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Persuasive, argumentative essays

In the persuasive/argumentative essay, one defends his/her side of an argument, the author is convincing. The persuasive essay must choose a side, make a case for it, consider and refute alternative arguments, and prove to the undecided reader that the opinion it presents is the best one. The author has to be aware of other sides and be fair to them. Dismissing other sides completely will weaken author's own argument. The point of a persuasive paper is not to show how mistaken or wrong someone is. The argument itself makes audience take a closer look at own and others' ideas more carefully. Writing a persuasive paper helps people to look at the evidence, to state ideas more clearly, to consider the claims of the opposition fairly, and to justify own position.

Typically, persuasive/argumentative essays are five-paragraph essays. They have a very specific format. First of all, the topic sentence cannot be a fact as facts cannot be debated. It should be a statement of position. That position must be clear and direct. Secondly, introductory paragraph should state the three best reasons that need to be supported. In the body of the essay, the writer uses specific evidence, examples, and statistics and not broad generalizations or personal opinions to persuade the reader that the stated position is a valid one. As one closes the essay, it is important to clearly redefine the topic and restate the most compelling evidence cited in original form. This is the last chance to remind the reader and convince him/her to accept the writer's position. No new materials should be introduced in the conclusion.