Persuasion is the ability to convince somebody that your idea, position, or hypothesis is correct. You should select arguments that can help listeners or readers understand you and believe in the same things as you do. Traditionally, speakers are aware of all persuasive text techniques because their job is to write convincing speeches for influential people, including politicians, movie stars, bloggers, and more.
How do they manage that? What techniques do they use to win the attention of millions? Let’s find it out.
What Is the Goal of Persuasive Writing?
When do you “feel” the words a speaker tells you? It happens when a person uses the so-called keywords to your emotional intelligence and wakes it up. As a result, you listen to a person with your mouth being opened and with tears in your eyes. The same thing happens when writers describe something touchy. In other words, they all make you feel what they want you to feel and think what they want you to think. That is how persuasive techniques in essay writing work.
Where else can you find persuasive texts? Of course, advertising. TV, billboards, pop-ups, posters, and other visual and audible tools are used to convince a consumer to buy the product they need to sell. The more convincing the ad is, the more people will buy the advertised goods. However, convincing writing is not as simple as that. One needs to juggle words to hit the point. Moreover, it is essential to be clear and precise in every sentence to avoid confusion and not let the audience fall asleep.
Some Best Techniques from Professional Speakers to Follow
Let’s discuss different persuasive techniques that can make our writing and oral speeches supreme.
You Should Be Interested in Things You Are Describing
It is really hard to convince someone about something if you do not believe in what you are writing or saying. How can you be passionate about Shakespeare if you have not read his plays and poems? Consequently, you should better be interested in the topic for your persuasive writing gif. When you speak about catchy for you things, writing becomes easier and more manageable because you start defending your interests and feelings connected with the topic.
You Should Learn as Much as Possible About Your Target Audience
Have you ever seen nodding people when they were listening to someone’s speech? It means the speaker managed to touch upon the problems the listeners were interested in and was aware of its solution. For example, politicians usually speak about the urgent problems of the people who listen to them. As a rule, they speak about unemployment, low salaries, ecological problems, health security systems, the quality of education, the cost of healthcare services, etc. So, if you write a persuasive letter or essay, you should think about things your target reader would like to read and mutely discuss with you.
You Should Start and Finish with a Hook
It is one of the most working persuasive techniques. Plenty of songs, books, and movies got their recognition thanks to unexpected events at the beginning and at the end of the piece of art. People used to forget the plot of the story described in the middle of the book or a person’s speech, but they do remember the beginning and the ending. That is why participants of various competitions long to open or close the ceremony to make the audience remember them.
How can you catch the eye of the target reader? Professionals usually use one of the following hooks:
- catchy citation or quote
- personal life story
- facts and shreds of evidence
- provocative questions
- improper text structuring
- fairy-tale-telling manner
- strong statement
- unexpected lexical units
- the use of stylistic devices that do not suit the style
The only important thing is to choose a hook that meets the topic of your persuasive writing.
Make Sure You are Convincing Enough
You cannot judge your writing independently if you have no clue about how to analyze a persuasive essay. First, you should read your essay from the start to the last word. Then, try to make a list of questions to argue your position. If there are too many questions left, the persuasive techniques used are not good enough, or you need more facts to enhance its quality.
For example, you can ask someone or even a group of your friends to listen to your story. Then, they can ask questions trying to refute your statements and make you change your position. If they succeed, you will definitely need to do something about your content because it is surely not convincing enough. It must leave little or zero space for counterarguments unless you find an audience that 100% supports your side.
Empathy is the Key to Your Success
What is empathy? It is the ability to feel emotions that another person experiences at the moment. It is a great skill to predict the emotion of those who may read your persuasive paper. It seems to be difficult, but everything is not that complicated. Empathy is a part of the best persuasive essay techniques because you show your audience how much you care about them and that you understand what they feel and expect.
All great speeches are built on the emotions of the audience. A reader should let each word go through the emotional filter because our feelings speak first, and then the brain joins them. In short, the use of emotional intelligence is as important as the use of intellectual intelligence when we speak about persuasive techniques in essay writing.
Rhetorical Questions are Also Effective
Rhetorical questions puzzle, but they make the target listeners or readers pause to think. It is easy to read simple things, but questions without answers always confuse and, at the same time, attract attention. Readers stay focused all the time, hoping to find the desired answer to such a complicated question.
Use the Concept of Meta Persuasion
Each persuasive text must have three integral components of meta-persuasion techniques:
- logic (everything must be logically connected and relate to the chosen topic)
- ethos (the best option is to speak about things that are close to you, your history, traditions, and customs)
- pathos (to be on the same emotional level as your readers)
Hyporbolization Often Works
Sometimes, when you want to stress some point or idea, you may use exaggeration. It shows the uniqueness of the introduced idea. The main goal is not to make the readers believe in nonsense but to create a perfect image of the most significant element of the story. For example, you can call your mother the worst Christmas turkey cooker on the Earth, but it can be a combination of hyperbole and sarcasm that creates a perfect image of a badly-tasting dish.
Repetition is What You Do to Stress Something in Your Text
Repetition in persuasive writing is a great tip to use. Each text usually ends with a conclusion that restates the core idea of the speech or writing. Instead of boring and monotonous repetition, you can use a metaphor, rephrasing, telling true stories, or other literary devices to sound more advanced.
Use Facts Because They Are Powerful
When a company releases some medicines, the Food and Drug Administration demands clinical trials proving their efficiency and safety. Nobody believes empty words without facts that can prove the introduced pills provide the desired effect. Persuasive writing cannot be good enough without facts. It can be a personal story, statistics, or any verified information.
Let’s compare two phrases with the use of a personal story: “I’ll be a good teacher” vs. “I will be a good teacher because I have younger siblings whom I help with their homework, and they get the desired grades at school. Besides, I worked as a teacher assistant last year, so I am aware of different teaching techniques, and my educational background proves I can work with children”.
The first statement is bare-worded. It reflects your wishes and high self-esteem, but one can hardly believe you. The second statement sounds more confident and convincing because you provide facts that highlight your teaching qualities due to the experience and education you have.
If you do not know any stories, you should use only trustable sources. Regarding tips from writing experts, you should analyze the source before citing it. It must belong to a reputable company or organization (university, governmental institution, state healthcare system, etc.) and back up its numbers and evidence with clinical trials, case studies, lists of used sources, or other trustable research methods.
If you use the above-introduced tips for writing a persuasive essay, you will leave no chance for doubts. Repetition, exaggeration, meta-persuasion, rhetorical questions, hooks, and personal interest in the introduced topic with a detailed analysis of the written text can become your guide in all types of persuasive writing. Just do not forget to check your essay for formatting and grammar mistakes because they will spoil the impression even if you sound confident and convincing. Every detail and word must hit the point and meet the college requirements and expectations of the target public.