PERSUASION AND ARGUMENT – what’s the difference? Okay, so you’ve been asked to write to persuade.
In fact, you’ll be creating two very similar styles of writing. When you set out to persuade someone, you want them to accept your opinion on an issue: you want to change that person’s mind to your way of thinking. This does not mean you should ignore your opponent’s views – far from it. That’s a sure fire way to ‘put their back up’ if ever there was one! You’re looking only for success and high marks.
When writing to argue, you’re expected to take account of opposing views and find ways to counter and overcome these, mostly through the use of well-reasoned points. This is because when you are asked to argue, you need to show you have recognises that other equally valid views exist on the subject. Your reader or listener needs to feel “warm” towards you – to be brought to feel that you are worth listening to – worthy of their time. In your opening paragraph explain this. One way to bring your reader to start agreeing with you, right from the outset, is to “forge common ground”.
This means finding a way to show that both you and your opponent have a similar goal. This reduces the differences between the two of you to something much more manageable and achievable. There’s much more on this later. An anecdote is a brief and fascinating story from life, often from personal experience.
Its purpose is to create a powerful and emotional illustration of why your view is the right view to hold. The art of argument and persuasion is a very ancient art indeed. We all share certain common ideas about what is right, just or fair. By demonstrating your own, or appealing your opponent’s, sense of what is right and fair, you can create quite a powerful persuasive device. It is said that when emotion comes in through the door, reason leaves via the window, thus when trying to persuade, using emotional pleas need great care.
Writing a five paragraph essay lesson plan
Can we genuinely call ourselves human beings when we allow this kind of thing to continue unabated. Just imagine how difficult it would be to persuade a stranger! Always ‘get to know’ your reader by working out what brought them to think the way they do.