Persuasive Writing

Persuasive Writing
Higher Writing Folio
Learning Intention
You are going to research a topic in order to
produce a persuasive piece of writing.
This will be included in your Higher Writing Folio
and contribute to 10% of your overall grade.
On your own, THINK about a time you tried to
persuade someone to believe you/get them to
do what you wanted/agree with you etc.
In PAIRS, discuss your experiences and identify
HOW you tried to persuade someone.
Finally, in groups SHARE your ideas and create a
list of the different techniques you used in
order to persuade.
How do you persuade?
• Use language which will make your audience
react emotionally
• Ask questions
• Give scenarios
• Give facts
• Give reasons
• Hyperbole
• Etc.
Being Persuasive
When you try to persuade someone you need to
consider the following aspects:
• What is your purpose?
• Who is your audience?
As consumers, we are bombarded with
persuasive messages through adverts,
Government initiatives, health campaigns etc..
Persuasive techniques can be found in all of
these examples and some are so subtle that
we don’t even realise we are being persuaded.
Look at the following examples of
adverts/health campaigns and identify HOW
they are trying to persuade you.
Cheryl Cole ‘because I’m worth it…’
Watch the following advert and identify how the
advertisers try to persuade you to buy their
Persuasive Devices
• In writing we need to make use of language to
persuade, having the same impact that a
picture/video would have on its viewer.
Putting it into words. . .
Rhetorical Questions
A question which doesn’t require an answer.
As a tool, it can be used in debate. It allows us
not to make an outright declaration but still
effectively make a point.
In court
A question that suggests what the answer
should be but also makes the answer seem
You were at
the scene of
the crime,
• A thought-provoking gesture. A way to
stimulate discussion during debate.
How corrupt
is the
This doesn’t have to have a concrete or
measurable answer, but creates further
discussion and debate.
Rhetorical questions have long been directed
towards children. When a child exclaims that
EVERYONE is allowed to do something that
they are forbidden to do, parents can reply…
If they
jumped off a
cliff, would
Emotive Language
• In order to get their points across, writers often
use language which is chosen to make the reader
see their point of view. This language often
appeals directly to the emotions of the reader.
• For instance, is you wanted to say something was
really bad you might use the words “vile” or
“evil”. Or, if you wanted to describe a day with
very bad weather, you might use the words
“appalling” or “miserable”. Words like this might
arouse feelings in the reader.
Emotive Language
• Read the following passage from a leaflet
about the battery farming of chickens. Write
down as many examples of language which
shows how the writer feels about the subject.
“Do chickens kept for their eggs fare better? After all you’ve seen all the ads and
egg boxes that proudly declare “country fresh” and “fresh from the countryside”,
“farm fresh”. Surely this means hens are free to roam the fields and woods? ‘Fraid
not! Unless an egg box actually has the words FREE RANGE, it is certain that the
eggs are from intensive systems – battery unit, barn or deep litter sheds. However
most of Britain's eggs are produced on battery farms, were the hens are squashed
together in small cages. They can never spread their wings, scratch in the earth,
perch or make a nest, dust0bathe, search for food that is tasty and natural, or
even walk or run. Instead, five hens are packed into a cage slightly bigger that
your average microwave oven and are never allowed out again until they are
taken for slaughter.
The average wing span of a hen is 76cm – so movement and natural
behaviour is severely restricted. Thousands of cages are stacked into windowless
sheds – with artificial lighting for about 17 hours a day to promote egg laying. Up
to 90,000 birds are packed into these sheds and they are all fed, watered and
their eggs collected by an automatic system. Birds of a 18 weeks old are put into
these cages and are not removed until they are 18 months to two years old, when
they are killed. Try to imagine the frustration, the boredom, the anger that this
system creates. Hens in more natural conditions will often live for 7 years –
sometimes much more. Slaughtered battery hens are processed into soups, baby
foods, stock cubes, school diners or used in the restaurant trade.”
Task One
You are going to read an example of persuasive
• The use of rhetorical question
• Emotive language
Be prepared to explain why they are effective.
• Employed as a means of highlighting specific
points to ensure that a particular idea is
• In persuasive writing, you can repeat:
You will have to arrive at the same conclusion using
various other devices.
Repetition of words
Evil minds
will use
Repetition of Statements
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not
free. One hundred years later, the life of the
Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of
segregation and the chains of discrimination.
One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a
lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast
ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years
later, the Negro is still languished in the corners
of American society and finds himself an exile in
his own land. And so we've come here today to
dramatize a shameful condition.
Repetition of Points
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists,
with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of
"interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama
little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little
white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream
today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted,
and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places
will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight;
"and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it
together.“ This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the
South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the
mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be
able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful
symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work
together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail
together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be
free one day.
• To illustrate your views and opinions on the
topic you can provide the reader with an
An anecdote is a story or personal experience
used to exemplify the pint.
This can be on a small or large scale.
Task Two
• Read ‘Sexual Acts on a Butterfly’.
• Identify the point the writer is trying to make.
• Discuss how the writer’s use of anecdote
delivers the point.
Parallel Structures
To show kindness is
praiseworthy; to show
hatred is evil.
Callous calculating
cruelty – is this what
we must expect?
Sometimes we
have to be cruel
to be kind.
‘While we wait and do nothing, we must not
forget that the fuse is already burning.’
The ‘rule’ of tree
I ask you, is this fair?
Is it right? Is it just?
While we await your
decision, the whole
school holds its
Criteria for a good topic:
• Accessible evidence/facts to support your
• Angles from which to explore the issue fully.
• A strong personal opinion on the issue.
Your homework over the holidays was to decide
on your topic and undertake research in
preparation for your first draft.
You will begin to plan your essay next week so
you MUST have this finished.