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Persuasive & Argumentative Papers: Home

Persuasive and argumentative papers rely on using evidence to convince others. Think you have what it takes? Check out our prewriting and outline examples to get started on your assignment.

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Getting Started

Research assignments can be difficult to begin, especially if you are not sure how to get started.  This guide is intended to help you with the prewriting process of persuasive and argumentative papers.

For more research and writing help, check out the guides below.

What is a persuasive paper?

A persuasive paper uses evidence to convince others on a subject or particular point of view.  The audience is generally people who are “on the fence” about the issue and therefore will benefit from gaining more information on the topic.  

What is an argumentative paper?

An argumentative paper is similar to a persuasive paper.  The main difference is that the audience is likely to be more resistant to your stance thus requiring a stronger argument with a more focused topic.

Why develop this skill?

These paper styles are important for learning how to properly present facts in a way to sway your audience.  By learning to properly form an argument to persuade others you gain life skills that can be useful in negotiation, whether it is asking for a promotion or purchasing a new car.  

How is a persuasive or argumentative paper different from a research paper?

A research paper generally informs the reader on a typical topic.  The intention is not to sway a person one way or another but rather, to give the reader an overview of the topic.  

Persuasive and augmentative papers are written to influence the reader and change their mind on a particular topic by making an argument or proving a point.

Each paper type requires a different view even if the topic is the same. 

Example Thesis Statements:

Research Paper: While the Founding Fathers were part of the educated elite, a majority of Americans received no formal education often relying on homeschooling or ministers for basic literacy skills.
Persuasive Paper: Despite the history of schools used for socialization in Europe, during the colonial era very few Americans attended any sort of formal education which lead to low literacy rates among colonists.
Augmentative Paper: Low literacy rates among colonists in the early United States can be directly linked to a failure to carry over European traditions leaving an achievement gap among lower socioeconomic groups that continue to this day.

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