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How to write a strong persuasive essay: sticking to the point

Writing a strong persuasive essay requires you to stick to your point. That means you must present your argument in a clear fashion and not digress at any point during your paper.  If you are writing a cause and effect paper, you should keep the following notes in mind.

  1. It is important to remember the purpose of your paper. Decide whether you are writing to inform your readers of a cause and/or effect, or whether you are writing to persuade them.
  2. When you start writing, you should focus on the direct causes (or effects), in other words: the ones that are most immediate. Limit yourself while writing your causes to the ones which are most close at hand and most closely related, rather than the indirect or remote causes that might be indirectly related or occur later.
  3. You can strengthen the essay by offering supporting evidence. This might mean:
    • Providing facts
    • Offering statistics
    • Including examples
    • Providing anecdotes
    • Including personal observations

    All of these should be evidence that supports your ideas.

  4. Qualify your statements with clear evidence. If you have a statement that lacks clear evidence, then limit it or remove it entirely. Remember that you can use language such as:
  • “Evidence indicates…”
  • “It is likely…”
  • “The available evidence suggests…”
  • “It seems the cause was…”

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of your essay, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What were the causes?
  2. What were the effects?
  3. Which of these two should be emphasized?
  4. Was there a single cause or are there multiple causes?
  5. Was there a single effect or are there multiple effects?
  6. Does a chain reaction exist?

Remember that selecting a topic for your paper can be challenging. So if you are stuck, look over these examples and see what you find most interesting:

  • Changes in our oceans
  • The effects of the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Causes of the popularity of fast food in America
  • The effects of internet on children
  • The effects of pollution

It is best that you select an essay topic that is important to you, something about which you have passion. When choosing your topic, something that you care about will result in an essay that is more successful and interesting to the reader.

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