- Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.
- Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.
2. Drafting the Persuasive Essay
When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions:
- The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement. For example: “Driving while talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
- The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
- Each body paragraph should cover a separate point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer strong evidence in the form of facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-life examples.
The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing
- Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
- Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
- The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action. The closing sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that implies urgent action is needed, a question that provokes readers to think seriously about the issue, or a recommendation that gives readers specific ideas on what they can do.
3. Revising the Persuasive Essay
In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:
- Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
- Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
- Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
- Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
- Is the sentence structure varied? Is the word choice precise? Do the transitions between sentences and paragraphs help the reader’s understanding?
- Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?
If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.
4. Editing the Persuasive Essay
Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.
5. Publishing the Persuasive Essay
Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.
Time4Writing Teaches Persuasive Essay Writing
Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher. We first introduce essay writing to students at the elementary level, with our Beginning Essay Writing course, where they will have an opportunity to write their first five-paragraph essay. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing essays, including the persuasive essay. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. Time4Writing’s online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s progress with Time4Writing’s online writing courses.
Writing persuasive copy is the goal of every professional copywriter. Persuading readers to agree with you can help convert them into paying customers. While it can prove challenging at times, persuasive copywriting can be learned and perfected by following some basic techniques.
Here are 17 persuasive writing techniques that are a combination of psychological methods and proven strategies to gain your readers’ trust and get them to agree with you.
1. Focus On Your Best Audience
Writers tend to cast a wide net, hoping to influence everyone. However, focusing on the people who are most likely to benefit from the content and writing for them will bring better results.
2. Tell Them Why
Readers are constantly bombarded with messages on a daily basis. If you want their attention, justify it with a good reason up front, preferably something that will benefit them.
3. Rely on a Proven Copywriting Formula
Copywriting formulas exist solely to help copywriters persuade readers. There are several excellent copywriting formulas that are both effective and easy to remember, and it’s well worth your time to learn a handful of them.
4. Use the Right Tone of Voice
What you say is important, but how you say it is vital. Tone influences how your reader perceives your message, so decide which one will be most effective then use it consistently.
5. Be Authoritative
Establish yourself as an authority up front and be consistent in backing up that authority with proof, statistics and examples. Be honest and transparent, don’t waver, and pretty soon your audience will believe you.
6. Take The Reader’s Point of View
If you were the reader, what would grab your attention? When you are writing persuasive copy, you have to become the reader to understand what appeals to them.
7. Show That You Understand
Before you can persuade your reader, you must establish that you are just like them in some way. Perhaps you share the same problem or have similar desires. Find a mutual connection and state it early on.
8. Tell a Story
From the time we are old enough to understand language, humans are suckers for a good story that makes us feel. Anecdotes, especially when backed by facts, are a great way to connect with your readers on an emotional level.
9. Tell Both Sides of the Story
There is always another side of the story. Unlike addressing objections, telling the other side of the story allows you to paint a compelling picture of what life would be like without your product or service. It would be awful. Tell them.
10. Use Influential Words
To write persuasive copy, use persuasive “action” words like miracle, discovery, discount, and bargain. Use uplifting words like vitality, grace, wisdom, and confidence. Finally, make sure your copy has ‘Free’, ’How’, ’New’ and ‘You’ in abundance.
11. Simplify & Amplify
Simplify your core ideas into hard-hitting individual thoughts, then amplify them with the help of things that are important to the reader. Use words that help empower your readers. Get! Learn! Results! Now!
12. Be Specific
Place a laser focus on specific facts and benefits. For example:
- 90% of customers see results in 2 weeks or less!
- Results can be seen in 2 weeks.
The first line is more specific, making it more persuasive.
13. Be Repetitive
If you’ve said it once, you can say it again. Repetition is a time-honored tactic for remembering anything. Use it to your advantage.
14. Address Objections
Even the most agreeable readers will likely have objections, and you are much better off addressing them up front than waiting for your potential customer to voice them. This is another means of establishing authority, and also tells your reader that you have thought the matter through.
15. Show Proof
As previously mentioned, showing proof helps establish you as an authority on the subject, and shows your reader that you respect them.
16. Focus on Headline Psychology
Headlines matter. If the headline is not catchy enough for a click, the rest of the content will fall flat. Make sure that the headline is psychologically stimulating and interesting to your readers. However, don’t sacrifice clarity for the sake of flash. Your headlines should be catchy but concise.
17. Be Consistent
State your position up front, then proceed to be unfailingly consistent in backing it up with facts, stats and proof. Essentially, you want your readers to trust you. A reader who trusts you will tend to agree with you, and nothing builds trust more effectively than being consistent.
18. Use These Tips to Get Results Immediately
So you’ve delivered a punchy hook to start off your article. Your reader is intrigued.
But you want them to keep reading, right? Follow these tips to help your reader see it through to the end.
First, though, don’t go too far. If you promise your reader a spaceship when you can’t even afford a bike, they’ll be irritated – and you’ll lose trust points.
19. Use Simple Language
Don’t overload your content.
Write as simply as possible.
Make your message accessible to every reader.
Don’t use complex terminology unless you need to. If you do need to, explain it in simple words.
Copyblogger’s 21 juicy prompts that inspire fascinating content says that content which is simple, short and easy to understand leads to thousands of shares, which makes your work affordable and pretty simple.
You should be able to explain even the most complex processes in simple phrases. We all have a lot going on in our lives –- your text should be a place where the reader can relax and enjoy interesting, straightforward information.
20. Be Precise
People love details. Using detail in your writing shows that you’re a person who really knows what you’re writing about – a person to be trusted. Be as specific as you can.
Visibility and accessibility should be your main principles.
Here is a simple example. Why is GSM Arena at the top of Google’s results for searches containing the words “phone review”? Because GSM Arena shows all the details the readers are looking for. Xiaomi Mi Max’s review contains NINE pages of information about mobiles. It has details about anything that you could possibly ask for.
21. “Sir! Yes, Sir!”
Use all of your imagination to create a situation in which the reader will agree with you.
It’s very easy to do. Make some general statements or ask questions that are difficult to challenge. Ask questions where the only possible answer is YES.
Here are some examples:
- “Do you want to be healthy?”
- “Do you want to earn good money?”
- “Do you want to live in peace?”
- “You want to be great dad, right?”
A reader who agrees with the author is much easier to convince.
22. Predict Your Reader
Anticipate the reader's questions, and answer them before they’re even asked – before they’ve even thought about.
Neutralize possible questions before they even appear. Comprehensive information is exactly what your reader is looking for.
23. Prove it!
It’s easy to write persuasive text if you can back up your claims with facts and studies. Numbers and percentages have the best effect. They’re your strongest tools for convincing readers.
24. Be Specific
Use real-life examples. We believe in examples we can relate to.
It’s easy to say: “Do this, do that.” But how can you apply it in real life?
Examples from the real world make material understandable. They make readers think, “If someone else achieved this, why can't I?”
25. Touch the Emotions
Evoke emotion in the reader.
As we know, emotions are the main motivation behind making a purchases or sealing a business deal.
Emotions awaken desire. As Napoleon Hill said: “The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
26. Use Greatness
Cite great wisdom. Well-chosen quotes from successful people will elevate your text to the next level. A couple of good quotes from well-known experts in the field will help you to make your material more compelling.
27. Use Structure
Divide your articles into paragraphs, headings, subheadings and lists. These increase the visual appeal of the text. Paragraphs should contain between 2 and 5 sentences, and no more. That will make it much easier for your reader to digest your material. Numbered lists can:
- add interest
- give the reader a break
- help the reader to remember what you’re saying.
None of these techniques alone will win over your readers, but combined strategically and used wisely, they can help you write persuasive copy that will turn readers into customers.
28. Call to Action
Have conversations. Involve your readers. Make readers feel that you’re really interested in their comments, and that you won’t abandon them.
Create a community by asking questions, seeking opinions, inviting comments, initiating polls, setting up contests, and sparking controversy. Use your creativity.
Be sure it’s easy for readers to get involved, and always keep things polite and cheery.
29. Make it Right
The web is littered with low-quality content. No matter how interesting and useful your text is, grammatical errors will spoil the impression of your content – and give a bad impression of the author.
Text with grammatical errors is like a road with potholes.
In order to write well, read a lot. Use your dictionary, spell check and grammar check. Brush up on your school rules. Have someone proofread your article. And keep writing.
30. Draw Your Text
If you can express your idea in a few pictures, rather than 10 paragraphs of text, use the pictures! What would you rather share on social networks – a picture or a link to text?
Infographics are a great way to get your ideas across.
Modern readers are reluctant to spend a lot of time reading, but they’re quick to register and interpret visual information.
Images are an incredibly efficient way to organize information and make things a little less formal. They’ll also save your readers some precious time – and they’ll thank you for that.
31. Use Your Imagination
Writing that tells a story makes is so much more special than that which is only informative.
Story-telling awakens our imagination and makes your message relatable to the reader. It’s also far more interesting to read. Use words such as “imagine”, “see” and “remember”.
Want to learn more? Check out the Writtent Academy for information and tips on how to write effective and persuasive copy.
Mar 2nd, 2017Last update