2. Start with a general statement in your essay introduction and move toward your thesis statement. This is a tried and true method; it can be a little dull, but it’s effective. You might write an introduction to a persuasive essay about charter schools with a general statement like “Most parents want their children to get a good education.” Then you could make some statement defining what a good education is and conclude with a thesis statement: “Charter schools provide a great option for improving educational outcomes” or “Charter schools rob the public system of needed funds for education.”
Also see How to write a great thesis statement.3. Use a statistic. “Two out of three people believe essay writing is a waste of time.” This may or may not be true, but next you could start by defining whether or not it is a waste of time and if so, suggest another way of teaching writing skills. It’s helpful if you can find a source for statistics. So an essay that begins “According to the United Nations” and a statistic will have a good impact on the reader.
4. Say the opposite of what you intend to prove. In a persuasive essay, this is a rhetorical trap to lure readers into doubting the opposite argument. When you begin a persuasive essay with an introduction that suggests the opposite of your thesis statement you can expose logical fallacies that other people might believe. This is called “framing the argument.” You challenge the way of thinking that people have whose minds you want to change. If you are arguing for the benefits of playing video games, you might begin by stating “Playing video games dulls the mind.” This is going to get people who are against video games to be sympathetic to you. Next you might start showing that video games enhance hand-eye coordination. You might talk about the importance of logic in role playing games. You might talk about cooperation in multiplayer games. You can even talk about physical activity in games using Wii or Kinnect. And the future is potentially even more physically active for video game players.
5. Quote from the best source you can find on the topic. This has to be directly related to your topic, unlike the first suggestion. This is really putting you best foot forward which can be persuasive, but also means that everything to follow will be weaker. Sometimes, if you have found a great source, you can quote it at the beginning of your essay and use the whole essay to show that they were exactly right. This can be effective in a literary essay because once you have an expert’s opinion on a literary work, you can then use the literary work and your own skills to prove your point. Of course the point of writing about a literary work is to impress your teacher and get a good mark. It shows your teacher that you have done some research and that you also have a good grasp of the literary work itself.
By Peter J. Francis, HGPublishing Editor
Check out How to Write a Great Conclusion
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