Difference between an Argumentative and a Persuasive Essay

There are tens types of essays, which may be different or very alike. They are used to describe or research things, to support a certain point of view or to persuade the reader. In all of the cases, knowing main peculiarities of every type of an essay may greatly simplify your life and help to avoid low grades or even writing the assignment anew.


In this article, we will discuss two of the most popular essays among students of various academic levels: argumentative and persuasive ones. Their main difference lies in the whole point of the assignment, in its motivation.


argumentative vs persuasive essay whats the difference


A persuasive essay is a piece of writing, which aims to persuade the reader to buy a good or an item, to pay attention to a particular matter or support point of view of the writer. Claims of the author may not be backed with any evidence. There are no proofs, credible sources or facts. This is the key feature, which distinguishes a persuasive and an argumentative essay.


An argumentative essay also aims to persuade the audience but using proofs and evidence. Every fact is backed with relevant sources, academic works and other sorts of reliable data. An author should complete a profound research, collect information and work on the facts.


While a persuasive essay usually discusses only one side of the problem, an argumentative one is ready to listen to the arguments of both sides. Debates are very important and play a crucial part in the structure of an argumentative essay.




The difference to take into account


First thing you need to remember is that a persuasive essay is based on emotions. It doesn’t matter how much proof you have: you need to use vivid language, bright and emotional examples and try to engage the reader. On contrary, an argumentative essay is based on facts and objective approach, so you need to be honest and brief, when providing arguments on a topic.


When you work on a persuasive essay, you get to play with emotions and feelings of the audience, trying to make them support your point of view. When you deal with an argumentative paper, you need to convince the audience with facts and proofs. That is why the key difference is that a persuasive paper works with emotions and argumentative – with logics.


If you are assigned with an argumentative essay, you need to be ready to complete a thorough research, analyze multiple sources and distinguish facts to convince the reader. If you need to complete a persuasive essay, you don’t have to spend much time on a research. More important is how you are able to render your ideas to the audience.


However, the thing that is similar in both essays is the introduction and conclusions. They need to be persuasive enough, reaching the target audience and containing hooks and a thesis statement. Knowing these simple differences and similarities, you will easily write an argumentative or a persuasive essay in no time.

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