Persuasive language is when you try to convince someone to do something. You could be trying to change their mind about a topic.


These are some of the things we should include in our persuasive writing:

1) Emotive Language:

Emotive Language is very effective. It is language that makes us feel something, for example sad or happy.

What is the difference between a house and a home?

The word ‘house’ gives us a picture simply of a building made of bricks and mortar, but the word ‘home’ creates an image of a place of security, comfort, family and love.

Emotive vocabulary is very persuasive as it plays on the audience’s emotions.

“Day after day, in temperatures of up to 128F, weary little donkeys are suffering and collapsing for want of a drink. Weighed down by back-breaking loads, exhausted by the heat and often in agony, the little brick kiln donkeys keep trudging patiently onwards.”

What is the basic message of the text?

The donkeys that carry loads in Pakistan’s kilns are often thirsty.

Highlight the words that make you feel something for the donkeys. What effect do these words have on you?

They make us feel sorry for the donkeys; filling us with empathy. You feel as though you want to do something to help, which makes the emotive language persuasive.

2) Repetition and list of 3

“Don’t ever do that again!”

“Don’t ever, ever, ever do that again!”

What effect does repeating the word ‘ever’ have on the audience?

Repeating a word or phrase, especially three times emphasises and reinforces the point being made, which makes it persuasive. You can repeat an adjective, phrase or structure up to three times.

3) Alliteration

In the poem ‘The Eagle’, the poet describes the bird in the following way:

“He clasps the crag with crooked hands”

Alliteration is a repeated consonant sound, which can be used to create rhythm or sound effects.

What effect does repeating a sound have on the audience?

In this example, the repeated hard ‘c’ sound creates a mental image of the eagle’s tough, gnarled claws and the scratchy sound they make against rock. This is persuasive because it grabs the audience’s attention.

4) Rhetorical Questions

Rhetorical questions are questions which do not really need an answer. Examples include:

“Who do you think you are?”

“What time of night do you call this?”

Rhetorical questions force the reader to think about a possible or obvious answer. Other examples include:

“How would you feel if your child was run over by a drunk driver?”

“How can we stand by and watch these people starve?”

Can you think of another example?

5) Pronoun usage

Find the difference between:

“You must do a good deed and donate money to the charity”


“Donating to the charity is a good deed”

2) Find the difference between:

“You can’t help but be moved by these images of suffering”


“We can’t help but be moved by these images of suffering”

Pronouns can be used as ‘Team Building vocabulary’ and aim to draw the audience in and make them feel involved in the issues. The audience is now part of the discussion, not an outsider. The feeling of inclusion persuades the audience the other person is on their side.


Look at the following text. Can you find any examples of persuasive language devices within the paragraph?

“Bring back beautiful cricket to mainstream television! In 2012, we all sat down with a glass of wine; a few beers or a cup of tea, enjoying watching the enthusiastic English thrashing the awful Australians. Would you not like to make this possible again? Viewing figures would increase by over 80% with the movement of this heart wrenching sport from Sky to mainstream television.”

Createyourownwritingand Assess

Use the example questions to create your own responses:

  1. Write a letter persuading your local government to invest more money in recycling.
  2. Write a speech persuading your headteacher to invest money into a club of your choice.
  3. Write an email persuading your local community to donate to a charity of your choice.

Remember that you must use persuasive devices. Furthermore, you must use the correct text layout.

What is alliteration?
What is persuasive writing?
What is a rhetorical question?