Higher Persuasive Essay Structure

  • Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.

Concluding Paragraph

  • Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.

2. Drafting the Persuasive Essay

When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions:

  • The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement. For example: “Driving while talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
  • The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
  • Each body paragraph should cover a separate point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer strong evidence in the form of facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-life examples.

The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing

  • Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
  • Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
  • The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action. The closing sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that implies urgent action is needed, a question that provokes readers to think seriously about the issue, or a recommendation that gives readers specific ideas on what they can do.

3. Revising the Persuasive Essay

In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:

  • Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
  • Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
  • Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
  • Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
  • Is the sentence structure varied? Is the word choice precise? Do the transitions between sentences and paragraphs help the reader’s understanding?
  • Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?

If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.

4. Editing the Persuasive Essay

Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.

5. Publishing the Persuasive Essay

Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.

Time4Writing Teaches Persuasive Essay Writing

Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher. We first introduce essay writing to students at the elementary level, with our Beginning Essay Writing course, where they will have an opportunity to write their first five-paragraph essay. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing essays, including the persuasive essay. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. Time4Writing’s online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s progress with Time4Writing’s online writing courses.

Persuasive Writing

Mr Yule’s Higher and Nat 5 Class

Writing Folio: Second piece – Broadly Discursive

Due in 2 stages:


Stage 1

An outline of your proposals and arguments by Friday 16th January 2015

There are 2 useful tools for this:




download “How to construct an argument” and use this: it’s at the bottom of this page:



Either of these tools will be very suitable as evidence of planning and creating your first draft.


It is an important part of this task that you use sources for research and refer to them in your essay and in the list of sources at the end.

Remember to keep a careful note of any sources: this must include the complete web page address if you are using the internet and the Author, Title, Publishing Company and page reference if using a book :

Yule, Ian : “How to succeed at English” (Hodder, 1975, p.12)

 If it is a newspaper or magazine article you must refer to the paper and the date if you have it:

Daily Mirror, November 12th 2014




Stage 2

A first draft by Friday 30th January 2015

Word Count:      Nat 5 No more than 1,000 words

                                Higher: No more than 1,300 words

There is a good guide to the structure of this essay at:



Success Criteria

The things which I will be looking out for which will indicate success are:


  • An interesting title
  • An interesting opening (eg anecdote, statistics, an example)
  • A clear thesis / stance which is sustained throughout the piece of writing
  • The use of different kinds of sentences to create effects

Rhetorical questions

Short sentences

Linking words / phrases / linking sentences

  • A sense of the writer’s personality / ownership of the topic / passion for it

Persuasive Language / Emotive Words / Striking evidence

  • Arguments which are supported by evidence / sources
  • An effective conclusion

Full circle to opening or title

An anecdote to illustrate the point

A clear summary of the main points perhaps finishing on a rhetorical

question which will keep the reader thinking

  • Very few technical errors (evidence of editing / proof reading)






The ‘Essential Articles’ series is an excellent resource available to the school. Our username is ‘Eyemouth’ and the password is ‘Harbour’






Find all the support materials you need for persuasive writing by dowloading the attached documents below:

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