Persuasive Writing Strategies and Vocabulary

Persuasive writers intentionally use various strategies and vocabulary to persuade their audience.

The Audience
The audience is the person the writer is attempting to persuade by the composition. The writer should use words appropriate to the audience.

Persuasive Writing Strategies
--Rhetorical question - Ask a rhetorical question that will make the reader want to explore further, such as, "Do you want to live longer?"
--Short sentence - Use a one word or short sentence at the beginning or end of your paragraph for emphasis, such as "It's over. That's a lie. You can have it. Done."
--Save the Best for Last - Present the arguments in the order of weakest to strongest. Finishing the composition with strong arguments will leave the reader more persuaded than if it ends with weak arguments.
--Humor - Humor that is short and pithy and that shows the illogic of the other's counter-argument is an effective way to persuade the reader.
--Repetition - Repeated sounds (alliteration), repeated words, and repeated sentences all draw attention to themselves. When things are noticed they are remembered and become more familiar. As things become more familiar, they have the power to persuade and influence. Jingles, slogans, mottos are repeated to persuade.

Persuasive Vocabulary
The effective use of persuasive vocabulary makes arguments more compelling.
--Adjectives and Adverbs - These words should be used to intensify the argument in the mind of the reader. By adding the adverb "exceedingly," the statement becomes more forceful as, "It was exceedingly difficult."
--Power Words - It is difficult to provide the writer with a list of power words, because these words are relative to the audience and must meet a need in the reader. If a mother is reading an article about how a supplement product will help develop healthy children, then some power words for that article might be, "effective, safe, free, well-known." Power words persuade! Frank Lutz, known for his book entitled, Words That Work, has identified 21 persuasive words for 21st Century Communicators. The first word on the list is "imagine".
--Personal Pronouns - (I, you, me, they, them) Pronouns can be powerful because they help make a personal connection between yourself and the reader, and the reader and others. By writing in the first person using the pronoun "I", the writer becomes personally involved in the discussion.