The Secrets of Persuasion

How do you persuade someone to fund an after-school boxing program for at-risk kids?

For Carolyn Geck, development director at Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym, the answer is to convince foundations and potential partners that the gym’s mission of “Books Before Boxing” actually has a lifelong impact.

In this Strayer Story, we’ll show how the persuasive writing process works, and how Carolyn persuades funders with appeals to credibility, logic, and emotion.

Last week, you read about the power of persuasion in school, at work, and in everyday life. This week, you’ll unlock the secrets to successful persuasion. You’ll learn to break down who you want to reach and why, and how you can connect in three distinct ways. These are the most important steps in mastering the art of persuasion.

It’s all about the audience

Learning to persuade means, first and foremost, learning to connect with your audience. Readers need to feel that you’re speaking to them directly and that they know where you’re coming from. They want to know that you understand and even share some of their values.

Of course, you can’t know exactly what each reader is thinking. But you can understand your audience—whether it’s your coworkers, your mother-in-law, or Atlanta Falcons fans on the internet—and then deliver your message in a way that’s tailored to suit their needs. That will give your persuasive writing maximum impact.

What you’ll learn

This week, you’ll learn to do the following:

  • understand the three basic methods of persuasion and how to use them
  • recognize the context—the “who” and the “why,” along with the setting or time—that will help you decide how to connect with your audience

With those under your belt, you can continue the prewriting for your persuasive essay. Last week, you explored different issues and selected your topic. This week, you’ll complete the following webtext activities as part of Writing Activity 1:

  • Develop Your Position
  • Draft Your Supporting Points

These activities will get you ready to complete and turn in Writing Activity 1 next week.

This is just a sample.

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