Friday, June 20, 2014

Writing a Persuasive Argument

We write for many reasons - to entertain, to inform, to delight, and to convince.  Creating an effective argument with your writing may seem simple on the surface, but it takes practice to persuade people with words. You need to have passion for your subject, a good understanding of the issues, and structure your writing in a way that makes your point powerful. These simple tips will help you construct your essay or article in a way that gets your point across.

Know Your Purpose

Why are you writing this essay or article? Writing that has a purpose will always be the stronger writing. If you are writing on a specific assignment, there will be guidelines to follow. Consider the format and structure that would be most appropriate.

Consider Your Audience

Who are you trying to persuade with your argument? If your essay or article has a specific audience, think about the knowledge and perspective they may already have on the subject. If your audience already has some expertise on the topic, you may be able to leave out general background information. However, an argument geared towards a novice may have to begin at a more basic place.

Use Reliable Sources

Everyone has an opinion. It will make your writing and your argument stronger if you have reliable, impressive sources to back up your assertions. Use quotes from noted authorities on the subject within your essay or article. Take care when you search for sources on the Internet - Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information or quotes. Finding unbiased information, such as scientific studies, makes a larger impact than sources with an obvious slant.

Understand the Other Side

If you want to persuade people of your point of view, it is important to understand the arguments on the other side. Prepare yourself for the arguments that your opponent will throw at you. This will allow you to provide a quality rebuttal in the course of your essay. Have a well rounded view of your subject before you begin to write.

Write Concisely

The most persuasive writing is often the simplest. Keep your sentence structure simple and remove unnecessary words. You may be tempted to overwork your essay to make it appear more "academic." However, simple writing tends to be more powerful. Make your writing accessible to everyone who reads it.

Pay Attention to the Introduction and Conclusion

The introduction and conclusion are often the most powerful paragraphs in an essay. In any piece of writing, the introduction should pull the reader in and make them want to read the rest of your work. If your introductory paragraph is weak, you are not giving the reader a reason to continue reading. Your conclusion is a chance for you to sum up your argument and drive your point home in a strong way. While this can be the most difficult paragraph to write, it is important to spend time crafting and revising your conclusion.


Like any skill, composing a persuasive argument on paper takes practice. Continue to hone your writing skills and seek out critiques from people you trust. Revise your work several times once you complete your rough draft, taking any advice that seems useful to you. As you grow as a writer, you will learn what strategies work for you.

Knowing how to write an effective argument is an important skill for any student, employee, or writer. If you write with honesty, integrity, and knowledge of the subject, you should have no trouble convincing your audience of your point of view.

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