The Best Way to Write a Quality Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essay writing is a broad and extensive topic which makes it an even more valuable skill to learn as a student. Learning how to write a persuasive essay is taught early on in most learning institutions but not as comprehensive as you would like it to be. Your teacher may have already informed you that a persuasive essay is a document that is written with the intention to convince the reader about specific ideas and opinions. A persuasive essay is aimed at persuading the reader to agree with your point of view and could be based on any topic that you are confident to make a convincing argument and back it up. When writing a persuasive essay, you are expected to dissect advertisements, speeches, and various other media to address the contemporary issues they address and take a stance to provide factual and informative opinions.

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Essay Formatting Guide

When asked to write a persuasive essay, you will only be able to persuade the reader if you comprehend the subject, which is only achievable through preparation in the form of in-depth study and analysis of research materials. Also, you have to take into consideration the readers’ prejudice to ensure you address it early on in your writing. We understand that it is a lot to take in all at once. Thus we have formulated this informative a and instructive guide to assist you when formatting your persuasive essay assignment.

In most learning institutions, the use the 5-paragraph essay structure is widely accepted, and you will also be required to format your paper according to any one of these common citation styles:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • Harvard

Apart from the structure provided by the citation styles mentioned above, the overall outline is determined by the presentation of ideas, opinions or arguments in the body of your persuasive essay. However, a typical paragraph in the body of your article should present and support a single idea, i.e., open with an introductory statement then lead-in the reader to the argument. After giving your opinions and ideas, you are expected to support them with factual and up to date information to prove the validity of your case. The final part of the paragraph is a transition statement to help introduce the next point. You can find more information about how to apply the various citation styles to your assignments in the structuring section.

Choosing a Great Essay Topics

When asked by your teacher to write a persuasive essay and has not provided you with a topic to write about; it is possibly the best opportunity to write about a topic that interests you and you enjoy writing about. Also, you should settle for a widely explored, contemporary subject matter with many contradicting opinions associated with it, such as gun control laws, and human rights. Both these subjects are suitable for lengthy assignments, however, for a short persuasive essay, they best be avoided unless it is a dissertation where a lot of information is required.

It is important to narrow your focus on a small topic such as writing in favor of unmanned space exploration endeavors rather than broadly writing about space exploration. This way you are able to manage the amount of information that is needed to convince the reader to see the subject from your perspective. All in all, maybe space exploration is just not your cup of tea, do not worry, there is a list of other great persuasive essay topics to choose from for both high school and college students.

Highschool Persuasive Essay Topics

For your high school persuasive essay assignments, here are 20 contemporary paper topics to choose from:

  • Impact of incentives on overall student performance in high school
  • Increase in hate crimes in high school
  • The negative influence of sports in the world today
  • Positive implications of paying high school players
  • The importance of extracurricular activities on child development
  • Disadvantages of wearing school uniform
  • The negative impact of allowing high school students to vote
  • The positive results of the second world war
  • Censorship is essential in today’s technologically advanced world
  • Preference of national security over privacy
  • Adverse effects of global warming on the environment
  • Advantages of the legalization of abortion
  • The internet and its role on the impedance of a child’s intellectual ability
  • The increase in criminal activity in US high schools
  • The effectiveness of gun control laws in high schools
  • Moral degradation as a result of online exposure
  • The death penalty is an effective crime deterrent
  • Importance of fashion trends in high school
  • The negative impact of homework writing assignments
  • The most significant personal character trait

College Persuasive Essay Topics

When you are required to deliver a persuasive paper, you should be able to present an essay that is unique, the first step is identifying a suitable topic for your assignment. From the list of college persuasive essay topics, you should choose the one you are most familiar with and also one that you have access to all the required research materials. Below is a list of 20 topics you can use for your college assignment:

  • Benefits of online learning over a classroom setting
  • Unethical nature of FBI surveillance of unsuspecting citizens
  • The ban on Antarctic resource exploration should be lifted
  • Impact of the US support of dictatorships
  • The negative effects on overreliance on the ACT and SAT scores for college admission
  • The positive impact of the use of technology in learning
  • The positive impact of tax incentives in international trade activities
  • Extracurricular activities should be voluntary
  • Reasons colleges should abolish student beauty pageants
  • The negative effects of social media use by college students
  • Drawbacks of paying college athletes
  • Importance of browser filters to limit a student’s online access
  • Social media as the primary cause of increased identity theft cases in college
  • Importance of equal representation in student held official responsibilities
  • Lower classroom concentration as a result of increased cell phone use
  • Negative implications of reforming the US college education system
  • Adverse effects of student targeted advertising
  • Advantages of screening potential parents before adopting a child
  • Drawbacks of firearm exportation to neighboring countries
  • Influence of college relationships on a student’s education

Formulating a Thesis Statement

The thesis for your persuasive essay is based on your take on the subject matter. Every assignment you deliver should have the main idea or central theme, and each argument within the body of your paper should reference this central idea. The sentence that provides the reader with the central theme and your take on it is the thesis statement. It should be clear and straight to the point. The thesis statement should sum up your opinions into two sentences at most, presenting the paper topic as well as a comment on tour viewpoint regarding the theme of the paper. The thesis statement is commonly placed at the end of the first paragraph of the introduction to give the reader an early indication of what the essay is all about. Below are a few tips to guide you when writing your own thesis statement:

  • Present your thesis statement at the end of the paragraph
  • Avoid a broad and vague thesis statement
  • Indicate the objective of your paper
  • Include your perspective on the issues addressed in the essay
  • Make it original and not generic

You will notice that you cannot come up with a thesis statement without having to select a topic for your persuasive essay. Therefore, ensure you have a good theme before attempting to write the thesis statement. As an example, we have selected a topic from the list provided above and formed a thesis statement showing you all the steps taken.

Topic – Impact of social media on college students

Objective – Persuade the reader that monitoring and limiting student exposure to potentially harmful content and destructive activities online is the best way to protect them.

Thesis statement – The government must take into consideration the increased social media presence of college students, thus monitoring and limiting their exposure to potentially harmful content and destructive activities.

Structuring a Persuasive Essay

After you have identified a suitable essay topic and written your thesis statement, using the 5-paragraph essay format, you can create an outline of the paper. Having a good structure beforehand helps you organize your arguments starting with the most significant, up to the final one. The framework enables you to maintain focus on the flow of the essay beginning with the introduction, through the body of the assignment and finally the conclusion.

The Introduction

The introduction is the very first part of your essay; it briefly informs the reader about the content of your paper. The opening should acknowledge the persuasive essay topic and paint a broad image of the central theme. The presentation should be interesting and be able to motivate the reader to read on to the next section of your paper. There are no strict guidelines about the length of the introduction, but it is usually comprised of three parts:

  • The hook – Captures the reader’s attention
  • Lead in – Provide necessary information about what your paper is about. Provide information about timelines, characters, and
  • Thesis statement – Identifies the topic and provides your point of view.

While it may seem like a minuscule structural element, this section is crucial as it is responsible for capturing and maintaining the readers’ interest. You should write the introduction last after writing other sections, even though it appears as the first part of your essay.


Here’s where you have to provide detailed information that is backed by factual information. The body section provides you with the opportunity to present your arguments and explain why you are in support of them. To be an excellent persuasive essay writer, you should understand the topic entirely and be able to provide counter-arguments to common opposing views that may arise. When writing a paragraph in the body section of your persuasive essay, you may include one or more of the elements outlined below to make your arguments believable and credible:

  • Facts
  • Statistics
  • Quotes
  • Concessions
  • Transitory statements
  • Examples


The conclusion is so much more than just the last paragraph of your assignment, it is a chance to make a final impact on the reader and provide an eloquent personal comment or a call to action. The conclusion of your persuasive essay is somewhat similar to the introduction. However, certain discernable differences are noticeable in the conclusion. When writing the end, you should restate the thesis and summarize the main ideas of the paper. Ensure that your audience is satisfied with the information provided.

Grading System

With every writing assignment, there are certain aspects that teachers pay particular attention to when assessing your papers, persuasive essay assignments are no different. Here are the elements that your teachers look at when grading your persuasive essays:

  • Focus on the central theme
  • Did you support the thesis?
  • Organization and flow of ideas
  • Essay structure (introduction, body, and conclusion)
  • Punctuation and grammar
  • Proper use of vocabulary

Persuasive Essay Sample

Below is a sample persuasive essay written with the intention to convince the reader of the negative effects of social media use by college students.

Impact of Social Media on College Students

The internet today has evolved to be so much more than a place to search for information, people have developed new ways to connect and interact with others for commercial or personal purposes. The latest use of internet resources by students is through social media. Social networking was an instant hit among college students as it did not call for prior experience or knowledge to enjoy its benefits. Social networking websites are growing in popularity among not only the working-class people but also college students worldwide. Understandably it has influenced how people socialize, and also there are quite some ways in which it has affected college students’ ability to concentrate on their education and exposed themselves to risky online behavior. Therefore, the government must take into consideration the increased social media presence of college students, thus monitoring and limiting their exposure to potentially harmful content and destructive activities.

Social media can be defined as the applications and websites dedicated to community-based input that allows users to create, modify, collaborate and share information online. A study conducted on the effect of social media on undergraduate studies to evaluate the negative and positive impact on their studies. Results have confirmed that social media is not the problem, instead the purpose students use it for (Heffner and Tara 2016). Students believe that the overuse of social media has played a big part in the disruption of their learning process and a big waste of time. Therefore, college networks need to limit the amount of time students spend on social media sites.

On the other hand, faculty members realized that most students used social media for socializing rather than academic purposes. Because students are the most active social media users worldwide, and the amount of time they spend online is not spent learning. Thus they lose out on crucial information that is necessary for the progression of their education. Also, a majority of the faculty members believed that students’ addiction to social media websites directly affected their academic performance (Sudha and Kavitha 2016). Therefore, the faculty should find alternative methods of introducing social media in the learning environment without it being too distracting.

In addition, to the already negative image of social media, the research also revealed that social networking had more negative impact as it is also widely believed that a student’s continued interest in social sites such as Facebook and Twitter significantly increase their chances of exposure to online threats such as identity theft and virus attacks (Valenzuela et al., 2008). Social media has dramatically increased the risks associated with any online activity and students are significantly affected by which the necessary authorities should take action before it is out of hand.


Social media appeared to be a handy tool when it was first introduced, however as students continued to apply it to their studies it became more and more evident that it was a distraction rather than a learning tool. Besides the ability to effectively communicate with each other, social media should be limited and monitored to protect the students from the harmful effects of excessive use of social media. Schools and governments should implement systems with the capacity to monitor and filter a student’s online activities.

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