The Study Dude—Ten Steps to an A-Grade Persuasive Essay

The Study Dude—Ten Steps to an A-Grade Persuasive Essay

Writing persuasive essays mean you pick a side, defend it, and fight off naysayers.  In grad studies, the naysayer may be your supervisor.  In the undergrad, it’s your professor.  Make these people happy with your persuasive papers and academic stardom comes easy.

Here are 10 steps to help create A-grade persuasive essays according to EssayShark:

The curious and wise choose a great topic.

“1.  Dedicate your time for choosing a topic.  The topic should be attractive, relevant, and maximally original.  Writing on this topic should be a pleasure for you!” (25%).

But please be cautious: Your topic needs enough support in the literature to be worthwhile pursuing.  Once a professor assigned us to write a paper, fully cited, contrasting two poems.  But when the class went to tackle the assignment, the literature was thin.

I sought hard for a poem that had lots of supporting literature.  And I did well—merely because I was a first mover.  But, unfortunately, most of the class ended up without substantial support.  So, the professor redefined the assignment and extended the deadline.

Brainstorms will brighten the grades.

“2.  Brainstorm a little bit.  You should carefully think about several ideas to write about.  Additionally, you can create a plan of developing those ideas and choosing the most appropriate organization of your essay” (25%).

You could start with very general topics and narrow them down into more specific topics.  A great way to develop your topics is to scour indexes of books on each topic.  From the index, compile subtopics that you could group together into themes.

For example, a theme, such as “negative consequences of anger” could have three subthemes: “anger in parenting leads to dysfunctional children,” “anger leads to higher rates of divorce,” and “anger harms the health of the angered person.” An opposing argument could be that venting is believed to hold value, which you could refute with studies on how venting backfires.

Kick-fannies with peer-reviewed sources.

“3.  Find supplementary readings.  Writing on a topic you’re not knowledgeable about will not be persuasive, that is why it is critically important to carry out extensive academic research, select relevant, peer-reviewed sources, and then read them and choose the arguments to be used in your thesis statement” (25%).

Start with doing a Wikipedia search on your topic, just to get some keywords for you to search in your university library.  The Wikipedia keywords are in bold font.

Try to link the keywords to themes that you could turn into arguments.  Once you have this skeleton (which you can always change as you go), then download at least fifteen articles.  Skim the articles, highlighting anything that relates to your arguments, plus anything that whets your intrigue.  Those little tidbits of intrigue might be buildable into a gripping argument.  Why not have fun with writing a paper?

Let’s get busy with the best ideas.

“4.  Select the most convincing idea.  Go through the arguments you chose for further analysis and find the most powerful idea.  The same you should do with the most convincing opposing idea.  Establish connections between your position and the counter-argument and start planning your essay” (26%).

The arguments you choose should hold power and pizzazz.  If you ever go into a thesis defence during grad studies, you might have a conflictual professor throw out counter arguments, hoping to fail you.  Yes, bad blood can reign in grad school.  Pretend that professor is the opposing view in your paper, and defend accordingly.  You’ll win with a solid defence.  Convince them with your best ideas.

An outline is your best friend.

5.  “Create an outline. Organize your evidence to develop the most successful persuasive strategy. Remember the typical structure of an argumentative essay includes five or six paragraphs, including the following points:” (26%).

“a.  Introduction (“hook” + background information + thesis statement)” (26%).

“b.  Body paragraphs (topic sentence + supporting evidence)” (26%).

“c.  Paragraph with opposing view (concession statement + description of the view + counter-argument)” (26%).

“d.  Conclusion (restating the thesis statement + brief summary of the paper + personal comment)” (26%).

You could use MS Word’s “outline view” to write your outline, or you could use physical cue cards.  Personally, I enjoyed writing quotes on cue cards and sorting through them.  But with e-books and digital articles, it’s so much easier to copy and paste a quote into MS Word.

Please introduce us.

“6.  Write an introduction.  Indicate precisely what you are writing about, not overwhelming the paragraph with unnecessary details.  Put the subject of your research (thesis statement) into the last sentence of the introduction, following the ideas from the outline” (26%).

With introductions, you’ve got 30 seconds to make your great impression, so starting an introduction with a zinger makes you shine: a poignant question, startling fact, shocking quotation, hilarious anecdote.  Oh, there’s so many zingers you can knead into your first line.

And then lead into a wow-factor thesis.  Letting the thesis cover three key arguments and one opposing view could heat up your paper nicely.  That’s because the human brain loves sets of three things—not two, not four, not six, three.  Even still life painters aim for three items; three makes for more appealing compositions.

Your paper’s got perfect body paragraphs.

“7.  Body paragraphs.  Start each paragraph with presenting one particular point of view.  Use the evidence (quotes, examples, statistics) to support the arguments from the thesis.  Write one or two paragraphs about the opposing ideas and use your arguments to refute it” (26%).

Just make sure every argument you have holds many citations from the literature.  And mix up the types: quotes, examples, and statistics (as stated above).  Try to make your arguments as parallel as possible if you want a clean paper.  For instance, if you start an argument with an intro and then a quote, but end with a statistic, try to keep this formula for each argument.  It’s not necessary, but it’ll make your paper super clean.  Who doesn’t love reading a tidy paper?

Make them like your conclusion so much, they want it inscribed on their tombstones.

“8.  Conclusion.  Use one of the elements of persuasive writing … (quotation, recommendation, question, prediction) and make your conclusion irresistible!” (26%).

An intro needs a zinger, but so does a conclusion.  Try to grab hold of your most controversial argument and use it like a firework display in your closing sentence.  Conclude with the loudest bang for the greatest impression.

I think, therefore revise.

“9.  Revise your paper.  In this phase, you should reorganize and modify your paper if it is necessary” (26%).

Hopefully, the outline made way for little need for revision.  But occasionally, a sentence sounds off or a chunk feels forced.  Shift these sore spots elsewhere and build on them—or delete them.

You’ve always got time for a proofread.

“10.  Proofread the paper and correct the mistakes” (27%).

Do three proofreads, one to two days in between each proof.  That’s because you can see your errors more clearly after a two-day break.  Budget a week’s time for your proofread.

A little secret is that A papers have not a single spelling or grammatical error.  That’s the first thing I learned at university.  And, if this info was new, I hope this tip helps elevate your grades.

So that’s the wrap on how to get A-grade persuasive essays.  I hope I persuaded you to the point in which you’re aiming for the academic stars.  Who agrees that Galileo’s footsteps would be fun to walk in?

EssayShark.  (2017).  Essay Becomes Easy Part I Analysis * Persuasive * Classification * Evaluation Reflective * Narrative * Compare and Contrast Essays.  [Kindle Unlimited].  Retrieved from
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