Persuading is a skill that you will need not only for writing exercises but, generally, in your life: in business, at the workplace or any other situation that deals with interpersonal communication. Factually, to persuade means to make someone agree with your position. It may sound plain but, in fact, this task is quite challenging, as usually:
- People have their own opinions;
- Views differ according to various lifestyles and experiences;
- Usually people tend to prefer possessing their own, unique judgments and estimations of things;
- The persuaders do not sound convincing or trustworthy.
Taking into account these factors, we can conclude that the writer has to develop situation that is called “win – win” and make the readers feel that they are not being forced to change opinion but to receive some vital information. A number of techniques exists for this matter. Here are some of the most effective ones.
- In order to make an accent on a particular point you may repeat some words or patterns. However, you should do it wisely and avoid tautology in your paper;
- There are several rhetorical figures based on repetition, such as anaphora (recurrence of the pattern at the beginning of clauses, sentences or paragraphs) and antistrophe (setting the repeated words at the end);
- Repetitions allow enforcing the information and making sure that your arguments are being noticed and remembered by the audience.
- In order to convince your audience, you can select different types of humor: satire, jokes or irony;
- Humor will allow you to set a friendly tone and shorten the distance between a reader and a writer.
Appealing to Human Emotions
- Mostly, people have similar emotions and desires, which you can use for your persuasion. For example, you can appeal to human fears, wish to look good and smart, to seem more successful than they are;
- Think about the phrases, that you can add, which will appeal to people’s desire to save money and get more for less;
- Consider reader’s longing to be individual and to not break traditions.
- To prove the arguments, which you bring to your persuasive article, you are to support them by evidence;
- Possible pieces of evidence for your work are facts, statistic data, quotations from authoritative sources, views of experts, and findings of research.
Make Your Writing Personal
- Here you can use personal pronouns, such as “I”, “you”, “we”, as your task it to address the reader and create the impression of solidarity;
- When you use the pronoun “I” or “we” you demonstrate your personal participation and responsibility, which must sound quite convincing.
Causes and Effects
- When you explicate an issue in your article it is important to show where it comes from and how it can end up;
- Try to find cause and effects connection between the components of your topic: they will make it more understandable for the reader and, hence, more convincing.
- There are a number of rhetorical figures that can make your language sound more beautiful and persuasive. They are metaphors, simile, alliteration, assonance, and images.
Do Not be Straightforward
- Have you ever heard a person beginning to write their article with the words “I take this position and I want you to join me that is why I am going to convince you that I am right”? Unless you want to lose the readers never be too arrogant in stating your point of view. Start it mildly;
- Describe two points of view, one of which will be yours and the other one widespread. Provide them both with some arguments but very briefly so that you they will not concentrate on reassuring their standpoint again and again. Implicitly lead the audience to the position they need to take.
Predict the Audience’s Attitude
In order to succeed with your persuasive essay, you might bear in mind that you need to know who you are working with.
You do not have to be a forecaster but a good knowledge what your classmates and other people who will read your essay live with is essential. And you do not need to dig deeply but narrow it to only one topic that stated in the essay. A good social proof will work very good here as nothing allures people more than the opinion of other people. Therefore, the more people are interested in your topic the easier they will be involved in the presentation of your persuasive essay.
Sometimes it is more effective to show them in pictures, calculations and diagrams why it is better than other. However, do not be too realistic. Try to take into comparison things that are not very similar as it will be hard to find differences and you may even convince them to the contrary.
Thus, do not be afraid to compare a pen and an apple (yes, just like in that hilarious Japanese song) and you may get not only the similar outcome but a good understanding of how it works in life.
Read, Edit, Proofread
Here a method of experiment will work the best. If you have already finished with your paper but still not sure if it is capable of assuring anyone in your point of view – it is time to torture your friends, relatives, brothers and sisters a bit. Talk with them on the topic your essay is about and find out their position and attitude to it. Give the essay to them and afterwards ask for their opinion.
Remember to ask them be very honest as the main task for a persuasive essay is to independently convince other people and not to make them pity you.
If they tell you it “hooked” them – congratulations! You are to hand your essay to your professor and wait for results. In case they still doubt – that means you might have lost some killing argument or a strong support like examples, statistics and relevant facts.