13.2: The Structure of a Persuasive Essay
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The following five features make up backbone of an effective persuasive essay:
- Introduction and thesis
- Opposing and qualifying ideas
- Strong evidence in support of claim
- Style and tone
- A compelling conclusion
Creating an Introduction and Thesis
The persuasive essay begins with an engaging introduction that presents the general topic. The thesis typically appears toward the end of the introduction and states the writer’s point of view.
Avoid forming a thesis based on a negative claim. For example, “The hourly minimum wage is not high enough for the average worker to live on.” This is probably a true statement, but persuasive arguments should make a positive case. That is, the thesis statement should focus on how the hourly minimum wage is low or insufficient. For example, “The hourly minimum wage should be raised in order to sufficiently meet worker’s basic needs. Additionally, a thesis is not a statement of fact or a question. Rather, it explores a position about a given topic.