Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essay

Main Difference – Argumentative vs Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essay and Argumentative essay are similar in nature and thus, often confused to be the same though there exists a difference between the two. In fact, Persuasive essay and Argumentative essay are two different types of essays, and the main difference between them is that the persuasive essay depends on opinions and emotions while an argumentative essay uses logic and reason. Let us first look at these two types of essays in detail and then move on to identify the differences between a persuasive essay and an argumentative essay.

What is an Argumentative Essay

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 thorough 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.

What is a Persuasive Essay

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 reader’s 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 (Ex: In my opinion, I believe, etc.,) are commonly used as the writer is addressing the audience directly.

Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essay

As discussed before, argumentative essays are a genre of writing that attempts to convince the readers to accept the writer’s idea as true, by using statistics, facts and figures, etc. while persuasive essays are a genre of writing that attempts to convince the readers to agree with the writer, by using emotions, personal ideas, etc. In other words, an argumentative essay is based on logic and reasons while a persuasive essay is based on emotions and personal opinions. When it comes preparations, before writing an argumentative essay, the writer needs to do a thorough research on the subject but does not need to have the knowledge about the audience. On the other hand, the writer can write a persuasive essay even without doing much research, but he should have certain  knowledge about the audience.

Difference Between Argumentative and Persuasive Essay

When we look at both types of essays in the perspective of the audience; an argumentative essay appeals to the minds of the readers whereas, a persuasive essay appeals to the hearts of the readers. Also,  an argumentative essay acknowledges opposing views, but a persuasive essay may not acknowledge opposing views.

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.


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