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While the organization and structure described in this handout are necessary components of an effective persuasive essay, keep in mind that writing itself is a fluid process. There are no steadfast rules that you need to adhere to as you write. Simply because the introduction is the first paragraph in your essay does not mean that you must write this paragraph before any other. Think of the act of writing as an exploration of ideas, and let this sense of exploration guide you as you write your essay.
A persuasive essay is an essay used to convince a reader about a particular idea or focus, usually one that you believe in. Your persuasive essay could be based on anything about which you have an opinion. Whether you're arguing against junk food at school or petitioning for a raise from your boss, the persuasive essay is a skill that everyone should know.
A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that describes a particular perspective and provides evidence in support of that perspective. While similar to an argumentative essay, the logic of a persuasive essay can be based on emotion rather than substantiated evidence, and it does not need to take the counter argument into account. Whether you are writing an essay for a composition class, or you are sending a letter to a newspaper editor, having a carefully crafted argument with solid evidence will make your writing more convincing and effective.