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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 perfect persuasive essay topics for any assignment.
Do you need to write a persuasive essay but aren’t sure what topic to focus on? Were you thrilled when your teacher said you could write about whatever you wanted but are now overwhelmed by the possibilities? We’re here to help!
Read on for a list of 113 top-notch persuasive essay topics, organized into ten categories. To help get you started, we also discuss what a persuasive essay is, how to choose a great topic, and what tips to keep in mind as you write your persuasive essay.
What Is a Persuasive Essay?
In a persuasive essay, you attempt to convince readers to agree with your point of view on an argument. For example, an essay analyzing changes in Italian art during the Renaissance wouldn’t be a persuasive essay, because there’s no argument, but an essay where you argue that Italian art reached its peak during the Renaissance would be a persuasive essay because you’re trying to get your audience to agree with your viewpoint.
Persuasive and argumentative essays both try to convince readers to agree with the author, but the two essay types have key differences. Argumentative essays show a more balanced view of the issue and discuss both sides. Persuasive essays focus more heavily on the side the author agrees with. They also often include more of the author’s opinion than argumentative essays, which tend to use only facts and data to support their argument.
All persuasive essays have the following:
- Introduction: Introduces the topic, explains why it’s important, and ends with the thesis.
- Thesis: A sentence that sums up what the essay be discussing and what your stance on the issue is.
- Reasons you believe your side of the argument: Why do you support the side you do? Typically each main point will have its own body paragraph.
- Evidence supporting your argument: Facts or examples to back up your main points. Even though your opinion is allowed in persuasive essays more than most other essays, having concrete examples will make a stronger argument than relying on your opinion alone.
- Conclusion: Restatement of thesis, summary of main points, and a recap of why the issue is important.
What Makes a Good Persuasive Essay Topic?
Theoretically, you could write a persuasive essay about any subject under the sun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Certain topics are easier to write a strong persuasive essay on, and below are tips to follow when deciding what you should write about.
It’s a Topic You Care About
Obviously, it’s possible to write an essay about a topic you find completely boring. You’ve probably done it! However, if possible, it’s always better to choose a topic that you care about and are interested in. When this is the case, you’ll find doing the research more enjoyable, writing the essay easier, and your writing will likely be better because you’ll be more passionate about and informed on the topic.
You Have Enough Evidence to Support Your Argument
Just being passionate about a subject isn’t enough to make it a good persuasive essay topic, though. You need to make sure your argument is complex enough to have at least two potential sides to root for, and you need to be able to back up your side with evidence and examples. Even though persuasive essays allow your opinion to feature more than many other essays, you still need concrete evidence to back up your claims, or you’ll end up with a weak essay.
For example, you may passionately believe that mint chocolate chip ice cream is the best ice cream flavor (I agree!), but could you really write an entire essay on this? What would be your reasons for believing mint chocolate chip is the best (besides the fact that it’s delicious)? How would you support your belief? Have enough studies been done on preferred ice cream flavors to support an entire essay? When choosing a persuasive essay idea, you want to find the right balance between something you care about (so you can write well on it) and something the rest of the world cares about (so you can reference evidence to strengthen your position).
It’s a Manageable Topic
Bigger isn’t always better, especially with essay topics. While it may seem like a great idea to choose a huge, complex topic to write about, you’ll likely struggle to sift through all the information and different sides of the issue and winnow them down to one streamlined essay. For example, choosing to write an essay about how WWII impacted American life more than WWI wouldn’t be a great idea because you’d need to analyze all the impacts of both the wars in numerous areas of American life. It’d be a huge undertaking. A better idea would be to choose one impact on American life the wars had (such as changes in female employment) and focus on that. Doing so will make researching and writing your persuasive essay much more feasible.
List of 113 Good Persuasive Essay Topics
Below are over 100 persuasive essay ideas, organized into ten categories. When you find an idea that piques your interest, you’ll choose one side of it to argue for in your essay. For example, if you choose the topic, “should fracking be legal?” you’d decide whether you believe fracking should be legal or illegal, then you’d write an essay arguing all the reasons why your audience should agree with you.
- Should students be required to learn an instrument in school?
- Did the end of Game of Thrones fit with the rest of the series?
- Can music be an effective way to treat mental illness?
- With e-readers so popular, have libraries become obsolete?
- Are the Harry Potter books more popular than they deserve to be?
- Should music with offensive language come with a warning label?
- What’s the best way for museums to get more people to visit?
- Should students be able to substitute an art or music class for a PE class in school?
- Are the Kardashians good or bad role models for young people?
- Should people in higher income brackets pay more taxes?
- Should all high school students be required to take a class on financial literacy?
- Is it possible to achieve the American dream, or is it only a myth?
- Is it better to spend a summer as an unpaid intern at a prestigious company or as a paid worker at a local store/restaurant?
- Should the United States impose more or fewer tariffs?
- Should college graduates have their student loans forgiven?
- Should restaurants eliminate tipping and raise staff wages instead?
- Should students learn cursive writing in school?
- Which is more important: PE class or music class?
- Is it better to have year-round school with shorter breaks throughout the year?
- Should class rank be abolished in schools?
- Should students be taught sex education in school?
- Should students be able to attend public universities for free?
- What’s the most effective way to change the behavior of school bullies?
- Are the SAT and ACT accurate ways to measure intelligence?
- Should students be able to learn sign language instead of a foreign language?
- Do the benefits of Greek life at colleges outweigh the negatives?
- Does doing homework actually help students learn more?
- Why do students in many other countries score higher than American students on math exams?
- Should parents/teachers be able to ban certain books from schools?
- What’s the best way to reduce cheating in school?
- Should colleges take a student’s race into account when making admissions decisions?
- Should there be limits to free speech?
- Should students be required to perform community service to graduate high school?
- Should convicted felons who have completed their sentence be allowed to vote?
- Should gun ownership be more tightly regulated?
- Should recycling be made mandatory?
- Should employers be required to offer paid leave to new parents?
- Are there any circumstances where torture should be allowed?
- Should children under the age of 18 be able to get plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons?
- Should white supremacy groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
- Does making abortion illegal make women more or less safe?
- Does foreign aid actually help developing countries?
- Are there times a person’s freedom of speech should be curtailed?
- Should people over a certain age not be allowed to adopt children?
- Should the minimum voting age be raised/lowered/kept the same?
- Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood?
- Should the United States build a border wall with Mexico?
- Who should be the next person printed on American banknotes?
- Should the United States’ military budget be reduced?
- Did China’s one child policy have overall positive or negative impacts on the country?
- Should DREAMers be granted US citizenship?
- Is national security more important than individual privacy?
- What responsibility does the government have to help homeless people?
- Should the electoral college be abolished?
- Should the US increase or decrease the number of refugees it allows in each year?
- Should privately-run prisons be abolished?
- Who was the most/least effective US president?
- Will Brexit end up helping or harming the UK?
- What’s the best way to reduce the spread of Ebola?
- Is the Keto diet a safe and effective way to lose weight?
- Should the FDA regulate vitamins and supplements more strictly?
- Should public schools require all students who attend to be vaccinated?
- Is eating genetically modified food safe?
- What’s the best way to make health insurance more affordable?
- What’s the best way to lower the teen pregnancy rate?
- Should recreational marijuana be legalized nationwide?
- Should birth control pills be available without a prescription?
- Should pregnant women be forbidden from buying cigarettes and alcohol?
- Why has anxiety increased in adolescents?
- Are low-carb or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
- What caused the destruction of the USS Maine?
- Was King Arthur a mythical legend or actual Dark Ages king?
- Was the US justified in dropping atomic bombs during WWII?
- What was the primary cause of the Rwandan genocide?
- What happened to the settlers of the Roanoke colony?
- Was disagreement over slavery the primary cause of the US Civil War?
- What has caused the numerous disappearances in the Bermuda triangle?
- Should nuclear power be banned?
- Is scientific testing on animals necessary?
- Do zoos help or harm animals?
- Should scientists be allowed to clone humans?
- Should animals in circuses be banned?
- Should fracking be legal?
- Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets?
- What’s the best way to reduce illegal poaching in Africa?
- What is the best way to reduce the impact of global warming?
- Should euthanasia be legalized?
- Is there legitimate evidence of extraterrestrial life?
- Should people be banned from owning aggressive dog breeds?
- Should the United States devote more money towards space exploration?
- Should the government subsidize renewable forms of energy?
- Is solar energy worth the cost?
- Should stem cells be used in medicine?
- Is it right for the US to leave the Paris Climate Agreement?
- Should athletes who fail a drug test receive a lifetime ban from the sport?
- Should college athletes receive a salary?
- Should the NFL do more to prevent concussions in players?
- Do PE classes help students stay in shape?
- Should horse racing be banned?
- Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
- Should children younger than 18 be allowed to play tackle football?
- Are the costs of hosting an Olympic Games worth it?
- Can online schools be as effective as traditional schools?
- Do violent video games encourage players to be violent in real life?
- Should facial recognition technology be banned?
- Does excessive social media use lead to depression/anxiety?
- Has the rise of translation technology made knowing multiple languages obsolete?
- Was Steve Jobs a visionary or just a great marketer?
- Should social media be banned for children younger than a certain age?
- Which 21st-century invention has had the largest impact on society?
- Are ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft good or bad for society?
- Should Facebook have done more to protect the privacy of its users?
- Will technology end up increasing or decreasing inequality worldwide?
Tips for Writing a Strong Persuasive Essay
After you’ve chosen the perfect topic for your persuasive essay, your work isn’t over. Follow the three tips below to create a top-notch essay.
Do Your Research
Your argument will fall apart if you don’t fully understand the issue you’re discussing or you overlook an important piece of it. Readers won’t be convinced by someone who doesn’t know the subject, and you likely won’t persuade any of them to begin supporting your viewpoint. Before you begin writing a single word of your essay, research your topic thoroughly. Study different sources, learn about the different sides of the argument, ask anyone who’s an expert on the topic what their opinion is, etc. You might be tempted to start writing right away, but by doing your research, you’ll make the writing process much easier when the time comes.
Make Your Thesis Perfect
Your thesis is the most important sentence in your persuasive essay. Just by reading that single sentence, your audience should know exactly what topic you’ll be discussing and where you stand on the issue. You want your thesis to be crystal clear and to accurately set up the rest of your essay. Asking classmates or your teacher to look it over before you begin writing the rest of your essay can be a big help if you’re not entirely confident in your thesis.
Consider the Other Side
You’ll spend most of your essay focusing on your side of the argument since that’s what you want readers to come away believing. However, don’t think that means you can ignore other sides of the issue. In your essay, be sure to discuss the other side’s argument, as well as why you believe this view is weak or untrue. Researching all the different viewpoints and including them in your essay will increase the quality of your writing by making your essay more complete and nuanced.
Summary: Persuasive Essay Ideas
Good persuasive essay topics can be difficult to come up with, but in this guide we’ve created a list of 113 excellent essay topics for you to browse. The best persuasive essay ideas will be those that you are interested in, have enough evidence to support your argument, and aren’t too complicated to be summarized in an essay.
After you’ve chosen your essay topic, keep these three tips in mind when you begin writing:
- Do your research
- Make your thesis perfect
- Consider the other side
Need ideas for a research paper topic as well? Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you.
Thinking about taking an AP English class? Read our guide on AP English classes to learn whether you should take AP English Language or AP English Literature (or both!)
Deciding between the SAT or ACT? Find out for sure which you will do the best on . Also read a detailed comparison between the two tests .
Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!
Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.
Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.
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How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps
WHAT IS A PERSUASIVE ESSAY?
A persuasive text presents a point of view around a topic or theme that is backed by evidence to support it.
The purpose of a persuasive text can be varied. Maybe you intend to influence someone’s opinion on a specific topic, or you might aim to sell a product or service through an advertisement.
The challenge in writing a good persuasive text is to use a mix of emotive language and, in some cases, images that are supported by hard evidence or other people’s opinions.
In a persuasive essay or argument essay, the student strives to convince the reader of the merits of their opinion or stance on a particular issue. The student must utilise several persuasive techniques to form a coherent and logical argument to convince the reader of a point of view or to take a specific action.
PERSUADING PEOPLE REQUIRES A CONSISTENT APPROACH…
Persuasive texts are simple in structure. You must clearly state your opinion around a specific topic and then repeatedly reinforce your opinions with external facts or evidence. A robust concluding summary should leave little doubt in the reader’s mind. ( Please view our planning tool below for a detailed explanation. )
TYPES OF PERSUASIVE TEXT
We cover the broad topic of writing a general persuasive essay in this guide, there are several sub-genres of persuasive texts students will encounter as they progress through school. We have complete guides on these text types, so be sure to click the links and read these in detail if required.
- Argumentative Essays – These are your structured “Dogs are better pets than Cats” opinion-type essays where your role is to upsell the positive elements of your opinions to your audience whilst also highlighting the negative aspects of any opposing views using a range of persuasive language and techniques.
- Advertising – Uses persuasive techniques to sell a good or service to potential customers with a call to action.
- Debating Speeches – A debate is a structured discussion between two teams on a specific topic that a moderator judges and scores. Your role is to state your case, sell your opinions to the audience, and counteract your opposition’s opinions.
- Opinion Articles, Newspaper Editorials. – Editorials often use more subtle persuasive techniques that blur the lines of factual news reporting and opinions that tell a story with bias. Sometimes they may even have a call to action at the end.
- Reviews – Reviews exist to inform others about almost any service or product, such as a film, restaurant, or product. Depending on your experiences, you may have firm opinions or not even care that much about recommending it to others. Either way, you will employ various persuasive techniques to communicate your recommendations to your audience.
- Please note a DISCUSSION essay is not a traditional persuasive text, as even though you are comparing and contrasting elements, the role of the author is to present an unbiased account of both sides so that the reader can make a decision that works best for them. Discussions are often confused as a form of persuasive writing.
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THE STRUCTURE OF A PERSUASIVE ESSAY
In the introduction, the student will naturally introduce the topic. Controversial issues make for great topics in this writing genre. It’s a cliche in polite society to discourage discussions involving politics, sex, or religion because they can often be very divisive. While these subjects may not be the best topics of conversation for the dinner table at Thanksgiving, they can be perfect when deciding on a topic for persuasive writing. Obviously, the student’s age and abilities should be considered, as well as cultural taboos, when selecting a topic for the essay. But the point holds, the more controversial, the better.
Let’s take a look at some of the critical elements of the introduction when writing a persuasive essay:
Title: Tell your audience what they are reading.
This will often be posed as a question; for example, if the essay is on the merits of a vegetarian lifestyle, it may be called something like: To Eat Meat or Not?
Hook : Provide your audience with a reason to continue reading.
As with any genre of writing, capturing the reader’s interest from the outset is crucial. There are several methods of doing this, known as hooks. Students may open their essays with anecdotes, jokes, quotations, or relevant statistics related to the topic under discussion.
Background: Provide some context to your audience.
In this introductory section, students will provide the reader with some background on the topic. This will place the issue in context and briefly weigh some opinions on the subject.
Thesis statement: Let the audience know your stance.
After surveying the topic in the first part of the introduction, it is now time for the student writer to express their opinion and briefly preview the points they will make later in the essay.
2. Body Paragraphs
The number of paragraphs forming this essay section will depend on the number of points the writer chooses to make to support their opinion. Usually three main points will be sufficient for beginning writers to coordinate. More advanced students can increase the number of paragraphs based on the complexity of their arguments, but the overall structure will largely remain intact.
Be sure to check out our complete guide to writing perfect paragraphs here .
The TEEL acronym is valuable for students to remember how to structure their paragraphs. Read below for a deeper understanding.
The topic sentence states the central point of the paragraph. This will be one of the reasons supporting the thesis statement made in the introduction.
These sentences will build on the topic sentence by illustrating the point further, often by making it more specific.
These sentences’ purpose is to support the paragraph’s central point by providing supporting evidence and examples. This evidence may be statistics, quotations, or anecdotal evidence.
The final part of the paragraph links back to the initial statement of the topic sentence while also forming a bridge to the next point to be made. This part of the paragraph provides some personal analysis and interpretation of how the student arrived at their conclusions and connects the essay as a cohesive whole.
The conclusion weaves together the main points of the persuasive essay. It does not usually introduce new arguments or evidence but instead reviews the arguments made already and restates them by summing them up uniquely. It is important at this stage to tie everything back to the initial thesis statement. This is the writer’s last opportunity to drive home their point, to achieve the essay’s goal, to begin with – persuade the reader of their point of view.
Ending an essay well can be challenging, but it is essential to end strongly, especially for persuasive essays. As with the hooks of the essay’s opening, there are many tried and tested methods of leaving the reader with a strong impression. Encourage students to experiment with different endings, for example, concluding the essay with a quotation that amplifies the thesis statement.
Another method is to have the student rework their ending in simple monosyllabic words, as simple language often has the effect of being more decisive in impact. The effect they are striving for in the final sentence is the closing of the circle.
Several persuasive writing techniques can be used in the conclusion and throughout the essay to amp up the persuasive power of the writing. Let’s take a look at a few.
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TIPS FOR WRITING A GREAT PERSUASIVE ESSAY
In this article, we have outlined a basic structure that will be helpful to students in approaching the organization of their persuasive writing. It will also be helpful for the students to be introduced to a few literary techniques that will help your students to present their ideas convincingly. Here are a few of the more common ones:
Repetition: There is a reason why advertisements and commercials are so repetitive – repetition works! Students can use this knowledge to their advantage in their persuasive writing. It is challenging to get the reader to fully agree with the writer’s opinion if they don’t fully understand it. Saying the same thing in various ways ensures the reader gets many bites at the ‘understanding’ cherry.
Repetition Example: “The use of plastic bags is not only bad for the environment, but it is also bad for our economy. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, meaning they will not decompose and will continue to take up space in landfills. Plastic bags are also not recyclable, meaning they will not be reused and will instead end up in landfills. Plastic bags are not only bad for the environment, but they are also bad for our economy as they are costly to dispose of and take up valuable space in landfills.”
In this example, the phrase “not only bad for the environment but also bad for our economy” is repeated multiple times to reinforce the idea that plastic bags are not just a problem for the environment but also the economy. The repetition of the phrase emphasizes the point and makes it more persuasive.
It is also important to note that repetition could be used differently, such as repeating a word or phrase to create rhythm or emphasis.
Storytelling: Humans tend to understand things better through stories. Think of how we teach kids important values through time-tested fables like Peter and the Wolf . Whether through personal anecdotes or references to third-person experiences, stories help climb down the ladder of abstraction and reach the reader on a human level.
Storytelling Example: “Imagine you are walking down the street, and you come across a stray dog clearly in need of food and water. The dog looks up at you with big, sad eyes, and you cannot help but feel a twinge of compassion. Now, imagine that same scenario, but instead of a stray dog, it’s a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk. The person is clearly in need of food and shelter, and their eyes also look up at her with a sense of hopelessness.
The point of this story is to show that just as we feel compelled to help a stray animal in need, we should also feel compelled to help a homeless person. We should not turn a blind eye to the suffering of our fellow human beings, and we should take action to address homelessness in our community. It is important to remember that everyone deserves a roof over their head and a warm meal to eat. The story is designed to elicit an emotional response in the reader and make the argument more relatable and impactful.
By using storytelling, this passage creates an image in the reader’s mind and creates an emotional connection that can be more persuasive than just stating facts and figures.
Dissent: We live in a cynical age, so leaving out the opposing opinion will smack of avoidance to the reader. Encourage your students to turn to that opposing viewpoint and deal with those arguments in their essays .
Dissent Example: “Many people argue that students should not have to wear uniforms in school. They argue that uniforms stifle creativity and individuality and that students should be able to express themselves through their clothing choices. While these are valid concerns, I strongly disagree.
In fact, uniforms can actually promote individuality by levelling the playing field and removing the pressure to dress in a certain way. Furthermore, uniforms can promote a sense of community and belonging within a school. They can also provide a sense of discipline and structure, which can help to create a more focused and productive learning environment. Additionally, uniforms can save families money and eliminate the stress of deciding what to wear daily .
While some may argue that uniforms stifle creativity and individuality, the benefits of uniforms far outweigh the potential drawbacks. It is important to consider the impact of uniforms on the school as a whole, rather than focusing solely on individual expression.”
In this example, the writer presents the opposing viewpoint (uniforms stifle creativity and individuality) and then provides counterarguments to refute it. By doing so, the writer can strengthen their own argument and present a more convincing case for why uniforms should be worn in school.
A Call to Action: A staple of advertising, a call to action can also be used in persuasive writing. When employed, it usually forms part of the conclusion section of the essay and asks the reader to do something, such as recycle, donate to charity, sign a petition etc.
A quick look around reveals to us the power of persuasion, whether in product advertisements, newspaper editorials, or political electioneering; persuasion is an ever-present element in our daily lives. Logic and reason are essential in persuasion, but they are not the only techniques. The dark arts of persuasion can prey on emotion, greed, and bias. Learning to write persuasively can help our students recognize well-made arguments and help to inoculate them against the more sinister manifestations of persuasion.
Call to Action Example: “Climate change is a pressing issue that affects us all, and it’s important that we take action now to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet for future generations. As a society, we have the power to make a difference and it starts with small changes that we can make in our own lives.
I urge you to take the following steps to reduce your carbon footprint:
- Reduce your use of single-use plastics
- Use public transportation, carpool, bike or walk instead of driving alone.
- Support clean energy sources such as solar and wind power
- Plant trees and support conservation efforts
It’s easy to feel like one person can’t make a difference, but the truth is that every little bit helps. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and for the planet.
So, let’s take action today and make a difference for a better future, it starts with minor changes, but it all adds up and can make a significant impact. We need to take responsibility for our actions and do our part to protect the planet.”
In this example, the writer gives a clear and specific call to action and encourages the reader to take action to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the planet. By doing this, the writer empowers the reader to take action and enables them to change.
Now, go persuade your students of the importance of perfecting the art of persuasive writing!
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20 POPULAR PERSUASIVE ESSAY TOPICS FOR STUDENTS
Writing an effective persuasive essay demonstrates a range of skills that will be of great use in nearly all aspects of life after school.
In essence, if you can influence a person to change their ideas or thoughts on a given topic through how you structure your words and thoughts, you possess a very powerful skill.
Be careful not to rant wildly. Use facts and other people’s ideas who think similarly to you in your essay to strengthen your concepts.
Your biggest challenge in getting started may be choosing a suitable persuasive essay topic. These 20 topics for a persuasive essay should make this process a little easier.
- WHY ARE WE FASCINATED WITH CELEBRITIES AND WEALTHY PEOPLE ON TELEVISION AND SOCIAL MEDIA?
- IS IT RIGHT FOR SCHOOLS TO RAISE MONEY BY SELLING CANDY AND UNHEALTHY FOODS TO STUDENTS?
- SHOULD GIRLS BE ALLOWED TO PLAY ON BOYS SPORTING TEAMS?
- IS TEACHING HANDWRITING A WASTE OF TIME IN THIS DAY AND AGE?
- SHOULD THERE BE FAR GREATER RESTRICTIONS AROUND WHAT CAN BE POSTED ON THE INTERNET?
- SHOULD PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES HAVE TO TAKE DRUG TESTS?
- ARE TEENAGE PREGNANCY SHOWS A NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON VIEWERS?
- SHOULD GAMBLING BE PROMOTED IN ANY WAY IN SPORTS EVEN THOUGH IT BRINGS IN LARGE AMOUNTS OF REVENUE?
- SHOULD SPORTING TEAMS THAT LOSE BE REWARDED BY RECEIVING INCENTIVES SUCH AS HIGH DRAFT PICKS AND / OR FINANCIAL BENEFITS?
- SHOULD SHARKS THAT ATTACK PEOPLE BE DESTROYED? SHOULD WE GET INVOLVED IN FOREIGN CONFLICTS AND ISSUES THAT DON’T DIRECTLY AFFECT OUR COUNTRY?
- SHOULD WE GET INVOLVED IN FOREIGN CONFLICTS AND ISSUES THAT DON’T DIRECTLY AFFECT OUR COUNTRY?
- COULD VIDEO GAMES BE CONSIDERED AS A PROFESSIONAL SPORT?
- IF YOU WERE THE LEADER OF YOUR COUNTRY AND HAD A LARGE SURPLUS TO SPEND, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?
- WHEN SHOULD A PERSON BE CONSIDERED AND TREATED AS AN ADULT?
- SHOULD SMOKING BECOME AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY?
- SHOULD THE VOTING AGE BE LOWERED?
- DOES PROTECTIVE PADDING IN SPORTS MAKE IT MORE DANGEROUS?
- SHOULD CELL PHONES BE ALLOWED IN THE CLASSROOM?
- IS TEACHING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE A WASTE OF TIME?
- SHOULD WE TEACH ETIQUETTE IN SCHOOLS?
PERSUASIVE PROMPTS FOR RELUCTANT WRITERS
If your students need a little more direction and guidance, here are some journal prompts that include aspects to consider.
- Convince us that students would be better off having a three-day weekend . There are many angles you could take with this, such as letting children maximize their childhood or trying to convince your audience that a four-day school week might actually be more productive.
- Which is the best season? And why? You will really need to draw on the benefits of your preferred season and sell them to your audience. Where possible, highlight the negatives of the competing seasons. Use lots of figurative language and sensory and emotional connections for this topic.
- Aliens do / or don’t exist? We can see millions of stars surrounding us just by gazing into the night sky, suggesting alien life should exist, right? Many would argue that if there were aliens we would have seen tangible evidence of them by now. The only fact is that we just don’t know the answer to this question. It is your task to try and convince your audience through some research and logic what your point of view is and why.
- Should school uniforms be mandatory? Do your research on this popular and divisive topic and make your position clear on where you stand and why. Use plenty of real-world examples to support your thoughts and points of view.
- Should Smartphones be banned in schools? Whilst this would be a complete nightmare for most students’ social lives, maybe it might make schools more productive places for students to focus and learn. Pick a position, have at least three solid arguments to support your point of view, and sell them to your audience.
VISUAL JOURNAL PROMPTS FOR PERSUASIVE WRITING
Try these engaging, persuasive prompts with your students to ignite the writing process . Scroll through them.
Persuasive Essay Examples (Student Writing Samples)
Below are a collection of persuasive essay samples. Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail. Please take a moment to read the persuasive texts in detail and the teacher and student guides highlight some of the critical elements of writing a persuasion.
Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of persuasive text writing.
We recommend reading the example either a year above or below, as well as the grade you are currently working with, to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.
VIDEO TUTORIALS FOR PERSUASIVE WRITING
OTHER GREAT ARTICLES RELATED TO PERSUASIVE ESSAY WRITING
Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.
WHERE CAN I FIND A COMPLETE UNIT OF WORK ON HOW TO WRITE PERSUASIVE ESSAYS?
We pride ourselves on being the web’s best resource for teaching students and teachers how to write a persuasive text. We value the fact you have taken the time to read our comprehensive guides to understand the fundamentals of writing skills.
We also understand some of you just don’t have the luxury of time or the resources to create engaging resources exactly when you need them.
If you are time-poor and looking for an in-depth solution that encompasses all of the concepts outlined in this article, I strongly recommend looking at the “ Writing to Persuade and Influence Unit. ”
Working in partnership with Innovative Teaching Ideas , we confidently recommend this resource as an all-in-one solution to teach how to write persuasively.
This unit will find over 140 pages of engaging and innovative teaching ideas.
PERSUASIVE ESSAY WRITING CHECKLIST AND RUBRIC BUNDLE
The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers
Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students
5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers
23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students
How to Write an Advertisement: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers
How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads
The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh. A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here. Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.
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- The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples
The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples
Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.
Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type.
In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.
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Table of contents
Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.
An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.
Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.
The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:
- The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
- The body presents your evidence and arguments
- The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance
The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.
A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.
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An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.
Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.
The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.
A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.
The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.
A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.
Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.
A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.
Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.
Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.
Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.
A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.
The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.
A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.
Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.
A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.
Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.
On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.
My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.
With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…
Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.
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Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.
A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.
The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.
The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.
The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.
King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.
A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.
Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.
The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.
Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.
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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.
Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”
The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.
Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:
- In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
- In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
- In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory
An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.
An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.
The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.
Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.
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How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples
Have you ever tried to get somebody round to your way of thinking? Then you should know how daunting the task is. Still, if your persuasion is successful, the result is emotionally rewarding.
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A persuasive essay is a type of writing that uses facts and logic to argument and substantiate such or another point of view. The purpose is to assure the reader that the author’s position is viable. In this article by Custom-writing experts, you can find a guide on persuasive writing, compelling examples, and outline structure. Continue reading and learn how to write a persuasive essay!
⚖️ Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essay
- 🐾 Step-by-Step Writing Guide
An argumentative essay intends to attack the opposing point of view, discussing its drawbacks and inconsistencies. A persuasive essay describes only the writer’s opinion, explaining why it is a believable one. In other words, you are not an opponent; you are an advocate.
A persuasive essay primarily resorts to emotions and personal ideas on a deeper level of meaning, while an argumentative one invokes logic reasoning. Despite the superficial similarity of these two genres, argumentative speech presupposes intense research of the subject, while persuasive speech requires a good knowledge of the audience.
🐾 How to Write a Persuasive Essay Step by Step
These nine steps are the closest thing you will find to a shortcut for writing to persuade. With practice, you may get through these steps quickly—or even figure out new techniques in persuasive writing.
📑 Persuasive Essay Outline
Below you’ll find an example of a persuasive essay outline . Remember: papers in this genre are more flexible than argumentative essays are. You don’t need to build a perfectly logical structure here. Your goal is to persuade your reader.
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Note that the next section contains a sample written in accordance with this outline.
Persuasive Essay Introduction
- Hook: start with an intriguing sentence.
- Background: describe the context of the discussed issue and familiarize the reader with the argument.
- Definitions: if your essay dwells upon a theoretical subject matter, be sure to explain the complicated terms.
- Thesis statement: state the purpose of your piece of writing clearly and concisely. This is the most substantial sentence of the entire essay, so take your time formulating it.
Persuasive Essay Body
Use the following template for each paragraph.
- Topic sentence: linking each new idea to the thesis, it introduces a paragraph. Use only one separate argument for each section, stating it in the topic sentence.
- Evidence: substantiate the previous sentence with reliable information. If it is your personal opinion, give the reasons why you think so.
- Analysis: build the argument, explaining how the evidence supports your thesis.
Persuasive Essay Conclusion
- Summary: briefly list the main points of the essay in a couple of sentences.
- Significance: connect your essay to a broader idea.
- Future: how can your argument be developed?
⭐ Persuasive Essay Examples
In this section, there are three great persuasive essay examples. The first one is written in accordance with the outline above, will the components indicated. Two others are downloadable.
Example #1: Being a Millionaire is a Bad Thing
Introduction, paragraph #1, paragraph #2, paragraph #3, example #2: teachers or doctors.
The importance of doctors in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to overstate. The well-being of the nation depends on how well doctors can fulfill their duties before society. The US society acknowledges the importance of doctors and healthcare, as it is ready to pay large sums of money to cure the diseases. However, during the lockdown, students and parents all around the world began to understand the importance of teachers.
Before lockdown, everyone took the presence of teachers for granted, as they were always available free of charge. In this country, it has always been the case that while doctors received praises and monetary benefits, teachers remained humble, even though they play the most important role for humanity: passing the knowledge through generations. How fair is that? The present paper claims that even in the period of the pandemic, teachers contribute more to modern society than doctors do.
Example #3: Is Online or Homeschool More Effective?
The learning process can be divided into traditional education in an educational institution and distance learning. The latter form has recently become widely popular due to the development of technology. Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving the increased interest in distance learning. However, there is controversy about whether this form of training is sufficient enough. This essay aims to examine online and homeschooling in a historical and contemporary context and to confirm the thesis that such activity is at least equivalent to a standard type of education.
Persuasive Essay Topics
- Why do managers hate the performance evaluation?
- Why human cloning should be prohibited.
- Social media have negative physical and psychological effect on teenagers.
- Using cell phones while driving should be completely forbidden.
- Why is business ethics important?
- Media should change its negative representation of ageing and older people.
- What is going on with the world?
- Good communication skills are critical for successful business.
- Why capitalism is the best economic system.
- Sleep is extremely important for human health and wellbeing.
- Face-to-face education is more effective than online education.
- Why video games can be beneficial for teenagers.
- Bullies should be expelled from school as they encroach on the school safety.
- Why accountancy is a great occupation and more people should consider it as a future career.
- The reasons art and music therapy should be included in basic health insurance.
- Impact of climate change on the indoor environment.
- Parents should vaccinate their children to prevent the spread of deadly diseases.
- Why celebrities should pay more attention to the values they promote.
- What is wrong with realism?
- Why water recycling should be every government’s priority.
- Media spreads fear and panic among people.
- Why e-business is very important for modern organizations.
- People should own guns for self-protection.
- The neccessity of container deposit legislation.
- We must save crocodiles to protect ecological balance.
- Why we should pay more attention to renewable energy projects.
- Anthropology is a critically relevant science.
- Why it’s important to create a new global financial order .
- Why biodiversity is crucial for the environment?
- Why process safety management is crucial for every organization.
- Speed limits must not be increased.
- What’s wrong with grades at school ?
- Why tattoos should be considered as a form of fine art.
- Using all-natural bath and body products is the best choice for human health and safety.
- What is cancel culture?
- Why the Internet has become a problem of modern society.
- Illegal immigrants should be provided with basic social services.
- Smoking in public places must be banned for people’s safety and comfort.
- Why it is essential to control our nutrition .
- How to stimulate economic growth?
- Why exercise is beneficial for people.
- Studying history is decisive for the modern world.
- We must decrease fuel consumption to stop global warming.
- Why fighting social inequality is necessary.
- Why should businesses welcome remote work?
- Social media harms communication within families.
- College athletes should be paid for their achievements.
- Electronic books should replace print books.
- People should stop cutting down rainforest .
- Why every company should have a web page .
- Tips To Write An Effective Persuasive Essay: The College Puzzle, Stanford University
- 31 Powerful Persuasive Writing Techniques: Writtent
- Persuasive Essay Outline: Houston Community College System
- Essays that Worked: Hamilton College
- Argumentative Essays // Purdue Writing Lab
- Persuasion – Writing for Success (University of Minnesota)
- Persuasive Writing (Manitoba Education)
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A standard essay helper is an expert we assign at no extra cost when your order is placed. Within minutes, after payment has been made, this type of writer takes on the job. A standard writer is the best option when you’re on a budget but the deadline isn’t burning. Within a couple of days, a new custom essay will be done for you from the ground up. Unique content, genuine research, spot-on APA/MLA formatting, and peerless grammar are guaranteed. Also, we’ll provide you with a free title page, bibliography, and plagiarism check. With a standard writer, you can count on a quality essay that will live up to all your expectations.
Accuracy and promptness are what you will get from our writers if you write with us. They will simply not ask you to pay but also retrieve the minute details of the entire draft and then only will ‘write an essay for me’. You can be in constant touch with us through the online customer chat on our essay writing website while we write for you.
The experts well detail out the effect relationship between the two given subjects and underline the importance of such a relationship in your writing. Our cheap essay writer service is a lot helpful in making such a write-up a brilliant one.
Fill up the form and submit
On the order page of our write essay service website, you will be given a form that includes requirements. You will have to fill it up and submit.
How do essay writing services work?
In the modern world, any company is trying to modernize its services. And services for writing scientific papers are no exception. Therefore, now it is very easy to order work and does not take time:
- First, you need to choose a good site that you can trust. Read their privacy policies, guarantees, payment methods and of course reviews. It will be a big plus that examples of work are presented on the online platform.
- Next, you need to contact a manager who will answer all the necessary questions and advise on the terms of cooperation. He will tell you about the acceptable writing deadlines, provide information about the author, and calculate the price of the essay.
- After that, you sign the contract and during the indicated days stay in touch with the employee of the company.
- Then you receive the file, read it attentively and transfer a certain amount to the company's bank card. After payment, the client downloads the document to his computer and can write a review and suggestions.
On the site Essayswriting, you get guarantees, thanks to which you will be confident and get rid of the excitement. The client can ask any questions about the writing and express special preferences.
What We Guarantee
- No Plagiarism
- On Time Delevery
- Complaint Resolution
Please fill the form correctly
- Individual approach
- Fraud protection
Connect with the writers
Once paid, the initial draft will be made. For any query r to ask for revision, you can get in touch with the online chat support available 24X7 for you.
Margurite J. Perez