Persuasive essay outline

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Introduction — (sets the tone for the entire essay — be serious, formal, convincing)

 A. Lead (hook, attention-getter, motivator)

  • 2-4 well-developed sentences
  • Use an anecdote (a little story), startling facts, surprising statistics, a quotation, a contrary opinion, an emotionally charged statement, or any combination of the above.

 B. Background information (2-3 sentences to explain the history or background or seriousness of the issue)

 C. Thesis statement/Claim (strong, clear statement of your position on the issue)

Persuasive essay outline samples:

  • Participation in school athletics builds character.
  • Children up to the age of ten and pregnant women should receive free medical care.
  • A class in multicultural literature should be required for graduation. (The thesis always includes the topic + position.)

 D. Blueprint (a sentence that offers 2-3 lines of argumentation that will support the thesis


Persuasive essay outline sample:

  • Jogging is an overrated form of exercise. (Thesis statement)
  • Few joggers consider that jogging can be hazardous to one’s emotional, financial, and physical health. (Blueprint)

II. First body paragraph (use order of importance and start with your weakest argument)

A. Transition + Topic sentence (begins each body paragraph; your first line of argumentation in your blueprint)

B. Support/Evidence

  • facts/statistics
  • examples/observations
  • expert’s/authority’s opinion

 C. Concluding sentence (ties the above together and leads into next paragraph)

III. Second body paragraph (stronger argument-the second line of argumentation in your blueprint) Include transitions.

 A. Transition + Topic sentence

 B. Support/evidence

 C. Concluding sentence

IV. Third body paragraph (the strongest argument—the third line of argumentation in your blueprint.) Include transitions and points A, B, and C above.

V. Counterclaims/Concessions –the opposing point of view (admitting they have a point) and rebuttals/counter arguments/refutations (countering the opposing view). Not necessarily a separate paragraph but may be structured that way. May be included in the intro, the body, or the conclusion.

Persuasive essay outline sample:

  • Some people argue that teenagers are better drivers than older people. It’s true that young people have faster reflexes, but they also have less experience on the road….

VI. Conclusion (should be powerful and leave a lasting impression)

A. Reworded thesis statement/claim

B. One or more of the following:

  • call to action (what is the next logical step)


  • Our responsibility is…
  • Research the subject
  • Solution

 C. Clincher statement (tie it back to the lead—this rounds everything out for the reader)

VI. Works Cited (a list of sources or references on a separate page at the end of the essay)