“To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.”
Edward R. Murrow (an American broadcaster)
Constructing the line of argument for a persuasive essay is not too far from what the renowned American broadcaster states. The truthfulness of your argument increases the credibility which in turn serves the purpose of persuasion. Tackling persuasive essays will be a walk in the park if you know about the critical nuances of the essay and follow expert tips on composing a winning essay.
What is a persuasive essay?
Simply put, a persuasive essay is a document composed in such a way that it projects the dominance of one line of argument on another. The arguments are formed following clear, logical reasoning and analytical style with a focus on substantiating the establishment of one line of argument over the other. This form of essay assignment is also known as an argumentative essay. The two-pronged target of a persuasive essay is to both educate the reader about the subject in discussion and provide evidence for the particular argument within the topic that is chosen by the writer. Composing a persuasive essay requires a lot of in-depth research and a succinct argumentative narrative along with the ability to present the arguments in a logical and comprehensive manner.
Structure of a persuasive essay
Elemental to a persuasive essay is its unique composition that follows a logical transitory path, stringing together pieces of evidence presented along the way to substantiate the vital argument in question. With compelling evidence and proper structuring of the argument, the purpose of persuading the reader that your take on the topic is the dominating one over other perspectives is of crucial essence and must follow a regimented structure. The four primary elements of a persuasive essay are the introduction, the body, the counter-argumentative stance, and the conclusion.
The introductory paragraph presents the topic to the reader, and as the saying about impressions goes, this is the part where you have to pack in as much punch as you can for your persuasive essay. Use a powerful ‘pull’ or an element that captures the attention of your reader and compels him to read further into your argument. Providing an overview of the argument, you must also include a thesis statement that clearly delineates your take on the topic. As the closing sentence of the opening paragraph, the thesis statement must contain the stance to be argued for in the persuasive essay.
Expert Tip: Try including quotes, surprising statistics, or relevant amusing anecdotes for an engaging opening paragraph for your persuasive essay.
Body of the essay
The body paragraphs are your real playground, and you get to construct them in accordance with the arguments that are to be presented for substantiating your claims about the chosen stance. It is important to remember that the body paragraphs should each contain one logical reasoning for your argument and evidence to support it in the form of statistics, facts, and external references. The body of the essay should ideally be about three paragraphs long with all the facts supporting your claim laid out logically and coherently, together forming an argumentative stance with clarity. Place the supporting details for your argument within each paragraph in the body of the essay logically and create linking sentences that ensure a smooth transition between the paragraphs.
Expert Tip: Compose the linking sentences as opening lines for each body paragraph at first. This way, you can ensure a smooth transition from one piece of evidence that supports your argument and the next one.
The opposing paragraph, placed between the body of the essay and the conclusion, is for presenting all the counter-arguments to your argument and refuting them logically along with supporting evidence. Showing all the opposing arguments in one paragraph, you will need to be at your argumentative best for this one. You must, at first, understand the opposing views to your stance and create a logical structure in your mind about how to refute those arguments using your argumentative skills as well as supporting evidence that justifies your claims. In case there are too many views that oppose your stance, choose the most compelling one(s) and construct your opposing paragraph around that. The purpose of this paragraph is to present the counter-arguments in a way that they are in contrast to your point of view and show the reader through your presentation of the argument why they can be refuted and the reason that yours has an extra edge over them.
Expert Tip: The most logically accepted way to go about refuting an argument is to present contrasting evidence that helps you to find inconsistencies or loopholes that leave a place for further explanation within the opposing views.
In conclusion, your persuasive essay summarizes your argument by restating it along with some of the central points of your logical perspective. You must not introduce new lines of argument in the concluding paragraph as its purpose is to review and summarize the entire essay in a few sentences along with a closing sentence that strikes a chord with your readers. You will need to go over your entire essay and identify the central points that must be mentioned in the concluding paragraph while summarising the essay. Your concluding paragraph must also state the thesis question containing your stance on the issue along with the important lines of argument that support the stance. Apart from the concise and accurate summary, your concluding paragraph must contain a call to action in the closing sentence. In the closing line, you must encourage the reader to delve deep into the topic through further study or present a situation that demands prompt action.
Expert Tip: The closing sentence should either encourage the reader to study further about the topic, predict an outcome that requires immediate action, or recommend to them some ideas that they can put into use in line with your perspective about the argument.
Persuasive essay topic: Cyberbullying
For your persuasive essay on cyberbullying, here is a compilation of the 12 best articles found on the Internet that will help you in your research and back up as supporting evidence for your argument. No matter which stance you choose, there is something for every perspective in the following 12 articles curated from all over the Internet as valid and credible secondary sources of information for your persuasive essay on cyberbullying. If you decide to take help from the web links mentioned below, be sure to include them in your references following the prescribed format – the same goes for any citations that you might take from the links provided.
Articles on “What is cyberbullying?”
Having an in-depth analysis of what cyberbullying is and the many definitions by psychologists as well as sociologists alike, the following articles provide invaluable insights into understanding the true nature and gravity of the menace that is cyberbullying, along with a clear overview of the topic. The following are the links and the titles of the articles for the definitions of cyberbullying.
https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/index.html - What is Cyberbullying
http://www.ncpc.org/topics/cyberbullying/what-is-cyberbullying - What is Cyberbullying?
Articles on “Reasons behind cyberbullying”
Expert opinions on the reasons that people cyberbully and why it is on the rise with every passing day are analyzed and discussed in the following articles. The grave matter has been discussed from the perspectives of the bullies as well as the victims and sheds light on the intricacies that lie behind the reasons for cyberbullying. The following are the links along with the titles of the articles on the reasons for cyberbullying.
http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/why_do_kids_cyberbully_each_other.html - Why do kids cyberbully each other?
http://endcyberbullying.net/why-do-people-cyberbully/ - Why do people cyberbully?
For your persuasive essay on the treatments of cyberbullying, you can refer to the following articles that, in addition to explaining the meaning and nature of the menace, also provide suggestions for the treatment. The argumentative stance that stands out from this perspective is what kind of treatment and for who, or whether such treatment suggestions are viable at all. The following are the links to articles on the treatment of cyberbullying and their titles.
https://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/academics/communications/research/vol3no1/04doneganejspring12.pdf - Bullying, and Cyberbullying: History, Statistics, Law, Prevention and Analysis
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/social-media-cyber-bullying-linked-to-teen-depression/ - Social Media Cyber Bullying Linked to Teen Depression
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273788.php - Cyberbullying ‘causes suicidal thoughts in kids more than traditional bullying
Articles on “How to prevent cyberbullying”
The articles on the ways to prevent cyberbullying also present a plethora of argumentative stances for your persuasive essay on the same topic. Suggesting ways to prevent cyberbullying, these articles call for further study and detailed discussion on the topic that gives rise to the question: is it entirely preventable? The following are the links to the informative articles dealing with the prevention of cyberbullying and their respective titles.
https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1053892.pdf - Cyberbullying: Resources for Intervention and Prevention
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d27d/47c9add136150ec0f96edcf08ade223e3d2b.pdf - Cyberbullying: Intervention and Prevention Strategies
http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/bullying-cyberbullying/c/strategies-and-resources.html - Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention Strategies and Resources
A pertinent topic that has made its way to the global stage (literally, as it was a topic for the question and answer round for the Miss World pageant this year), cyberbullying is a social evil that has shown its ugly head all over the world, feeding on the terrorism strategies of hate and discrimination. Young and impressionable minds, especially teenagers are easy targets for bullies who go to extreme extents to make the lives of their victims a living hell. In the age of advanced telecommunication technologies and resources, going into the heart of the matter might be able to provide solutions to this menace.
In case you choose to cyberbully as your persuasive essay topic, you can take help from the online resources compiled here and keep in mind the tips that help you in composing a stellar essay that is sure to impress your professors. Good luck with the essay!
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