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What Is a Persuasive Argument: Definition, Types, Examples

Whether you are writing an essay, a social media post, a business proposal, or a news article, you need persuasive argument, examples, and evidence.

The writer is, in a way, a lawyer. Using a logical chain of arguments, you convince the reader of the accuracy of the idea and show the course of your thinking. For the reader, a text without concrete examples and persuasive arguments is just a bunch of words and unconfirmed information.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: What to Pay Attention to

The persuasive argument will vary depending on the type of text. 

When you write a literature review, it is appropriate to include the quotations and paraphrases in the text.

In a scientific text, reference should be made to experimental and research data. 

And in a business document, use statistics and illustrations in the form of graphs and charts (for example, the number of sold stock).

What Is a Persuasive Argument

While you have not yet had time to get into the character Sherlock Holmes, I will acquaint you with a short theory course:

“An argument is a statement or group of statements called premises intended to determine the degree of truth or acceptability of another statement called conclusion.

Arguments can be studied from three main perspectives: the logical, the dialectical and the rhetorical perspective.”


Persuasive argument in the essay, article, speech: definition, examples
Persuasive argument in the essay, article, speech: definition, examples

Types of Persuasive Argument

You can use the following types of arguments in a persuasive essay and article:

  • references to the source;
  • quotes;
  • paraphrasing;
  • historical facts;
  • summary;
  • statistics;
  • data;
  • graphics;
  • diagrams;
  • photos;
  • illustrations;
  • examples from personal experience.

Read also post “Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logos – Meaning and Examples”.


A quotation is a verbatim repetition of a fragment of a text or speech with a link to the source.

Use quotes in the persuasive essay if: 

  • if you think the author’s words are unique, inimitable, brilliant, witty, etc.;
  • if the quote confirms your opinion and reflects your thoughts; 
  • if you want to point to authoritative confirmation of your idea;
  • if you are analyzing the author’s opinion;
  • if you just liked the author’s words and want to share:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” 

Ernest Hemingway


The main thing is not to overdo it. Use quotes correctly:

  • do not insert a quote into the text just for the quotation marks;
  • do not start a paragraph with a quote, it is better to write at least some foreword,
  • and do not end a paragraph with a quote without further discussion and clarification.

Persuasive Argument: Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is a retelling of a quote in your own words with an indication of the author.

Paraphrasing without attribution is considered plagiarism. 

Paraphrasing example:

According to Shlomi Ron, CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute with 20 years of marketing experience at American Express, Nokia, and IBM, the challenge for the visual storyteller is to put the customer, not the seller, at the center of the story. To put the needs and interests of the buyer in the first place.”

The paraphrasing helps to present extensive text in a more informative and concise way. For example:

  • To paraphrase a long quote in your own words. 
  • To write brief information about research, theories, or experiments. 
  • To provide general information. 

This type of persuasive argument is also good for the following cases: 

  • if the quote was translated from a foreign language, and you doubt the accuracy of the translation, then it is better to paraphrase it;
  • in case you want to comment on the thoughts of another author;
  • a paraphrase helps to confirm the author’s point of view, and add value and persuasiveness to it in the reader’s eyes;
  • and, conversely, you can rephrase the opposite opinion and present it as a counterargument. And further in the article explain why you disagree with the author, etc.

Summary or Annotation as a Persuasive Argument

A summary (or annotation) is a critical or explanatory note. It is a brief abstract of previously stated facts. 

The author’s annotation indicates the key points of the publication: the main idea, goals and objectives, methods, results, and conclusions.

The summary is concise and clear, it is better not to use introductory phrases. Use this type of persuasive argument as a basis for your text, as a starting point.

As an example, I will give a plot summary of one of my favorite books by Fredrik Backman, “A Man Called Ove”:

“Ove is a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him ‘the bitter neighbour from hell.’ However, behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heart-warming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.”

Statistics, data, graphs, illustrations, and photographs

One of the most convincing arguments is, of course, the facts and official statistics, which can be presented visually in the form of graphs, diagrams, illustrations, and photographs.

Don’t forget to indicate the source of information, unless you have collected the data yourself.

How the Persuasive Argument Works

Let’s look at some examples of using persuasive arguments in the text.

In the first case, the persuasive arguments are expressed in the form of general, and abstract phrases, in the second – in the form of specific evidence. You can draw your conclusions:


“I think I’m an effective manager with considerable work experience.” (what does effective mean? what is a “considerable” experience?).

“Over the past 5 years, I have managed a team of 15 bank employees; I was able to reorganize our department so that the accounts began to be processed within one day, and not three, as it was before.”


“Many of Remarque’s novels are called the best anti-war writings”. (Which novels exactly? Why are they considered anti-war?). 

“In his writings, Erich Maria Remarque was concerned with not just the theme of war. Yes, the writer cynically and in detail described the tide of battle and its consequences – blood, death, injury, and destruction.

But the main idea was to show how the thirst for life and the simultaneous loss of faith in this life oppose each other in the minds of young people on the battlefield.

It is not for nothing that Remarque’s novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” is one of the big three novels of the “lost generation” published in 1929, along with “Farewell, Arms!” by Ernest Hemingway and Richard Aldington’s “Death of a Hero.”

Social justice:

Humanity is faced with another problem – water scarcity.”

“Water scarcity is a global problem. If we do not change our habits, then by 2030, according to the UN, the water demand will increase by 50%.” 

Where to Find Persuasive Arguments: Sources

Perhaps you have one more question, where to find reliable evidence, examples, and persuasive arguments for your essay or article?

The sources can be:

  • books;
  • magazines and newspapers articles and reports;
  • online platforms (libraries, university websites, courses);
  • government publications;
  • official websites of various organizations (UN, UNESCO, WHO, etc.);
  • scientific research publications;
  • websites of radio and news programs with expert input;
  • an interview with a professor, scientist, doctor, etc.

Don’t forget to include a reference to the source!

To Sum up

The persuasive arguments should be relevant to the topic, specifics, and style of your text.

If you want the reader to believe you, then you need an authoritative source.


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