Amongst the different essay writing styles you may be asked to adopt, both at GCSE and KS3 level and throughout your academic studies, one of the most important to master is writing to persuade. Unlike writing to advise or writing to argue, when writing essays to persuade you are trying to coerce and convince the reader without the hands-off gentleness of advice or the emphatic force of argument. This calls for several new assignment writing techniques.
Writing to persuade: language
Persuasive language is extremely important if you are to get the audience on your side. This includes both your use of vocabulary and of specific literary techniques such as direct address and rhetorical questions to draw the reader in and persuade them to feel personally involved and implicated by your suggestions.
Use plenty of adjectives and adverbs to push the reader towards your point of view – if you are writing to persuade them to donate to a charity for example, an adjective-rich sentence like this will be much more effective than the same sentence without the words in bold:
“It is almost completely impossible to describe the immense impact of generous charitable donations on the poverty-stricken lives of the brave people who live in these savagely war-torn areas. Your donation is desperately needed.”
Writing to persuade: essay techniques
One excellent technique when writing to persuade is to deliberately bring up any possible objections to your argument in order to overcome them. Remember, if you are to persuade a reader effectively then to write the best possible essay example you need to anticipate their doubts or objections in order to reassure them you are correct. It is advisable to use some fairly emphatic language in this technique, and make sure to cover as many potential objections as you can.
“Many people believe that donating to charity is a waste of time, that the money is tied up in bureaucracy or that their small contribution won’t make a worthwhile difference. This impression couldn’t be more wrong – each and every donation has an immeasurable direct effect in greatly alleviating the suffering of millions of people.”
Finally, always remember that writing to persuade is much like speaking to persuade – you need to be firm yet gentle, get your ideas across as persuasively as possible in your essay writing but don’t be so forceful that you put the reader off. Ultimately the trick is to make them feel confident that they themselves are making the right decision – that is what writing to persuade is all about.
Writing an argument for GCSE English is different from arguing with a friend. You should write a balanced and rational argument, less passionate or emotional than if you were writing to persuade. You should take opposing views into account in your response.
Writing to argue: sample question
Remember: always consider GAPS before planning your response:
- Genre - this could be a letter, article, formal planned speech etc. You should follow the conventions of the type of writing.
- Audience - this could be a certain age group, readers of a particular publication, a councillor etc. Use a vocabulary and style that suits them.
- Purpose - this is an argument so the purpose is to influence the readers views, to change minds.
- Style - this might be chatty and informal, depending on the audience, or use vocabulary in a particular way.
|GENRE||Formal letter||You should think about layout, openings and closings and structure|
|AUDIENCE||A member of the Local Education Authority||They'll be a professional adult who you should address in formal tone and style|
|PURPOSE||Influence their decision on the compulsory wearing of school uniform||Either for or against|
|STYLE||Formal and measured||No use of slang words - you are hoping to influence your audience and be taken seriously.|
The genre is a formal letter. This means you should think about layout, openings and closings and structure.
The intended audience is a member of the Local Education Authority. This means that they'll be a professional adult who you should address in formal tone and style.
The purpose is to influence their decision on the compulsory wearing of school uniform, either for or against.
The style is formal and measured so no use of slang words - you are hoping to influence your audience and be taken seriously.
Write a letter to your Local Education Authority arguing for or against compulsory school uniforms for all pupils.
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