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Persuasive essay writing: the art of speaking and analysis

Many tutorials approach a persuasive essay as a more aggressive equivalent of an argumentative paper. Though the language of persuasive essay writing is really more emotionally loaded, and the structure may be different, we support another view: above all, good persuasion is extremely audience-sensitive.

How to write a persuasive essay, not an argumentative one

These are two very different language games. In argumentative writing, your aim is to inform. In a persuasive essay, you have to convince, to win over some opinion. Some tutorials go as far as to recommend one type of design for persuasion, namely, the refutative one, when you first state the counterargument to refute it with your evidence and then state your argument.

Though this is an important point, one more – and even more important – recommendation is to analyze your audience. Persuasive writing is not based on a detached objective research: it has to do with advocating your position before some people. That is to say, try to analyze your audience.

Types of audience

Your listeners as a group may be classified according different criteria such as:

  • The dominating information channel – depending on the type of information that affects them most (visual, audial, kinesthetic, etc.)
  • Emotional engagement with the topic and general emotional sensitivity – with some of the listeners, like in a business-oriented audience, sentiments just won’t do
  • Voluntary and non-voluntary groups: for example, political initiatives are supported voluntarily, while gender is not always chosen but constantly affecting our perception
  • Engagement with your topic – the audience maybe disinterested. In this case, try to tell something that speaks to your listeners’ concerns
  • Level of subject knowledge – dealing with non-informed people and expert listeners are two different strategies. In the former case, you have to make longer introductory statements and think more about your definitions. In the latter case, the quality of content and the credibility of sources are crucial
  • Attitude to the subject – with a friendly audience, you can go deep into the problem and touch the questions with no ready answers. However, when dealing with a hostile audience, it’s better to be patient and attentive but stick to your point.

Style of a good persuasive essay

Since persuasive essay writing is not just about argumentation, it should be colorful and appealing. Even if you don’t have time to give your anecdotal evidence in pictures and stories, try to paint with your words and invoke emotional interest in your readers.

Ethics of persuasion

Persuasion is connected with power relations. Even if you won’t hurt a fly, your task here is to take one side and defend it. But as power inequality enters your relations with readers, so do the special ethics. Never insult people, remember that you’re dealing with a cause, not a person. Do not commit fallacies in reasoning by distorting opposite arguments or proving your opinion with false claims. Always think about your audience – they are the people just like you and (in persuasive essay writing) your potential supporters.

Persuasive writing help

Being persuasive is not an easy task. If you find yourself in trouble preparing your persuasive essay, contact our professional writers for timely and competent aid.