Persuasion is the process of motivating someone to take a specific action or to support a particular idea. Persuasion motivates someone to believe something or to do something that he or she would not otherwise have done. Thus, persuasion is necessary when the other person initially resists the efforts.
A persuasive writing requires careful planning; you need to define your purpose clearly and analyze your audience.
The purposeof a persuasive message is to motivate the reader to agree with you or to do as you ask. Knowing your purpose lets you know what kind of information to include in your persuasive message.
The more you’re able to promote the features of your idea or product as satisfying a specific need of your audience, the more persuasive your message will be. Use the “you” attitude to achieve the results you want.
· Knowledge and attitude of the reader.
· Effect on the reader.
· Writer credibility.
Organizing a persuasive request
The purpose of your message and your knowledge of the reader will help determine the content of your message and the sequence in which you discuss each topic.
DETERMINING HOW TO START THE MESSAGE
Direct organizational plan.
Indirect organizational plan.
In persuasive letters you should use a subject line that doesn’t announce your purpose immediately. An opening sentence should be interesting enough to catch and keep the reader’s attention.
The usual types of evidence which will enable the reader to make an informed decision:
· Facts and statistics.
· Expert opinion.
Ignoring any obvious obstacles to granting your request would provide the reader a ready excuse to refuse your request.
Make the specific action that you want clear and easy to take.
Common types of persuasive requests
Next we’ll consider specific strategies and examples for selling an idea, requesting a favor, and writing a persuasive claim.
SELLING AN IDEA
On the job you will frequently write messages proposing one alternative over another, suggesting a new procedure, or in some other way recommending some course of action. Organize such messages logically, showing what the problem is, how you intend to solve the problem, and why your solution is sound.
REQUESTING A FAVOR
A request for a favor differs from a routine request in that routine requests are granted almost automatically, whereas favors require persuasion, because the reader gets nothing tangible in return. Discuss at least one reader benefit before making your request. Keep a positive, confident tone throughout, and make the action clear and easy to take. Keep your request reasonable.
The letter of recommendation may be either personal or general. The personal type is addressed to some person or firm by some writer who is recommending someone for a position. It may be written at the request of the one seeking the position or in answer to inquiry of the prospective employer. It should give definitely and clearly the information which would help the employer most in determining the applicant’s fitness for the position. There should be no vague statements and no over-stressing of good qualities to make the applicant seem super-human. The general type of recommendation, which is placed in the hands of the one recommended, is not much in favor at present and does not carry much weight because the tendency of the writer is to give only favorable facts. The employer of today prefers to send a questionnaire to references furnished by the applicant. In this way he gets information which might be omitted from the regular letter of recommendation. Of course, he interprets failure of a reference to answer the questionnaire or any item of it as unfavorable to the candidate.
WRITING A PERSUASIVE CLAIM
The goal of your persuasive claim letter is not to vent your anger but to solve a problem. And that is more likely to happen when a calm atmosphere prevails. For that you will need to explain in sufficient detail precisely what the problem is, how it came about, and how you want the reader to solve the problem.