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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tips to Improve Your Persuasive Essay/Argumentative Essay

One of the pitfalls among students is writing their persuasive or argumentative essay.  A student may be an excellent debater or an eloquent speaker.  He can be a good leader with excellent management skills. He can have a very good memory.  However, a student who does not have the skills in writing an effective persuasive or argumentative essay is at a disadvantage at school.  Majority of the activities in school is dependent on the students’ ability to compose a good written document.  It does not matter if it is an essay, research paper or a term paper.  If a student could not write well his performance in school will be negatively affected.

It is therefore very important for a student to be able to improve his style in writing a persuasive or argumentative essay.  Below are a number of strategies which students who have difficulty writing may do to improve his writing style.

1. Discuss with your family, friends and peers - In the initial stage of the paper, it is important to discuss your ideas to your peers.  Discussing with your peers helps the students find out about the arguments concerning his topic.  It helps him understand the arguments of the opposing side and develop and improve his argument.

2. Talk your draft – Students who are interested to improve their writing style prepares a draft first and talks about what he has written to his friend.  He discusses with his friend and peer what he has written so he will know whether he was able to express his arguments clearly.  By expressing his argument in a different form the student discovers ways to improve his first draft.

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3.  Come up with new arguments – If you are writing a persuasive essay or an argumentative essay it helps to be able to come up with unique arguments to support your thesis.  It is best if the student did his part by reading a number of research materials for his evidence and supporting arguments.  However, it is not enough that the student simply restate these arguments in this persuasive essay or argumentative essay.  The student should come up with an ingenuous way of introducing his evidence to convince the readers.

4. Seek opposing views – In writing an argumentative essay it is better if the student is aware of the opposing arguments.  He cannot simply discuss his arguments with his friends who agree with him.  Otherwise, his paper will be a one-sided paper and he may fail to explore the arguments of those who hold opposing views.  He needs to understand these arguments so he can refute them in his paper.

5. Conduct extensive revision – The first draft of the paper is just what it is - a first draft.  A student who wants to submit an effective persuasive or argumentative essay needs to understand that editing and revising is part of the entire writing process.  A student cannot skip it.  In revising, it is suggested that he starts by reading the entire paper.  Afterwards, he can concentrate on the individual paragraphs and then the individual sentences.
6.  Exchange papers – Getting other students’ reactions and opinions to your paper is an indispensable part of the writing process.  A student needs to get the opinion of others on his own paper in exchange for giving his own opinion on the other student’s paper.  At this stage, the focus is not anymore on coming up with arguments but with the writing style.  Were you able to state your arguments clearly? Were the sentences and paragraphs properly arranged?  Is there a way to improve the sentence and paragraphs to clarify the arguments? By exchanging papers with your peers you will be able to get the opinions of others on your paper.  

7. Check the spelling and punctuation – Before you submit your paper make sure you have revisited the paper and checked it for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.  Correction of these errors is normally reserved at the last stage so as not to interfere with your thoughts and ideas

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