Essay on Animals: How to Write a Persuasive Paper

This girl (with help from her two black cats) is writing an essay on animals for school.

When writing a persuasive paper, your purpose is to convince your audience to agree with your idea or accept your recommendation for a course of action. If you’ve decided to write an essay on animals (either for a school assignment or for another purpose), here are the steps to follow.

1. Choose a topic

Some sample topics for an essay on animals include:

  • Everyone should spay or neuter their pets.
  • Adoption is the best option.
  • Dogs should be treated as individuals, not discriminated against because of breed.
  • Microchipping is important to keep pets with their families.

2. Research information on the topic

You can do research online and at the library, plus talk to experts in the field, to get more information. While reviewing the materials, look for interesting facts or tidbits that will hook your readers.

3. Create a flow chart 

Reason 1   
   Supporting data   
   Supporting data   
   Supporting data   
Reason 2   
   Supporting data   
   Supporting data   
   Supporting data   
Reason 3   
   Supporting data   
   Supporting data   
   Supporting data   

4. Write the thesis statement for your paper

Now it's time to fill in the flow chart, first with your thesis statement. For example: "Everyone should spay or neuter their pets." This statement will go in the first box in your flow chart. The flow chart is a visual way to help you create an outline. An outline will help you organize the information in a logical order. Your finished product will have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

5. Write the reasons and supporting data

The body will contain the reasons and the supporting data listed on your flow chart. The body not only contains evidence to support your opinion but also addresses one or two opposing views. 

Be sure to include your counter-argument when stating the opposing view. For example, one opposing view to the above statement might be this: "Many people think that an animal who has been spayed or neutered will become lazy and fat." Your counter-argument could be this: "This is a misconception. The main reason pets become overweight is lack of exercise and overfeeding."

6. Note engaging facts

Keep the flow chart handy as you read through all the information you have gathered. In a separate place, write “Hooks and facts to grab the reader’s attention,” and as you review your material, jot down cool facts that you come across. For example: "Just one female cat and her offspring can produce an estimated 420,000 cats in only seven years."

7. Consider all angles

Be sure to address a wide variety of reasons to support your topic statement. For example: Think about pet overpopulation, overcrowded shelters, the costs to your city or town, the effects on pet health, and pet behavior. What would your audience find most important?

8. Expand each reason individually

Before writing your actual paper, keep your facts straight by writing each reason and the supporting evidence on separate sheets of paper or documents.

9. Write your essay

Write your first draft. Then, revise your outline and draft as needed until you have your final draft. If necessary, include a bibliography.