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Argue, persuade and advise


Writing to persuade

A sign that reads 'Say no to wind turbines in Benington'

When you are persuading people, you usually use a different style. You don't need to show both sides - all you have to do is present your ideas. For instance, imagine you had to persuade people to buy a certain toothpaste. You could write about the great taste, or how clean your teeth feel or how white they are. It doesn't really matter what you find to write about as long as you get them to buy it.

But you wouldn't write about other makes of toothpaste. You don't persuade like this, because it sounds like you aren't sure. So the first thing to remember is:

  • Be definite - if you are writing about how great chips are, keep repeating the idea. Convince yourself how good they are - they might even be a healthy option, because lots of doctors are bound to like them and chips wouldn't be so popular if they weren't really great, would they? Once you have convinced yourself, it's much easier to convince others. So next you need to remember to...

  • Be positive - it's always better to hear how good your idea is rather than how bad other people's are. So write about the things that show your ideas in the best light. For instance, aren't chips just great for a quick snack? Why were chips voted the most popular option in our school at lunchtime? And finally don't be frightened to...

  • Be pushy - If you don't seem too sure, or if you can't make your ideas stand out, then you aren't really persuading as much as you can. And if that is the case, you need The Persuaders' Toolkit.

The Persuader's Toolkit

A toolkit that reads 'Persuader's Toolkit'
  • Repeat yourself - don't worry about saying the same thing again and again - people forget, so repeat yourself and they will remember. Even when you think they might remember, you can always repeat yourself another time.

  • Be personal - using words such as "we" or "I" always sounds a lot more convincing. We all know that, don't we?

  • Use questions - why would you use questions? Well, they make people think. They also get your readers involved in what you are writing. So will you use them when you persuade? If not, why not?

  • Use feelings to push ideas - words are your ammunition. In seconds, they can make your friends laugh, or your teacher angry, so why not use them properly to persuade your readers?

    For instance, don't just write "the pressure of doing school work", because there is no real feeling there. Instead, how about: "the endless trauma, the desperation and the mindless suffering that school work inflicts on students".


Argue, persuade and advise activity

Want to get your own way? Try this activity to learn some techniques



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