Persuasive writing is used to change the reader's mind about an issue, to encourage the reader to do a particular task or to reinforce their views.
When used to change minds, to be effective, the writing must start from what the reader believes and gently show them why they need to change that belief and what it must be changed to.
This is the most difficult form of persuasive writing. It is used a lot in political writing and religious material.
Human beings, being the stubborn creatures that we are, seldom change our minds based on this type of writing.
The most common example of persuasive writing is used to get the reader to take an action or perform a task. It is the sales letter. We've all seen them.
Through years of use, testing and adjusting, proven techniques make a sales letter work. The best have the reader impatient to buy before they reach the end.
Sometimes, however, the writing simply needs to reinforce a point of view or attitude.
Used this way, you simply tell the reader what they want to hear and why it is the right thing to think, do or believe.
The value of using writing to sway opinion or to promote products is that it teaches us about psychology and what makes people act a certain way.
Of course, it can be used in terrible ways - propaganda for one, but it can also be used to improve someone's quality of life.
Can you use persuasive writing? How?
What methods do you think work best?
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