Writing Persuasively

Writing Persuasively

Understanding the Art of Persuasion

  • Persuasive writing involves the use of rhetoric. Understand that it has the intention to convince, engage or provoke the reader into thinking or acting in a certain way.
  • Study the three components of Aristotelian appeals: ethos, pathos, logos. Ethos pertains to credibility or trust, pathos to emotions and values, and logos to logical reasoning.

Identifying Your Purpose and Audience

  • Determine the purpose of your persuasive piece. Is it to convince, entertain, enlighten, drive to action?
  • Identify your audience. Tailor your tone, language and arguments to suit your intended reader.

Generating and Organising Your Arguments

  • Use mind mapping or brainstorming to generate your arguments.
  • Arrange your arguments in a logical order, normally from the least to the most compelling.
  • Factor in your counter-argument. This helps strengthen your position as it shows you have fully explored the issue.

Crafting Effective Persuasive Techniques

  • Learn and practise using persuasive techniques such as rhetorical questions, anecdotes, figures of speech like metaphors and similes, and powerful imperatives.
  • Incorporate persuasive language that invokes feelings and values, like positive words for your arguments and negative connotations for opposing views.

Building Your Persuasive Structure

  • Introduction: Clearly state your position on the issue.
  • Body: Provide a separate paragraph for each argument. Each paragraph should contain a clear topic sentence, a detailed explanation, and supporting evidence.
  • Address the counter-argument. Refute it using your own arguments to show that your position is the stronger one.
  • Conclusion: Summarise your arguments and reiterate the importance of the issue and the necessity to adopt your viewpoint.

Reviewing and Refining Your Work

  • Revisit what you have written. Are your arguments convincing and powerful? Is your language engaging enough?
  • Try to stand in the shoes of your audience and read your piece. Would you be convinced?
  • Always check for grammar and spelling mistakes, and ensure that your writing flows smoothly.
  • Remember to edit ruthlessly. Cut out any unnecessary words and make every sentence work towards your aim.