Persuasive essay outline: Best guide

Persuasive essay outline: Best guide

Convincing an audience to agree with you on a particular matter is not an easy task. Motivating them to take action can be difficult but not impossible.

A persuasive essay helps persuade your audience to agree with your perspective on a specific subject. When writing this type of essay, you need a persuasive essay outline

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You need to research deeply and think critically to write a convincing essay. Understanding the meaning of a persuasive essay is the first step to successfully persuading your readers that your viewpoint is the best.

What is a persuasive essay outline?

It is an academic paper that presents arguments to convince readers that the writer’s viewpoint is correct. A topic in a persuasive essay should have two or more views.

When writing a persuasive essay, you must take a stand and provide evidence that shows your stand. The purpose of this type of essay is to convince your audience and make them change their minds on a specific issue.

When you are concluding your essay, ensure you motivate your audience to perform a specific action. For example, you might convince your audience to change their minds about a subject so that they think differently.

Whether it is buying a product or voting for a candidate, the bottom line is that your persuasive essay should convince and motivate readers to do something.

How to write a persuasive essay

A persuasive essay is a type of paper commonly assigned to college students. When writing this type of paper, you develop essential skills like research, critical thinking, and persuasion skills.

Understanding how to write a persuasive essay will help you develop these skills and give you a higher grade in your exams. The following guide shows you steps that will help you write an excellent persuasive essay that will convince your audience to take action

How to write an essay outline

Writing a good persuasive essay outline means that your essay will be logically organized. An essay outline helps to organize your thoughts and make your writing process fast.

This helps your readers to follow your line of reasoning and eliminates confusion. A persuasive essay outline is similar to the standard biographical essay outline.

The three main components are the introduction, body and conclusion sections. Here is how you should structure your persuasive essay

1.     Introduction paragraph

The first paragraph of your persuasive essay is the face of your paper. You should make it attractive enough to lure your readers so that they read your entire paper.

Hook them with interesting statements, anecdotes, and statistics or use a rhetorical question. Whet the appetite of your audience with the first sentence of your introduction paragraph.

The two or three sentences that follow should provide background information about your topic. This helps put your topic in context.

Your thesis statement is the last sentence in your introduction paragraph. Make sure it is solid and concise. Write a captivating introduction that is interesting and engaging.

2.     Thesis statement

Develop a strong thesis statement. This is your central message, and it states your position regarding your subject.

Make sure it is clear and concise. Your thesis statement will guide you throughout your writing

It also provides the theme for your paper and informs your readers what your paper is talking about. Everything you discuss in the body paragraph of your persuasive essay is linked to your thesis statement.

3.     Body paragraph

The body paragraph is where the weight of your persuasion lies. A persuasive essay outline will help you organize your arguments in this section.

This paragraph is where you discuss and thoroughly evaluate your thesis statement to convince your audience. A body paragraph can discuss three to five points.

This is common in a typical five-paragraph essay. Each point is discussed in its paragraph.

A topic sentence introduces the point of discussion followed by credible evidence and reliable examples. When writing a persuasive essay, it is important to provide sufficient and credible evidence and examples to back up your claim.

Have the goal of convincing your audience in mind and make sure your argument is strong enough. You can use statistics, facts, and other relevant information, including examples, to prove your point.

Conclude discussing a point using a concluding sentence. This sentence links the discussion to your thesis statement. All your body paragraphs should follow this persuasive essay format to structure your arguments.

4.     Persuasive essay outline: conclusion

The final paragraph of your persuasive essay should highlight key points you have discussed in your essay body section. Emphasizing your significant points in the last paragraph helps readers to remember them. This is especially necessary when writing a discursive essay.

Restate your thesis in a way that relates to your audience and make a strong call to action. Remember the goal of your writing. What do you want your audience to do after reading your paper?

Do you want them to buy a product? Or should they think differently about something?

Make a clear call to action so that your audiences know what they are supposed to do. End your persuasive essay in an impactful way and encourage your readers to research further.

How to start a persuasive essay

When you start writing a persuasive essay, you need to prepare adequately. Understanding the goal of your paper is essential to writing an effective persuasive paper.

Your main is to convince your readers that your thesis is correct and is the right option. You want your audience to agree with you and act favorably.

The best way to convince your audience is to support your opinion with credible and relevant facts and examples. Your evidence should be strong enough to make a good argument that will persuade readers.

Convincing your readers will require you to appeal to their emotions and logic. Here are elements you can use in your persuasive essay writing to enable you to communicate effectively.

1.     Ethos

This element appeals to your credibility as a writer. Readers will support a writer’s argument when they perceive him or her as credible.

This happens when you are an expert in the topic of discussion. Your credentials and experience make you an authority in the field you are handling.

When you are in college or university, you may not be an expert in the topic of your essay, but you can refer to expert opinion. Research your topic and provide opinions from credible organizations and experts about your subject. The ethos of industry experts makes your work credible and believable.

2.     Pathos

This element appeals to your audience’s emotions. It enables you to focus on the beliefs, values and morals of your readers.

You can use pathos to provoke emotions that will make readers favor your point of view. Discuss your topic from the angle of whether something is right or wrong, what your audience belief about the subject and the values they hold.

3.     Logos

This is an element that deals with logic. It appeals to the reasoning of your audience.

When using logic, you need to present facts about your subject. These facts should be logical and backed up by reasonable and credible evidence.

The solid evidence you provide to prove your point is what will convince your readers. You need to make sure all pieces of your argument fit perfectly and your proof makes sense. This is how readers will believe your work through logic.

Writing a persuasive essay

Convincing your readers to accept your point of view as the correct view or take a specific action is not an easy task. Writing an effective essay requires that you prepare adequately to engage and eventually persuade your readers.

Developing an outline is one of the things you need to do before you can start writing your persuasive essay. After creating your outline, you can start crafting your final draft using the following a step by step guide and format

1.     Take a stand

After selecting your topic of discussion, take a stand. A good topic should have two or more sides.

Choose one side and defend it. You can do this by looking at all the sides of your topic and determining the stance that is more appealing to you. A topic that is in line with your personal beliefs will work well for you.

Choosing the right topic will help you research and write a persuasive paper as you enjoy the writing process. Your audience will also enjoy reading your work.

After selecting your stance, you need to research it. Researching will enable you to find out if you have sufficient information to present to your readers.

2.     Conduct an in-depth research

Determine your position and research credible and reliable sources. For example, look for information from reliable online databases and your school library.

Write down important information about your research topic, including facts, examples and relevant statistics. Make sure you have enough high-quality content that will enable you to present a clear and convincing argument.

3.     Provide relevant evidence

Write down the evidence and examples you discovered during your research. It may not be possible to use all the evidence you get when researching your topic.

Looks at all the evidence and evaluate them one by one. Select the most relevant and powerful facts and use them to back up your stance.

4.     Create a persuasive essay outline

Organize your work using a clear outline. An outline helps you to remember your main points and include them in your persuasive essay.

It guides and keeps you on the right track during your writing process. Writing your essay without an outline can cause confusion and disorganization, leading to poor quality work and a lower grade. Check out a persuasive essay outline template that will help you produce high quality and coherent paper.

5.     Write your draft

Follow your outline and start writing your draft. Write down your ideas and the information you discovered in your research.

Do not worry about formatting or proofreading at this point. Your main concern is to logically put your ideas, examples and evidence on paper.

6.     Proofread your work

After transferring all your ideas and information on paper, you need to edit and proofread your work. Read through your work and make sure it is well organized, logical and coherent.

Check the sentence structure and make necessary adjustments. Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes.

You can use grammar software to identify and correct these mistakes. Take a two-hour break from your writing before coming back to proofread it one more time.

A mental break allows you to see errors that you were not able to see before. You can give a workmate or a trusted friend your persuasive essay to read and point out areas that need adjustments. Consider their suggestions and include them in your essay.

Persuasive essay format

When writing a persuasive essay, you need to follow your instructor’s instructions, including using the correct format. Check the required word count, use the right font size, which is 12 points, for the body of your text and align your work correctly.

Enquire from your instructor the type of essay formatting styles you should use. Common formatting styles include APA, MLA and Chicago styles.

Research online and look at persuasive writing examples that will give you insights into writing and formatting your document. Make sure your workflows logically from start to finish as follows. Here is how you should format different sections of your work

1.     Introduction

Your introduction should be attention-grabbing, with clear background information and a strong thesis statement. Make your introduction concise and interesting.

2.     Body

Introduce your sub-points and provide relevant and credible evidence to support them. Make sure they support your thesis statement. Here is how you can support your arguments


Provide industry data to prove your viewpoint. Your idea becomes convincing when you use relevant statistics from external and credible sources.


Provide facts related to your subject. Proven facts will be able to convince your readers that your idea is the correct one.


Provide relevant examples that you have obtained from your research work. This includes important literature, history and your personal experience. Such examples strengthen your argument and make your persuasive writing powerful and convincing.


Quotes from credible people provide great support to your argument. You can use quotes from trusted people to strengthen your argument.

3.     Conclusion

Finalize your essay in an impactful way and encourage your audience to do further research on the subject. Restate your thesis, highlight your major points and motivate your readers to take action.

Persuasive essay topics

When you are given a persuasive essay assignment, your instructor will provide you with a topic or prompts to guide you. In some cases, you may be required to research and come up with a topic of your choice.

Choose a topic that interests you and has two or more contrasting options. This will enable you to select a position, research it and prove to your readers that it is the best option.

Research online databases and school libraries for an interesting topic. Choose a topic that you can relate to, and you can argue for or against.

Most compelling persuasive essays include real-life examples. They discuss social problems that people can relate to. Make sure your topic is not too wide and challenging to cover comprehensively.

Narrow it down to something manageable. The following are topic ideas you can consider when writing a persuasive essay

  • Should mobile phones be allowed in schools?
  • Advertisements are effective on social media than on other platforms. How true is this?
  • Does eating meat cause environmental issues? Should people stop eating meat?
  • Trials in courtrooms should be broadcast live
  • Are beauty contests necessary, and do they have benefits
  • In-person learning has more advantages than online learning. Is this true?

How to write a good argumentative essay

An argumentative essay is similar to a persuasive essay in many ways. Comparable to a persuasive essay, when writing an argumentative essay, you need to take a stand and defend it effectively.

Research your topic and provide readers with credible evidence and relevant examples to defend your position. Present arguments in favor of your essay topic.

Address a contrasting opinion. Present a counter-argument and present it objectively but make sure your idea is proven as the better choice.

Presenting both sides of your topic allows readers to make an informed decision. An argumentative essay and a persuasive essay may both aim to convince a reader.

The difference between these two types of essays is that a persuasive essay uses pathos. This element is essential in persuasive essays to appeal to an audience’s emotions.

When writing a persuasive essay, using logic and emotions helps the reader understand and feel your viewpoint. An argumentative essay will mainly focus on logic and direct facts to engage an audience.

The structure of an argumentative essay is similar to a persuasive essay outline. When writing a good argumentative essay you need to identify your topic and create a catchy and engaging title.

Include introduction, body and conclusion paragraphs in your argumentative paper. Format your work using the recommended styles like APA or MLA and proofread your essay before submitting it.

How to write a persuasive speech

A persuasive essay and a persuasive speech have the same objective. Your goal in writing a persuasive essay and speech is to convince an audience.

They both require you to prepare adequately for your audience. A persuasive speech outline is simple, with a clear beginning and end and a middle section. Here is how you can write a compelling, persuasive speech.

1.     Create a persuasive speech outline

Determine your persuasive speech topic and create a catchy and engaging title. Select the main points that you will discuss with your audience.

The number of points you select depends on the time allocation. Brainstorm your main points and note down important information that will help you convince your audience. Three or four points may be enough for your persuasive speech, depending on the time available.

2.     Start with a strong opening

Start your persuasive speech with a strong opening. A powerful statement or an interesting visual presentation can help grab the attention of your audience.

Write some background information about your topic and the goal of your speech. When you have a strong opening, your audience is likely to listen to your entire speech and get convinced to act favorably to your point of view.

A weak opening will have the opposite effect. Your audience will get bored and distracted, and they may not do what you want them to do.

3.     Write your body section

Write your main points in the body of your speech. This section is where you convince your audience concerning your point of view.

Present credible evidence and relevant examples to support your position. Arrange your points logically so that your audience can follow your trail of thought.

Introduce factual information like statistics and quotes to back up your main points. Real-life examples are effective when discussing your points.

Make sure you provide examples that your audience can relate to. Include all the elements of writing a persuasive speech.

Make sure you include pathos, ethos and logos to make your writing convincing. It means you appeal to the emotions and logic of your audience when appropriate and prove your credibility as a writer.

4.     Conclusion

Remind your audience what you have discussed in your speech. Reign force your points as you make a call to action. Making your conclusion impactful will make readers remember your speech for a long time.

5.     Proofread your work

Check your persuasive speech and correct grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. Grammar software can help you in this process.

Check your evidence and examples and make sure they are accurate and correctly placed in your writing.  The proof you provide should be relevant and effective.

Make sure your points are arranged logically, and your writing flows seamlessly from one point to the next. This makes it easy for your audience to follow your speech and not get lost. Proofread two or three times before submitting your persuasive speech to your instructor.

Starting and ending your persuasive speech

How you start and end your persuasive speech is critical to achieving your goal. Your beginning and ending can make or break your speech.

When writing a persuasive speech, you should start powerfully. This will make readers interested in the rest of your speech.

The first few sentences in your speech require your extra attention. They determine whether your audience will listen to the entire speech or whether they will lose focus and stop listening. Here are some tips you can use to make sure you have a strong start

1.     Start with a quote

 Research your topic and find a relevant quote that will set the right tone for your presentation. Make sure your audience understands the meaning of the quote as you proceed to give background information.

2.     Give a scenario

You can narrate a scene that will help draw in your audience from the start of your speech to the end.  Starting with a “what if” that paints a scene in the minds of your readers works effectively.

3.     Start with a Rhetoric question

Rhetoric questions make your audience curious, and they will want to continue listening to your speech. A rhetoric question whets an audience’s appetite, making them eager to know the answer to your question. It keeps them focused on your speech.

4.     Provide interesting statistics

You can use statistics that are relevant to your subject. Shocking statistics helps to capture the attention of your audience as you pass your message. It is proof that you have thoroughly researched your topic and you can provide useful industry data.

Persuasive speech types

When writing a persuasive speech, you need to understand the type of speech you are writing. Your goal, topic and content determine whether you are writing a factual, value or policy speech. The following provides a detailed explanation of each type of speech

1.     Factual speech

This is a type of persuasive speech that proves whether a topic is true or false. A factual speech requires you to present accurate information and relevant examples to prove your point.

You need to convince your audience about something that happened or did not happen or if something exists or does not exist. This depends on your topic of discussion.

2.     Value speech

This type of persuasive speech focuses on morals or ethics in your subject. When writing a topic that focuses on values, you need to prove that something is right or wrong.

It deals with the morals and values of a community, individual or nation. For example, you can write a persuasive speech about capital punishment. This topic addresses the issue of morality.

You will discuss whether capital punishment is moral or not. The content and topic of this speech focus on the morals and values of a nation. This makes it a valuable speech.

3.     Policy speech

A persuasive speech on policy deals with policy matters. When writing this type of speech, you should either support or reject specific policies.

For example, you can discuss whether to accept or reject a particular candidate or rule. You need to provide adequate evidence to convince your audience that your view is right. Include relevant examples that your audience can relate to.

Tips on how to write a persuasive essay

Mastering how to write an excellent persuasive essay enables you to get a higher grade and change the way people view certain things. The following tips will help you write a captivating essay that convinces your readers to take a specific action.

1.     Avoid complicated language

When writing a persuasive essay, use easy to understand language. Avoid complicated vocabularies that will make your readers check their dictionaries before understanding what you are saying.

Complicated language in your essay will have an opposite effect on your presentation. It will bring confusion to your audience instead of clarity they need to make a decision. Write your essay using simple language that is easy to understand.

2.     Organize your work

Include logical transitions in your work to give it a smooth flow from one point to the next. A persuasive essay outline helps you organize your discussion points, evidence and examples. It provides a skeleton that makes your work easier when adding details and you can finish your work fast.

3.     Conduct thorough research

Provide valuable and high-quality content to your readers after conducting in-depth research about your topic and main points. Understand your subject and give new information to your audience.

4.     Understand the opposing opinion

Understand opposing views on your subject. Make sure to use them to strengthen your arguments. This provides your audience with a well-balanced essay that addresses both sides of your topic.

5.     Consider using persuasion techniques

Familiarize yourself with various persuasion techniques and include them in your essay. Understand how to appeal to the emotions and logic of your readers.

Demonstrate your credibility by using reliable and relevant evidence and examples from reliable sources. This will make it easier to convince your audience to do what you need them to do.

6.     Include sufficient evidence

Evidence helps to validate your thesis statement. Make sure you provide enough evidence on each point and convince your readers. Select relevant, high-quality evidence.

7.     Check your work

Counter-check your work to ensure it is error-free. Check your evidence and persuasive essay examples and make necessary adjustments.

You can use a checklist to ensure your work is thoroughly polished before submitting it to your instructor. Ensure you follow all your instructor’s instructions.

Key takeaway

A persuasive essay outline is an essential tool in writing an excellent persuasive paper. Unfortunately, most students make the mistake of writing their persuasive essays and speech directly without creating an outline.

This can confuse and make you forget to include important information in your final essay draft. An outline is an effective way to ensure you organize your work logically and coherently. It creates order and clarity for you and your readers.

When you organize your discussions properly, you can communicate effectively and achieve your desired results. To learn more about writing a persuasive essay outline, contact us.

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