Chapter 5 Persuasive Writing
Credibility of the Persuader
1. Position power
Motivation of the Receiver Actualization
To get people to do something they must want to do it. 4
Determine the precise need of your receiver. Need for Esteem
Survival : consequences 3
Need to Belong
Belong : group identity
Self-Fulfillment: values and social obligations Need for Safety, Security
Message Options 1
Appeal to Reason Physiological Needs
Present your case in a reasonable way and to appeal to the receiver’s desire to be
1. Begin with a concession statement
In a paragraph or two summarize the opposing position clearly and objectively.
Begin with the reasons others give for not supporting the concept.
2. Use a zigzag structure
Begin with one of the opposing points, and then counter it.
Appeal to Emotion
Pride, fear, envy, desire to be loved, happy, or respected.
Useful as a way of tipping the balance for someone who already has good rational
Appeal to Authority
Using the testimony or support of someone the receiver trusts or respects, you can
bolster your case.
Appeal to Evidence
Using statistics and other verifiable evidence will also help gain support.
Be sure to use current sources whenever possible.
Basic Patterns for Persuasion
1. Get the reader’s attention.
o Should be brief.
2. Introduce the proposal or product and persuade the reader of the benefit.
o Build interest by showing how the proposal or product fits a specific need.
o Anticipate any objections and answer them.
1 3. Indicate the action the reader must take.
o Link the action to the benefit.
o Must be “you-centered”.
o Nearly almost always works best if it takes an indirect approach.
o Letters of requests, sales letters, and collection letters.
Letters of Request
Give the reader good reasons for accepting rather than suggesting reasons for
Readers may also be moved by other indirect benefits to themselves or their
Longer than other kinds of letters because they include many specific facts.