Being able to write persuasively is a powerful skill to master. Whether you’re writing an essay, a proposal, an article, a review, an advert, or even a letter to your MP, convincing your audience to side with your point of view is essential to success.
Here we outline some of the most effective ways of being persuasive in your writing, whatever you need it for.
The P.E.E. Technique
If you took English GCSEs, you might recognise this famous persuasive technique from your essay-writing days. The P.E.E. Technique is a highly effective way of structuring a persuasive paragraph.
Point – state your point
Evidence – back it up with evidence
Explanation – explain your argument
It’s simple yet effective.
The Power of 3
This writing rule can also be used to make your writing more effective, persuasive, and memorable. Have you ever noticed how many things come in threes?
The three little pigs,
The three musketeers,
The three kings,
Rock, paper, scissors,
Stop, look and listen,
Me, myself and I…
Some of our most famous advertising slogans also come in threes – you may well recognise some of these…
Just do it.
Every little helps.
I’m lovin’ it.
Diamonds are forever.
Taste the difference.
Faster, higher, stronger.
Snap, crackle, pop.
What’s more, most stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Some of the most famous film franchises come in trilogies. Not to mention BLT sandwiches, location, location, location, knife, fork, spoon… even the P.E.E. technique above. We could go on.
But how can you harness this power in your own writing? There are a few easy ways.
- Use three adjectives in a row. Just look at the first line of this section. Three adjectives in a row to emphasise the point.
- Organise your argument into three main sections.
- Use the P.E.E. technique.
The ‘W’ Formula
Professional copywriters use this technique to get their point across and inspire readers to take action, whether this is supporting a charitable cause, buying a product, ‘liking’ a social media post, and so on.
- What I’ve got for you – outline the product you’re selling in a single, simple sentence.
- What can it do for you – outline the main benefits of that product. Use the power of and give three key benefits, features, or reasons they should do what you want them to do.
- Who are you? Let your audience know who you are, why they should trust you or why what you’re saying is worth hearing/reading.
- What they should do next – let them know precisely what action you want them to take, and be specific. Your call-to-action shouldn’t tell them what you want them to do in the future, such as ‘consider popping into our store this weekend,’ but something immediate like ‘go to our online store right now and use this 10% discount that expires in 5 hours.’