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Writing to persuade example

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Writing to persuade example
August 06, 2019 Anniversary Wishes 1 comment

Eleanor Roosevelt's "The Struggle for Human Rights" is another example of a skilled writer trying to persuade an audience. But be careful.

The art of persuasion has probably been around as long as at least two people have existed, and it continues on to this very day. Studies show that every five seconds, 13,000 people around the world are persuaded to do something (note: not an actual statistic – if only I had persuaded you that it was true, though….) The main objective of persuasion is to convince – you may be trying to convince someone to do something, to think something, or both. Persuasion may take the form of a speech, or, more often than not, writing, which is what we will be discussing today. Some of the more popular written forms of persuasion include essays, editorials, reports, reviews, and all forms of advertisement.

Certain situations call for specific writing styles, and it’s up to the writer to find the appropriate one. For example, a persuasive style of writing wouldn’t fit into the reporting of a football game, but would do quite nicely in a political campaign. If you’d like to become a writer, but aren’t sure what style of writing is best for a certain situation, don’t worry – it’ll be pretty obvious when you should be persuading people, and when you shouldn’t. This course on novel writing will help those interested in long-form writing, and this course on writing for children has some good information for those that want to write for kids, from picture books, to young adult.

Four Types of Writing

In order to give persuasion some context, let’s first talk about the four major styles of writing. Don’t get these confused with genres of writing, such as mystery, western, or science fiction. These are simply different styles that a writer may use, and encompass all genres, including fiction and non-fiction.

  1. Expository Writing Reserved more for textbooks and “How To” tutorials, this style of writing focuses just on the topic at hand, leaving out the opinion of the writer. Facts and figures are the stars of expository writing, with things such as processes, and logical order and sequences taking the spotlight. As you can probably tell, this style of writing is used more in an academic setting, and this article on expository writing prompts might be helpful for people who write in this environment.
  2. Descriptive Writing The opposite of expository writing, descriptive writing focuses more on the details of a situation or character. It is less concerned with the blow-by-blow action as it is the more poetic aspects that lie in the description. For example, instead of saying “We walked up the hill”, a descriptive version of that sentence would be “We tiredly and slowly trudged up the interminable, Mt. Everest-like mound of earth.”
  3. Narrative Writing This is the style of writing that we’re all probably most familiar with. Narrative writing tells a story, and it’s the style of writing that most people read for fun, and describes the style of novels, short stories, poetry, biographies, etc. A narrative basically makes the reader ask “What happened next?” Also part of the narrative field are movies, and if you’d like to write a movie, this article on the steps to writing a script will help with the process.
  4. Persuasive Writing Finally, persuasive writing gets into the head of the author, and he or she explains their opinion about something. Not only is an opinion stated, they are also attempting to either change the reader’s mind about the subject, or to reinforce an already held opinion. Below, we will explain the techniques of this style of writing.

Persuasive Writing Techniques

Now that you know a bit about the four types of writing types, let’s focus our attention on the persuasive type. Like we said before, the basis of it is that the writer has an opinion, or at least a stance on something, but more than that, they have a motive, and that motive is to get you, the reader, to side with them in that opinion.

Getting Others On Your Side

Writers whose job it is to persuade must do more than just say “I’m right,” or “Buy this,” they have to appeal to the readers in different ways. Changing someone’s mind about something requires more than just being the loudest or the most abrasive – there needs to be some thought put into it, and the following four methods are how writers persuade.

  1. Appeal to Logic Logic makes use of facts and figures to appeal to someone’s sense of reason. The use of logic in persuasion is meant to keep out any emotion and anger when appealing to a reader, not just on the writer’s side, but they also want to prevent the reader from getting too worked up, as well. Not only does it prevent negativity from creeping into the discussion, it also lends an air of credibility when a writer can back up their claims with hard facts. Logic is especially useful when used in dealing with more controversial matters. This course on logical argument will help with your critical thinking and logic skills.
  2. Appeal to Emotions More broad and easier to understand than an appeal to logic, the use of emotion in persuasion is very effective. Great care must be taken when using this approach, however, as credibility may easily be lost if the emotional appeal is poorly executed. If an emotional appeal lacks substance, the reader may feel manipulated and alienated, but when done well, especially when combined with logical appeals, it can be quite effective.
  3. Appeal to Tradition “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” can sum up this appeal. This method is dangerous and can lead to fallacies, but can also be effective when used, as it often is, in advertising and politics. Both writers and readers should be wary of these types of messages, and are most effective for writers when evidence and logic can back up any claims.
  4. Appeal to Ethics Using ethos in persuasive writing requires a credible writer (and sources) for it to be effective. Not only must what they say be true and able to be proven, but the reader must see the writer in the best possible light for the message to take hold. An example of an appeal to ethics would be to convince a family member to stop smoking because of the effects of secondhand smoke on the rest of the family and the pets.

Writing Techniques 

You just learned how a persuasive writer formulates their ideas, and next we will show you the techniques they employ in order to present them for the reader. Good reasoning, ethics, or a well thought out emotional appeal aren’t enough – they must be presented in a manner that ensures that the message takes hold in the reader, and the following techniques are just some of the tricks persuasive writers rely on.

  • Repetition Not only must a point be made several times in order to be persuasive, but it must be made in different ways. The repetition makes it stick in their head, and the different approaches keep the subject matter from getting stale to the reader.
  • Consistency In the interest of appearing stable and focused, consistency in the message makes sure the writer appears credible and rational, as well as being easier for the reader to understand.
  • Social Proof The driving force behind social media, this technique appeals to those that are concerned what other people think, not only about them, but about the subject being discussed. Used delicately, as opposed to blatant name dropping, this can be a powerful tool.
  • Agitate and Solve This technique is meant to create empathy in the reader. The writer first works up the reader, mentioning a problem that will get a reaction, then tells the reader that they understand and are able to solve it.
  • Prognosticate Another technique built on author credibility, this idea convinces the reader that if current events continue into the future, this is what we will be dealing with. This can be quite persuasive if the writer has credentials, as well as a firm grasp of the subject.
  • Tribe Mentality Going along with the social proof technique, the idea that people want to belong to a larger group will always hold true, and will remain an effective technique of persuasion. People will always want to be part of the group that’s cool, or rich, or green, etc.
  • Storytelling Ideally, all other persuasion techniques culminate in this one. If you can deftly blend other techniques while simultaneously telling a compelling story, you’ll be the most persuasive person on the block.

This article was more an example of expository writing, rather than an example of the topic, persuasion, but we didn’t need to persuade you about persuasion, did we? You can see there’s much more to persuading in writing than just stating your opinion and hoping for the best, and maybe next time you need to do some convincing, you can use some of the stuff you learned here today. If you’d like to learn more about it, this course on the art of persuasion, and this course on the power of persuasion might just help you win your next argument.

Persuasive writing anchor chart Writing Strategies, Writing Resources, Writing This anchor chart activity is an example of critical literacy in the classroom. Here.

FREE Sample Persuasion Letters

writing to persuade example

  • 1

    Read the prompt carefully. In most cases, you will be given a specific assignment for your persuasive essay. It’s important to read the prompt carefully and thoroughly.
    • Look for language that gives you a clue as to whether you are writing a purely persuasive or an argumentative essay. For example, if the prompt uses words like “personal experience” or “personal observations,” you know that these things can be used to support your argument.[1]
    • On the other hand, words like “defend” or “argue” suggest that you should be writing an argumentative essay, which may require more formal, less personal evidence.
    • If you aren’t sure about what you’re supposed to write, ask your instructor.
  • 2

    Give yourself time. If you can, make the time to craft an argument you'll enjoy writing. A rushed essay isn’t likely to persuade anyone. Allow yourself enough time to brainstorm, write, and edit.
    • Whenever possible, start early. This way, even if you have emergencies like a computer meltdown, you’ve given yourself enough time to complete your essay.
  • 3

    Examine the rhetorical situation. All writing has a rhetorical situation, which has five basic elements: the text (here, your essay), the author (you), the audience, the purpose of the communication, and the setting.[2]
    • Try using stasis theory to help you examine the rhetorical situation. This is when you look at the facts, definition (meaning of the issue or the nature of it), quality (the level of seriousness of the issue), and policy (plan of action for the issue).
    • To look at the facts, try asking: What happened? What are the known facts? How did this issue begin? What can people do to change the situation?
    • To look at the definition, ask: What is the nature of this issue or problem? What type of problem is this? What category or class would this problem fit into best?
    • To examine the quality, ask: Who is affected by this problem? How serious is it? What might happen if it is not resolved?
    • To examine the policy, ask: Should someone take action? Who should do something and what should they do?
  • 4

    Consider your audience. What’s persuasive to one person may not be persuasive to another. For this reason, it’s crucial to consider to whom you are targeting your essay. Obviously, your instructor is your primary audience, but consider who else might find your argument convincing.[3]
    • For example, if you are arguing against unhealthy school lunches, you might take very different approaches depending on whom you want to convince. You might target the school administrators, in which case you could make a case about student productivity and healthy food. If you targeted students’ parents, you might make a case about their children’s health and the potential costs of healthcare to treat conditions caused by unhealthy food. And if you were to consider a “grassroots” movement among your fellow students, you’d probably make appeals based on personal preferences.
  • 5

    Pick a topic that appeals to you. Because a persuasive essay often relies heavily on emotional appeals, you should choose to write on something about which you have a real opinion. Pick a subject about which you feel strongly and can argue convincingly.

  • 6

    Look for a topic that has a lot of depth or complexity. You may feel incredibly passionate about pizza, but it may be difficult to write an interesting essay on it. A subject that you're interested in but which has a lot of depth — like animal cruelty or government earmarking — will make for better subject material.

  • 7

    Consider opposing viewpoints when thinking about your essay. If you think it will be hard to come up with arguments against your topic, your opinion might not be controversial enough to make it into a persuasive essay. On the other hand, if there are too many arguments against your opinion that will be hard to debunk, you might choose a topic that is easier to refute.

  • 8

    Make sure you can remain balanced. A good persuasive essay will consider the counterarguments and find ways to convince readers that the opinion presented in your essay is the preferable one. Make sure you choose a topic about which you’re prepared to thoroughly, fairly consider counterarguments. (For this reason, topics such as religion usually aren’t a good idea for persuasive essays, because you’re incredibly unlikely to persuade someone away from their own religious beliefs.)

  • 9

    Keep your focus manageable. Your essay is likely to be fairly short; it may be 5 paragraphs or several pages, but you need to keep a narrow focus so that you can adequately explore your topic. For example, an essay that attempts to persuade your readers that war is wrong is unlikely to be successful, because that topic is huge. Choosing a smaller bit of that topic -- for example, that drone strikes are wrong -- will give you more time to delve deeply into your evidence.[4]

  • 10

    Come up with a thesis statement. Your thesis statement presents your opinion or argument in clear language. It is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph. For a persuasive essay, it’s especially important that you present your argument in clear language that lets your readers know exactly what to expect.[5]
    • It also should present the organization of your essay. Don’t list your points in one order and then discuss them in a different order.
    • For example, a thesis statement could look like this: “Although pre-prepared and highly processed foods are cheap, they aren’t good for students. It is important for schools to provide fresh, healthy meals to students, even when they cost more. Healthy school lunches can make a huge difference in students’ lives, and not offering healthy lunches fails students.”
    • Note that this thesis statement isn’t a three-prong thesis. You don’t have to state every sub-point you will make in your thesis (unless your prompt or assignment says to). You do need to convey exactly what you will argue.
  • 11

    Brainstorm your evidence. Once you have chosen your topic, do as much preparation as you can before you write your essay. This means you need to examine why you have your opinion and what evidence you find most compelling. Here’s also where you look for counterarguments that could refute your point.[6]
    • A mind map could be helpful. Start with your central topic and draw a box around it. Then, arrange other ideas you think of in smaller bubbles around it. Connect the bubbles to reveal patterns and identify how ideas relate.[7]
    • Don’t worry about having fully fleshed-out ideas at this stage. Generating ideas is the most important step here.
  • 12

    Research, if necessary. Once you have your ideas together, you may discover that some of them need research to support them. Doing your research before you begin “writing” your essay will make the writing process go smoothly.
    • For example, if you’re arguing for healthier school lunches, you could make a point that fresh, natural food tastes better. This is a personal opinion and doesn’t need research to support it. However, if you wanted to argue that fresh food has more vitamins and nutrients than processed food, you’d need a reliable source to support that claim.
    • If you have a librarian available, consult with him or her! Librarians are an excellent resource to help guide you to credible research.
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    What are the best and easy Persuasive Writing Techniques?

    writing to persuade example

    Persuasive Essay Examples: Writing Tips for Beginners

    What is a persuasive essay? – this a redundant question because the name of this essay speaks for itself. Its purpose is to persuade someone, to make him or her adopt your point of view, and this purpose needs to be achieved via words. Sounds really challenging, right? This is why students invent hundreds of reasons to skip writing a persuasive essay and are even ready to take a quiz instead. Nevertheless, we try to persuade people in opposite and quite often we achieve our goal with help of different means. Let us take a look at these tools and see how we can use them to create a decent essay worth handing in to a professor.

    Persuasive essay is about being sure of what you say and about burning desire to make others side with your opinion. So to begin with, you need to choose one side and stick to it. You will need to explore the topic to shape the viable opinion, but as a soon as you master the material you will find it easier to create the whole essay and to find arguments that will be compelling enough. So, this essay is about finding your side in the issue and finding the reasons to attract others to your side.

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    Writing A Persuasive Essay: How to Use Different Arguments

    Now that you have found your voice and want others to follow its call, let us review what instruments can help you achieve it.

    Suppose, for your college persuasive essay you have picked weighty arguments that come from credible sources. Now what? Now try to mix different kinds of arguments to make your paper lively and vibrant in style. You cannot use facts only, or statistics only. For example, you have three main arguments to use. Bring in one argument as a fact supported by scientific proofs. Then bring in second argument such as a statistics, as figures tend to impress people stronger than words. And finally, bring in an example argument. Make it personalized and easy to identify with. People like stories that resemble their experiences even more than figures.

    So you will bombard your audience with a variety of arguments, and if facts seem too dry to readers, then examples will make them nod apprehensively and agree with your ideas.

    Okay, you have selected an assortment of different arguments, but how to arrange them? Begin with the one you believe to be the most important. Then add up others, thus building up the paper. However, while writing a persuasive essay, now and then use rhetoric tricks. Repeat your main claim now and then. You do not need to repeat the whole thesis, but you should remind of your opinion that the audience has to adopt.

    Appeal to common sense and knowledge, and to social standards that everyone needs to follow. Sorting trash is boring, yet if people are reminded that responsible and environmentally conscious citizens sort it, they will pick the pattern because they want to be those respected citizens.

    Show how hot and pressing the problem is. Use some strong imagery (but in moderate amount) so that people sympathize with you and take your words close to heart.

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    Be confident in your language and claims. If you are hesitating on the topic, how do you suppose to persuade someone else?

    Examples of Persuasive Essays

    Help with Persuasive Essay Outline

    Now it is time to get to drafting. How to start a persuasive essay? Begin the introduction with a so-called hook. A striking fact, a statistical datum, a controversial claim that opens up a debate will do.

    What about the structure? Anything particular? Actually, no.

    You need to have a thesis in the introduction, arguments with explanations and references in the main body, and restatement of your plea in the conclusion. So the structure is pretty typical. It is the content that is the king (or a leader, as it is fashionable to say today). Reference page is a must if you bring in some facts and figures. Otherwise a pretty good essay will get a zero for plagiarism.

    Proofread the finished essay to ensure that you have included everything essential and did not use too much distracting data.

    Still fearing the task and unsure how to write a persuasive essay? Let us complete it for you and persuade your readers and professor to adopt any point of view you decide to support your essay.

    I thought i'd post an example of a writing to persuade task I did weeks ago, which got me 17/18 + 9/9. Write a letter to your headteacher persuading him to.

    Sample Persuasive Letters

    writing to persuade example

    When writing a persuasive essay, the author's goal is to sway the reader to share his or her opinion. It can be more difficult than making an argument, which involves using facts to prove a point. A successful persuasive essay will reach the reader on an emotional level, much the way a well-spoken politician does. Persuasive speakers aren't necessarily trying to convert the reader or listener to completely change their minds, but rather to consider an idea or a focus in a different way. While it's important to use credible arguments supported by facts, the persuasive writer wants to convince the reader or listener that his or her argument is not simply correct, but convincing as well.

    The are several different ways to choose a topic for your persuasive essay. Your teacher may give you a prompt or a choice of several prompts. Or you may have to come up with a topic, based on your own experience or the texts you've been studying. If you do have some choice in the topic selection, it's helpful if you select one that interests you and about which you already feel strongly.

    Another key factor to consider before you begin writing is the audience. If you're trying to persuade a roomful of teachers that homework is bad, for instance, you'll use a different set of arguments than you would if the audience was made up of high school students or parents.

    Once you have the topic and have considered the audience, there are a few steps to prepare yourself before you begin writing your persuasive essay:

    1. Brainstorm. Use whatever method of brainstorming works best for you. Write down your thoughts about the topic. Make sure you know where you stand on the issue. You can even try asking yourself some questions. Ideally, you'll try to ask yourself questions that could be used to refute your argument, or that could convince a reader of the opposite point of view. If you don't think of the opposing point of view, chances are your instructor or a member of your audience will.
    2. Investigate. Talk to classmates, friends, and teachers about the topic. What do they think about it? The responses that you get from these people will give you a preview of how they would respond to your opinion. Talking out your ideas, and testing your opinions, is a good way to collect evidence. Try making your arguments out loud. Do you sound shrill and angry, or determined and self-assured? What you say is as important as how you say it.
    3. Think. It may seem obvious, but you really have to think about how you are going to persuade your audience. Use a calm, reasoning tone. While persuasive essay writing is at its most basic an exercise in emotion, try not to choose words that are belittling to the opposing viewpoint, or that rely on insults. Explain to your reader why, despite the other side of the argument, your viewpoint is the "right," most logical one.
    1. Find examples. There are many writers and speakers who offer compelling, persuasive arguments. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech is widely cited as one of the most persuasive arguments in American rhetoric. Eleanor Roosevelt's "The Struggle for Human Rights" is another example of a skilled writer trying to persuade an audience. But be careful: While you can emulate a certain writer's style, be careful not to stray too far into imitation. Be sure the words you're choosing are your own, not words that sound like they've come from a thesaurus (or worse, that they're someone else's words entirely).
    2. Organize. In any paper that you write you should make sure that your points are well-organized and that your supporting ideas are clear, concise, and to the point. In persuasive writing, though, it is especially important that you use specific examples to illustrate your main points. Don't give your reader the impression that you are not educated on the issues related to your topic. Choose your words carefully.
    1. Stick to the script. The best essays follow a simple set of rules: First, tell your reader what you're going to tell them. Then, tell them. Then, tell them what you've told them. Have a strong, concise thesis statement before you get past the second paragraph, because this is the clue to the reader or listener to sit up and pay attention.
    2. Review and revise. If you know you're going to have more than one opportunity to present your essay, learn from the audience or reader feedback, and continue to try to improve your work. A good argument can become a great one if properly fine-tuned.

    Here are phrases, structures, and expression used to write persuasive arguments for and against something with example short essay and.

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