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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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what is persuasive argumentative essay

An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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Argumentative Essay: The Persuasive Argument

  • The Persuasive Argument
  • Problem Identification
  • Steps and Tips

Types of argumentative texts

Argumentative writing.

The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Argumentative essays are also known as “persuasive essays,” “opinion essays,” or “position papers.” In an argumentative essay, the author adopts a position on a debatable issue and uses reason and evidence to convince the reader of his/her opinion.

One type of argumentative writing creates a logical argument to convince people that your idea or argument or position is more reasonable or sound than another one.To do this well it is important to state facts, evidence, and examples from research, case histories, testimony or quotes from experts, legal cases, and scientific experiments. In addition, argumentative writing techniques can be used to persuade people and get them to believe your idea and take action. Some of the ways you can do this is by appealing to reason or emotion, using vivid examples, and by getting testimony from people with first hand knowledge.

Some types of argument papers

One type of argumentative text is the position paper . the position paper presents an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to. Your job is to take one side of the argument and present it in a manner that is easy for your audience to understand and shows them you have well-founded knowledge of the topic being presented. It is important to support your argument with evidence, as well as to speak to any counterclaims to show you are addressing all sides of the issue.

Similar to this, a proposal argument  is one of the most common and effective forms of argumentation. A proposal argument defines a problem, suggests a remedy, solution or course of action for a specified audience; and uses specific tactics to persuade others to take action. Likewise, a persuasive essay is one in which you attempt to get the reader to agree with your point of view. You are trying to present arguments, research, and ideas in order to sway the reader one way or the other. The chart below shows the differences to remember when writing a position paper to inform, or a persuasive to influence others.

Argumentative writing cheat sheet

what is persuasive argumentative essay

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What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)

Argumentative Essay

We define an argumentative essay as a type of essay that presents arguments about both sides of an issue. The purpose is to convince the reader to accept a particular viewpoint or action. In an argumentative essay, the writer takes a stance on a controversial or debatable topic and supports their position with evidence, reasoning, and examples. The essay should also address counterarguments, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the topic.

Table of Contents

  • What is an argumentative essay?  
  • Argumentative essay structure 
  • Argumentative essay outline 
  • Types of argument claims 

How to write an argumentative essay?

  • Argumentative essay writing tips 
  • Good argumentative essay example 

How to write a good thesis

Frequently asked questions, what is an argumentative essay.

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents a coherent and logical analysis of a specific topic. 1 The goal is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or opinion on a particular issue. Here are the key elements of an argumentative essay: 

  • Thesis Statement : The central claim or argument that the essay aims to prove. 
  • Introduction : Provides background information and introduces the thesis statement. 
  • Body Paragraphs : Each paragraph addresses a specific aspect of the argument, presents evidence, and may include counterarguments. 
  • Evidence : Supports the main argument with relevant facts, examples, statistics, or expert opinions. 
  • Counterarguments : Anticipates and addresses opposing viewpoints to strengthen the overall argument. 
  • Conclusion : Summarizes the main points, reinforces the thesis, and may suggest implications or actions. 

what is persuasive argumentative essay

Argumentative essay structure

Aristotelian, Rogerian, and Toulmin are three distinct approaches to argumentative essay structures, each with its principles and methods. 2 The choice depends on the purpose and nature of the topic. Here’s an overview of each type of argumentative essay format.

Argumentative essay outline

An argumentative essay presents a specific claim or argument and supports it with evidence and reasoning. Here’s an outline for an argumentative essay, along with examples for each section: 3  

1.  Introduction : 

  • Hook : Start with a compelling statement, question, or anecdote to grab the reader’s attention. 

Example: “Did you know that plastic pollution is threatening marine life at an alarming rate?” 

  • Background information : Provide brief context about the issue. 

Example: “Plastic pollution has become a global environmental concern, with millions of tons of plastic waste entering our oceans yearly.” 

  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position. 

Example: “We must take immediate action to reduce plastic usage and implement more sustainable alternatives to protect our marine ecosystem.” 

2.  Body Paragraphs : 

  • Topic sentence : Introduce the main idea of each paragraph. 

Example: “The first step towards addressing the plastic pollution crisis is reducing single-use plastic consumption.” 

  • Evidence/Support : Provide evidence, facts, statistics, or examples that support your argument. 

Example: “Research shows that plastic straws alone contribute to millions of tons of plastic waste annually, and many marine animals suffer from ingestion or entanglement.” 

  • Counterargument/Refutation : Acknowledge and refute opposing viewpoints. 

Example: “Some argue that banning plastic straws is inconvenient for consumers, but the long-term environmental benefits far outweigh the temporary inconvenience.” 

  • Transition : Connect each paragraph to the next. 

Example: “Having addressed the issue of single-use plastics, the focus must now shift to promoting sustainable alternatives.” 

3.  Counterargument Paragraph : 

  • Acknowledgement of opposing views : Recognize alternative perspectives on the issue. 

Example: “While some may argue that individual actions cannot significantly impact global plastic pollution, the cumulative effect of collective efforts must be considered.” 

  • Counterargument and rebuttal : Present and refute the main counterargument. 

Example: “However, individual actions, when multiplied across millions of people, can substantially reduce plastic waste. Small changes in behavior, such as using reusable bags and containers, can have a significant positive impact.” 

4.  Conclusion : 

  • Restatement of thesis : Summarize your main argument. 

Example: “In conclusion, adopting sustainable practices and reducing single-use plastic is crucial for preserving our oceans and marine life.” 

  • Call to action : Encourage the reader to take specific steps or consider the argument’s implications. 

Example: “It is our responsibility to make environmentally conscious choices and advocate for policies that prioritize the health of our planet. By collectively embracing sustainable alternatives, we can contribute to a cleaner and healthier future.” 

what is persuasive argumentative essay

Types of argument claims

A claim is a statement or proposition a writer puts forward with evidence to persuade the reader. 4 Here are some common types of argument claims, along with examples: 

  • Fact Claims : These claims assert that something is true or false and can often be verified through evidence.  Example: “Water boils at 100°C at sea level.”
  • Value Claims : Value claims express judgments about the worth or morality of something, often based on personal beliefs or societal values. Example: “Organic farming is more ethical than conventional farming.” 
  • Policy Claims : Policy claims propose a course of action or argue for a specific policy, law, or regulation change.  Example: “Schools should adopt a year-round education system to improve student learning outcomes.” 
  • Cause and Effect Claims : These claims argue that one event or condition leads to another, establishing a cause-and-effect relationship.  Example: “Excessive use of social media is a leading cause of increased feelings of loneliness among young adults.” 
  • Definition Claims : Definition claims assert the meaning or classification of a concept or term.  Example: “Artificial intelligence can be defined as machines exhibiting human-like cognitive functions.” 
  • Comparative Claims : Comparative claims assert that one thing is better or worse than another in certain respects.  Example: “Online education is more cost-effective than traditional classroom learning.” 
  • Evaluation Claims : Evaluation claims assess the quality, significance, or effectiveness of something based on specific criteria.  Example: “The new healthcare policy is more effective in providing affordable healthcare to all citizens.” 

Understanding these argument claims can help writers construct more persuasive and well-supported arguments tailored to the specific nature of the claim.  

If you’re wondering how to start an argumentative essay, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with the argumentative essay format and writing process.

  • Choose a Topic: Select a topic that you are passionate about or interested in. Ensure that the topic is debatable and has two or more sides.
  • Define Your Position: Clearly state your stance on the issue. Consider opposing viewpoints and be ready to counter them.
  • Conduct Research: Gather relevant information from credible sources, such as books, articles, and academic journals. Take notes on key points and supporting evidence.
  • Create a Thesis Statement: Develop a concise and clear thesis statement that outlines your main argument. Convey your position on the issue and provide a roadmap for the essay.
  • Outline Your Argumentative Essay: Organize your ideas logically by creating an outline. Include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis.
  • Write the Introduction: Start with a hook to grab the reader’s attention (a quote, a question, a surprising fact). Provide background information on the topic. Present your thesis statement at the end of the introduction.
  • Develop Body Paragraphs: Begin each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to the thesis. Support your points with evidence and examples. Address counterarguments and refute them to strengthen your position. Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  • Address Counterarguments: Acknowledge and respond to opposing viewpoints. Anticipate objections and provide evidence to counter them.
  • Write the Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your argumentative essay. Reinforce the significance of your argument. End with a call to action, a prediction, or a thought-provoking statement.
  • Revise, Edit, and Share: Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Check for grammatical and spelling errors. Share your essay with peers, friends, or instructors for constructive feedback.
  • Finalize Your Argumentative Essay: Make final edits based on feedback received. Ensure that your essay follows the required formatting and citation style.

Argumentative essay writing tips

Here are eight strategies to craft a compelling argumentative essay: 

  • Choose a Clear and Controversial Topic : Select a topic that sparks debate and has opposing viewpoints. A clear and controversial issue provides a solid foundation for a strong argument. 
  • Conduct Thorough Research : Gather relevant information from reputable sources to support your argument. Use a variety of sources, such as academic journals, books, reputable websites, and expert opinions, to strengthen your position. 
  • Create a Strong Thesis Statement : Clearly articulate your main argument in a concise thesis statement. Your thesis should convey your stance on the issue and provide a roadmap for the reader to follow your argument. 
  • Develop a Logical Structure : Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each paragraph should focus on a specific point of evidence that contributes to your overall argument. Ensure a logical flow from one point to the next. 
  • Provide Strong Evidence : Support your claims with solid evidence. Use facts, statistics, examples, and expert opinions to support your arguments. Be sure to cite your sources appropriately to maintain credibility. 
  • Address Counterarguments : Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counterarguments. Addressing and refuting alternative perspectives strengthens your essay and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issue. Be mindful of maintaining a respectful tone even when discussing opposing views. 
  • Use Persuasive Language : Employ persuasive language to make your points effectively. Avoid emotional appeals without supporting evidence and strive for a respectful and professional tone. 
  • Craft a Compelling Conclusion : Summarize your main points, restate your thesis, and leave a lasting impression in your conclusion. Encourage readers to consider the implications of your argument and potentially take action. 

what is persuasive argumentative essay

Good argumentative essay example

Let’s consider a sample of argumentative essay on how social media enhances connectivity:

In the digital age, social media has emerged as a powerful tool that transcends geographical boundaries, connecting individuals from diverse backgrounds and providing a platform for an array of voices to be heard. While critics argue that social media fosters division and amplifies negativity, it is essential to recognize the positive aspects of this digital revolution and how it enhances connectivity by providing a platform for diverse voices to flourish. One of the primary benefits of social media is its ability to facilitate instant communication and connection across the globe. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram break down geographical barriers, enabling people to establish and maintain relationships regardless of physical location and fostering a sense of global community. Furthermore, social media has transformed how people stay connected with friends and family. Whether separated by miles or time zones, social media ensures that relationships remain dynamic and relevant, contributing to a more interconnected world. Moreover, social media has played a pivotal role in giving voice to social justice movements and marginalized communities. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, and #ClimateStrike have gained momentum through social media, allowing individuals to share their stories and advocate for change on a global scale. This digital activism can shape public opinion and hold institutions accountable. Social media platforms provide a dynamic space for open dialogue and discourse. Users can engage in discussions, share information, and challenge each other’s perspectives, fostering a culture of critical thinking. This open exchange of ideas contributes to a more informed and enlightened society where individuals can broaden their horizons and develop a nuanced understanding of complex issues. While criticisms of social media abound, it is crucial to recognize its positive impact on connectivity and the amplification of diverse voices. Social media transcends physical and cultural barriers, connecting people across the globe and providing a platform for marginalized voices to be heard. By fostering open dialogue and facilitating the exchange of ideas, social media contributes to a more interconnected and empowered society. Embracing the positive aspects of social media allows us to harness its potential for positive change and collective growth.
  • Clearly Define Your Thesis Statement:   Your thesis statement is the core of your argumentative essay. Clearly articulate your main argument or position on the issue. Avoid vague or general statements.  
  • Provide Strong Supporting Evidence:   Back up your thesis with solid evidence from reliable sources and examples. This can include facts, statistics, expert opinions, anecdotes, or real-life examples. Make sure your evidence is relevant to your argument, as it impacts the overall persuasiveness of your thesis.  
  • Anticipate Counterarguments and Address Them:   Acknowledge and address opposing viewpoints to strengthen credibility. This also shows that you engage critically with the topic rather than presenting a one-sided argument. 

The length of an argumentative essay can vary, but it typically falls within the range of 1,000 to 2,500 words. However, the specific requirements may depend on the guidelines provided.

You might write an argumentative essay when:  1. You want to convince others of the validity of your position.  2. There is a controversial or debatable issue that requires discussion.  3. You need to present evidence and logical reasoning to support your claims.  4. You want to explore and critically analyze different perspectives on a topic. 

Argumentative Essay:  Purpose : An argumentative essay aims to persuade the reader to accept or agree with a specific point of view or argument.  Structure : It follows a clear structure with an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs presenting arguments and evidence, counterarguments and refutations, and a conclusion.  Tone : The tone is formal and relies on logical reasoning, evidence, and critical analysis.    Narrative/Descriptive Essay:  Purpose : These aim to tell a story or describe an experience, while a descriptive essay focuses on creating a vivid picture of a person, place, or thing.  Structure : They may have a more flexible structure. They often include an engaging introduction, a well-developed body that builds the story or description, and a conclusion.  Tone : The tone is more personal and expressive to evoke emotions or provide sensory details. 

  • Gladd, J. (2020). Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays.  Write What Matters . 
  • Nimehchisalem, V. (2018). Pyramid of argumentation: Towards an integrated model for teaching and assessing ESL writing.  Language & Communication ,  5 (2), 185-200. 
  • Press, B. (2022).  Argumentative Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide . Broadview Press. 
  • Rieke, R. D., Sillars, M. O., & Peterson, T. R. (2005).  Argumentation and critical decision making . Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. 

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 perfect persuasive essay topics for any assignment.

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Do you need to write a persuasive essay but aren’t sure what topic to focus on? Were you thrilled when your teacher said you could write about whatever you wanted but are now overwhelmed by the possibilities? We’re here to help!

Read on for a list of 113 top-notch persuasive essay topics, organized into ten categories. To help get you started, we also discuss what a persuasive essay is, how to choose a great topic, and what tips to keep in mind as you write your persuasive essay.

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

In a persuasive essay, you attempt to convince readers to agree with your point of view on an argument. For example, an essay analyzing changes in Italian art during the Renaissance wouldn’t be a persuasive essay, because there’s no argument, but an essay where you argue that Italian art reached its peak during the Renaissance would be a persuasive essay because you’re trying to get your audience to agree with your viewpoint.

Persuasive and argumentative essays both try to convince readers to agree with the author, but the two essay types have key differences. Argumentative essays show a more balanced view of the issue and discuss both sides. Persuasive essays focus more heavily on the side the author agrees with. They also often include more of the author’s opinion than argumentative essays, which tend to use only facts and data to support their argument.

All persuasive essays have the following:

  • Introduction: Introduces the topic, explains why it’s important, and ends with the thesis.
  • Thesis: A sentence that sums up what the essay be discussing and what your stance on the issue is.
  • Reasons you believe your side of the argument: Why do you support the side you do? Typically each main point will have its own body paragraph.
  • Evidence supporting your argument: Facts or examples to back up your main points. Even though your opinion is allowed in persuasive essays more than most other essays, having concrete examples will make a stronger argument than relying on your opinion alone.
  • Conclusion: Restatement of thesis, summary of main points, and a recap of why the issue is important.

What Makes a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?

Theoretically, you could write a persuasive essay about any subject under the sun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Certain topics are easier to write a strong persuasive essay on, and below are tips to follow when deciding what you should write about.

It’s a Topic You Care About

Obviously, it’s possible to write an essay about a topic you find completely boring. You’ve probably done it! However, if possible, it’s always better to choose a topic that you care about and are interested in. When this is the case, you’ll find doing the research more enjoyable, writing the essay easier, and your writing will likely be better because you’ll be more passionate about and informed on the topic.

You Have Enough Evidence to Support Your Argument

Just being passionate about a subject isn’t enough to make it a good persuasive essay topic, though. You need to make sure your argument is complex enough to have at least two potential sides to root for, and you need to be able to back up your side with evidence and examples. Even though persuasive essays allow your opinion to feature more than many other essays, you still need concrete evidence to back up your claims, or you’ll end up with a weak essay.

For example, you may passionately believe that mint chocolate chip ice cream is the best ice cream flavor (I agree!), but could you really write an entire essay on this? What would be your reasons for believing mint chocolate chip is the best (besides the fact that it’s delicious)? How would you support your belief? Have enough studies been done on preferred ice cream flavors to support an entire essay? When choosing a persuasive essay idea, you want to find the right balance between something you care about (so you can write well on it) and something the rest of the world cares about (so you can reference evidence to strengthen your position).

It’s a Manageable Topic

Bigger isn’t always better, especially with essay topics. While it may seem like a great idea to choose a huge, complex topic to write about, you’ll likely struggle to sift through all the information and different sides of the issue and winnow them down to one streamlined essay. For example, choosing to write an essay about how WWII impacted American life more than WWI wouldn’t be a great idea because you’d need to analyze all the impacts of both the wars in numerous areas of American life. It’d be a huge undertaking. A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible.

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List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics

Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you’ll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, “should fracking be legal?” you’d decide whether you believe fracking should be legal or illegal, then you’d write an essay arguing all the reasons why your audience should agree with you.

Arts/Culture

  • Should students be required to learn an instrument in school?
  • Did the end of Game of Thrones fit with the rest of the series?
  • Can music be an effective way to treat mental illness?
  • With e-readers so popular, have libraries become obsolete?
  • Are the Harry Potter books more popular than they deserve to be?
  • Should music with offensive language come with a warning label?
  • What’s the best way for museums to get more people to visit?
  • Should students be able to substitute an art or music class for a PE class in school?
  • Are the Kardashians good or bad role models for young people?
  • Should people in higher income brackets pay more taxes?
  • Should all high school students be required to take a class on financial literacy?
  • Is it possible to achieve the American dream, or is it only a myth?
  • Is it better to spend a summer as an unpaid intern at a prestigious company or as a paid worker at a local store/restaurant?
  • Should the United States impose more or fewer tariffs?
  • Should college graduates have their student loans forgiven?
  • Should restaurants eliminate tipping and raise staff wages instead?
  • Should students learn cursive writing in school?
  • Which is more important: PE class or music class?
  • Is it better to have year-round school with shorter breaks throughout the year?
  • Should class rank be abolished in schools?
  • Should students be taught sex education in school?
  • Should students be able to attend public universities for free?
  • What’s the most effective way to change the behavior of school bullies?
  • Are the SAT and ACT accurate ways to measure intelligence?
  • Should students be able to learn sign language instead of a foreign language?
  • Do the benefits of Greek life at colleges outweigh the negatives?
  • Does doing homework actually help students learn more?
  • Why do students in many other countries score higher than American students on math exams?
  • Should parents/teachers be able to ban certain books from schools?
  • What’s the best way to reduce cheating in school?
  • Should colleges take a student’s race into account when making admissions decisions?
  • Should there be limits to free speech?
  • Should students be required to perform community service to graduate high school?
  • Should convicted felons who have completed their sentence be allowed to vote?
  • Should gun ownership be more tightly regulated?
  • Should recycling be made mandatory?
  • Should employers be required to offer paid leave to new parents?
  • Are there any circumstances where torture should be allowed?
  • Should children under the age of 18 be able to get plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons?
  • Should white supremacy groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
  • Does making abortion illegal make women more or less safe?
  • Does foreign aid actually help developing countries?
  • Are there times a person’s freedom of speech should be curtailed?
  • Should people over a certain age not be allowed to adopt children?

Government/Politics

  • Should the minimum voting age be raised/lowered/kept the same?
  • Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood?
  • Should the United States build a border wall with Mexico?
  • Who should be the next person printed on American banknotes?
  • Should the United States’ military budget be reduced?
  • Did China’s one child policy have overall positive or negative impacts on the country?
  • Should DREAMers be granted US citizenship?
  • Is national security more important than individual privacy?
  • What responsibility does the government have to help homeless people?
  • Should the electoral college be abolished?
  • Should the US increase or decrease the number of refugees it allows in each year?
  • Should privately-run prisons be abolished?
  • Who was the most/least effective US president?
  • Will Brexit end up helping or harming the UK?

body-sparkler-us-flag

  • What’s the best way to reduce the spread of Ebola?
  • Is the Keto diet a safe and effective way to lose weight?
  • Should the FDA regulate vitamins and supplements more strictly?
  • Should public schools require all students who attend to be vaccinated?
  • Is eating genetically modified food safe?
  • What’s the best way to make health insurance more affordable?
  • What’s the best way to lower the teen pregnancy rate?
  • Should recreational marijuana be legalized nationwide?
  • Should birth control pills be available without a prescription?
  • Should pregnant women be forbidden from buying cigarettes and alcohol?
  • Why has anxiety increased in adolescents?
  • Are low-carb or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • What caused the destruction of the USS Maine?
  • Was King Arthur a mythical legend or actual Dark Ages king?
  • Was the US justified in dropping atomic bombs during WWII?
  • What was the primary cause of the Rwandan genocide?
  • What happened to the settlers of the Roanoke colony?
  • Was disagreement over slavery the primary cause of the US Civil War?
  • What has caused the numerous disappearances in the Bermuda triangle?
  • Should nuclear power be banned?
  • Is scientific testing on animals necessary?
  • Do zoos help or harm animals?
  • Should scientists be allowed to clone humans?
  • Should animals in circuses be banned?
  • Should fracking be legal?
  • Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets?
  • What’s the best way to reduce illegal poaching in Africa?
  • What is the best way to reduce the impact of global warming?
  • Should euthanasia be legalized?
  • Is there legitimate evidence of extraterrestrial life?
  • Should people be banned from owning aggressive dog breeds?
  • Should the United States devote more money towards space exploration?
  • Should the government subsidize renewable forms of energy?
  • Is solar energy worth the cost?
  • Should stem cells be used in medicine?
  • Is it right for the US to leave the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • Should athletes who fail a drug test receive a lifetime ban from the sport?
  • Should college athletes receive a salary?
  • Should the NFL do more to prevent concussions in players?
  • Do PE classes help students stay in shape?
  • Should horse racing be banned?
  • Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
  • Should children younger than 18 be allowed to play tackle football?
  • Are the costs of hosting an Olympic Games worth it?
  • Can online schools be as effective as traditional schools?
  • Do violent video games encourage players to be violent in real life?
  • Should facial recognition technology be banned?
  • Does excessive social media use lead to depression/anxiety?
  • Has the rise of translation technology made knowing multiple languages obsolete?
  • Was Steve Jobs a visionary or just a great marketer?
  • Should social media be banned for children younger than a certain age?
  • Which 21st-century invention has had the largest impact on society?
  • Are ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft good or bad for society?
  • Should Facebook have done more to protect the privacy of its users?
  • Will technology end up increasing or decreasing inequality worldwide?

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Tips for Writing a Strong Persuasive Essay

After you’ve chosen the perfect topic for your persuasive essay, your work isn’t over. Follow the three tips below to create a top-notch essay.

Do Your Research

Your argument will fall apart if you don’t fully understand the issue you’re discussing or you overlook an important piece of it. Readers won’t be convinced by someone who doesn’t know the subject, and you likely won’t persuade any of them to begin supporting your viewpoint. Before you begin writing a single word of your essay, research your topic thoroughly. Study different sources, learn about the different sides of the argument, ask anyone who’s an expert on the topic what their opinion is, etc. You might be tempted to start writing right away, but by doing your research, you’ll make the writing process much easier when the time comes.

Make Your Thesis Perfect

Your thesis is the most important sentence in your persuasive essay. Just by reading that single sentence, your audience should know exactly what topic you’ll be discussing and where you stand on the issue. You want your thesis to be crystal clear and to accurately set up the rest of your essay. Asking classmates or your teacher to look it over before you begin writing the rest of your essay can be a big help if you’re not entirely confident in your thesis.

Consider the Other Side

You’ll spend most of your essay focusing on your side of the argument since that’s what you want readers to come away believing. However, don’t think that means you can ignore other sides of the issue. In your essay, be sure to discuss the other side’s argument, as well as why you believe this view is weak or untrue. Researching all the different viewpoints and including them in your essay will increase the quality of your writing by making your essay more complete and nuanced.

Summary: Persuasive Essay Ideas

Good persuasive essay topics can be difficult to come up with, but in this guide we’ve created a list of 113 excellent essay topics for you to browse. The best persuasive essay ideas will be those that you are interested in, have enough evidence to support your argument, and aren’t too complicated to be summarized in an essay.

After you’ve chosen your essay topic, keep these three tips in mind when you begin writing:

  • Do your research
  • Make your thesis perfect
  • Consider the other side

What's Next?

Need ideas for a research paper topic as well?   Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you. 

Thinking about taking an AP English class? Read our guide on AP English classes to learn whether you should take AP English Language or AP English Literature (or both!)

Deciding between the SAT or ACT? Find out for sure which you will do the best on . Also read a detailed comparison between the two tests .

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Persuasive Essay

Definition of persuasive essay.

The term “persuasive” is an adjective derived from verb “persuade,” which means “to convince somebody.” A persuasive essay is full of all the convincing techniques a writer can employ. It presents a situation, and takes a stand – either in its favor, or against it – to prove to readers whether it is beneficial or harmful for them.

Why Persuasion?

The question arises why persuasion if the people are already aware of everything. Its answer is that each person’s ability of seeing and understanding things depend on his vision. He believes only what he sees or is told about. If another side of the coin is shown, the people do not believe so easily. That is why they are presented with arguments supported with evidences , statistics and facts. Persuasion is done for these reasons:

  • A Better World : To ask the people that if they accept your argument , it will be good for them to take action and make the world a better place.
  • A Worse World : It means that if readers do not do what they are asked to do, the world will become a worse place.
  • Call to Action : It means to persuade or tempt readers to do what the writer wants them to do.

Difference Between a Persuasive Essay and an Argumentative Essay

A persuasive essay is intended to persuade readers to do certain things, or not to do certain things. It is the sole aim of the writer to coax or tempt readers, and force them to do certain things or take actions. However, an argumentative essay intends to make readers see both sides of the coin. It is up to them to select any of the two. In other words, an argumentative essay presents both arguments; both for and against a thing, and leaves the readers to decide. On the other hand, a persuasive essay intends to make readers do certain things. Therefore, it presents arguments only about one aspect of the issue.

Examples of Persuasive Essay in Literature

Example #1: our unhealthy obsession and sickness (by frank furedi).

“Governments today do two things that I object to in particular. First they encourage introspection, telling us that unless men examine their testicles, unless we keep a check on our cholesterol level, then we are not being responsible citizens. You are letting down yourself, your wife, your kids, everybody. We are encouraged continually to worry about our health. As a consequence, public health initiatives have become, as far as I can tell, a threat to public health. Secondly, governments promote the value of health seeking. We are meant always to be seeking health for this or that condition. The primary effect of this, I believe, is to make us all feel more ill.”

This is an excerpt from a persuasive essay of Frank Furedi. It encourages people to think about how the government is helping public health. Both the arguments of persuasion start with “First” in the first line and with “Secondly” in the second last line.

Example #2: We Are Training Our Kids to Kill (by Dave Grossman)

“Our society needs to be informed about these crimes, but when the images of the young killers are broadcast on television, they become role models. The average preschooler in America watches 27 hours of television a week. The average child gets more one-on-one communication from TV than from all her parents and teachers combined. The ultimate achievement for our children is to get their picture on TV. The solution is simple, and it comes straight out of the sociology literature: The media have every right and responsibility to tell the story , but they must be persuaded not to glorify the killers by presenting their images on TV.”

This is an excerpt from Grossman’s essay. He is clearly convincing the public about the violent television programs and their impacts on the kids. See how strong his arguments are in favor of his topic.

Example #3: The Real Skinny (by Belinda Luscombe)

“And what do we the people say? Do we rise up and say, ‘I categorically refuse to buy any article of clothing unless the person promoting it weighs more than she did when she wore knee socks?’ Or at least, ‘Where do I send the check for the chicken nuggets?’ Actually, not so much. Mostly, our responses range from ‘I wonder if that would look good on me?’ to ‘I don’t know who that skinny-ass cow is, but I hate her already.’

Just check the strength of the argument of Belinda Luscombe about purchasing things. The beauty of her writing is that she has made her readers think by asking rhetorical questions and answering them.

Function of a Persuasive Essay

The major function of a persuasive essay is to convince readers that, if they take a certain action, the world will be a better place for them. It could be otherwise or it could be a call to an action. The arguments given are either in the favor of the topic or against it. It cannot combine both at once. That is why readers feel it easy to be convinced.

Related posts:

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  • Narrative Essay
  • Definition Essay
  • Descriptive Essay
  • Types of Essay
  • Analytical Essay
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Cause and Effect Essay
  • Critical Essay
  • Expository Essay
  • Process Essay
  • Explicatory Essay
  • An Essay on Man: Epistle I
  • Comparison and Contrast Essay

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Developing Strong Thesis Statements

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These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.

The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.

Another example of a debatable thesis statement:

In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.

The thesis needs to be narrow

Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.

Example of a thesis that is too broad:

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:

Narrowed debatable thesis 1:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

Narrowed debatable thesis 2:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.

Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.

Types of claims

Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.

Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:

Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:

Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:

Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 101 Guide [+ Examples]

An argumentative essay is a genre of academic writing that investigates different sides of a particular issue. Its central purpose is to inform the readers rather than expressively persuade them. Thus, it is crucial to differentiate between argumentative and persuasive essays.

While composing an argumentative essay, the students have to demonstrate their research and analytical skills. The secret of a successful paper lies behind strong arguments and counterarguments. So, the writer should focus on facts and data rather than personal values and beliefs.

Besides, a good argumentative essay should be structured appropriately:

  • The introduction and conclusion have to create a frame for the entire essay.
  • The body paragraphs are supposed to cover the essential points.
  • Supporting evidence should make a paper more professional and reputable.

Are you still wondering what an argumentative essay is and how to write it? Check out the sections below prepared by our experts . Here, you can find the most valuable info, helpful tips, and useful examples.

📜 Classic Strategy

📋 toulmin strategy, 🗣️ rogerian strategy, ✒️ fill in the blanks, 🔍 edit and proofread, 🔗 references, 📌 argumentative essay in a nutshell.

Are you trying to figure out what an argumentative essay is? It’s a type of academic paper that covers both sides of a given issue. An author can decide whether they aim to present both sides equally or support one side more dynamically.

One of the mistakes among students is the confusion of argumentative and persuasive essays . Do you want to figure out the differences? Take a look at the following table.

Before writing an argument essay, it would be helpful to choose an appropriate model to rely on. There are three strategies to consider: Classical, Toulmin, and Rogerian.

Look at the following sections and choose the most suitable one for you.

Are you wondering how to write an argumentative essay? Consider using the classical approach. It is the most popular way of composing an argumentative paper.

Under the classical strategy, the author has to follow these rules:

  • research the issue;
  • present both sides;
  • express own opinion;
  • prove the reader the validity of the conclusion.

It is up to the audience to decide whether your position is right or wrong. Yet, you should try to convince the readers of the effectiveness of your opinion.

Usually, the classical argument paper is structured in the following way:

  • Introduction . Use the hook to catch the readers’ attention. State the problem and explain why your topic is relatable to the audience.
  • General background. Introduce the general info and several facts about your issue.
  • Thesis statement . State your position clearly and concisely.
  • The central argument. Provide valid evidence and appropriate examples to support your position. Refer only to reliable sources.
  • Rebuttal . Include a counter paragraph in your essay, presenting the opposing arguments. Provide specific examples to make the reader understand your position. Also, explain to the audience why the counterclaims are incorrect.
  • Conclusion . Synthesize your arguments and counterarguments. Give the readers a question for further investigation of your problem. To make your essay more impressive, compose a memorable concluding sentence.

Toulmin strategy is the most suitable for the discussion of controversial issues. This model aims to find common ground through clear logic and valid evidence. Besides, the Toulmin strategy eliminates unnecessary things and limits the points to agree upon.

An argumentative essay written by the Toulmin model includes the following elements:

  • Claim . A viewpoint that the author aims to prove.
  • Evidence . Supportive facts from reliable resources that highlight the significance of the claim.
  • Warrant . An element that connects the claim and that evidence.
  • Backing . Additional reasoning that underlines the warrant’s validity.
  • Rebuttal . Counterarguments that contradict the author’s position.
  • Qualifier . An additional element (usually, a word or a short phrase) that narrows the claim’s capacity. Several examples of qualifiers: “typically,” “usually,” “occasionally,” etc.
  • Exceptions . Specific limitations that indicate the cases where that claim may not be valid.

Like the Toulmin approach, Rogerian strategy attempts to find common ground between two sides of one issue. However, the technique is slightly different.

The Rogerian model is often used in highly controversial debates when the parties do not accept each other’s position. Thus, the given strategy focuses on finding the agreement by proving the validity of the opposing arguments.

Below, you can find the primary outline for the Rogerian argumentative essay:

  • Introduce the problem. Present the issue clearly and explain why it is worth the readers’ attention.
  • Summarize and analyze the counterarguments. Take into consideration all the possible counterpoints and look at them from different perspectives. Discuss the cases in which the opposing claims could be valid. Demonstrate your open-mindedness. This will make the opposite party more loyal to you.
  • Present your position. After discussing the counterpoints, state your opinion. Convince the audience about the validity of your points.
  • Prove the advantages of your position. Explain to the opposite party how the acceptance and adoption of your points will benefit them.

🧐 How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Before working on your essay, carefully read the assignment. Make sure you understand all the instructor’s requirements and the purpose of the paper.

  • Pay enough attention to the task. Did your professor assign you a topic? Or do you need to choose it yourself ? Make sure you have an idea that will turn into an outstanding essay.
  • Select the strategy you are going to apply. An argumentative essay format will depend on the model you choose to compose your paper. Analyze the issue you will arise and decide what strategy is the most suitable. Is it the Classical model, the Toulmin, or the Rogerian one?

After that, start composing your argumentative essay. Check out the following sections. We have a lot of insightful info to share with you!

📚 Research the Topic

The first step of writing an argumentative paper is an in-depth investigation of the topic. To validate your arguments, you have to refer to credible resources. The essay will look more professional if you use reliable sources in it.

How to research for an argumentative essay.

To research like a professional , do the following:

  • Use only credible sources. You can refer to the books, research articles, materials from academic databases, or Google Scholar. Webpages registered as governmental or educational institutions (.gov, .edu.) and widely-known news websites (New York Times, BBC, CNBC) are also considered appropriate. Avoid using blog posts, outdated materials, and any other data from unreliable sources. You may get into huge trouble, taking information from random websites, since it may be invalid.
  • Pay attention to the publishing date . You may be required to use the sources released no later than five years ago. Yet, it is not always the case, especially when you’re dealing with historical documents. Thus, double-check your instructions regarding recommended sources.
  • Keep your topic in mind. Concentrate on what you are writing about and select the sources for your exact issue. Avoid sources that provide too general information and look for more limited ones. If your idea is World War II’s economic consequences, the history book from ancient times to modern days will not be the best option.
  • Become an expert. Take enough time to investigate the issue you are writing about. Read numerous articles, compare and contrast the scientists’ opinions. Prove your reader that you are a reliable person who selected the best sources.

📝 Outline Your Essay

The majority of students tend to underestimate the power of outlining. Don’t do this! An argumentative essay outline is a helpful tool for planning, structuring, and composing.

Firstly , a well-developed outline helps the writer to put all their thoughts in an appropriate order. None of the essential points will be lost if the student plans the essay before writing.

Secondly , it lets the writer figure out what evidence suits what argument most. Before writing, draft your essay first. Put examples, facts, etc. in the right parts of the paper. Then, write the entire text.

Thirdly , an outline provides a perfect opportunity to change the essay’s parts without rewriting the paper. Are you unsure of specific details? Not a problem. Change them in the outline without ruining the text.

There are essential elements that your outline should contain. Check out the following section to see them.

Introduction

How to start an argumentative essay? First and foremost, include an argumentative essay introduction in your outline.

This part should grab the readers’ attention from the first words. Thus, put enough effort into composing a compelling hook . What can it be? An impressive statistic or an exciting fact? Be creative – decide yourself! But make sure that your intro is catchy enough.

After the hook, introduce your topic’s general background . Prove the readers the significance of your issue and gradually come to the thesis statement .

The concept of studying abroad is becoming increasingly popular in both developed and developing countries. Students around the globe strive to explore the world and broaden their minds, and studying in a foreign country is an excellent opportunity to do so. Such experience may be extremely beneficial because meeting new people and discovering foreign cultures help students to gain valuable knowledge and see the world from a new perspective. However, while presenting significant opportunities for personal growth, it may also bring about some challenges.

Thesis Statement

A thesis is an essential part of your argumentative essay. It should state your position regarding the issue clearly and concisely. Avoid general statements, vague words, and be as specific and possible. Your thesis statement should guide the readers throughout the main points of the paper.

The location of the thesis in the essay plays a crucial role. The most appropriate place for it is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.

Although students face difficulties such as loneliness while studying abroad, it is a worthy experience to introduce them to new knowledge, people, and culture and promote their independence.

Body Paragraphs

The body of your paper is supposed to develop your position, provide valid evidence and examples. Each paragraph has to focus only on one idea. This will ensure the logical structure of your argumentative essay.

A body paragraph should start from the topic sentence and end with the concluding sentence . Such a frame around every section will make your readers stay concentrated on your ideas and get your opinion.

  • The topic sentence is the first sentence of the passage. It should reflect its point and correspond to the thesis statement.
  • The concluding sentence aims to wrap up the author’s thoughts. Thus, make sure that the last sentence of a paragraph is insightful enough.

Each body paragraph should include an argument (or a counterargument) with supporting evidence. Get your proof from credible sources and ensure that it directly corresponds to the point.

An example of a topic sentence :

The benefits of education abroad are almost innumerable, prominent examples being gaining new knowledge, making friends with people who have different mindsets, and discovering new cultures.

An example of a concluding sentence:

Participants of student exchange programs usually return more driven and eager to develop both themselves and their country.

A conclusion plays a critical role in understanding the entire paper. It summarizes the body and leaves the final impression. Besides, it may push the readers on further investigation of the issue.

  • To make your argumentative essay conclusion powerful, it is not enough just to summarize the arguments. It has to synthesize your ideas and show the connection between them. In other words, your points should be summarized and analyzed.
  • Moreover, a conclusion refers to the thesis statement . A mere restatement of the central idea is not the most successful way of finishing your paper. You should try to develop it to demonstrate the reason you’ve written the previous paragraphs.

One more tip:

  • Give the audience an incentive to explore the topic more in-depth. Insert the questions for further investigation at the end of your essay. It would play a significant role in making an impressive conclusion.

To sum up, studying abroad is beneficial as it helps a person evolve and perceive a world from new perspectives. It is an opportunity for a participant to explore the world, meet new people, gain valuable knowledge and experience, and broaden their horizons. Education abroad might pose problems like homesickness, loneliness, and trouble with getting accustomed to a new environment. However, all of them can be easily overcome if a student is flexible and eager to become autonomous and independent.

The list of references is a crucial part of any argumentative essay. It should contain all the sources the writer uses in the paper.

Before organizing your reference list , double-check your argumentative essay format. Is it written in MLA, APA, or maybe in Chicago style? How many references does the professor expect you to include? What kind of sources are you required to use?

After figuring out these issues, move to the format requirements of the writing style you use for your paper. The most popular ones are APA (7th edition), MLA, and ChicagoAD (author-date) styles. Below, you can find the examples of a reference for the same book in different formatting styles.

Did you develop a good outline? Congratulations! You are almost done with the essay. Now, you need to fill in the blanks and create a final version of your paper. Here is where you need to demonstrate a high level of your writing skills.

  • Make sure your paper has no logical fallacies. Information from an untrustworthy source, a hasty generalization, or a false conclusion may put your reliability as an author under threat. So double-check all the data you include in your essay. Moreover, make sure all your statements are well-developed and supported by valid evidence.
  • Check your argumentative essay structure . All the arguments should refer to the thesis statement and must be presented in the logical sequence. The supporting evidence and examples have to be inserted in the text logically, according to the arguments.
  • Pay enough attention to the citations. References and in-text citations are incredibly tricky. Always check every detail according to your essay format. If you are unsure of specific issues, refer to a citation guide and make your paper free of formatting mistakes.
  • Ensure the coherence of your argumentative essay. Often, the paper’s material seems raw only because it is presented without a logical connection. To ensure a smooth connection between the ideas, use transitions between the paragraphs and linking words inside them. Insert them in the text to connect the points. As a result, you will have a coherent essay with the logical flow of the arguments.

A list of linking words for an argumentative essay.

The final step of your writing process is editing and proofreading. Although it is not that energy and time consuming, it still plays a critical role in the work’s success.

While writing your argumentative paper, plan your time accordingly. This will provide you with an opportunity to polish your essay before submitting it. And take a look at our checklist and always use it to improve your papers:

  • NO first and second person. Use only the third person in your argumentative essay. It is a general requirement for any kind of academic paper.
  • NO slang. The word choice is an essential part of the essay writing process. Ensure you use only formal vocabulary and avoid using informal language (jargon, slang, etc.).
  • NO unchecked words. Sometimes, words can raise questions and lead to misunderstandings. If you are unsure whether the term is used appropriately, double-check its meaning or replace it with another.
  • NO plagiarism. While proofreading, make sure your citations are either properly paraphrased or taken in quotation marks. You can change the sentence structure to avoid plagiarism.
  • NO minor mistakes. Grammar, spelling, punctuation play a crucial role. Want to make your paper look professional? Make sure it is free of minor mistakes then.

Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should student-athletes benefit from sports?  
  • Do celebrities really have influence on people behavior?  
  • Will decriminalization of drugs increase drug menace?  
  • Does social and environmental reporting promote organizations’ financial success? 
  • Should online learning be promoted?  
  • Can space exploration resolve human problems?  
  • Is success really the outcome of hard work?  
  • Is there discrimination against women in sports?   
  • Will banning tobacco sales promote public health?  
  • Is euthanasia a clemency?  
  • Should college education be free and accessible for every student?  
  • Should football be banned for being too dangerous?  
  • Is it time to change social norms ?  
  • Should public servants’ strikes be prohibited?  
  • Does media create a negative image of ageing and older people?  
  • Is capitalism the best economic system?  
  • Can children under 18 make an appropriate decision on getting tattoo ?  
  • Should net neutrality be protected?  
  • Can an improper use of social media provoke a family crisis?  
  • Is it right to use animals in biomedical research ?  
  • Does the climate change affect our indoor environment? 
  • Are children’s crimes a result of poor parenting?  
  • Should health care be universal?  
  • Does the increased use of technology hurt students’ efficiency? 
  • Is transformative education a key to the system modernization?  
  • Why should patients have access to truthful information?  
  • How does language barrier affect health care access?  
  • Would allowing adoption by same-sex couples benefit the country’s child welfare system? 
  • Is spanking children a proper way to improve their behavior?  
  • Does gun control law lowers crime rates?  
  • Will ban on spamming improve users’ internet experience?  
  • Should behavior be made illegal because it’s immoral?  
  • Is globalization really a progress?  
  • Does aid to developing countries bring more harm than good?  
  • Can parents improve children mental health by restricting internet use ?  
  • Is trusting our senses the best way to get the truth?  
  • Why parents should not have the right to choose their children based on genetics.  
  • Is college education really worth it? 
  • Will wearing a body camera by police officer enhance public trust?    
  • Immigration : a benefit or a threat?  
  • Is it a duty of adult children to take care of their elderly parents?  
  • Should abortions be legal?  
  • Are agents an integral part of professional sports?  
  • Will ban of cellphones while driving decrease the car accident rates? 
  • Should marijuana be legal for medical use?  
  • Is veganism diet universally beneficial?  
  • Should museums return artefacts?  
  • Is water birth beneficial for women’s health?  
  • Will paying people to stay healthy benefit the nation in the long-term perspective?  
  • Is obesity a disease or a choice?  

It is up to you to decide how many parts to include in your essay. However, the 5 paragraph structure is the most appropriate model for an argumentative paper. So, write an introduction, a conclusion, and three body paragraphs.

The pronoun “you” is acceptable for informal writing. Yet, in academic papers, avoid using the second person. The same situation is with the first person. Generally, academic papers require the use of the third person.

A hook aims to grab the readers’ attention. Thus, you could start your essay with an interesting fact about your issue. Another way to create a catchy hook is to prove the audience the relatability of your topic. Make the readers want to explore your essay by demonstrating the significance of your issue.

Yes, you can. A question might become a compelling hook. Just make sure that it is profound, thought-provocative, and concise. A too broad or complicated question will only confuse your readers.

A title is an essential part of the essay since it causes the first impression. While selecting a heading, take into consideration the following points:

1. The title must be catchy.

2. It has to be not too long (5-12 words).

3. The title has to reflect the topic of the paper.

4. It should not be too complicated: the simpler – the better.

Thank you for visiting our page! We hope the information was helpful and insightful. Do you have friends who seek help with writing an argumentative essay? Share our article with them. And don’t forget to leave your comments!

  • Sample Argument Essays: Mesa Community College
  • Argument: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay: Grace Fleming, ThoughtCo
  • Tips for Organizing an Argumentative Essay: Judith L., Beumer Writing Center, Valparaiso University
  • Argumentative Essay: Oya Ozagac, Bogazici University, Online Writing Lab
  • Argumentative Essays: Purdue Online Writing Lab, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University
  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay Step by Step: Virginia Kearney, Owlcation
  • Counterargument: Gordon Harvey for the Writing Center at Harvard University
  • Basic Steps in the Research Process: North Hennepin Community College, Minnesota
  • How to Recognize Plagiarism, Overview: School of Education, Indiana University Bloomington
  • 15 Steps to Good Research: Georgetown University Library
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Argumentative essay (30 minutes)

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What Is a Persuasive Essay?

Posted by 11trees | Types of Writing

A persuasive essay explains a specific topic and attempts to persuade the audience that your point of view is the most informed, logical and valid perspective on the topic. This genre is also known as the argumentative essay.

While an expository essay written for an exam or a standardized test may have a persuasive element, most persuasive or argumentative essays are written out of class and require extensive research. The research may include several kinds of sources:

  • Articles from high-quality non-scholarly magazines or journals (for example, The Atlantic, Harpers, Scientific American, etc.)
  • Scholarly or non-scholarly books
  • Scholarly or technical journal articles
  • Government agency websites
  • Statistical analysis
  • Interviews with experts

Persuasive essays use such research both to educate the audience about the topic and to supply evidence supporting the writer’s opinions.

The main goal of an argumentative paper is to persuade your audience that your view is among the most compelling opinions on the topic. You should attempt to persuade even those who start out strongly disagreeing with you. To do that, you need to show that you’re very well-informed about your topic.

What Are the Elements of a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay does have certain baseline requirements that are standard in nearly every essay type:

  • A clear thesis or controlling idea that establishes and sustains your focus.
  • An opening paragraph that introduces the thesis.
  • Body paragraphs that use specific research evidence to illustrate your informative or argumentative points.
  • Smooth transitions that connect the ideas of adjoining paragraphs in specific, interesting ways.
  • Use of counterarguments to summarize and refute opposing positions.
  • A conclusion that emphasizes your central idea without being repetitive.

How Do You Write a Persuasive Essay?

One common formula for the persuasive paper is the 5-Paragraph Essay. If you don’t have much experience with essay writing, this is a good method to start with, since it’s basic and straightforward. The 5-Paragraph Essay incorporates the elements listed above in the following basic structure:

  • Introductory paragraph with a clear, concise thesis.
  • Three body paragraphs that offer evidence and analysis connecting that evidence to the thesis.
  • A concluding paragraph that sums up the paper by reevaluating the thesis in light of the evidence discussed in the essay’s body.

While the 5-paragraph structure gives you a helpful formula to work with, it’s only one among many valid options, and its suitability will depend on other factors like the length and complexity of your essay. If you’re writing a paper that’s more than 3 or 4 pages long, it should be more than 5 paragraphs. In most cases, the structure of a longer essay will be similar to that of the 5-paragraph essay, with an introduction, a conclusion and body paragraphs performing the same basic functions—only the number of body paragraphs will increase. The length of the paragraphs may also increase slightly in proportion to the length of the essay.

Composing a Persuasive Essay: A Process Guide

Preliminary Steps

  • Begin by reading the assignment carefully to make sure you understand it. Then find a topic that fits the assignment. It’s important that you narrow your topic so that it’s directly relevant to the assignment. But make sure your topic is not so narrow that it lacks significance. It’s best if you find a topic that you’re really interested in—this will make the work more enjoyable for you and will probably lead to higher quality research and writing.
  • Before starting your research, make a list of facts—everything you already know about your topic. This list may be long or short depending on your level of knowledge.
  • Make another list, this time of your ideas and opinions on the topic. Begin with the strongest opinions and list them in descending order according to your level of conviction.
  • Ask yourself why you hold these opinions. It’s important to clarify your own views on the topic so you don’t get too overwhelmed by expert opinions when you begin your research. But you should also be open to changing these opinions if facts and logic warrant such change.
  • Try to come up with an original, debatable perspective on your topic and write a tentative thesis statement that reflects your view concisely. Being original in this case doesn’t mean you have to come up with some earth-shattering revelation about human nature—it just means you should stay away from general, bland, or obvious ideas that most people would readily agree with.
  • Familiarize yourself with the resources of your school’s library—the physical books and periodicals and the online databases. Describe your project ideas to a librarian and ask for recommendations on where to look for the resources you need.
  • The main purpose of your research is to for you to become very well-informed about your topic. Immerse yourself in all the relevant factual data AND acquaint yourself with the most prominent, compelling opinions on the central issues.
  • Look for sources that include unusual aspects of your topic, or unconventional perspectives on it—these may provide interesting, surprising angles from which to approach your argument.
  • Read your sources critically and ask yourself what informs the various perspectives on your topic. Which sources seem best informed? Which use the most compelling logic? Which are guided more by ideology or assumptions than by credible evidence?
  • Take notes on your sources as you read them. Summarize the parts of each source that are relevant to your thesis. In addition to the summary, write down your thoughts on the facts and opinions laid out in these sources. Critique the sources you disagree with. This note-taking will help you to process the research material and develop your perspective on the topic.

Composing and Revising

  • Once you’ve compiled some research, revisit your tentative thesis statement and revise it according to what you’ve learned—see if you can make it more specific or original. Think of the thesis as your opening statement in a debate with people whose views oppose yours.
  • Sift your research notes and sources for examples you can use to discuss conflicting opinions on your topic and to illustrate your own views. Each example should have some clear connection to your central idea.
  • Your essay should devote one body paragraph to each of your major ideas and examples. So begin an outline by writing a topic sentence about each major example for each of your body paragraphs. Since the topic sentence will be part of each paragraph transition, it should make a clear, logical connection between your thesis and the evidence that paragraph will discuss.
  • Complete your outline by thinking of an interesting, meaningful way to end the essay. Remember that the conclusion should sum up your central points without merely repeating what you’ve said earlier. You might suggest the larger implications of what the essay has discussed and analyzed. One way to do this is to offer a concise review of what you’ve covered combined with a reasonable forecast or recommendations for the future.
  • You might want to experiment with writing the body paragraphs before you write your introduction. The details of analysis in the body of the paper often help you to determine more precisely how to word your thesis and the sentences that surround it.
  • Define  your key terms or ideas.
  • Describe  and  analyze  specific examples of your topic.
  • Summarize  and  evaluate  contrasting opinions on your topic.
  • Compare  and  contrast  your examples and their relation to your thesis.
  • Connect  your examples explicitly to your central idea and to each other.
  • Use plenty of quotations and paraphrase of your sources to support your analysis and argument. Integrate the quotes into your own sentences so the discussion reads more smoothly.
  • Make sure you cite ALL information that comes from your sources, whether quotations or paraphrase. Use the citation format required by the class or the assignment—MLA, APA, etc. The Writers’ Toolkit citation tools will make the process easy for you by automating the format.
  • Polish your essay through revision to make it artful, original, and interesting. Avoid clichéd language or the most obvious examples. You want your reader to learn something new and compelling, whether it’s an unusual fact or a novel perspective on your topic.

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Argumentative vs Persuasive Essay: How Do They Compare?

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by  Antony W

August 10, 2023

argumentative vs persuasive essay

It’s easy to assume that an argumentative essay is synonymous to persuasive essay writing because they both convince your audience to agree with your point of view.

But the two are different not only in terms of purpose but also in terms of the tone used in writing and the expected results.

In this comparison post, we’ll tell you the difference between persuasive and argumentative essay , our goal being to help you approach both assignments the right way.

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay writing is an assignment that requires students to pick a topic, investigate it, collect and evaluate evidence, choose a position, and then defend their stand.

For an essay to be considered argumentative, it must be clear and concise and feature a logical transition between the introduction , body paragraphs , and the conclusion .

Argumentative essays require evidential support, which can be either factual, statistical, historical, or logical.

What is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is an assignment written to persuade.

An author uses first and second person point of view to express their conviction in a way that shows their thinking is the best.

Persuasive writing tends to be somewhat aggressive in approach, but in most cases, it tends to be emotional, passionate, and personal.

Argumentative vs Persuasive Essay

Let’s take a closer look on argumentative vs persuasive essay below.  

Keep in mind that this guide focuses mostly on the differences between the two  types of essays . 

Differences in Starting Point

You’re going to put very little work to persuasive essay writing and therefore you’ll find it easier to write. That’s because it has quite a simpler starting point.

When it comes to writing this essay, all you have to do is to identify the topic you’d like to cover and choose your side.

An argumentative essay is completely different in terms of its starting point. You have to choose a topic, research it in-depth, and then decide which side you’d like to support using reasonable and sufficient evidence.

Differences in Writing Technique

Difference in tone.

Argumentative essay writing requires an authoritative tone in order to make your ideas clear.

To demonstrate your authoritativeness on the topic, and to prove to the reader that you can argue your points, you need to use a formal tone as well as the right language to complete the essay. 

More often than not, your arguments have to reflect a consistent use of a somewhat complex language, as it’s necessary to fill the assignment with the technical terms related to the subject.

It’s a completely different case in persuasive writing.

Here’s where you write as if you’re talking a friend, and therefore you can use a more relaxed tone that identifies with your readers’ emotions, sense of humor, intelligence, and sometimes ego.

Difference in Purpose

The purpose of persuasive writing is to express your thoughts and beliefs in hope to convince your audience to share your point of view.

You may have a claim in persuasive writing, but there are often no solid and undeniable facts to present so as to defend your position.

For what it’s worth, especially since the primary goal is to sway the reader in hope that they either agree with you or take an action, often a persuasive essay tends to use a non-formal kind of debate and emotional appeal.

The purpose of an argument is completely different. Authors need to invest in research and come up with compelling arguments to defend their positions. 

Instead of swaying your audience, you present the evidence for or against an argument and let your audience decides whether to take your stand or to write off your argument completely.

Difference in Conclusion

In argumentative essay writing, your conclusion should demonstrate two things.

First, demonstrate the position you take in the argument, and second, let the reader know that they can recognize other point of view.

By doing so, you not only demonstrate that you put effort in researching your topic but also establish that your stand is the best among all in relation to the topic in question.

The conclusion of a persuasive essay isn’t as robust and may not even be as convincing.

First, the end of the essay tries to put a reader in the position to accept that an author’s thoughts are the only source of information on the subject in question.

In a way, the assumption is that the author expects the reader will recognize and agree with their stand.

Argumentative vs Persuasive Essay: Get Writing Help

Let’s face it:

Writing an argumentative or persuasive essay isn’t always as easy, especially if you have so many other assignments to complete.

If we’re being honest, sometimes the best way to beat your deadline is to seek academic writing help.

At Help for Assessment, we invest a lot of time and resources to help students understand, complete, and submit their essays on time.

So if you don’t have the time to complete the papers yourself, and you need help from an academic writing service that has written thousands of essays already, you can count on us to help you complete the work.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

100 Persuasive Essay Topics

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

Persuasive essays are a bit like argument essays and persuasive speeches , but they tend to be a little kinder and gentler. Argument essays require you to discuss and to attack an alternate view, while persuasive essays are attempts to convince the reader that you have a believable argument. In other words, you are an advocate, not an adversary.

A Persuasive Essay Has 3 Components

  • Introduction : This is the opening paragraph of your essay. It contains the hook, which is used to grab the reader's attention, and the thesis, or argument, which you'll explain in the next section.
  • Body : This is the heart of your essay, usually three to five paragraphs in length. Each paragraph examines one theme or issue used to support your thesis.
  • Conclusion : This is the final paragraph of your essay. In it, you'll sum up the main points of the body and connect them to your thesis. Persuasive essays often use the conclusion as a last appeal to the audience.

Learning how to write a persuasive essay is an essential skill that people use every day in fields from business to law to media and entertainment. English students can begin writing a persuasive essay at any skill level. You're sure to find a sample topic or two from the list of 100 persuasive essays below, sorted by degree of difficulty.

Watch Now: 12 Ideas for Great Persuasive Essay Topics

  • Kids should get paid for good grades.
  • Students should have less homework.
  • Snow days are great for family time.
  • Penmanship is important.
  • Short hair is better than long hair.
  • We should all grow our own vegetables.
  • We need more holidays.
  • Aliens probably exist.
  • Gym class is more important than music class.
  • Kids should be able to vote.
  • Kids should get paid for extra activities like sports.
  • School should take place in the evenings.
  • Country life is better than city life.
  • City life is better than country life.
  • We can change the world.
  • Skateboard helmets should be mandatory.
  • We should provide food for the poor.
  • Children should be paid for doing chores.
  • We should populate the moon .
  • Dogs make better pets than cats.

Intermediate

  • The government should impose household trash limits.
  • Nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent against foreign attack.
  • Teens should be required to take parenting classes.
  • We should teach etiquette in schools.
  • School uniform laws are unconstitutional.
  • All students should wear uniforms.
  • Too much money is a bad thing.
  • High schools should offer specialized degrees in arts or sciences.
  • Magazine advertisements send unhealthy signals to young women.
  • Robocalling should be outlawed.
  • Age 12 is too young to babysit.
  • Children should be required to read more.
  • All students should be given the opportunity to study abroad.
  • Yearly driving tests should be mandatory past age 65.
  • Cell phones should never be used while driving.
  • All schools should implement bullying awareness programs.
  • Bullies should be kicked out of school.
  • Parents of bullies should have to pay a fine.
  • The school year should be longer.
  • School days should start later.
  • Teens should be able to choose their bedtime.
  • There should be a mandatory entrance exam for high school.
  • Public transit should be privatized.
  • We should allow pets in school.
  • The voting age should be lowered to 16.
  • Beauty contests are bad for body image.
  • Every American should learn to speak Spanish.
  • Every immigrant should learn to speak English.
  • Video games can be educational.
  • College athletes should be paid for their services.
  • We need a military draft .
  • Professional sports should eliminate cheerleaders.
  • Teens should be able to start driving at 14 instead of 16.
  • Year-round school is a bad idea.
  • High school campuses should be guarded by police officers.
  • The legal drinking age should be lowered to 19.
  • Kids under 15 shouldn't have Facebook pages.
  • Standardized testing should be eliminated.
  • Teachers should be paid more.
  • There should be one world currency.
  • Domestic surveillance without a warrant should be legal.
  • Letter grades should be replaced with a pass or fail.
  • Every family should have a natural disaster survival plan.
  • Parents should talk to kids about drugs at a young age.
  • Racial slurs should be illegal.
  • Gun ownership should be tightly regulated.
  • Puerto Rico should be granted statehood.
  • People should go to jail when they abandon their pets.
  • Free speech should have limitations.
  • Members of Congress should be subject to term limits.
  • Recycling should be mandatory for everyone.
  • High-speed internet access should be regulated like a public utility.
  • Yearly driving tests should be mandatory for the first five years after getting a license.
  • Recreational marijuana should be made legal nationwide.
  • Legal marijuana should be taxed and regulated like tobacco or alcohol.
  • Child support dodgers should go to jail.
  • Students should be allowed to pray in school.
  • All Americans have a constitutional right to health care.
  • Internet access should be free for everyone.
  • Social Security should be privatized.
  • Pregnant couples should receive parenting lessons.
  • We shouldn't use products made from animals.
  • Celebrities should have more privacy rights.
  • Professional football is too violent and should be banned.
  • We need better sex education in schools.
  • School testing is not effective.
  • The United States should build a border wall with Mexico and with Canada.
  • Life is better than it was 50 years ago.
  • Eating meat is unethical.
  • A vegan diet is the only diet people should follow.
  • Medical testing on animals should be illegal.
  • The Electoral College is outdated.
  • Medical testing on animals is necessary.
  • Public safety is more important than an individual's right to privacy.
  • Single-sex colleges provide a better education.
  • Books should never be banned.
  • Violent video games can cause people to act violently in real life.
  • Freedom of religion has limitations.
  • Nuclear power should be illegal.
  • Climate change should be the president's primary political concern.
  • Arizona State University Writing Center staff. " Persuasive Essay Structure ." ASU.edu, June 2012.
  • Collins, Jen, and Polak, Adam. " Persuasive Essays ." Hamilton.edu.
  • 100 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students
  • Middle School Debate Topics
  • 50 Argumentative Essay Topics
  • 40 Writing Topics for Argumentative and Persuasive Essays
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • Controversial Speech Topics
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
  • 30 Writing Topics: Persuasion
  • Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • How to Write a Great Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC
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  • How to Write a Narrative Essay or Speech

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Home » Language » Linguistic » Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essay

Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essay

Main difference – argumentative vs persuasive essay.

Persuasive essay and Argumentative essay are similar in nature and thus, often confused to be the same though there exists a difference between the two. In fact, Persuasive essay and Argumentative essay are two different types of essays, and  the main difference between them is that the persuasive essay depends on opinions and emotions while an argumentative essay uses logic and reason. Let us first look at these two types of essays in detail and then move on to identify the differences between a persuasive essay and an argumentative essay.

What is an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that attempts to convince the readers that the author’s idea is true . This is a genre of writing that is used to defend or prove a point. A writer should do a thorough research; gather accurate facts and figures before writing an argumentative essay. This is more like a debate written on paper. While writing an argumentative essay, a writer should be aware of both pros and cons of the argument, and should try to discredit the opposing view by using evidence .

What is a Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that attempts to convince the readers to agree with author’s ideas. In this type of essay, the writer can use his own ideas, opinions and evoke the emotions in the reader in order to convince them to agree to his opinion . A writer of a persuasive essay needs to do research, gather evidence, but a clever writer can create a successful essay without knowing much. This is because; a persuasive writing appeals more to reader’s emotions rather than minds. In persuasive writing, the writer should have certain awareness about the audience . For example, opinions and ideas that could appeal to teenagers may not have the same effect on adults. First person narration and Second person narration (Ex: In my opinion, I believe, etc.,) are commonly used as the writer is addressing the audience directly.

As discussed before, argumentative essays are a genre of writing that attempts to convince the readers to accept the writer’s idea as true, by using statistics, facts and figures, etc. while persuasive essays are a genre of writing that attempts to convince the readers to agree with the writer, by using emotions, personal ideas, etc. In other words, an argumentative essay is based on logic and reasons while a persuasive essay is based on emotions and personal opinions. When it comes preparations, before writing an argumentative essay, the writer needs to do a thorough research on the subject but does not need to have the knowledge about the audience. On the other hand, the writer can write a persuasive essay even without doing much research, but he should have certain  knowledge about the audience.

Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essay

When we look at both types of essays in the perspective of the audience; an argumentative essay appeals to the minds of the readers whereas, a persuasive essay appeals to the hearts of the readers. Also,  an argumentative essay acknowledges opposing views, but a persuasive essay may not acknowledge opposing views.

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  1. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement. The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it. Argumentative essays are by far the most common type of essay to write at university. Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

  2. Persuasive Writing Strategies and Tips, with Examples

    The main difference between a persuasive essay and an argumentative essay is that persuasive essays focus more on personal experience and appeal to emotions, whereas argumentative essays mostly stick to the facts. Moreover, argumentative essays discuss both sides of an issue, whereas persuasive essays focus only on the author's point of view.

  3. Argumentative Essays

    The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay.

  4. Rhetorical Strategies

    There are three types of rhetorical appeals, or persuasive strategies, used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case. Logos Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason.

  5. How to Write an A+ Argumentative Essay

    Persuasive essays are similar to argumentative essays, so it can be easy to get them confused. But knowing what makes an argumentative essay different than a persuasive essay can often mean the difference between an excellent grade and an average one.

  6. Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essays: What's the Difference?

    🔗 References 🎯 Persuasive vs. Argumentative Writing: Primary Objectives Both argumentative and persuasive essays require you to present your point of view on a specific topic. However, your approach will differ between the two. The words "argumentative" and "persuasive" should help you recognize what you are expected to achieve. Let's see how.

  7. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    An argumentative essay is an essay that uses evidence and facts to support the claim it's making. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with the argument being made. A good argumentative essay will use facts and evidence to support the argument, rather than just the author's thoughts and opinions.

  8. How to Write a Standout Argumentative Essay

    Like persuasive essays and other types of essays, the point of argumentative essays is to convince the reader of a particular point of view. What makes an essay argumentative is the method of convincing: An argumentative essay uses fact-based evidence and unquestionable logic to prove that its thesis is true.

  9. The Persuasive Argument

    The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Argumentative essays are also known as "persuasive essays," "opinion essays," or "position papers.". In an argumentative essay, the ...

  10. What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)

    An argumentative essay is a type of writing that presents a coherent and logical analysis of a specific topic. 1 The goal is to convince the reader to accept the writer's point of view or opinion on a particular issue. Here are the key elements of an argumentative essay: Thesis Statement: The central claim or argument that the essay aims to prove.

  11. 113 Perfect Persuasive Essay Topics for Any Assignment

    Argumentative essays show a more balanced view of the issue and discuss both sides. Persuasive essays focus more heavily on the side the author agrees with. They also often include more of the author's opinion than argumentative essays, which tend to use only facts and data to support their argument. All persuasive essays have the following:

  12. Examples and Definition of Persuasive Essay

    A persuasive essay is intended to persuade readers to do certain things, or not to do certain things. It is the sole aim of the writer to coax or tempt readers, and force them to do certain things or take actions. However, an argumentative essay intends to make readers see both sides of the coin. It is up to them to select any of the two.

  13. Strong Thesis Statements

    An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

  14. Argumentative Vs. Persuasive Writing

    Persuasive Writing While argumentative and persuasive writing are related, they are not quite the same thing. How are the two similar? Here are some things argumentative and persuasive writing have in common: Both are prescriptive in nature. Both contain a call to action. Both provide counter-arguments and answer objections.

  15. How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 101 Guide [+ Examples]

    An argumentative essay is a genre of academic writing that investigates different sides of a particular issue. Its central purpose is to inform the readers rather than expressively persuade them. Thus, it is crucial to differentiate between argumentative and persuasive essays.

  16. Argumentative essay

    Thank you for providing the practice tests with samples of the essays. They really helped me with the structure of my essays and created an idea of what graders expect from me, but the source based essays were witten differently than the ETS samples, as personal opinions are mentioned in the essays. Aren't we supposed to write arguments from ...

  17. What Is a Persuasive Essay?

    A persuasive essay explains a specific topic and attempts to persuade the audience that your point of view is the most informed, logical and valid perspective on the topic. This genre is also known as the argumentative essay. While an expository essay written for an exam or a standardized test may have a persuasive element, most persuasive or ...

  18. Argumentative vs Persuasive Essay: How Do They Compare?

    What is a Persuasive Essay? A persuasive essay is an assignment written to persuade. An author uses first and second person point of view to express their conviction in a way that shows their thinking is the best. Persuasive writing tends to be somewhat aggressive in approach, but in most cases, it tends to be emotional, passionate, and personal.

  19. 100 Persuasive Essay Topics

    Persuasive essays are a bit like argument essays and persuasive speeches, but they tend to be a little kinder and gentler. Argument essays require you to discuss and to attack an alternate view, while persuasive essays are attempts to convince the reader that you have a believable argument. In other words, you are an advocate, not an adversary.

  20. Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essay

    A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that attempts to convince the readers to agree with author's ideas. In this type of essay, the writer can use his own ideas, opinions and evoke the emotions in the reader in order to convince them to agree to his opinion.

  21. What Is an Argumentative Essay? Definition and Examples

    An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that takes a stance on an issue. The main purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade the reader to agree with the writer's point of view. This is done by presenting a strong argument, which is supported by evidence. An argumentative text requires thorough research and analysis of all relevant ...

  22. Argumentative vs Persuasive: Deciding Between Similar Terms

    Persuasive language. While both argumentative and persuasive writing aim to convince the reader, the main difference between the two is the approach. Argumentative writing uses logical arguments and evidence, while persuasive writing uses emotional appeals and persuasive language to influence the reader's beliefs and attitudes.