What Is a Persuasive Essay?
A persuasive essay is a type of essay that presents logical arguments with emotional appeal in order to sway readers to a particular point of view. Persuasive essays can be both a form of academic writing and personal writing. They typically begin with a question that the writer spends the essay arguing in favour of or in opposition to. A personal essay writer will make a firm statement that is backed up with a combination of data, research, and anecdotal experience. The writer will often explore opposing positions and counterarguments as a means to discredit them.
3 Elements of a Persuasive Essay
A good persuasive essay should feature three essential components known as modes of persuasion. These elements, coined by philosopher Aristotle himself, work together to make a compelling and effective argument that attempts to persuade others’ points of view.
- Ethos: Ethos is an element of argument and persuasion through which a speaker establishes their credibility and knowledge, as well as their good moral character. Readers are more likely to trust someone with credible knowledge, personal experience, or standing within a community. Including ethos—or ethics—in your persuasive writing can help sell your point of view.
- Pathos: Pathos is an appeal made to an audience’s emotions in order to evoke feelings. Triggering particular emotions in your audience can help them connect with you as a narrator. This provides a layer of interest to your readers as well, making your writing more compelling and stickier.
- Logos: Logos is a rhetorical or persuasive appeal to the audience’s logic and rationality. Good persuasive writing outlines a series of logical reasons that the reader should believe the writer’s argument.
In a persuasive essay, it’s the writer’s job to convince the reader to accept a particular point of view or take a specific action. Persuasive essays require good research, awareness of the reader’s biases, and a solid understanding of both sides of the issue. A good persuasive essay demonstrates not only why the writer’s opinion is correct, but also why the opposing view is incorrect. In the list below, we have included some of the most relevant and interesting persuasive speech topics:
- Abortion: Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice
- Is There Still a Place for Racial Profiling in the Modern World?
- We Should Legalize Euthanasia for Terminally Ill Patients
- Higher Education Should Be Free for Everyone
- Is Donald Trump’s Presidency a Bad or a Good Thing for the US and the Rest of the World?
- Same-Sex Couples Should Be Able to Marry
- Death Penalties: Is There Place for Them in the 21st Century?
- Benefits of the Legalization of Medical Marijuana
- The World Could Be a Better Place without Organized Religion
- Technology Brings More Harm than Good