Caleb S.
Caleb S.

Learn How to Create a Persuasive Essay Outline

10 min read

Published on: Jul 21, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 22, 2023

persuasive essay outline

A persuasive essay requires a writer to take a clear stance on a topic and convince the readers to accept their point-of-view.

With a combination of good arguments and emotional appeal, you can ensure that your message resonates effectively with your audience. 

But before you dive into writing, you need a roadmap—an outline. Outlining is an essential step that allows you to organize your points and present them in a logical way. Moreover, it makes the writing process smoother and easier.

So how do you start with a persuasive essay outline? Read on to learn how to create an effective outline and get outline examples to help you out!

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What is a Persuasive Essay Outline?

A persuasive essay outline serves as a blueprint for your entire essay. It ensures that your essay is well-structured, logically sound, and, most importantly, persuasive. 

At its core, a persuasive essay aims to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint or argument. Your outline is the tool that helps you achieve this goal effectively. It does that by organizing your thoughts, ideas, and evidence in a systematic way, making it easier for your readers to follow your reasoning. 

The main goals of a persuasive paper outline include:

  • To organize your thoughts, arguments, and evidence about a topic
  • To ensure proper division of word count, paragraphs, and sections
  • To ensure the logical flow of the arguments you will use

Persuasive Essay Outline Format

A standard outline for a persuasive essay consists of five paragraphs, each with a specific role within the essay. However, the number of paragraphs can vary according to the chosen topic.

Let's break down the structure of a persuasive essay outline:

Introduction (One-Paragraph - 7-8 Sentences) 

  • Hook - A famous quotation, question, fact, or insight in 1-2 sentences 
  • Background Information about the Topic
  • Thesis Statement - A strong argument in 1 sentence

Body Paragraphs (3 Paragraphs At least)

  • Topic Sentence - First sentence of a paragraph that presents the main point or argument of that paragraph.
  • Supporting Evidence - This can include statistics, facts, examples, anecdotes, or quotations from experts.
  • Analysis/Discussion - Explaining the evidence mentioned and its relevance to the overall argument.
  • Transitions - They connect a paragraph with the next paragraph to ensure a sense of flow.

Conclusion (7-8 sentences)

  • Restating the Thesis - This reminds your readers of your main argument and reinforces its importance.
  • Summarizing Key Points - This helps tie everything together and reinforces your argument's strength.
  • Call to Action or Final Thought - Concluding sentence that aims to leave a lasting impression on your readers. 

Moreover, ensure correct page formatting to ensure the readability and helpfulness of your outline. Here are some recommendations:

  • Font Style:                 Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial
  • Font Size:                   12pt 
  • Line Spacing:            Double-spacing
  • Alignment:                 Left-Aligned
  • Margins:                     One-inch on all sides
  • Word Count:              As per instructions & requirements

Steps to Create a Persuasive Essay Outline  

Now that you know the main purpose and basic format of an outline, you are ready to begin outlining. Here is a step-wise guide to writing a persuasive essay outline:

Persuasive Essay Introduction 

The outline for a persuasive essay starts with an introduction paragraph. The introduction is your first chance to grab the reader’s attention. Here are some of the strategies you should follow to create an outline for an engaging introduction. 

1. Think About Your Topic 

The first step for your outline is to decide your essay topic. Carefully choosing your topic and stance will set the tone for the whole essay. Moreover, only after confirming your topic, you can proceed to research and gather evidence.

Expert Tip

Ran out of topic ideas? Check out our list of 200+ engaging persuasive essay topics to get inspiration.

2. Determine Your Target Audience

A persuasive essay aims to persuade the readers, which can’t be possible without knowing them. So it is better to determine your target audience before starting writing. It will help you choose those points that best suit the audience. 

For example, writing for kids and adults is different. Similarly, some groups are also sensitive to specific issues, making you adjust your tone and arguments accordingly.

3. Begin With a Hook Statement 

Begin your essay outline with a hook statement related to your topic. It creates interest regarding the topic by demonstrating your knowledge. Similarly, it also provides concrete proof of the writer’s viewpoint. 

The best hooks for starting a persuasive essay include quotations, anecdotes, questions, and statistical facts and figures. 

For Example:

  • Cigarettes are the number one cause of lighter sales in Canada.
  • Elbert Hubbard once said, "Truth is stronger than fiction."

4. Provide Background Information

Add some background information or context about the topic. However, never share the detailed arguments and evidence in this section. Instead, just introduce the topic and explain why it is debatable. 

5. Develop a Thesis Statement 

Craft a thesis statement that presents your main argument. This statement will serve as the foundation for your essay. Add your thesis statement at the end of your introduction outline, as it is often the last sentence of the introduction.

Here are a few examples of persuasive thesis statements:

  • Access to public restrooms should be given to homeless people to improve their living standards.
  • Celebrities should not be considered role models because of their engagement in illegal activities.

This is how your introduction outline will look like:

Persuasive Essay Outline - Introduction Paragraph

Topic of the Essay

  • Introduction

         - Write a Hook Statement 

         - Add Background Information 

         - Craft a Thesis Statement

Persuasive Essay Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs present your detailed arguments and analyses. Here you present evidence supporting your arguments and convince your audience of your stance.

Below are the elements that outline for each body paragraph should include:

1. Topic Sentence 

Remember, each body paragraph focuses on a single idea that supports the larger thesis. It presents, explains, and discusses one point in detail to persuade the audience. 

This main point of a paragraph is expressed in the topic sentence, which is the first sentence of the paragraph. It indicates to the reader what the paragraph is about. 

2. Supporting Details 

After the topic sentence, you can add supporting details and credible evidence to your outline. It can be in the form of facts, statistics, real-life examples, quotations, and anecdotes.  Make sure to add citations along in your outline so you don’t forget the source later.

3. Transitions  

End your body paragraphs with a concluding sentence to tie the ideas together. Add transition words to connect all the ideas in an essay logically. Use words like similarly, in contrast, therefore, thus, however, nevertheless, etc.

Here is what the outline for the body paragraphs will include:

Persuasive Essay Outline - Body Paragraphs

  • Body Paragraph 1

         - Write a Topic Sentence here

         - Add Supporting Points & Evidence here

         - Transition to the next paragraph

  • Body Paragraph 2

        - Write a Topic Sentence here

        - Add Supporting Points & Evidence here

        - Transition to the next paragraph

  • Body Paragraph 3

         - Write a Topic Sentence here

         - Add Supporting Points & Evidence here

         - Transition to the next paragraph

Persuasive Essay Conclusion

Persuasive writing usually ends by summarizing the important details of your essay. It is written to give closure to the main arguments. The outline for a conclusion should include a restatement of your thesis, a summary of key points, and a compelling closing statement.

1. Restatement of Thesis

Rewrite in thesis in different to reinforce it in light of the arguments presented above. This ties all your argument presented body paragraphs to the central point of the essay.

2. Summary of Arguments

Add a short summary of the arguments you presented to remind your readers of the key points that support your thesis.

3. Concluding Thoughts

Think of a powerful concluding statement for your persuasive essay. It can be a call to action, a question, or an insight. Your concluding statement should be powerful, and thought-provoking, and reinforce the importance of your argument. 

Persuasive Essay Outline - Conclusion

  • Conclusion

         - Restatement of Thesis

         - Add Supporting Points & Evidence here

         - Transition to the next paragraph

Watch the video below to get some tips on making outlines:

Persuasive Essay Outline Template

Here is a persuasive outline template that will help you make your essay outline. Simply fill in the blanks after identifying your main arguments and evidence.

I. Introduction

   a. Hook_______________________________________________________

   b. Notes for context/background____________________________________

   c. Thesis statement______________________________________________

II. Body Paragraph #1

   a. Topic Sentence_________________________________________________

   b. Supporting Evidence #1____________________________________________

   c. Evidence #2__________________________________________________

   d. Evidence #3_________________________________________________

   e. Notes for analysis/discussion____________________________________

   f. Transition___________________________________________________

III. Body Paragraph #2

   a. Topic Sentence_________________________________________________

   b. Supporting Evidence #1____________________________________________

   c. Evidence #2__________________________________________________

   d. Evidence #3_________________________________________________

   e. Notes for analysis/discussion____________________________________

   f. Transition___________________________________________________

IV. Body Paragraph #3

   a. Topic Sentence_________________________________________________

   b. Supporting Evidence #1____________________________________________

   c. Evidence #2__________________________________________________

   d. Evidence #3_________________________________________________

   e. Notes for analysis/discussion____________________________________

   f. Transition___________________________________________________

V. Conclusion

   a. Restate your main point__________________________________

   b. Summarize your arguments________________________________

   c. Concluding statement_______________________________________

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Persuasive Essay Outline Examples

Below are the persuasive essay outline samples and examples to get a better idea of writing this type of essay.

Expert Tip

Want to read complete persuasive essays about these topics? Check out our interesting persuasive essay examples.

To Conclude,

Crafting a persuasive essay outline is like sculpting the foundation of a powerful argument. Through careful planning and organization, you can not only capture your readers' attention but also sway their opinions. Your outline serves as the compass, guiding you through the journey of persuasive writing. 

So with the help of the format, steps, and examples provided above, you are now ready to embark on your persuasive journey.

Still need help writing your essay? Don’t worry!

MyPerfectWords.com provides the best writing services by experts to help with your academic essays. Our professional writers have advanced qualifications from US-based institutes and years of experience writing top-quality & original persuasive essays. 

So hire our persuasive essay writing service and get a well-written essay according to your specified outline format.

Caleb S.

WRITTEN BY

Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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