Have you ever been so moved, so persuaded, by an essay that you immediately switched your views regarding the topic it addressed? Have you ever reread a piece just because it was so persuasive that you couldn't get enough of the writer's style?
If you want to write pieces that are equally as succinct and confident, try utilizing one or more of these four methods when putting together your essay. By doing so, you can more easily plead your case and win over your readers with style and conviction.
What's The Point?You'd be surprised how often authors write opinionated pieces that are simply directionless, longwinded tomes. For instance, just check out the "letters to the editor" section of most newspapers and magazines. Too often, the missives are all across the board, and, ultimately, this sloppiness leaves readers confused, irritated, and not at all persuaded.
Make sure that you don't fall into this trap - before you begin writing your essay, formulate a thesis. The thesis will allow you to write around it; thus, every piece of your essay should support the premise. This will give you a destination for which to shoot and your writing won't wind up floundering in a sea of mismatched quotes or contradictory statements.
Write With AuthorityA high-quality persuasive essay has a genuine tone of authority and wisdom. Eliminate wishy-washy language and write in powerful, active verbiage. For example, consider the difference in these two sentences:
Adequate: Over the past century, there has been little change in society's reaction toward men's family roles.
Much Better: Society's reaction toward men's family roles shows little change over the past century.
Though both sentences use the same basic words, the second statement is much stronger than the first. Inactive verbs have been removed, and the reader is presented with a more dynamic assertion.
Use Facts and Quotes to Your AdvantagePersuasive writings frequently quote authorities on subjects or include statistics to back up the essay's main thesis.
But you can't just randomly throw facts and figures into your work; you must make sure they support your thesis and are appropriate for the length and tone of the essay. This means you could wind up passing over 90% of the quotations or citations you encounter when researching your essay to ensure that include only those that will advance your position and findings.
Though it can be tough to sift through a plethora of facts and figures, the 10% that you end up citing could turn your essay from okay to overwhelming.
Anticipate Audience ArgumentsIt's essential for you to think like a chess master if you're going to persuade your reader of your point. That means you must become adept at anticipating any questions or arguments that your audience might have regarding your thesis.
To do this, read over your essay with a highly critical eye. Imagine what your opponents would say and then address their would-be concerns in a more fleshed-out rewrite. And never underestimate your readers; if you leave any proverbial stone left unturned, they'll root it out. Hence, you have to spend some time on this technique.
Whether you're putting together an essay, letter to the editor, or other work of nonfiction, the abovementioned techniques will assist you in persuading your audience with expertise and style.