Outlines For Persuasive Essays

I take my dog Oskar to work with me nearly every day. He rides in a trailer that I tow behind my bike 2.5 miles uphill to the Kibin office. I’m lucky that I work for a place that allows dogs.

Other dog companions aren’t so fortunate. Shouldn’t responsible dog owners be allowed to bring their beloved furballs anywhere they wish?

But, this post isn’t about teaching you to persuade your boss to let you bring your dog to work (although that would be cool). No, the goal of this blog post is to teach you how to write a persuasive essay outline.

In this post, I’ll break down the components of a good persuasive essay. I’ll also set you up with a downloadable outline template that you can use when you are ready to persuade your teacher to give you a better grade in English class this semester.

What is a Persuasive Essay Anyway?

The goal of a persuasive essay is to convince your readers that your viewpoint is the right viewpoint. In a persuasive paper, you pull out all the stops to say, “It’s my way or the highway!”

Unlike argumentative essays, where facts reign supreme, you don’t necessarily have to use researched, absolute facts to support your persuasive paper.

The goal of your persuasive paper is to persuade by any means necessary. If that involves including emotional anecdotes or stories instead of facts, that’s fine.

Don’t believe me? Ask any politician. When it comes to powers of persuasion, the facts don’t necessarily matter.

While including actual facts and evidence can be an effective way to persuade, it’s okay to play dirty in a persuasive essay. Make your readers laugh, cry, or quake in fear as long as it gets them to believe that what you are saying is true.

That said, you can’t go in and write your essay without any direction. To really persuade someone in your persuasive essay, you have to be smoooooth. You have to have finesse. To be smooth and finesseful (not a word, by the way), you should start with an outline.

Here’s an example of a persuasive essay outline:

Persuasive Essay Outline Intro

First, it’s important to select a topic that you can take a stand for.

Let’s say we’re writing about animal rights. I’m not talking about your typical “people shouldn’t hurt animals” essay. I’m talking about bestowing actual human rights on to my favorite animal: dogs.

1. Write a hook. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Always start your introduction with a strong hook. Make your audience want to read your essay.

For example, “Your dog is smarter than your baby, and more useful and loyal too. Plus, your dog will never, ever turn into an angsty teenager. If dogs are such good people, why don’t they have rights?”

Define your audience. This is a sentence or two that helps your reader define himself as being a member of your target audience. In my example, I’m specifically speaking to dog owners who live in Portland, Oregon.

For example, “For all Portland dog companions who have ever been turned away from a restaurant, disallowed access to transit, or rejected from a public park, it’s time to stand up for your pet’s rights—and your rights too!”

2. Present your thesis statement. Here is where you get to the meat of your persuasive essay and define the exact viewpoint that you want your audience to adopt.

Much as you would in an argumentative essay, you must take a stance on your topic. No wishy-washy “eh, I could go either way” stuff allowed.

Pick a side. Stick to it. Defend it to the end!

For example, “The dogs of Portland deserve the same rights and privileges as granted to our youngest humans, such as the right to visit restaurants, ride buses, walk off-leash, and go to the cinema so long as they are accompanied by a responsible human companion.”

Persuasive Essay Outline Body Paragraphs

The exact number of body paragraphs you include will depend on the parameters of your assignment and your topic. A bigger assignment and/or topic will require more reasons and paragraphs. A smaller assignment and/or topic will require fewer reasons and paragraphs. For the purpose of this blog post, I’m including three example reasons.

Each reason you come up with can be emotionally charged, logically irrefutable, or ethically binding—so long as it’s persuasive. In addition, each persuasive reason you offer should be supported by a fact or an example.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Reason #1. Portland dogs are as smart as young children and often make for more polite companions.
  • Fact or example 1: Dogs are capable of learning up to 250 words and can easily go with the flow of human interactions.
  • Fact or example 2: Dogs are quieter and less disruptive than the average two-year-old human.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Reason #2. Portland dogs should be able to walk leash-free if they are accompanied by their human companions; in most cases, wearing a leash is unnecessary.
  • Fact or example 1: Dogs can be easily trained to walk alongside their human companions without a leash or restraint.
  • Fact or example 2: In a recent survey, 65% of Portland dog owners said that walking a dog on a leash is more of a hassle than walking a dog leash-free.

Body Paragraph 3

  • Reason #3. More rights for Portland dogs means more rights for Portland’s dog companions.
  • Fact or example 1: Dog companions will have more choices of places where they can spend time with friends and family without having to leave beloved pets behind.
  • Fact or example 2: Dog companions won’t have to deal with the trouble of hiring a dog-walker while at work or a pet-sitter for short weekend getaways.

Persuasive Essay Outline Conclusion

Now that you have outlined your reasons and supporting facts and examples, it’s time to seal the deal in your essay’s conclusion. Your conclusion should contain the following important components:

1. Brief summary. Remind your audience of why this topic is important.

For example, “Dogs all across Portland are being unfairly denied the basic right to accompany their human companions to public places. It’s time for Portland dog owners to stand up for their furry friends.”

2. Benefits to the reader. Explain how acting on this issue will benefit your audience.

For example, “Not only will taking a stand for your canine benefit dogs everywhere, it will also benefit you. Next time you want to take a weekend away, ride the bus to work, or enjoy a matinee, you won’t have to worry about who will take care of your dog while you are away. This issue is about your rights as a dog companion too.”

3. Acall to action. What do you want your readers to do now that they’ve (hopefully) subscribed to your viewpoint on the topic?

For example, “Vote ‘yes’ on Portland City Ballot initiative 14 this election. It’s time to stand up for the rights of our most loyal friends.”

Downloadable Persuasive Essay Outline Template and Additional Resources

Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to create a persuasive essay outline, go forth and persuade the world!

I created the above visual outline using the online mind-mapping app at text2mindmap. It’s a great resource to brainstorm your persuasive essay topic, or create a visual persuasive essay outline.

Here is another useful persuasive essay outline builder that I found during my research.

Finally, here is a Persuasive Essay Outline Template (Word doc) I created just for you.

Feel free to use it to get started.

Once your writing is complete, be sure to have an editor review your essay for you. After all, you don’t want all your preparation to be for nothing.

Good luck!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

The broadness of persuasive writing is what makes it extremely valuable to learn. It is taught early on in schools. Students learn how to dissect political speeches, advertisements, and various other media. Most persuasive writing addresses contemporary issues. It challenges writers to take a stance and provide an educated opinion. So what is a persuasive essay?

The persuasive essay definition is an When writing a persuasive essay, the writer must conduct solid research and analysis to understand their subject to the fullest extent. They must be aware of their own (and the readers’) biases. Upon finishing reading a persuasive essay, the reader must be convinced that there is no other correct point of view.

Our professional essay writers have crafted this definitive guide to help you write an outstanding persuasive essay!



Table Of Contents


Correct Format

In schools, persuasive writing is taught using the five-paragraph essay structure. The high school persuasive essay format is usually APA. However, senior students are often tasked to write in MLA to help them transition into college.

The format of a persuasive essay . For example, a typical body paragraph is the presentation and solidification of one argument. The section opens up with an introductory sentence which leads to the argument. After the argument is presented, the writer uses sources to prove that their argument is valid. Next, the writer transitions into the next argument, and so forth. The ‘outline’ section of this article provides further insight on how to format a persuasive essay.

Persuasive Essay Topics

When thinking of persuasive essay ideas, . Broad issues such as gun control and abortion rights can spawn novel length essays. These best be avoided unless you’re writing a dissertation.

Say you want to argue in favor of space exploration. It perfectly fits the description of a widely explored contemporary subject. Creating a structure where every body paragraph explores a different planet might be a bit too much. This way, you can convince the audience of the benefits of creating a moon base, and giving them a small idea of what can be achieved from space exploration on a larger scale.

Hence, you have persuaded your reader on a small topic connected to a much broader one. This will leave them inspired with plenty of thoughts to feast on, allowing them to dive further into the world of space.

Topics For High School

Perhaps the concept of space exploration is long and tedious and makes your stomach turn. Don’t worry - you can come up with plenty simple persuasive essay topics for high school. Perhaps you have already debated on some of these with your friends:

  • Should sex ed be taught in public schools?
  • Should ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ be banned in school because its language makes some kids uncomfortable?
  • Should cellphones be banned in classrooms?
  • Should students wear uniforms in school?
  • Should students influence the school curriculum?

Topics for College

Persuasive essay topics for college get a bit more complicated. Students have the opportunity to make a serious impact with their writing, fearlessly breathing new life into the old world. For college, it is best to choose controversial persuasive essay topics. They challenge the writer to engage in relevant intellectual issues. Here are some examples:

  • Media marketed for teenagers advertise morally and ethically wrong messages.
  • Federal courtrooms must have live cameras that televise all trials.
  • Beauty contests should not be encouraged.
  • With the amounts of information available online, college education should be made significantly cheaper.
  • Create a prisoner rehabilitation system using music and art.
  • Arguing in favor of Net Neutrality.

Crafting A Thesis Statement

The primary concern when writing a persuasive essay thesis should be the writer's position on the selected topic. The writer’s mission is to create a piece that will solidify the thesis, proving it as valid and unchallenged. Here are some examples to shed more light on how to write a thesis statement for a persuasive essay:

Bad Thesis Statements:

  • Homeless people are becoming a nuisance in Chicago, and someone should take care of them.
  • There are many pros of buying food from local markets.
  • Life on Mars is possible if we make it so.

Good Thesis Statements:

  • The government of Chicago must take the homeless problem more seriously, providing them access to services such as food donations, public restrooms, and camping facilities.
  • Buying food from local markets is hugely beneficial in improving the economy of small towns and villages, and the country as a whole.
  • Mars colonization might be the only hope left for humanity, as pollution levels on Earth will soon make the planet uninhabitable.

As you may have noticed, lousy thesis statements offer a generalized and neutral view. Good thesis statements take a stable position in the argument.

Persuasive Essay Outline

After getting well-versed on your topic, it is essential to craft an outline. The outline will assist you in organizing your argument. These arguments and references used will all be placed in your outline which you can always refer to when writing your essay. The end of this section contains a persuasive essay outline example to help you get it done.

Introduction

There are plenty of ways how to start a persuasive essay. The introduction of the essay must blast off with a hook to grab the audience’s attention. You can start with a humorous statement to break the ice and suggest a less formal writing approach. Alternatively, you may begin with a robust controversial statement. Put the reader straight into the action!

The same goes for a persuasive essay introduction. While it seems like a small structural element without any reliable info, the opening is crucial to capturing and maintaining the reader’s interest. It is best to write the introduction in the end. Knowing the content that follows will help you lead into it.

Body Paragraphs

Here’s where the heavy artillery comes into play. Good persuasive writers know the topic inside out. They can anticipate any opposing views and provide counter-arguments. Here are ways you could support an argument in a persuasive essay body paragraph.

  • Use Facts. Factual information will come from reading and observation, as well as personal experience. These facts always have to be backed up by sources to make them credible.
  • Quotes. “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” It is highly likely that there have been writers who already tackled your topic. Referring to them, and solidifying your argument with quotes can have a tremendous impact.
  • Statistics. Some things just can’t be argued with. Always have statistics from a reliable scientific source to make your argument solid.
  • Examples. These can include all of the above. Painting a specific scenario as an example could also work - depending on how it’s written. A good essay writer can persuade on just about any point.
  • Concessions. An excellent way to prove your expertise in the field is by accepting part of your opponent's argument as valid. Creating a concession will put you in a right place from an ethical perspective. It will help you find common ground with your opponent. “True, building a border wall will help keep drugs out of the country. However, people who fully rely on it are missing the point…”

Conclusion

It is precious to know how to end a persuasive essay efficiently. The persuasive essay conclusion does not delve far from the introduction. However, certain elements are exclusive for conclusions. Restating the thesis and summarizing main points is the obvious first thing to do.

To make a conclusion effective, one must write a meaningful personal comment. This could be a call for action to leave the reader with something to ponder about. This can be a prediction based on the information presented in the essay. It could be a quote that you believe perfectly summarizes the piece and its main points. Perhaps you’ve already found the solution to the problem, and you want to use the conclusion to suggest a way to solve it?

The final version of your outline should look something like this.

Grading System

There are specific things instructors will look for in your essay. Following this persuasive essay rubric will help you win the praise of your professors.

  • Focus: The thesis statement, as with the whole paper, must state a concrete point of view instead of being neutral. Every piece of writing in the paper exists to defend that thesis statement.
  • Supporting the thesis: The thesis is well defined through solid arguments and references to credible sources. There is a minimum of 3 supporting points, which are organized in the essay outline.
  • Organization: Every transition from one idea to the next is executed smoothly. There are transitional sentences which help the essay flow. Arguments are presented in the most suitable order.
  • Conclusion: After reading the essay - the reader must have understood the writer’s point of view. The point of view is unbiased and educated and presented in a way that challenges the writer to take part in the argument.
  • Conventions: Punctuation and grammar rules are supported. The essay isn’t hard to read due to a balance between short and long sentences.

Having ticked off these points, you can rest assured you’ve done everything correctly.

Beneficial Tips

With all being said, here are some final tips for writing a persuasive essay.

  • Avoid fancy vocabulary: Having some variety when it comes to vocabulary is fine - but don’t expect your grade to go up because of some fancy synonyms. Find your style and write in a way that makes sense.
  • Search for different persuasion techniques. There are plenty of them in countless different mediums. Perhaps doing some research on persuasion might help you with your essay.
  • Triple check your work! Practice makes perfect, and so does proofreading. Check the essay for readability. Make sure that everything flows in harmony with the thesis. Get a second pair of eyes by giving your essay to a friend for reading!
  • Every paragraph is a mini-essay: This is the best out of all the persuasive essay tips you will find. Take the essay outline, compress it, and apply it to every paragraph. This way, every section has an introduction with a hook, a mini-thesis, a sustained argument, and final concluding sentence. The structure is everything!

Examples

Check out any persuasive essay example to help get those creative juices flowing!

Are Women Weaker Than Men Today?

Have Human Been Too Dependent On Technology

Advice From Our Professional Writer

Writer Natalie, from EssayPro

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This type of essay is one of the most common types of papers assigned in your early high school years. Their main purpose is to teach a beginner writer how to present and structure an argument. From my years of experience writing such essays, I’ve learned that the most important thing to do is to always, always, always present the counter argument. If your paper just talks about your side of the argument, then you didn’t do a good job writing. The way you win over a person who doesn’t share your point of view is not by blindly forcing them to accept your argument, but instead explaining to them why their argument is invalid. My advice for writing persuasive essays is: when you’re toward the end of your essay, include a paragraph of the counter argument and explain why that point of view is invalid. This strategy will make your essay infinitely stronger.

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