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6 Ways To Improve Your Persuasive Writing Skills

 

The primary function of persuasive writing is to make an impact with your words.  In today’s information age, written content is everywhere. It’s simply not enough to be descriptive. With competing industries populating the commercial and academic marketplace, it’s imperative to positively stand out.

Use Big Words Responsibly

A common misconception about persuasive writing is that you need to use big words. This is not always true. Overuse or misuse of big words can distort the original intent of your message.  When  your readers recognize an error in your word choice, the content’s credibility is reduced.  Sometimes it’s best to write simply. On the other hand, the correct usage of big words may encourage your readers to expand their own vocabulary. In addition, they may also foster greater trust in the content. If big words are a part of your natural vocabulary, then use them. However, if they are not, then don’t force yourself to use them.  Overall, whatever comes naturally in your writing will be read naturally. As a result, your persuasive writing will be convincing and engaging.

Know Your Audience

As a follow up to the previous point,  awareness and knowledge of your target audience will help you determine when jargon is appropriate for your persuasive writing.  If you are writing for  audiences  who have diverse perspectives, it is best practice to avoid jargon.  You do not want to overwhelm your audience. If you are writing for a specific niche, then it’s appropriate to use  jargon.  In fact, it may even be expected that you integrate technical jargon as a way to persuade your readers of your level of expertise.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

A  key indicator for successful persuasive writing is to build an argument. Arguments are supported and fuelled by facts. Many facts come from other sources. As a result, you want to give credit to those other people who have spent their time and energy to provide you with the facts that support your argument. Something to remember is that your external sources are intended to build and support the foundation of your arguments. The more you cite, the more evidence you are providing to support the credibility of your arguments and opinions.

DO NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS

Unless you are using an acronym, persuasive writing in all capital letters is perceived as loud instead of persuasive.  In this case, your intent is to place emphasis on a word or phrase. There are other ways to reach this goal. The proper use of punctuation can convey your authoritative and persuasive tone.  Another suggestion would be to use italics rather than capital letters. Rather than writing “this product is effective AND affordable,” you can write “this product is effective and affordable.” Although the italics and punctuation marks may not be as noticeable as the capital letters, your persuasive writing will be perceived as  polished and professional.

Use Active Voice Instead of Passive Voice

Active voice offers  more clarity to content.  If you want to make a point, you have to get to that point immediately.  Here is an example of how active voice can improve your persuasive writing:

  • Passive Voice: The loyalty of our services is reflected in our customers’ 10 year commitment to our products and services.
  • Active Voice: Customers have remained loyal to our products and services for 10 years.

As you can see from this example, active voice dramatically improves the persuasiveness of your message. Ultimately,  active voice makes the message crisp, clear, and right to the point.

Explore Every Angle

Consideration toward the pros and cons of your argument showcases a thorough  presentation of your content. Providing recognition to the cons of your argument or topic does not lower the persuasiveness of your argument. On the contrary, it yields evidence that you have given careful consideration to the needs of your readers. In addition,presentation of this other side of your argument can be used as an opportunity to provide further evidence that supports your original standpoint, thereby improving the quality of your persuasive writing.

When your goal is to stand out and make an impact, then persuasive writing is the way to go. Give these tips a try and comment below to share your feedback.

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