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					                                                  ENG3CO - Unit 1- The Power of Words


                               Writing to Persuade

To persuade means to convince someone of something. Persuasive writing
states a clear opinion and then supports this opinion. Some of the common
formats used for persuasive writing are:

      claim and support paragraph                      editorial
      essay                                            speech
      advertisement                                    documentary
      letter



How are writers able to persuade?

A writer selects the techniques he/she will use to persuade based on how best to appeal
to his/her audience. Some of these techniques are subtle and difficult to detect while
others are quite obvious. There are three basic ways that a writer will try to appeal to an
audience in order to persuade. They are:


Emotional Appeal              This is when a writer uses an audience’s sense of
                              sympathy or empathy to convince him/her that the opinion
                              presented is correct

Logical Appeal                This is when a writer uses an audience’s sense of logic
                              and reasoning to convince him/her that the opinion is
                              correct

Physical Appeal               This is when a writer uses an audience’s physical senses
                              to convince him/her that the opinion presented is correct.


To persuade an audience, writers use arguments (the big reasons their opinion is
valid) and carefully selected supporting details (the specific reasons their opinion
is valid).

Some types of supporting details are:

              personal experience                              quotations
              examples                                         charts
              facts                                            diagrams
              statistics                                       ideas, theories, opinions
              descriptions




                                                                            M. Barrett 2011
                                                                            Page 1 of 4
ENG3C0 - Unit 1 – The Power of Words

Stylistic Techniques
When a writer’s purpose is to persuade, he/she uses many different stylistic techniques
to help convince his/her reader. These techniques are also called literary or rhetorical
devices.

Some of these techniques are:

Comparison:
     Comparison is often used to convince a reader that a subject is like something,
     or someone, with which they are already familiar. If the reader likes the one, the
     hope is that he/she will like the other one too.

Contrast:
      Contrast is often used to convince a reader that a subject is not like something,
      or someone, with which they are already familiar. If the reader doesn’t like the
      one, the writer hopes to persuade the reader that he/she will like the one being
      presented.

        Example:      Milk chocolate is better than dark chocolate. While both milk

                      chocolate and dark chocolate are excellent to bake with, milk
                                                                  comparison
                      chocolate is sweeter than dark chocolate and makes a nice
                                      contrast
                      dessert on its own.


Repetition:
       Writers often repeat their opinion, key words and supporting details throughout a
       piece of writing. Repetition reinforces what has been stated and puts emphasis
       on important points to ensure that readers remember what has been stated.


Diction:
       Diction is a writer’s choice of language, or use of vocabulary. Writers select
       words carefully to persuade a reader. Writers pay attention to both what a word
       means (denotation) and also to the positive or negative values and feelings a
       reader may attach to a word (connotation).

        Example:              odour          smell          fragrance

        All of these words above have a similar denotation (meaning) but odour has a
        negative connotation, smell has a neutral connotation, and fragrance has a
        positive connotation.


Bias:
        Bias is a tendency to see a subject only one way and to ignore other ways of
        looking at it. Biased writing tries to give the reader a push towards seeing a
        subject in the same way the writer other does. Bias is created through diction.

                                                                           M. Barrett 2011
                                                                           Page 2 of 4
ENG3C0 - Unit 1 – The Power of Words

         Example:

         Bias in favour:        A group of 15 freedom fighters rested in the village.
         Bias against:          The village was occupied by a gang of 15 terrorists.


Tone:
         Tone is created through the attitude that the writer has towards a subject that
         influences the way he or she writes about it. Tone is the general emotion or
         feeling in a piece of writing. Tone is created through the specific use of words
         and details in writing.

         Examples:

         Straight forward tone
                Here’s how to get the information you need on the internet.

         Irritated tone
                 How can anyone possibly weed through all the junk on the Internet!

         Outraged tone
               I found a lot of stuff on the internet that I wouldn’t want my seven-year-old
               to see.

         Humorous tone
              Help! I’ve lost my mind in cyberspace.


Simile
         A comparison of two dissimilar things using “like” or “as”.

         Example:       The politician was as sly as a fox.
                        Listening to her sing was like having a tooth pulled.

Metaphor
      A comparison of two dissimilar things which does not use “like” or “as”. Metaphor
      are poetically true by literally false.

         Examples:      He has a heart of stone.
                        She is a fish in water.

Euphemism
     A euphemism is a vague, indirect term with a positive connotation, used instead
     of a more precise or blunt term that may offend or frighten.

         Example:       He has passed away.         rather than           He has died.




                                                                                M. Barrett 2011
                                                                                Page 3 of 4
ENG3C0 - Unit 1 – The Power of Words

Hyperbole:
      An hyperbole is an exaggeration used to create emphasis.

       Example:        I have a million things to do today


Oxymoron:
     An oxymoron is the juxtaposition of two contrasting words or ideas for dramatic
     effect.

       Example:        There was a deafening silence.


Rhetorical Question:
      A rhetorical question is a question asked for effect for which an answer is not
      expected, or for which a writer answers for him or herself.


Allusion:
       An allusion is an indirect reference to something with which the writer assumes
       the reader is familiar Allusions are often made to events, people, things, ideas,
       or images from history, literature, religion or popular culture

       Example:        I wish I could click my heels three times and be home.


Alliteration
        The repetition of the starting letter or sound of two or more words in a row.

       Example:        Love's Labour Lost


Formatting Techniques
Often writers use formatting differences to highlight or emphasis a particular idea or
detail. Some of these formatting techniques include:

   bolded words or phrases                          text boxes
   italicised words or phrases                      text division lines
   quotation marks around words or                  bulleted lists
    phrases




                                                                             M. Barrett 2011
                                                                             Page 4 of 4

				
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