In general, a powerful persuasive essay should begin with a "hook" such as a quote or a statistic to engage the reader's attention, then give an overview of the issue being argued and introduce the position the writer intends to argue in the essay. A successful persuasive essay should both introduce evidence that supports the author's point and refute the opposing viewpoint's arguments.
Choosing an issue and taking a specific position is essential to crafting an effective and powerful persuasive issue, and the writer's thesis statement should make his position clear to the reader before introducing any supporting information. A persuasive essay should not solely contain the writer's opinion, however; the body of the essay should contain points that the writer can support with facts to form an argument.
A powerful persuasive essay should also take opposing viewpoints into account. While crafting a persuasive essay, a writer should be well-versed enough in the issue to highlight flaws in the opposing viewpoint and present counterarguments to those points. One effective way to do this is to discredit the opposing arguments or question the validity of those arguments by presenting compelling facts that support the chosen stance. Because of the importance of knowing both sides of an issue, an effective persuasive essay usually requires significant research.