DRAPES for Persuasive Writing

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The persuasive or argumentative essay is writing intended to convince the reader of the writer's opinion on a controversial issue. Writing the persuasive essay includes investigating a topic, collecting evidence and choosing a position on the issue. DRAPES is an acronym for a strategy of providing evidence in writing. The components -- dialogue, rhetorical question, analogy, personal example, example and statistics -- can be applied to the persuasive essay.


The persuasive essay relies heavily on evidence as a means to support the central opinion of the essay. Dialogue can be utilized as a means of providing expert opinion or analysis regarding the essay's topic. Evidence in the essay can be quoted directly from a source for an opinion on a local issue or from a researcher or writer in an opinion on larger issues.

Rhetorical Question and Analogy

The rhetorical question in the DRAPES strategy can be included in the introduction of a traditional five-paragraph persuasive essay. The rhetorical question can be a means of introducing the topic of the essay by drawing attention to the issue. Asking the reader for an opinion on a controversial opinion in the opening of the essay develops intrigue in the topic for the reader. An analogy can also be used as a "hook" to grab the reader's attention in the first paragraph of the persuasive essay. An analogy gives the reader context or a point of comparison for the opinion expressed in the essay.

Personal Example and Example

The body paragraphs of the persuasive essay should provide supporting evidence for the argument. Evidence for the argument can be provided in the form of a personal example for essays that focus on local or personal issues. For instance, you may argue against the assigning of homework in school. As evidence, you may provide personal examples of the hardships caused by excessive homework. Likewise, examples from research can also be provided as evidence to support an argument in a persuasive essay.


Another means of providing evidence in the body paragraphs of a persuasive essay is through the use of statistics. The persuasive essay should make its argument in the most concise way possible, and statistics are a way of making a concise point. Statistical details attributed to research provide strong evidence in proving an argument.