Persuasive Writing

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  • 1. Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion (speaking and writing effectively) How much do you know?
  • 2. Who persuades you?
    • Television Commercials
    • Radio- “Don’t turn that dial”
    • Presidential Election speeches
    • Billboards
    • Bumper Stickers
    • You even use persuasion on your parents!
  • 3. Who’s Aristotle?
    • Aristotle : 384 BC- 322 BC
      • 1. Greek Philosopher (a study concerned with ethics and reasoning among other things)
      • 2. Student of Plato: another Greek philosopher
      • “ Rhetoric,” to Aristotle= “ability to see the available means of persuasion
  • 4. Three Elements of Persuasion:
    • 3 types of persuasive approaches
    • 1 . Logos (Greek for “word”)- appeals to logic or reasoning provides evidence, statistics, proof
    • 2. Pathos (Greek for “suffering” or “experience”)- appeals to emotions
    • 3. Ethos (Greek for “character”)- proves you are reliable/credible source, proves you are someone worth listening to
  • 5. 3 Ways to Persuade!
    • Using Logos (appealing to logic)- use facts/statistics/evidence to help support your argument
    • Using Ethos (proves you are a reliable source)- try to find things you may have in common with your audience and build on them
    • Using Pathos (appealing to emotions)- use vivid words, figurative language, and imagery- make your audience feel what you are talking about
  • 6. Relate & Develop
    • How to RELATE to your audience & DEVELOP your argument further…
      • Try using:
        • Examples
        • Illustrations
        • Anecdotes/short stories
        • Quotes
        • Comparisons
        • Expert opinions
  • 7. Keep It Balanced!
    • Audience
        • Writer/Speaker Purpose
    Topic/Subject
  • 8. Know your audience!
    • In order to be most effective, you must KNOW your audience.
    • 4 things you must know!
      • 1. Basic data: age, gender, education, occupation- How might these change your approach?
      • 2. Knowledge of the topic: Do your audience members already have knowledge about your topic?- How might this change your approach?
      • 3. Audience Attitude: Does your audience agree or oppose your topic? Is the audience mixed or apathetic?- How might this change your approach?
      • 4. Audience Goal: What is the overall goal of your speech/writing? How might this change your approach?
  • 9. Purpose Statement
    • Decide your purpose in the beginning!
    • Write a purpose statement which defines your main goal or objective for your speech/writing.
    • This purpose statement will become your thesis statement!
  • 10. Thesis
    • Thesis statement: the main point you are trying to make throughout your paper, it shows what you believe and where you stand on the topic
    • Ask yourself… “What is the point of my work? What am I trying to prove?”
    • Needs an implied “should,” ex: This novel needs to be carefully read for details about the author’s life.
  • 11. Steps to writing a persuasive letter
    • Determine and define your audience
    •  
    • Define your purpose for writing
    •  
    • Decide what information to include
    •  
    • Outline how best to support your position & what reasons or benefits will the reader find convincing?
    • Try to foresee the possible or potential objections of your readers
    •  
    • Discover if there are any special circumstances that you should keep in mind.
  • 12. Then…
    • Decide what you want your reader to do
    •  
    • Determine the objections that must be overcome
    •  
    • Make as strong a case as necessary
    •  
    • Use a direct request if your reader will have minimal objections
    •  
    • Ask immediately for the information or service you want
    •  
    • Give readers all the information they need
    •  
    • Tell readers what you want them to do
    •  
  • 13. Ways to prevent REJECTION!
    • Catch the reader's interest by mentioning common ground
    •  
    • Define the problem you share
    •  
    • Explain the solution to the problem
    •  
    • Show that negative elements (cost, time) are outweighed by the benefits of acting
    •  
    • Summarize any additional benefits to acting
    •  
    • Tell readers exactly what you want them to do