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Five Tips for Improving Persuasive Writing

October 7th, 2010

persuasive-writer.jpgPersuading is not always easy, especially in the form of writing. Most readers (and people in general) are set in their own beliefs and are not avidly seeking to be convinced of someone else’s view. In order to successfully persuade readers, you must take the proper steps to invite the audience in, zone in on the point being made using logical statements without sentiment, and end on a note of confidence.

The following guidelines will enhance the argument of any persuader:

Know Your Audience

Entering a debate with no prior knowledge of an opponent is just as unwise as writing to an unknown audience. Readers are certainly not the enemy, but they can become so if an essay does not convey understanding, respect, and support. Without these important elements the writer can unintentionally alienate the audience. Embrace readers instead, by stating points in a neutral, unbiased tone: “Some believe… yet others…”, “While it has been suggested that…” Avoid phrases such as “Everyone knows that…” or “People who believe this way are.…”.

Focus the Claim or Argument

Consistency is imperative for successful persuasion. Clearly state the claim at the beginning and repeat it throughout the essay to remind readers of the point of the writing. Also address opposing viewpoints (fairly) to further or strengthen the one being made in the work.

Use Logic and Facts

Begin the supporting of a claim with evidence and rationale. The use of logic appeals to readers’ sense of reason and can help establish a writer’s authority on a given topic. Statistics, research, and case studies are effective ways to petition readers’ judgment.

Avoid Flowery Emotion

The use of pathos is not without merit, but it must be used with caution. Unskilled or amateur emotional appeals will only serve to gain partial or superficial reader belief in the argument. In a professional essay, avoid using “sob stories”, stereotypes or fear mongering. Instead, make sufficient use of vivid imagery and detailed descriptions, such as a specific environment or mood, to evoke an appropriate emotional response from readers.

Conclude with Authority

The succession of the first four tips will naturally lead to an authoritative conclusion; the author’s authority has been ascertained as an opinion worth pursuing, and thus will leave readers thinking and rethinking. Avoid phrases such as “I think”, “I suppose”, “It could be that”, etc. This will leave the otherwise well-written essay without a parachute. Thus, use confident, assertive language: “I am certain that,” “It is true that”, It has been proven that”, etc., to give the work a graceful and sure-footed landing.

For a great, effective piece of persuasion, establish a rapport with readers to lead them through a focused and logical process, devoid of sop. Readers are further convinced when the author knows the topic and subject matter well. An audience that has confidence in their author will be won over by his argument. Following these pointers will improve the quality and authority of anyone’s work. Good luck!

This article was supplied by Amanda Place from Constant Content.

Related article: How to Write an Argumentative Paper

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