Jan 17, 2016
Effective PersuasionEffective PersuasionDeveloping Persuasive Arguments
OverviewOverviewThis presentation will cover:
◦The persuasive context◦The role of the audience◦What to research and cite◦How to establish your
credibility◦How to create a debatable
thesis◦How to support a thesis with
What is Persuasive Writing?What is Persuasive Writing?
Definition: persuasive writing…
seeks to convince its readers to
embrace the point-of-view presented
by appealing to the audience’s
reason and understanding through
argument and/or entreaty.
Persuasive GenresPersuasive GenresYou encounter persuasion every
day.TV CommercialsLetters to the Editor Junk mailMagazine adsCollege brochures
Can you think of other persuasive contexts?
Steps for Effective Steps for Effective PersuasionPersuasion
Understand your audience Support your opinion Know the various sides of your
issue Respectfully address other points
of view Find common ground with your
audience Establish your credibility
Understanding Your Understanding Your AudienceAudienceWho is your audience?What beliefs do they hold about the
topic?What disagreements might arise
between you and your audience?How can you refute
counterarguments with respect?
Understanding Your Understanding Your AudienceAudienceHelp your audience relate to your
topicAppeal to their hearts as well as
their minds.◦Use anecdotes when appropriate ◦Paint your topic in with plenty of detail
◦Involve the reader’s senses in these sections
Researching an IssueResearching an IssueBecome familiar with all sides of an
issue.-find common ground-understand the history of the topic-predict the counterarguments your
audience might make-find strong support for your own
Researching an IssueResearching an IssueFind common ground with your
Point of Opposition: You might support a war, whereas your audience might not.
Common ground: Both sides want to see their troops come home.
Researching an IssueResearching an IssuePredict counterarguments Example:Your Argument: Organic produce
from local Farmers’ Markets is better than store-bought produce.
The Opposition: Organic produce is too expensive.
Researching an IssueResearching an Issue
One Possible Counterargument: Organic produce is higher in nutritional value than store-bought produce and is also free of pesticides, making it a better value. Also, store-bought produce travels thousands of miles, and the cost of gasoline affects the prices of food on supermarket shelves.
Tactics to AvoidTactics to AvoidDon’t lecture or talk down to your
audienceDon’t make threats or “bully”
your readerDon’t employ guilt tripsBe careful if using the second person, “you”
Developing Debatable Thesis Developing Debatable Thesis Statements Statements
The Thesis statement or main claim must be debatable
Example of a non-debatable Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:thesis statement:
Pollution is bad for the environment.
Example of a debatable Example of a debatable thesis statement:thesis statement:
At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution.
Another example of a Another example of a debatable thesis statement:debatable thesis statement:
America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars.
The thesis needs to be The thesis needs to be narrownarrowAlthough the scope of your paper
might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be.
Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.
Example of a thesis that is Example of a thesis that is too broad:too broad:Drug use is detrimental to
◦What is included in the category "drugs"?
◦In what ways are drugs detrimental◦Finally, what does the author mean
Example of a narrow or Example of a narrow or focused thesis:focused thesis:Illegal drug use is detrimental
because it encourages gang violence.◦In this example the topic of drugs
has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.
Narrowed Debatable Narrowed Debatable Thesis 1:Thesis 1:At least twenty-five percent of the
federal budget should be spent on helping upgrade business to clean technologies, researching renewable energy sources, and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution.
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.
Narrowed Debatable Narrowed Debatable Thesis 2:Thesis 2:America's anti-pollution efforts
should focus on privately owned cars because it would allow most citizens to contribute to national efforts and care about the outcome.
This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.
Types of ClaimsTypes of ClaimsClaims of fact or definition:
These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. ◦Example:
What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal, long-term cycles of climate change.
Types of ClaimsTypes of ClaimsClaims of cause and effect:
These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. ◦Example:
The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase.
Types of ClaimsTypes of ClaimsClaims about value: These are
claims made about what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. ◦Example:
Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today.
Types of ClaimsTypes of ClaimsClaims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. ◦Example:
Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption, such as researching renewable energy sources.