Persuasive Writing Techniques

Instructor: Kimberly McLaughlin

Kimberly has taught Middle School Language Arts for 9 years and has a Master's Degree in Secondary Education.

Persuasive writing can be a little overwhelming because you feel passionate about something and you want everyone to agree with you. Well, not everyone will, but in this lesson, you will learn some techniques that will make you more persuasive through your writing.

Persuasive Writing Techniques

Have you ever been in an argument and badly wanted the other person to agree with you, but they just wouldn't? You try and try to convince them, but they refuse to see your side? In persuasive writing, you are asking your reader to agree with you. This can be much harder than it seems, especially, if you are not utilizing the right techniques.

Know Your Audience

The first thing you need to think about when planning a persuasive writing is to consider the audience. If you are writing a column in an acclaimed newspaper, then you need to consider that your audience is most likely older, educated, and capable of understand more complex ideas. If you are, however, writing an article for your middle school newspaper, your ideas may not need to be as complex. You must be careful and not lose your audience with words and jargon they may not understand or relate to. Although applicable to any type of writing, this technique is especially important in persuasive writing because your sole point is to convince your audience to agree with you. If your audience 'gets' the content and subject of your persuasive piece, then you are one step closer to convincing them.

Check Your Emotions

The next technique that needs to be considered is how you portray your opinions to your audience. You may feel passionate about your position, but your reader may not share in your enthusiasm. It is important to remember that it is easy to overload your reader with too much information. Don't get ahead of yourself. If you think about it, the person who gets upset and uses extreme argumentation isn't typically persuasive. This should be applied in your writing as well; you don't want to seem desperate for approval. Which brings us to the next technique.

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