Writing to Persuade: Form, Tone, Register

Writing to Persuade: Form, Tone, Register

Writing to Persuade: Form

  • When planning the form of your persuasive writing, begin with a solid standpoint on the issue at hand. This position should be stated clearly in the introduction and consistently backed up throughout your piece.
  • Organization and structure are crucial. Divide your points into manageable sections, each with its own paragraph. Every paragraph should contain a new argument or piece of evidence that supports your position.
  • Use the introduction to engage your readers with the topic and provide a clear statement of your argument. Use rhetorical questions or intriguing statements to hook the reader.
  • Your body paragraphs should each contain a clear point related to your argument, explained and supported with evidence. A range of persuasive techniques should be used throughout.
  • The conclusion should summarise all points made, reaffirm your stance and provide a strong, memorable ending that leaves the reader thinking about your argument.

Writing to Persuade: Tone

  • The tone of a persuasive text should be passionate, confident, and assertive. It should leave no room for doubt in the minds of your readers.
  • Although passion and emotion can strengthen your argument, it’s important to maintain balanced and rational arguments. Never let your tone become too emotional or aggressive.
  • Strive for a tone that is engaging and invites your reader into a conversation rather than dictating at them.
  • Use language that invites the reader to agree with you. This can include inclusive language such as ‘we’ and ‘us’, and the use of direct address.
  • Employ techniques such as rhetorical questions to challenge readers and provoke thought.

Writing to Persuade: Register

  • Persuasive writing generally uses a formal register, with standard English and proper grammar. However, depending on your audience, sometimes a semi-formal or even informal register can be used effectively.
  • Always use a consistent register throughout your piece. If you start formally, keep the entire document formal.
  • Be mindful of your audience when choosing your register. If you’re writing for a younger audience, for example, an informal or semi-formal register may be more effective.
  • Decorative or emotive language may be used to build a powerful picture in the reader’s mind. This can be particularly effective in persuasive appeals.
  • The use of first-person pronouns (‘I’ and ‘we’) is common in persuasive writing to build a connection with the reader.