Notes on Persuasion: Dictionary.com defines to persuade as, "to induce to believe by appealing to reason or understanding; convince...." In many senses all
writing is persuasive, and when readers finish a piece, it proves the
writing was, indeed, successfully persuasive, at least, in keeping the
reader engaged. Most every decision we make, large or small, involves
persuasive elements as we choose what to do. Growing up, we likely wove
elaborate appeals to stay up to watch some special TV; now, it may
persuasion for more game time, get the
keys to the car, etc., But maybe the most
powerful and subtle persuasion that we contact everyday is advertising. In
many varieties of print, on radio, TV, and more and more on websites, we are
invited, kidded and intimidated into buying what the seller is selling.
Advertising, whether we admire it or not, has much to teach us about what
moves us to act.
Advertising (and often politics, media, etc.) uses a
"threat and rescue" model to present a situation and "solution" to it that
usually benefits, primarily, the advertiser. Any print or TV commercial
shows these features. Because there is an element of manipulation in any
writing, the appeals writers use to persuade readers of a problem and
solution should be based in the writer's genuine thought, values and
perspective of the topic.
Even in ads or persuasive discussion the
elements of a reasoned appeal/argument are present, clearly or implied:
basically, statement>reason>evidence. Persuasion allows for more informal
style, but the basics are there.
Further READING to enlarge writer's
The Thesis Statement/Claim in this class:
- Must be a ONE SENTENCE declarative statement,
NOT a question and without using "I" or pronouns (this, that, etc.) just presenting
directly the essential
- Must contain the TOPIC, the writer's
POSITION and for the persuasion essay, the primary REASON(s).
- Should appear UNDERLINED somewhere near the "start" of
the essay, at end of paragraph 1 or 2, perhaps after introductory "story element" to show the situation.
- Persuasive writing
for this assignment is to write an Op-Ed piece
op-ed how to | sample OpEd
- 850-1000 wds of
persuasive writing that does include 3-5 sources of factual, verifiable
data, but no formal academic documentation or
- Using an analogy to
convey what you're trying communicate can be powerful.
- Signal phrases and
exact reference data should be worded IN SENTENCES not
given in parenthesis or notes outside the writing.
Support data should be easily verified by a reader.
- Writing should be non-formal, almost conversational style, that reflects the
energy the writer has for the topic.
- The assumed reader would
be someone with only general knowledge of the topic, and
any "special" words or terms should by briefly explained
- The title can be
creative and should reflect the point directly or