How to Write a Persuasive / Argumentative Paper

Making a persuasive argument is a skill that comes in handy in many areas of life, whether you’re trying to move people to action, grow your business, or change the world for the better. However, everyone has an opinion, so how can you make an argument that leaves a powerful impression?

Firstly, know what your message is. Many people make the unfortunate mistake of presenting tons of interesting information that is relevant to their topic, but then not building up to a strong conclusion. This might be okay for a research paper, but the point of a persuasive paper is to change people’s minds and / or move them to action. You should be able to state your main point in one or two clearly written sentences.

Once you know what you are trying to argue, the second step is to decide who your audience is. How likely are they to agree with your point of view? Is their point of view already favorable to your position? Neutral? Or outright opposed? Knowing who your audience is will allow you to make points that speak to them on a personal level. Always keep your audience in mind when building your argument.

The final step before the actual writing is research. Don’t be lazy and just try to construct an argument out of your own opinions and feelings. Find the relevant facts that will provide material evidence for why you are right. Hearing the facts is much more interesting and helpful to the audience than hearing someone ramble on about their highly personal views.

Once you have taken these steps to prepare, you are ready to write! Keep your argument to the point, write from your heart, and always show respect to the audience.

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