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Persuasive writing intends to convince readers to believe in an idea and to do an action. Many writings such as critics, reviews, reaction papers, editorials, proposals, advertisements, and brochures use different ways of persuasion to influence readers. Persuasive writing can also be used in indoctrination.
Three common techniques in persuasive writing
1. Presenting strong evidence, such as facts and statistics, statements of expert authorities, and research findings establishes credibility. Readers will more likely be convinced to side with the writer’s position or agree with his or her opinion if it is backed up by verifiable evidence.
2. Concrete, relevant, and reasonable examples can enhance the writer’s idea or opinion. They can be based on observations or from the writer’s personal experience.
3. Accurate, current, and balanced information adds to the credibility of persuasive writing. The writer does not only present evidence that favor his or her ideas, but he or she also acknowledges some evidence that opposes his or her own. In the writing, though, his or her ideas would be sounder.
Ethos, logos, and pathos
Ethos is the appeal to ethics. It convinces the audience of the credibility of the writer. The writer’s expertise on his or her subject matter lends to such credibility. The level of education and profession of the writer also come into play.
Logos is the appeal to logic reason. It is the most commonly accepted mode in persuasion because it aims to be scientific in its approach to argumentation. In writing, facts are presented in a logical manner, and faulty logic is avoided.
Pathos is the appeal to emotion. This aims to convince the audience by appealing to human emotions. Emotions such as sympathy, anger, and sadness motivate humans; using pathos will then get the audience to be emotionally invested in the subject of the writing.