Home / Blog / How to Start a Persuasive Essay: A Comprehensive Guide

The basic aim of writing a persuasive essay is to convince people of your viewpoint on a subject. You need to hook them with a well-written, interesting introduction that leads to a well-thought-out thesis statement. However, the best way to start a persuasive writing essay is to rely on the subject, your argument, and the people you want to convince. Moreover, you have to perform some research before you can write a great introduction. This way, you can ensure that your introduction aligns with the essay's needs, your case, and the people reading it. In this blog, we will learn how to start a persuasive essay effectively. Let’s get started!

What is the Purpose of an Introduction in a Persuasive Essay?

A well-written first paragraph grabs the reader's attention right away and gives them the background information they need to understand the topic of the paper. The persuasive essay introduction paragraph could include a short summary of the ideas that will be talked about in the body of the paper, along with other information that is important to the case of the paper. Looking at persuasive essay examples can provide insight into how to structure this effectively.

How to Start a Persuasive Essay? Step-by-Step Guide

To start writing a persuasive essay you have to follow some important steps.

  • Do Brainstorming & Outline Your Ideas
  • Crafting Your Essays’ Hook
  • Getting started with your topic and thesis
  • Try to Avoid Common Mistakes

How to Start a Persuasive Essay

Step 1: Do Brainstorming & Outline Your Ideas

Choose a Subject

If you want to choose your topic for a persuasive essay, consider the current events in which you are interested. Also, the events that are important to you, or that you want to explore more about. Additionally, you can get ideas for persuasive essays from the internet. You can also ask people you know for assistance. Pick a topic that is narrow and precise so that you can write from a clear point of view.

For instance, if you have to compose about juvenile crime, only pick a tiny part of it, like the practice of trying some teens as adults in some scenarios.
  • Pick a subject in which you are interested. It will be a lot more fun to write the article that way!
  • Moreover, if you are composing a class essay, sending it to a politician, or sending it to a newspaper, for example, the subject of your essay might already be set.

Choose an Interesting Viewpoint To Write About.

Start to think about what you are trying to tell related to the subject once you have picked it. Why do you care so much about it? What do you think should be done about this topic or problem? Think of all the different points of view and pick the one that interests you the most or that fits best with what you already believe.
Think about the problem you are analyzing. Also, think about the importance of the issue and why other people must care about it. It will be easy to frame your argument once you identify it.

For instance, if your subject is related to factory farming, you could say that the farms release a lot of methane gas. This gas contributes to climate change and the worldwide trend of weather that is becoming less predictable and more violent. It could be seen as a problem for both public safety and the environment.

Search for evidence to support your claim.

To learn more about your subject, do research on it online as well as with the help of the library. While you read, make notes about any proof you may use or arguments that begin to form. The majority of this research won't be used in your introduction for a persuasive essay, but getting to know it now will help you figure out the best ways to do so.

  • Do not use regular search engines, but instead use academic search engines like Google Scholar, EBSCO, or JSTOR. Also, make sure to use reliable sites like news sites as well as .edu URLs.

Support your position with three to five examples.

As you read through your study, start putting together pieces of evidence that back up the strongest and most accurate arguments you see. This information can attract the reader's sense of logos, ethos or pathos in a persuasive essay.

  • In the first line, you'll give hints about your evidence, so it is crucial to learn what it is before you begin writing.
  • When someone reads information, they want to believe it if it belongs to a reliable source. For instance, if you are composing an essay about suicide, you could use works or quotes from doctors or people who care for people at the end of their lives who have direct experience with it.
  • If you're writing an argument to get people to use less water, a piece of proof that makes sense could be, "Using a lot of water leads to more resource waste and an increase in your utility bill."  
An example of persuasive writing that could be used to encourage people to adopt shelter animals is this: "Milo, who is a golden retriever puppy. He was rescued on the roadside when he was only 4 weeks old." If he doesn't find a new home soon, he will have to be put down because his shelter is too full.

Come up with a thesis statement.

After you have done some initial research, go back to the angle you picked out and, if you can, include it. It must be written down in one to two short, concise statements that provide a clue about the evidence you will subsequently present. Moreover, this is a rough draft of your persuasive essay thesis statement.

Example:

If you choose the idea that the death penalty must be illegal everywhere, you could turn that into a thesis statement like, "The death penalty should be illegal everywhere for both humanitarian and crime-preventing reasons."

Make an Outline of your thoughts.

Your paper will be well arranged and organized if you create a persuasive essay outline before you start composing. One paragraph for introduction, three paragraphs should be your proof, and the last paragraph should be your conclusion. To plan out what you want to include, write down bullet points and short sentences for each part.

  • You can make your paper longer than this but don't make it too short. Doing so will prevent you from including all of the necessary evidence.
  • It's up to you whether you want to use Roman numerals, regular numbers, or bullet points to organize your plan.

Step 2: Crafting Your Essays’ Hook

To get people interested, use a shocking fact or quote. At the beginning of your essay, a hook is made up of a few sentences that grab the reader's attention and explain why your point is important. To do this, you could begin with an interesting fact or quote about your subject that will surprise the reader. Choose a statistic or quote that, in just one sentence, will captivate the reader and make them want to keep reading.

For Instance

"The US has the world's highest prison population." In China, the number of people in prison is 25% smaller than in the next closest country.

If you use this method, don't forget to give a short, one-sentence reason for including it. Do not begin with a quote or fact and then go right into your past information.

Use a brief narrative to explain the issue.

Wondering how to write an introduction paragraph for a persuasive essay? You must start with a story. A story is a great way to get people interested in an essay that will rely on strong emotional reasons. On the other hand, it can be a good way to make a topic that isn't very human or approachable feel more personal. One option is to provide an example using a short narrative format, while another is to relate a personal story.

You can add this, “The first time Joseph Creedwell was transferred to a juvenile correctional center, he was just fourteen years old," in a paper about changing the way the juvenile justice system works. What was his crime? Acquiring a gum pack from the store located over the street near his school.

First, ensure that this style works for the first-person story if you're using a personal story. Ask your teacher if it's an assignment.

Start with a broad notion, then get particular.

It feels normal to write and read essays that start with a broad view and then get more specific as you go along. This helps the reader get into your paper more easily. As an alternative, you can begin with a small example and gradually build up to a more general point.

You can write like, " Prior to the discovery of the critical role water plays in human survival, people knew how important this resource was, and even how holy it was." in an essay about saving water.

Don't use overused phrases like " "From the very beginning" or "However, according to the dictionary, _______ is..."

Ask a rhetorical inquiry to provoke thought.

The best way to start a persuasive essay is to ask a question that makes people think to get them to read on. Asking a question at the start of your persuasive essay is a direct method to get the reader involved and make them think about what you are writing about. It sounds natural as well as interesting to start. However, make sure you pick a query or question that makes you think, not one with a clear answer.

For example: In an article about protecting animals, you might say something like, " A lot of people are aware that animal species are becoming extinct, but have you ever considered how much of them have gone since your birth?"

First, offer a counterargument, then do something fascinating.

To make a move that is interesting, start with a counterargument. If you want to make your essay more interesting, start with a counterargument. This can convey the impression that you are a thoughtful and fair writer even before you provide evidence. Moreover, this method works well for subjects that make people feel strong emotions and about which readers already have strong feelings.

For instance: You could say something like, “Euthanasia advocates believe it's a gentle and painless way to end a life, and they're right." in an argument against euthanasia.

Step 3: Getting started with your topic and thesis

One to two sentences that describe your idea.

Now that you grabbed the readers’ attention, you have to explain what your persuasive essay topic is and its significance. Just quickly describe the goal of the idea, why it's essential, and why people should listen.

In an essay against the death penalty, you might say something like, "The death penalty has a very small direct effect on the population as a whole, but it has much larger effects on the individual's family as well as friends. It also effects the people who read and hear about it." Even more than that, the death penalty says something about the culture we live in.

Share any relevant background.

If no one informs you otherwise, presume your audience knows little about the topic. You can fill in the gaps with facts, context, or other evidence to support your case. The reader may now gauge your effort and prepare for what follows.

In an argumentative essay about gun control, you might say something like, “It has been a long and rough time for gun control rules in the US. To understand the current state of weapons law, it is important to know how they have gone through cycles of growth and decline.”

Background information can be anywhere from two to three lines long, depending on the type of paper you are writing.

Make your point of view clear in your thesis statement.

Your persuasive essay thesis statement tells the reader what you think about the topic, what's at risk, and how, the given facts, you propose resolving the issue. A short essay might be one to two lines long, but longer ones might be longer. To show people what you think and why, ensure to use the most powerful, concise, and obvious terms available to you.

Start your essay body with an evidence hint.

If you want to, you can give hints about the proof you will be adding later in the persuasive essay, especially in the first body line, either in or after your thesis statement. This makes it easy for the essay to flow from your introduction to the proof that supports your points.

If you want to support euthanasia in an essay, you could say something like, “Patients with painful, terminal diseases are the best examples of how euthanasia works.”

You might place this type of statement at the beginning of the first body paragraph or at the conclusion of the introduction.

Step 4: Try to Avoid Common Mistakes

mistakes to avoid in persuasive essay writing

Avoid proof in the introduction.

Your proof is strong as well as interesting, so it makes sense that you want to start right away! But you should save the most in-depth explanations of your points of view and studies of your proof for the body paragraphs. This lets you focus on getting the reader interested in the topic right away and keeps you from giving away your ideas before you have enough evidence to back them up.

For example

It is acceptable to include intriguing information in a paper opposing drunk driving, for instance: "Every two minutes, someone gets injured during a drunk driving accident." However, do not elaborate on that fact by stating, for example, that "everyone knows someone who has been impacted by a drunk driving accident, showing the problem's broad effects." One result is that people are losing interest in the issue altogether in many regions. “Police officers say that..."

Say what you mean clearly but softly.

Feel free to be direct and clear when making your point. Your thesis statement and major argument should be easy for the reader to see. Be careful not to make it obvious. This can disturb the writing flow, which makes reading it less satisfying as well as less convincing. Rather, be strong without being rude. Without being overly dramatic, this will let the reader know that they have reached a crucial sentence.

For example, write not, "This essay will demonstrate that..." or "I am trying to prove that..." These sentences are often confusing and do not add anything to the writing.

Leave out unnecessary things

Sometimes a lot of past information is needed, but make sure that every piece of information you include is important for persuasion. If you include an excessive amount of data in your persuasive essay writing, it will appear unfocused and dull.

For instance, a fact you learned about how bees fly might be interesting, but it has nothing to do with your paper on the reasons behind the need for bee population protection worldwide.

Avoid welcomes that are too general.

When writing an introduction for a generalist essay, it can feel natural and believable at times but don't make it too broad. Moreover, you are not writing a persuasive essay to make people agree with you on something—you're trying to get people to take a certain position on an issue.
If you're writing an essay related to vegetarianism, don't say something like, “From the dawn of time, humans have hunted, slaughtered, and consumed meat. Maybe so but it doesn't add anything new to the essay or connect with the reader.

Final Thoughts

It takes careful planning and attention to detail to write an interesting introduction for a persuasive essay. By using the four steps in this how to write a persuasive essay guide, you can write an introduction that grabs readers' attention, sets the scene for your case, and keeps them reading.
If you're struggling to craft a persuasive essay introduction, you can buy persuasive essays online for quick assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is a good starting sentence for a persuasive essay?

Ans.  Here are some good ways to start a persuasive essay:

  • I must say that…..
  • I strongly believe that……..
  • It is quite obvious…….

Q2: How do you write an introduction for a persuasive essay?

Ans. To write a persuasive essay introduction, follow the following steps:

  • Choose a topic
  • Pick a relevant hook
  • Give background
  • Compose a thesis statement
  • Stay persuasive
  • Revise and edit

Q3: How to start a persuasive essay without using the word I?

Ans. Instead of starting with 'I,' consider using a different approach, such as 'you,' to kick off a persuasive essay. For example, 'You may believe that the death penalty is justified, but I argue that it is fundamentally flawed.

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