-community-gardens/.
Modern Gardener. “Wasatch Community Gardens| Modern Gardener.” YouTube, July 3, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SDVgYAg0tg.
“The Montclair State University Campus Community Garden.” – PSEG Institute For Sustainability Studies – Montclair State University, www.montclair.edu/pseg-sustainability-institute/campus-community-garden/.
Piper, Matthew. “Two Blocks from the Rio Grande Homeless Shelter, These Women Found Peace and Purpose on a … Farm?” The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Aug. 2017, www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2017/08/08/two-blocks-from-the-rio-grande-homeless-shelter-these-women-found-peace-and-purpose-on-a-farm/
Szabo, Kendra. “Community Gardens Helping Fight Hunger.” Arizona Republic, Sep 17, 2013. ProQuest, https://proxy.yc.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1434422648?accountid=8141.
“Wasatch Community Gardens: Salt Lake City, Utah – Community Gardens.” Wasatch Community Gardens | Salt Lake City, Utah, wasatchgardens.org/community-gardens.
Sample Argument Paper in APA Format
This is an example of a student essay in APA format. For annotated examples, please visit the APA Style Blog or download a PDF file with a sample paper here .
Note that the content of the title page should be centered both vertically and horizontally on the page. The title should be in bold. The Title Page should include the title of the paper, the student’s name, the institution, the course, the instructor, and the date. Page numbers are in the Header of the page and justified to the right margin.
February 26, 2020
Main Body of the Paper
Note that the title is centered on the first page of the body of the paper and in bold font. Page numbers go in the header and should be justified to the right margin. In text citations should include the author’s last name and the date of publication.
Did you know that three in four college students will go hungry at some point of their college career? Even though there are campus food banks popping up around the country, the problem still exists. Campus gardens might be a way to enhance what food banks are already doing. Wasatch Gardens provides an innovative solution for fighting hunger on college campuses through creating community gardens that can assist the efforts of food banks.
Food insecurity is a growing problem in the US, and the issue is even more challenging for students who have additional costs related to funding their education. In the state of Arizona, food insecurity affects as much as 20% of the population: “One in five Arizonans lacked the money to buy food at least once in 2012, according to Feeding America, a non-profit organization consisting of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations across the U.S.” (Szabo, 2013). These numbers are even higher for students, who are often working part-time to enable them to handle the rigors of academic life. In Yavapai County alone, the number of people struggling with food insecurity, which means they are not able to purchase adequate food for themselves or their families, is estimated to be around 17%. Add to that the increased cost of education, tuition, books, and fees, and the need to spend more time working on classwork, and students are even more likely to fall into this category. Food insecurity among students leads to a decreased ability to learn effectively, but, even more significant, it decreases a student’s ability to successfully complete his/her education.
Wasatch Gardens provides an innovative solution to the problem of food insecurity by helping communities start community gardens. In one instance, they started a community garden down the street from a homeless shelter. Women from the shelter can work at the garden for a salary, and food from the garden is sold at a discount to a local Head Start program: “Each woman also gets a 6-foot stretch to plant whatever she likes. Lynette, whose Pomeranian-Chihuahua service dog, Ed, watches her patiently, chose melons, green beans, beets and snap peas so sweet they’d pass for candy in a blindfold test” (Piper, 2017). Not only does planting a garden empower these women to make positive choices, but it provides a living. “Team members earn $9 an hour for a minimum of 20 hours per week and attend Friday classes on job skills. The land is leased by Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency at a cost of $1 per year, and the produce is sold at a cut rate to the Head Start program for disadvantaged children.” (Piper, 2017). What is really innovative about this program is that it is helping the women at the homeless shelter, as well as giving back to the community in other ways. The Wasatch Gardens also serve “roughly 1800 to 2000 kids per year” in their youth education program, as well as “80 refugee families per year” in the garden (Modern, 2019). The gardens, then, are helping a vast number of people in many different circumstances. “Not only do these gardens support Salt Lake City’s dedication to increase local food production, they invigorate our neighborhoods by putting vacant lots to use in ways that support community engagement and biodiversity — all while limiting our communities’ carbon footprints,” notes the SLC Green Blog (Interested, 2019). Community gardens, then, not only help the community members who need it, they also make communities better.
Community gardens are working to combat hunger in other areas of the country, as well. Right here in Arizona, community gardens are providing another way to combat food insecurity. “Non-profit organizations nationwide have started teaching lower-income communities to create their own vegetable gardens. The non-profit group, which is funded by donations and grants, formed partnerships with nearby churches for the gardens” (Szabo, 2013). As in Salt Lake City, these community gardens are giving people a sense of pride, as well as providing for their basic needs. “Experts say urban gardening is a cheaper and more nutritious option than purchasing food.” (Szabo, 2013). In addition to providing more nutritious food at a lower price, working in the gardens also serves as therapy: ‘There‘s mountains of research that talks about the benefits of getting your hands dirty, as far as therapy goes,” he said’” (Piper, 2017).And it’s making a difference! “The garden produces enough food that Alvarez doesn’t need the food banks. In fact, he gives extra produce to church members or friends.” (Szabo, 2013). Ron Finley (2013), known as the Guerilla Gardener in LA, notes a similar experience: “There’s another time when I put a garden in this homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles. These are the guys, they helped me unload the truck. It was cool, and they just shared the stories about how this affected them and how they used to plant with their mother and their grandmother, and it was just cool to see how this changed them, if it was only for that one moment.” Participation in the garden projects provide a hand up, instead of a handout for people who need it most.
Note that the References page should be on a NEW page. (Use the Insert Page function in Word!). References should be centered at the top of the page in bold font. Sources should be listed in alphabetical order. Sources should use a hanging indent. Page numbers are in the header and should be justified to the right margin.
Finley, R. (February 2013). A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerrilla_gardener_ in_south_central_la
Interested in Joining a New Community Garden? (May 23, 2019). [Web Blog Post]. Retrieved from slcgreenblog.com/2019/05/23/support-community-gardens/.
Modern Gardener. (July 3, 2019). Wasatch Community Gardens| Modern Gardener. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SDVgYAg0tg.
The Montclair State University Campus Community Garden. (ND). Retrieved from www.montclair.edu/pseg-sustainability-institute/campus-community-garden/.
Piper, M. (August 7, 2017). Two Blocks from the Rio Grande Homeless Shelter, These Women Found Peace and Purpose on a … Farm? The Salt Lake Tribune . Retrieved from www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2017/08/08/two-blocks-from-the-rio-grande-homeless-shelter-these-women-found-peace-and-purpose-on-a-farm/.
Szabo, K. (September 17, 2013). Community Gardens Helping Fight Hunger. Arizona Republic. Retrieved from https://proxy.yc.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1434422648?accountid=8141.
Wasatch Community Gardens: Salt Lake City, Utah – Community Gardens. (ND). Retrieved from wasatchgardens.org/community-gardens.
- Content created by Dr. Karen Palmer and licensed CC BY NC SA .
The RoughWriter's Guide Copyright © 2020 by Dr. Karen Palmer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Paper Types / How to Write a Persuasive Essay
How to Write a Persuasive Essay
The entire point of a persuasive essay is to persuade or convince the reader to agree with your perspective on the topic. In this type of essay, you’re not limited to facts. It’s completely acceptable to include your opinions and back them up with facts, where necessary.
- Be assertive
- Use words that evoke emotion
- Make it personal
- Topic selection hints
Tricks for Writing a Persuasive Essay
In this type of writing, you’ll find it is particularly helpful to focus on the emotional side of things. Make your reader feel what you feel and bring them into your way of thinking. There are a few ways to do that.
A persuasive essay doesn’t have to be gentle in how it presents your opinion. You really want people to agree with you, so focus on making that happen, even if it means pushing the envelope a little. You’ll tend to get higher grades for this, because the essay is more likely to convince the reader to agree. Consider using an Persuasive Essay Template to understand the key elements of the essay.
Use Words that Evoke Emotion
It’s easier to get people to see things your way when they feel an emotional connection. As you describe your topic, make sure to incorporate words that cause people to feel an emotion. For example, instead of saying, “children are taken from their parents” you might say, “children are torn from the loving arms of their parents, kicking and screaming.” Dramatic? Yes, but it gets the point across and helps your reader experience the
Make it Personal
By using first person, you make the reader feel like they know you. Talking about the reader in second person can help them feel included and begin to imagine themselves in your shoes. Telling someone “many people are affected by this” and telling them “you are affected by this every day” will have very different results.
While each of these tips can help improve your essay, there’s no rule that you have to actually persuade for your own point of view. If you feel the essay would be more interesting if you take the opposite stance, why not write it that way? This will require more research and thinking, but you could end up with a very unique essay that will catch the teacher’s eye.
Topic Selection Hints
A persuasive essay requires a topic that has multiple points of view. In most cases, topics like the moon being made of rock would be difficult to argue, since this is a solid fact. This means you’ll need to choose something that has more than one reasonable opinion related to it.
A good topic for a persuasive essay would be something that you could persuade for or against.
Some examples include:
- Should children be required to use booster seats until age 12?
- Should schools allow the sale of sugary desserts and candy?
- Should marijuana use be legal?
- Should high school students be confined to school grounds during school hours?
- Should GMO food be labeled by law?
- Should police be required to undergo sensitivity training?
- Should the United States withdraw troops from overseas?
Some topics are more controversial than others, but any of these could be argued from either point of view . . . some even allow for multiple points of view.
As you write your persuasive essay, remember that your goal is to get the reader to nod their head and agree with you. Each section of the essay should bring you closer to this goal. If you write the essay with this in mind, you’ll end up with a paper that will receive high grades.
Finally, if you’re ever facing writer’s block for your college paper, consider WriteWell’s template gallery to help you get started.
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10 Rules Of Writing A Persuasive Essay In The MLA Format
The persuasive essay assignment requires you to take a clear position on a debatable issue and posit why your position is more valid than the oppositions. It’s a common assignment given starting in middle school all the way through graduate school. Here are 10 rules of writing this assignment using MLA formatting:
- Choosing a manageable topic
If you are given the opportunity to choose your own topic be sure to select one that is neither too broad or too narrow. You should be able to find enough research to discuss your side and opposition’s side in-depth. It would help to do some preliminary research to get you going.
- Developing a clear thesis
Now that you’ve done some background reading you should have a general idea of what your position on your topic is, and can come up with at least a draft thesis that clearly states what that position is.
- Gathering appropriate research
Conduct some more in-depth research at the library where you have access to academic resources. As you find information gather the appropriate citation information so that you don’t have to come back to find it afterwards.
- Addressing the opposition
As you research content you should always look for counter points to your arguments. You should always prepare for rebuttal statements in a way that you can speak to them directly and demonstrate your knowledge of the topic from a number of angles.
- Formatting the persuasive essay
General rules state that you should use 8.5 x 11-inch paper, 12 pt. font and double spaced throughout. Set your margins for 1-inch all the way around and include a header that includes your name and page number.
- Providing supporting evidence
With each discussion point you make you should provide supporting evidence taken from your research. Each piece of evidence should include a citation giving credit to the original author. Citations should include the author and page number of where that information can be found.
- Using quotes of 3 or fewer lines
Quotations of three lines or fewer should be placed within the main text with the appropriate citation placed at the end of the sentence in parentheses. You can also introduce the original author at before the quote within your text and include the page number at the end.
- Using quotes of 4 or more lines
If you are including quotations that are four or more lines then you should include them as block quotes. Indent the block quotes one inch from the left margin and do not use quotation marks. Add citation information in parenthesis after the quote.
- Creating a works cited page
Your works cited page is a separate page at the end of your argumentative essay. It should list all of the resources you used to support your argument. Be sure to include all proper citation information as provided in the original resources.
- Proofreading and editing
Finally, save plenty of time to completely proofread and edit your persuasive essay. Check for proper word choice and simple sentence structures. Also look for all mistakes you may have made in grammar, spelling and punctuation.
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A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing where the author presents an argument and tries to convince the reader to adopt their point of view or take a specific action. The goal of a persuasive essay is to persuade or sway the reader's opinion through logical reasoning, evidence, and compelling arguments.
The question of how to write a persuasive essay is often asked by high school or college students. But it is not a secret that the skill of creating a solid persuasive argument is vital not only for students. The ability to form your strong opinion is a very useful instrument to have in life. A person who masters the art of persuading people will be able to build a successful career in any field and build effective relationships. Our academic experts decided to assist you in understanding the importance of this type of academic writing by sharing effective tips on writing an effective persuasive essay, providing examples, general structure, and more. So keep reading and find out everything you should know about persuasive paper.
What Is a Persuasive Essay: Definition
"I think the power of persuasion will be the greatest superpower of all time.” Jenny Mollen
It does not matter whether you know who Jenny Mollen is or not – she was right when saying it. It is time to provide a clear definition of what is a persuasive essay. It is an academic type of paper, which contains an explanation of a specific topic and tries to convince readers of an author’s truth presenting it as the most biased and competitive point of view. It contains a logical & valid perspective on the problem. Professional Tip:
“People often confuse persuasive writing with argumentative one. The main difference is that an author of an argumentative paper should take a certain position regarding chosen topic while an author of another type of paper should also persuade the target audience, his argument is the dogma. In both cases, authors should respect opposing views. No matter what selected topic/research problem is, a student should conduct extensive research outside of class to succeed.” Prof. Jeremy Walsh, college teacher of Religious Studies & online writer at StudyCrumb
Unlike a position paper , the primary purpose of a persuasive essay is to make people take the same point of view regarding a specific topic. Without credible, relevant evidence, author’s points will not sound strong enough to ensure an audience. Keep on reading to understand structure and explore exciting persuasive essay college examples!
Elements of a Persuasive Essay
Before we get to guidelines and structure of an essay , it is important to mention what are the three main elements of a persuasive essay. First of all, these are foundation of every effective argument, invented by philosopher Aristotle. The goal of these traditional modes of persuasion is building logical arguments and making your audience more likely to trust them. Let’s look at them in more detail.
- Ethos It is an element that will help you “sell” your point of view. Through this element, a speaker or writer appeals to ethics. They use words and knowledge for building trustworthiness. They persuade their audience of their credibility, character or intelligence. In this way, the public is more likely to believe arguments made.
- Pathos This element helps you evoke feelings of your readers. Through this element, a speaker or writer appeals to emotions. To make your argument more convincing, you should trigger compassion, joy, sadness, anger, or any other kind of emotion.
- Logos Through this element, a speaker or writer appeals to logic. Logos will help your readers focus on rational and reasonable validity of your argument.
Persuasive Essay Structure
Do you want to understand how to structure a persuasive essay in detail? Then you should read the next information carefully. A successful writing of a persuasive essay requires a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of this type of paper. You should not only understand your topic and provide good arguments but also know how to structure your thoughts properly. We will help you with that. This guide will explain the fundamentals and major elements of this type of work. So follow the approach we presented below and your persuasive text will stand out from the crowd.
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How to Write a Persuasive Essay Introduction Paragraph
Wonder how to start a persuasive essay ? It is an example of an excellent introduction. An answer to question of how to be persuasive in writing starts with a good persuasive intro. An introduction to this type of academic writing has 2 primary purposes:
- Attract reader’s attention from opening lines.
- Present your topic and reveal goals of writing.
Stay subtle if you want to succeed in your persuasive writing. Identify the topic, purposes, main messages, sources, and target audience before developing an outline and start working on the introduction.
Writing a Persuasive Essay Thesis
Conclude an introduction paragraph with the powerful thesis for persuasive essay. It is a sentence or two that stresses the main idea of your whole paper, which is author’s primary argument to persuade the audience. Let’s look at the example:
With a good thesis statement your persuasive essay writing is more likely to impress your audience.
How to Create a Persuasive Essay Body Paragraph
Once you have stated your thesis, the final sentence of your introduction paragraph, do everything possible to defend your idea. Develop 3 strong persuasive arguments that will support your opinion. Every new body paragraph starts with primary idea. It is followed by in-text citations and evidence gathered from primary sources. Before writing each persuasive body paragraph, conduct in-depth research and select the most up-to-date, accurate, and credible facts from sources like books, magazines, newspapers, websites, documentaries, etc. Do not use Wikipedia or similar sources. Teachers do not grade them as anyone can edit those websites. Any website where answers provided to necessary questions are shared by some typical Internet users who are not field experts does not count. In general, structure of body paragraphs looks this way:
- Main claim/argument.
- In-text citations & other evidence.
- Transition to the following paragraph.
How to Write Persuasive Essay Conclusion Paragraph
Many students underestimate the power of conclusion. An introduction should grab reader’s attention, but a conclusion should leave a positive impression on your reader and make your writing successful. Here we will explain persuasive conclusion paragraph structure. We also advise our users to look at different essay conclusion examples . Begin with the short overview of the arguments and corresponding evidence. Reword the thesis statement, which closes the opening paragraph to stress the importance of everything written in your persuasive paper. Do not make a conclusion of more than 5 sentences. Avoid inserting new arguments or evidence in the last paragraph. The only new thing the author can add is his forecast for the future/the way the researched problem may be implemented in the real world. To persuade the reader or encourage him in ongoing research, call him sign a petition/join a support group if you write a debatable speech on politics, for example. Quote all the cited sources properly after the conclusion. The list is called Bibliography or References/Works Cited.
How to Write a Persuasive Essay: 8 Simple Steps
Step 1: Choose one of the persuasive essay topics that interests you the most. If you have a strong opinion about something, feel free to talk about it in your persuasive essay. This will not only be interesting to you but also make your readers believe in what you say. Browse our topics for a position paper , they can help you with some fresh ideas. Step 2: Research the question from both sides. Obviously, you should know everything about the issue you are for, but not less important to know the side you are against. To make the reader believe you and take your side you should know the arguments you're trying to convince them against. Step 3: Look for some credible sources. Then read the information carefully and make notes in order to use them later in your paper. Step 4: After you have analyzed all sources, create an outline for your essay. A persuasive essay outline will help you put your thoughts in order and organize your arguments. Create logical connections between your evidence and arguments to make the writing process easier. Step 5: Create the attention-grabbing hook for your persuasive essay to intrigue the reader. Include your hook to your strong introduction paragraph. Capture your audience's attention by including the essential background information in your introduction. Step 6: Write your body paragraphs. Try to keep a logical sequence of your arguments by presenting your evidence consecutively, from the weakest reason to the strongest. Step 7: Write a conclusion. Summarize all the main points you talked about in your essay and restate your thesis. Include a call to action. Step 8: Proofread and edit your text. Read it out loud and correct all the grammar mistakes and typos. You can also give your essay to your friend, they can see it from a different angle. Check if the sentence structure is correct. Delete unnecessary words and parts of sentences. Here’s how a template of a persuasive essay on gun control will look. Take a glimpse to get a better idea or simply use StudyCrumb's college essay writing service at once.
>> Learn more: How to Write a Good Essay
Persuasive Essay Examples: Free Sample to Help on Your Way
To make you understand the topic even better, we have prepared one of the great persuasive essay examples that will give you an overall idea. Feel free to download the available materials or use a sample attached below as a source for inspiration. We hope that this reference will help you organize your thoughts and create an outstanding essay!
Persuasive Essay Format
Another thing you should keep in mind is persuasive paper format. It is important to check formatting once you are done. It includes both in-text citations (direct/indirect) & references. A student must check the way each type of source is cited and references before inserting a new entry in Bibliography . The format for persuasive essay will depend on teacher's guidelines. Review your assignment thoroughly. Pay attention to specifics like a word count, spacing, font and alignment. Anyway, if you don’t know proper formatting, here we provided the general guidelines for essay format:
Word count: around 500 words. Fonts: Times New Roman, 12-point. A 16-point font is suitable for the title for your essay, unless you specify otherwise. Arial as well as Georgia fonts are also appropriate in essay writing, too. Spacing: Double-spaced. 1.5 works as well. Alignment: justified.
Persuasive Writing Tips: Main Points
The points listed below stress an important role of a proper persuasive essay writing.
- Begin with a clear thesis/controlling point. Establish the focus of writing (place it in the last sentence of an introduction).
- Introduce thesis after brief introduction with hook sentence coming first. Make sure you know how to write a hook in an essay .
- Develop body paragraphs based on in-depth research. Provide either narrative/descriptive or argumentative points.
- Do not forget to add persuasive transition words & phrases. Relate points and make the entire flow of your text smooth.
- Insert counterarguments and present and reject opposing opinions.
- A conclusion should enhance central idea. Do not make it repetitive!
Writing a Persuasive Essay: Bottom Line
We've created our concise guide that will help you with your persuasive essay writing. Hope with our tips, examples and a general structure you will know how to write a compelling persuasive essay and improve your skills of convincing your audience in written form. Buy a persuasive essay if you just need the result without any hassle.
Hire proficient academic writers with the degrees from the top universities in the US and have your perrsuasive paper completed by an expert!
How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Frequently Asked Questions
1. how long should a persuasive essay be.
Persuasive essays have no paragraph limits. However, a general word count will depend on whether you are middle school, high school or college student. Anyway, try not to exceed 500 word limit. Keep it shorter but emphasize your most relevant information.
2. How are a persuasive essay and an expository essay different?
The difference between persuasive and expository essays is in their purpose. Goal of expository writing is informing your reader or explaining something. It should shed light on some topic so readers understand what it is about. On the other hand, persuasive writing aims to persuade and convince others.
3. Which three strategies are elements of a persuasive essay?
A formal persuasive essay includes three strategies: issue, side, and argument.
- Issue is what your essay is about. Include an issue in your title.
- Side (Thesis) means which side of an issue (“for” or “against”) you believe in your essay.
- Argument is where you are proving your side and convince readers using your arguments and evidence.
Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.
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- 5. Cite Your Sources
Cite Your Sources in MLA format
Here are a few examples to help you cite your sources in MLA format:
How to Cite an Entire Book or Ebook (Print or Electronic)
Format: Author(s). Title of Book in Italics . Edition, Publisher, Year. Database Name in Italics . (if electronic), URL.
*Note: if using a print book, skip the database name.
How to Cite Part of a Book or Ebook (Print or Electronic)
Format: Author(s). "Title of Part." Title of Book , edited by Editor, edition, vol. #, Publisher, Year, page number(s). Database Name (if electronic), URL.
How to Cite a Journal Article from a Database
Format: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal , vol. #, no. #, Date of Publication, page number(s). Database Name (if electronic), URL.
How to Cite a Website
Format: Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Website in Italics , Website Publisher (if different than title), Date of publication, URL.
*Note: Exclude publisher if title of website and publisher are the same. *Note: If website does not have a date, add an access date at the end after the URL: Accessed 7 May 2016. *Note: Do not include the http:// or https:// in the URL.
Additional MLA Examples
1 author and page numbers.
Place the author’s last name and page number in parenthesis. If the in-text citation is at the end of a sentence, place the period outside the parenthesis.
Example 1: (Hennessy 81).
Example 2: (Hennessy 81-82).
No Page Numbers
If a source has no page numbers, omit the page number. Keep in mind, most electronic sources do not include pages.
Example 1: ("Everyday Victims")
Example 2: (Jones)
If the source has no author, your in-text citation will use the title of the source that starts your works cited entry. The title may appear in the sentence itself or, abbreviated, before the page number in parenthesis.
Example 1: (“Noon” 508).
Example 2 : ( Faulkner’s Novels 25).
Example 3 : (“Climate Model Simulations").
If the entry on the Works Cited page begins with the names of two authors, include both last names in the in-text citation, connected by and.
Example: (Dorris and Erdrich 23).
If the source has three or more authors, include the first author’s last name followed by et al.
Example: (Burdick et al. 42).
Additional In-Text Citations Examples
MLA Works Cited Guide
Shortened MLA Practice Template
MLA Formatting Rules
Sample Paper in MLA Format
MLA Practice Template (long version)
- << Previous: 4. Find Sources
- Next: 6. Evaluate Your Sources >>
- 1. Getting Started
- 2. Explore Your Topic
- 3. Narrow Your Topic
- 4. Find Sources
- 6. Evaluate Your Sources
- 7. Write Your Paper
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- Last Updated: Sep 22, 2023 10:11 AM
- URL: https://libguides.sccsc.edu/argumenthaller
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