What Is A Persuasive Essay: A Basic Manual For Middle School Students


Middle school can seem miles away from the comfort of primary school. Suddenly you are expected to start tackling grown up tasks like writing a persuasive essay when all you want to do is play in the sandpit or make models out of cereal boxes. However, life is a journey and as we move through it we have to start picking up more complicated tasks. Writing a persuasive essay is helpful on numerous accounts:

  • It teaches you the fundamentals of essay writing
  • It helps develop your debating skills
  • It helps you crystalize and explain a particular topic
  • It eases you gently into the academic world

So, in case you are still finding this all a little harder than you thought here is a basic manual for middle school students:

A persuasive essay is:

A means of expressing your opinion and convincing your reader of a particular viewpoint

How do you write it?

  • Pick a great topic. Chances are your teacher will leave you to your own devices and will either give you a long list to choose from or give you a complete free reign.
  • Decide which side of the argument you are going to take – This is REALLY important. Understanding and being able to consistently articulate your argument throughout is way more important at this stage than it being grammatically correct. Your teacher is likely to overlook a few small errors, but will have to mark down any holes in the argument.
  • Ensure it has a beginning, middle and end – In simple terms this is the core formula for every essay that you will ever write. Period. Your essay should have a strong introduction, a solid argument and a nicely rounded conclusion.

What else do I need to know?

Ideally you will need to have some interest in the subject matter. You are very young, and have probably not yet learned the art of writing about subject matters that you hate. If you are enthusiastic about your topic then this will shine through in your writing. Having some prior knowledge will eliminate the need to have to do in-depth research and will therefore free you up to really work on and refine your argument.

Be prepared to rework it as many times as is needed to get it spot on. This is an essential skill and getting into the habit of doing this early will stand you in good stead for the future.

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