Free Persuasive Essay Outlines

I take my dog Oskar to work with me nearly every day. He rides in a trailer that I tow behind my bike 2.5 miles uphill to the Kibin office. I’m lucky that I work for a place that allows dogs.

Other dog companions aren’t so fortunate. Shouldn’t responsible dog owners be allowed to bring their beloved furballs anywhere they wish?

But, this post isn’t about teaching you to persuade your boss to let you bring your dog to work (although that would be cool). No, the goal of this blog post is to teach you how to write a persuasive essay outline.

In this post, I’ll break down the components of a good persuasive essay. I’ll also set you up with a downloadable outline template that you can use when you are ready to persuade your teacher to give you a better grade in English class this semester.

What is a Persuasive Essay Anyway?

The goal of a persuasive essay is to convince your readers that your viewpoint is the right viewpoint. In a persuasive paper, you pull out all the stops to say, “It’s my way or the highway!”

Unlike argumentative essays, where facts reign supreme, you don’t necessarily have to use researched, absolute facts to support your persuasive paper.

The goal of your persuasive paper is to persuade by any means necessary. If that involves including emotional anecdotes or stories instead of facts, that’s fine.

Don’t believe me? Ask any politician. When it comes to powers of persuasion, the facts don’t necessarily matter.

While including actual facts and evidence can be an effective way to persuade, it’s okay to play dirty in a persuasive essay. Make your readers laugh, cry, or quake in fear as long as it gets them to believe that what you are saying is true.

That said, you can’t go in and write your essay without any direction. To really persuade someone in your persuasive essay, you have to be smoooooth. You have to have finesse. To be smooth and finesseful (not a word, by the way), you should start with an outline.

Here’s an example of a persuasive essay outline:

Persuasive Essay Outline Intro

First, it’s important to select a topic that you can take a stand for.

Let’s say we’re writing about animal rights. I’m not talking about your typical “people shouldn’t hurt animals” essay. I’m talking about bestowing actual human rights on to my favorite animal: dogs.

1. Write a hook. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Always start your introduction with a strong hook. Make your audience want to read your essay.

For example, “Your dog is smarter than your baby, and more useful and loyal too. Plus, your dog will never, ever turn into an angsty teenager. If dogs are such good people, why don’t they have rights?”

Define your audience. This is a sentence or two that helps your reader define himself as being a member of your target audience. In my example, I’m specifically speaking to dog owners who live in Portland, Oregon.

For example, “For all Portland dog companions who have ever been turned away from a restaurant, disallowed access to transit, or rejected from a public park, it’s time to stand up for your pet’s rights—and your rights too!”

2. Present your thesis statement. Here is where you get to the meat of your persuasive essay and define the exact viewpoint that you want your audience to adopt.

Much as you would in an argumentative essay, you must take a stance on your topic. No wishy-washy “eh, I could go either way” stuff allowed.

Pick a side. Stick to it. Defend it to the end!

For example, “The dogs of Portland deserve the same rights and privileges as granted to our youngest humans, such as the right to visit restaurants, ride buses, walk off-leash, and go to the cinema so long as they are accompanied by a responsible human companion.”

Persuasive Essay Outline Body Paragraphs

The exact number of body paragraphs you include will depend on the parameters of your assignment and your topic. A bigger assignment and/or topic will require more reasons and paragraphs. A smaller assignment and/or topic will require fewer reasons and paragraphs. For the purpose of this blog post, I’m including three example reasons.

Each reason you come up with can be emotionally charged, logically irrefutable, or ethically binding—so long as it’s persuasive. In addition, each persuasive reason you offer should be supported by a fact or an example.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Reason #1. Portland dogs are as smart as young children and often make for more polite companions.
  • Fact or example 1: Dogs are capable of learning up to 250 words and can easily go with the flow of human interactions.
  • Fact or example 2: Dogs are quieter and less disruptive than the average two-year-old human.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Reason #2. Portland dogs should be able to walk leash-free if they are accompanied by their human companions; in most cases, wearing a leash is unnecessary.
  • Fact or example 1: Dogs can be easily trained to walk alongside their human companions without a leash or restraint.
  • Fact or example 2: In a recent survey, 65% of Portland dog owners said that walking a dog on a leash is more of a hassle than walking a dog leash-free.

Body Paragraph 3

  • Reason #3. More rights for Portland dogs means more rights for Portland’s dog companions.
  • Fact or example 1: Dog companions will have more choices of places where they can spend time with friends and family without having to leave beloved pets behind.
  • Fact or example 2: Dog companions won’t have to deal with the trouble of hiring a dog-walker while at work or a pet-sitter for short weekend getaways.

Persuasive Essay Outline Conclusion

Now that you have outlined your reasons and supporting facts and examples, it’s time to seal the deal in your essay’s conclusion. Your conclusion should contain the following important components:

1. Brief summary. Remind your audience of why this topic is important.

For example, “Dogs all across Portland are being unfairly denied the basic right to accompany their human companions to public places. It’s time for Portland dog owners to stand up for their furry friends.”

2. Benefits to the reader. Explain how acting on this issue will benefit your audience.

For example, “Not only will taking a stand for your canine benefit dogs everywhere, it will also benefit you. Next time you want to take a weekend away, ride the bus to work, or enjoy a matinee, you won’t have to worry about who will take care of your dog while you are away. This issue is about your rights as a dog companion too.”

3. Acall to action. What do you want your readers to do now that they’ve (hopefully) subscribed to your viewpoint on the topic?

For example, “Vote ‘yes’ on Portland City Ballot initiative 14 this election. It’s time to stand up for the rights of our most loyal friends.”

Downloadable Persuasive Essay Outline Template and Additional Resources

Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to create a persuasive essay outline, go forth and persuade the world!

I created the above visual outline using the online mind-mapping app at text2mindmap. It’s a great resource to brainstorm your persuasive essay topic, or create a visual persuasive essay outline.

Here is another useful persuasive essay outline builder that I found during my research.

Finally, here is a Persuasive Essay Outline Template (Word doc) I created just for you.

Feel free to use it to get started.

Once your writing is complete, be sure to have an editor review your essay for you. After all, you don’t want all your preparation to be for nothing.

Good luck!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

Are you a student competing in your school to write a creative essay? Well, you are not the only one. Nowadays, students are given essay-writing assignments commonly. Also, they have become an essential part of standardized tests. Not only this, essay writing has also become mandatory and a requirement for college applications. Consequently, it has become a critical part for students for the academic success.

Contents

Students can take help from the essay outline templates available online and get a good idea how to go about the essay. We have different types of essay outlines available on our main website. You can choose from any one of them. Use them to practice and write on your own. In order to know about different types of essay outlines and how to utilize them, read this article.

Essay Outline Templates

Importance of Essay Outline

Essay outline is a skeletal outline that provides a platform on which you can build your own writing and come up with your own thoughts. These outlines do not have anything written, they just help you structure your ideas and thoughts logically so that you can build towards a meaningful and strong conclusion. In fact, outline is the main aspect towards writing an effective essay. Here is the importance of making outline prior to writing an essay.

  • It clarifies your ideas and develops your thoughts. A completely blank page may make you worried; hence making an outline first can give you a push towards writing. Also, outline is the initial writer’s block when working on a project. Additionally, the outline in front of you can give you ideas during brainstorming, helping you come up with different and variety of ideas in mind. This makes you know and understand what exactly you want to write. For instance, if you come with a simple topic at first, with an outline you can clarify thoughts and can come up with supporting details before writing the actual text and content.
  • In addition to broadening and clarifying your ideas, it also enables you to organize ideas while staying on the topic. When you have an outline, you do not miss on arguments and points you want to highlight. When you have outline in front of you, you are able to organize your ideas in a way that they have the most impact.
  • Furthermore, the outline normally creates a step-by-step guide for you, making the writing process easier. This guide will eventually save your time. When you are done with the outline of the essay, you just have to write paragraphs and support it with details. Additionally, with an outline, you will not forget the necessary points you want to involve. All you need to do is connect the dots and ideas after you are done with the essay outline.

Types of Essay Outlines

Just like there are different types of essay writing, there are different types of outlines available for it too. The types of the essays depend on the purpose they are being written for. Now, we will highlight a few types of essays in this section that are commonly preferred in academic writing.

Informative Essay Outline

Just List the Facts

The informative essay outline is a form of writing that only lists down the facts. It is also called as expository essay that presents balanced analysis of a topic. In this type of essay, the writer uses an informational tone and explains the entire topic, using the statistics, facts, and figures along with examples.

This type involves a variety of essays such as cause and effect essay. Also, such kinds of informative essays explain the process or come up with ‘how to’ approach. In these essays, writers are likely to use a third person tone and not involve their own feelings and emotions.

Narrative Essay Outline

Tell a Story

As the name of the essay implies, it is the type of essay that elaborates a story of a real life experience. Readers may think that writing it in the form of story, but in real, it involves a lot of narrative challenges. Writers find this kind of approach difficult and often end up writing about themselves as they find it easy to narrate their own story. In order to involve the reader, writer should come up with a vivid approach.

The main thing all writers should keep in mind while writing this form of essay is to use the first person tone. Using I, we, us, etc. will engage readers in the essay and they will feel like they are a part of the story. Additionally, a well-written and drafted narrative essay will also end up concluding with a personal statement.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Evaluate the Objects

Compare and contrast essay outlines two subjects such as places, people, events, and objects that are vastly and closely related. This type of essay compares and contrasts, determining the differences and similarities as well. While readers may think that the comparison is simple, if you see it from a writer’s perspective, this kind of essay requires a lot of research and effort. Additionally, this kind of essay likely argues on a point with supported facts, which is not an easy task.

A comparative essay is often written to state something that is unknown, determine if one thing is superior to another thing, or to clear up misunderstandings. It is also written by writers to lead to a new way of seeing, doing, and understanding something in general. We have a number of compare and contrast essay outline templates, you can simply download them and save it on your desktop for practice.

Argumentative Essay Outline

Support Research with Citations

As the name implies, an argumentative essay outline is used to persuade someone to think the way you do supporting your argument with credible citations. When you try to form an essay out of different elements, it may become difficult to organize; argumentative essay outlines can help you look at those elements closely. This is the type of essay where a writer has to carefully investigate on a topic, generate and evaluating by collecting evidence.

After they have assessed everything, they can then establish on the topic in a concise manner. This type of essay has to involve a lot of research in order to get factual and correct information. Also, they are very lengthy when they are written. Writers can collect information from empirical studies. They cannot just write anything without proper reference, they need to cite credible sources.

Persuasive Essay Outline

Convince the Reader

Persuasive essays have the core aim to convince the readers to accept writer’s point of view. This type of essay also presents facts and figures citing it with credible sources so that the reader is convinced. Additionally, writers also give sound reasoning and expert opinions. In addition to this, the writers has a lot of pressure as they have to present argument of all sides and then logically present their own, trying to persuade the reader about their point of view. Persuasive essay outline helps writer to communicate clearly and make readers understand why their point of view is correct.

Essay Outline Examples

How to Write an Essay Outline?

Essay outlines are necessary to be made right in the beginning because they provide a proper guidance and structure for writers. The outline briefly summarizes the content of the essay and organizes the content in a coherent manner. If you also want to write an essay outline, follow the steps below to make an effective essay outline.

Read the Guidelines

The first thing you should do in order to form an effective outline is to highlight or underline the important terms and words you see in the instructions. When you highlight the terms in the instructions, you are able to focus on them and things become more understandable. If you are not able to understand those things, then you should first attempt to understand those phrases properly. You can ask your instructor in case anything seems confusing or vague to you.

Come Up With a Topic and Identify Its Purpose

In order to come up with a good topic, you need to do some pre-writing exercises to get started. Simply list all the ideas and thoughts that come in your mind on a piece of paper. Once you have listed all of them, you can then look over it and expand the topics. This brainstorming will broaden your thoughts and ideas and make you come up with different things you need to learn, helping you find the true topic for your essay or research. Then, you need to identify the purpose of the topic. You should ensure that your purpose matches in the requirements of your essay assignment.

Identify Your Audience and Develop Thesis

After you have decided the purpose of the paper, it is time to identify your audience. Here you need to think who is going to read your paper. Will they be strangers, your classmates, or your instructor? You need to identify the expectations and needs of the audience considering what they know and what they do not know. When you know the purpose of the essay and have identified your audience, you should develop your thesis statement. Ensure that your thesis statement is arguable and detailed.

Decide on a Basic Outline Style and Structure

Normally, there are two ways of styles you can choose from, decimal outline structure and alphanumeric structure. Both of these structures are commonly used. Alphanumeric structure is identified by capitalized letters and roman numbers. On the other hand, decimal outline structure uses a series of numbers to identify each subsection. However, both of them are considered best ones, so the choice is entirely yours.

Introduction In The First Section

Now, it is time to organize your information in the essay outline. You should include introduction in the first section using an attention–grabbing opening related to your topic. The information that you will be providing in the outline will become more specific as you go to further into subsections. After the overview section, next section should include background and history of the problem that needs to be explored. You should make sure that you keep these sections brief. After that, the last part of the introduction section should discuss the thesis statement of your essay.

Body in the Second Section

The body is usually the largest part of the essay. But this is just the essay outline, so make sure that you do not write the whole of it. Instead, just list down the points you are supposed to cover when writing the essay. You should not label each and every point. But just make sure that you provide the main idea of the topic you will be discussing.

Conclusion in the Last Section

This is the last section of the essay outline where you just have to summarize the overall discussion in the essay. You can take information from the introduction section as well as body of the essay and conclude the essay. Since you can repeat things, you should re-state the idea in a different manner. After that, you can make a concluding statement.

Essay Outline Samples

Final Thought

Essay writing is challenging especially for students. If you aiming a good score and stand out in your class, you can practice on the variety of essay outlines available on our main website. Simply download the essay outline from our website and save it on your desktop and start practicing. We wish you better grades.

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