Writing to persuade

Learn how to write to persuade in this blog.

You may have heard the term persuasive writing techniques but perhaps you fell asleep in class that day and have suddenly woken up to the realization that you have a persuasive essay due and you have no idea where to start. Writing to persuade isn’t all that hard once you understand what the formula is, think of it like a recipe, once you have all of the ingredients, you’ve got yourself a persuasive argument. In this blog, we’ll outline the writing-to-persuade techniques you need to include in a persuasive essay or presentation, so here goes!

1. Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of particular sounds and it’s used to embed something in the readers/listeners/viewers memory. Think Coca-Cola and Krispy-Kreme, notice which letters are repeated? If you’ve been asked to build a presentation with the goal to persuade your audience to do or believe something, you might want to use alliteration to make your message stick. Avoid using this as a persuasive technique in essays, however, as it’s often used mainly in brand names and presentations.

2. Facts

Use facts to persuade your audience. Facts show that there is evidence to support your complaints and are an essential factor in any academic essay. Remember that facts are true and can be proven as such.

3. Opinion

Include your personal opinion and the opinions of others (think toothpaste adverts – 10 out of 10 dentists agree!). As social creatures, we’re more inclined to follow the crowd (though this isn’t always a good thing) which is why sharing other people’s opinions, not just your own, can be very impactful.

4. Repetition

Repeat your argument in several different ways. For example, you may start by sharing your thoughts, then repeating the same information from the perspective of others, and then go on to repeat the same information using evidence. Repetition is an effective persuasive tool because it sticks the main message in the audience’s mind.

5. Rhetorical language

Rhetorical language is when you ask a question that doesn’t need to be answered, for example: Do we want our planet to die? We already know the answer, but the reader is the one doing the answering, therefore it’s a good way to get your point across.

6. Emotive language

Emotive language is when the person uses phrases, words or examples that trigger an emotional response in the audience. This is a powerful tool to use when trying to persuade others because we remember emotional experiences far greater than ones without emotion. Just try and think back to your most traumatic memory or your happiest memory, I bet you could pull it out of the bag rather quickly, right?

7. Statistics

Use statistics e.g. 17% of people think… to support your opinions. Numbers work well because they show facts in a logical form.

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