The Difference between the Argumentative and Persuasive Essays


Argument and persuasion are two different concepts in English. An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that attempts to convince the readers that the author’s idea is true. This is a genre of writing that is used to defend or prove a point. A writer should do a through research; gather accurate facts and figures before writing an argumentative essay. This is more like a debate written on paper. While writing an argumentative essay, a writer should be aware of both pros and cons of the argument, and should try to discredit the opposing view by using evidence.


A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that attempts to convince the readers to agree with author’s ideas. In this type of essay, the writer can use his own ideas, opinions and evoke the emotions in the reader in order to convince them to agree to his opinion. A writer of a persuasive essay needs to do research, gather evidence, but a clever writer can create a successful essay without knowing much. This is because; a persuasive writing appeals more to readers’ emotions rather than minds. In persuasive writing, the writer should have certain awareness about the audience. For example, opinions and ideas that could appeal to teenagers may not have the same effect on adults. First person narration and second person narration ( Example: In my opinion, I believe, etc.) are commonly used as the writer is addressing the audience directly.


Looking at the purpose of both essays, argumentative essay attempts to convince the readers to accept the writer’s idea as true by using statistics, facts and figures, etc. Whereas  persuasive essay attempts to convince the readers to agree with the writer, by using emotions, personal ideas, etc.


In addition, when it comes to audience, for persuasive essay, the writer needs an intended audience to address his request or need to. Who can give him what he wants? but for argumentative essay, the writer doesn’t need an intended audience. The writer is satisfied with simply “putting the truth out there.”


Also, argumentative essay acknowledges opposing views, and needs a thorough research before starting while persuasive essay may not acknowledge opposing views and can be written without doing much research.


Although both types of essays are not just descriptive, but prescriptive. On some level they both have a call to action. They both answer objections. They are both essays and follow a pretty typical structure in that regard.


In conclusion, argumentative essay appeals to the minds of the readers. On the other hand, persuasive essay appeals to the hearts of the readers.

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