#1 Make a Fabulous Claim
You can’t write about the whole world in 1000 words, which is about the right length for a crisp essay or blog. So focus in on a fantastic thesis. Make a really strong statement, such as this: "President Obama is the worst (or best) president in history." Or this: "The U.S. is still (or no longer) the greatest country in the world." Get the gist? Why bother to write if you don’t stake a strong position? Your powerful claim will announce to the world that you’re a player in the debate, grabbing everyone’s attention from the get go. A force to be reckoned with.
#2 Gather Your Evidence
Think like a judge or lawyer: you’ve got no case without evidence, aka facts. So inventory your facts. Go through the somewhat painful process of listing every single point you can come up with that supports your thesis. If you have no facts at all to support your thesis, not only will your argument be weak, you may not have an argument at all.
#3 Assume Your Audience Disagrees with You
Most people are jaded and skeptical-probably due to having been exposed to so many lies and liars in their lifetime. As a result, they often refuse to believe even concrete, supported, absolute facts that in some way dispute or are at odds with their own beliefs.
#4 Face the Facts: It’s a War between Knowledge & Ignorance
Merely presenting what you know to be facts-no matter how solid they are and how much support you offer for them-will not convince an audience that’s been brainwashed, indoctrinated, fooled, misled, or otherwise convinced that their views are, themselves, facts-even though you know in your heart and mind you’re right and they’re wrong.
#10 Note and Refute Opposing Views
Strategically, it’s a sign of strength to mention and quickly rebut the opposition’s key points. Decide what aspects of the counterargument to simply ignore, which ones to summarize and refute by showing their weaknesses, and which ones, if any, to concede as being valid, perhaps suggesting compromise and reconciliation. At all times, follow the principle of charity: be fair and honest about the opposition. The best place for this refutation of opposing points is in the second paragraph-before you launch into your case-or the second to last paragraph, before you give your concluding summation.
#11 Your Conclusion Should Conclude
In your conclusion, you should reach a conclusion, not merely a summary of what you’ve already said. You could, perhaps, play your ace in the hole in your last paragraph. Or you might explain why this is such an important issue, by noting its broader implications and possible consequences. Perhaps you could relate it to other or larger issues, suggesting the implications for humanity or the future of civilization. Be dramatic, but not melodramatic: always ground your statements in facts and reality.