types of persuasive writing

Types of Persuasive Writing

by Ramit

“To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful”.

-Edward R. Murrow

We all know that persuasion means the act of causing people to do or believe something.  And when it gets associated with writing, it is an attempt by the writer to convert the reader’s opinion. It aims at reflecting that the writer is correct in their perspective. 

Further, persuasive writing rests on three pillars, namely, ethos, logos, & pathos. While ethos is establishing the writer’s credibility on the topic, logos is putting forth the logical viewpoint and pathos addresses the emotional dealing while influencing the audience to tilt to the writer’s side.  

I am sure reading the above might strike a chord at your end since each one of us, at some point in time, would have written a persuasive article while preparing for a school debate and so on.  Our sole aim would have been to get the audience to accept and be persuaded by our outlook.

If for some reason you have never attempted persuasive writing, let’s check out the different types of this writing form and get going.

  • TV Commercials or Print Ads:

This one is designed to evoke a desired action, usually purchasing a product.  Persuasive text in advertising aims at the consumer emotion to close the sale.  Another objective of this persuasive writing form is to create selective demand for specific products or services. It is always user-oriented.

  • Newspaper Editorials:

This is another common form of persuasion. An editorial is a persuasive column that is an integral part of daily newspapers. In this space, the writer gives his or her opinion about a certain issue. Some of the famous editorial writers are Aroon Shourie, Barkha Dutt etc.

  • Songs & Poems:

You must have read poems or heard songs which influences us to empathize with the character mentioned in the work. However, to make it an effective form of persuasive writing, the writer should include hyperbole, impactful verbs, and sensory details in their creation.

  • Love Letters:

Another form of writing which is highly passionate and persuasive is the love letter. It is your chance to express your feelings and thoughts in words and how much you really care for your partner.  The key ingredients are remembering a romantic incident, talking about things you love about them, while reaffirming your love and commitment.

  • Personal Opinion or Thought Pieces:

In personal opinion writing, you need to present your opinion and try to convince the reader to agree.  For instance, in the IELTS exam, (international English Language Testing System), which is a language testing system for people who wish to relocate abroad, students have to write essays debating viewpoints, while stating their personal opinion, which can appear convincing to the examiner.  Or even agreement/disagreement essays wherein they need to justify their thought process with examples.  

  • Political Speeches and Literature:

I am sure we have all heard political speeches and while we know that they can be scripted or unscripted/impromptu sermons delivered by politicians in rallies, they are primarily persuasive in nature and do not focus on information sharing.  For instance, Mahatma Gandhi’s “Quit India” speech, Theodore Roosevelt’s “Duties of American Citizenship” speech are good examples of persuasive writing.

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