The Three Key Parts of a Persuasive Essay – Guide

The purpose of persuasive essays is to offer an argument of your choice and present enough reasons to believe that you are right. The biggest confusion that people may have with persuasive essays is that it often becomes confusing to tell them apart from argumentative essays.

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The Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essays…

Both of these essays may look like they are performing the same functions. But if an essay writer looks deeper into things, persuasion and argument are two vastly different worlds that have distinct meanings of their own.

An argument is a rational, systematic, and scientific way to present two conflicting opinions. You argue with another point of view. Two conflicting opinions have to be present in their entirety to formulate a successful argument. Arguments cannot exist without an opposing point of view.

Argumentative essays follow the same trajectory of differing and contrasting opinions, both of which you need to elaborate in detail. You have to devote as much time and energy on the opposing perspective than you do at yours because you truly want your opinions to be comprehended. The goal is not to convince the reader of anything but to help them decide between the two viewpoints.

Persuasion entails a much more direct and aggressive approach to presenting your perspective. You are not interested in letting the readers decide for themselves. Although you do need to mention different opinions in a persuasive essay, you don’t have to spend time explaining them any further. Your goal is to convince by using various rhetorical techniques.

Essays that have persuasion as their goal follow the same philosophy. They are focused on communicating their point of view in ways that make the reader come around to the same ways of thinking.

The Trio…

After you get to know the difference that sets these two kinds of essays apart, you can take the next step and start with thinking about what it is that can make a persuasive essay effective enough. Usually, three major components are responsible for deciding between an average, good, and extraordinary college essay.


The first among the trio is an introduction to your topic. This sets the tone and provides a context to ground your argument in. It also offers the appropriate build-up towards your thesis statement.

Many students tend to not give enough importance to the few sentences that introduce an essay. This context and groundwork are extremely important because there is nothing that can inform the audience about the reason you are writing this essay other than a proper intro with all the good sentences and a killer hook. People tend to think that a thesis statement is the only essential component of well-written introductions.

The truth is that no thesis statement would ever make sense if the persuasive argument is not properly laid down and expounded on in the sentences preceding it. A beautifully smooth introduction flows seamlessly into a strong thesis statement and adds to the persuasive value of an essay.

Thesis Statements…

The thesis statement follows an introduction and is not any less important. This is what your entire essay will be based on. The thesis statements give a direction to the entire piece. This is the core around which each point will be oriented. It is the single component that connects all the points. All the body paragraphs will devote themselves doting on the thesis.

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For persuasive essays, the thesis needs to be direct, vehement, and something that can generate strong enough emotions to want to stick to one or another point of view. It has to be something that is not offensively controversial but anything that inspires some strong opinions. If there is no resistance, there is no need for persuasion anyway. So, make sure there is some kind of resistance.

The Main Argument…

The next step that you need to take care of is the argument. This is to be a persuasive argument that makes use of some very direct and straightforward points. The tone needs to be formal but the structure of the argument needs to flow from simpler to more complex ideas. Build the narrative up and present as the only logical solution to all the questions out there.

For such an argument, you don’t need to be concerned with coming up with elaborative counter-arguments but you must include some evidence and cite a few reliable sources while you do so. These references and citations will make your narrative more valid and you end up sounding more legitimate. It is because the argument must not look like it is nothing but a by-product of your mind instead of being coherent and logical.

Although these components may look like they have been presented in an order of preference, the order is merely one of primacy. There is nothing that makes any one of these less significant than the rest. All three are equally important and essential. Without even one, you can be assured that your essay will not hold up, and your argument won’t be saved from collapsing.

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