Persuasive Techniques Used in Writing Or…how to get what you want!
What are PERSUASIVE TECHNIQUES? • Persuasive techniques are the strategies authors use to make their writing more convincing. • Persuasive techniques: • Get a reader’s attention • Emphasize a point • Polish the writing
Why are we learning about Persuasive Techniques in English class? • You might be asked to identify one or more of them on the AIMS Reading Test. • You will be asked to identify one or more of them on the District Benchmark Exam. • Identifying the techniques can help you judge the effectiveness of persuasive essays, editorials, and arguments. • You can use these techniques in your own writing!
ANALOGY • DEFINITION: a comparison of similar ideas, often used to explain a complex situation by showing how it is like a simple one • EXAMPLE: Boot camp is like one long piano lesson: grueling, but ultimately rewarding.
CAUSE AND EFFECT • DEFINITION: This technique demonstrates that two or more things are connected by stating that one causes another. • EXAMPLE: Many studies show that eating 200 carrots a day causes a person to become smarter.
OVERSTATEMENT (hyperbole) • DEFINITION: a deliberate exaggeration for emphasis or effect • EXAMPLE: With a Herculean effort, straining every muscle in her young form, Jane answered the phone.
REPETITION • DEFINITION: occurs when words are repeated in order to make a stronger impact on the reader • EXAMPLE: The people of this city deserve a mayor they can trust, a mayor they can respect, a mayor they can count on.
RHETORICAL QUESTION • DEFINITION: a question that prompts the reader to think, but which the writer does not answer because the answer is usually obvious to the reader • EXAMPLE: Who among us has not dreamed of the day when we can soar among the clouds using only the power of our minds?
SENTENCE VARIETY • DEFINITION: occurs when the length and structure of sentences is varied in order to make certain statements stand out more • EXAMPLE: In high schools all over the country, students are being fed lunches that are neither tasty nor nutritious. This MUST stop!
UNDERSTATEMENT • DEFINITION: the deliberate expression of an ideas as less important than it actually is • EXAMPLE: One passenger described the plane crash as “rather upsetting.”
APPEAL TO REASON(a.k.a. rational appeal) • DEFINITION: This is persuasive writing that appeals to the part of humans that likes to think. It tries to persuade us by giving what appear to be good, solid reasons to share the author’s point of view. It uses facts, definitions, cause and effect, etc. • EXAMPLE: Many studies show that the most successful way for a student to improve his reading level is to READ!
EMOTIONAL APPEAL • DEFINITION: This is when the writer appeals to powerful emotions, such as our love of country, family, peace, and justice, as well as to our fear and hatred of the things that threaten us. • EXAMPLE: Students, if you truly care about your grades and your futures, you will earn your AR points!
APPEAL TO AUTHORITY • DEFINITION: This is when writers rely on their authority, credibility, or general character. They present themselves as trustworthy. They may have education or personal experience that makes them an authority, or they may get their information from others who do, mentioning experts as sources to lend credibility. • EXAMPLE: The English 10 teachers know from experience that the most successful students are those who come to school every day, pay attention in class, and complete all class assignments like AR and Study Island.
Now you try! • Write down the 10 persuasive techniques on your whiteboard. • Make a box next to each technique. • Read the examples on the following slides. • Make a check in the box that identifies the technique used for each example.
Name that technique! • Studies show that watching the History Channel will positively impact a student’s grade in World Studies.
Cause and Effect! • Why? What are your clues? • You have a cause: Watching the History Channel. • You have an effect: Positive impact on grades.
Can you figure out this one? • Haven’t you ever wanted to just kick back, relax, and watch some really bad TV?
Rhetorical Question! • What was your context clue? • The question mark? • No real answer expected!
How about this one? • We can learn from TV in the morning; we can learn from TV in the afternoon; we learn from TV in the evening.
Repetition! • Why? • Repeated words!
Here’s another one! • Watching too much TV will fry every cell in your brain.
Overstatement! (hyperbole) • What were your context clues? • Watching TV can’t literally fry your brain. • This is an exaggeration!
This one? • Watching TV all the time is like becoming a vegetable, namely a potato.
Analogy! • What was your clue? • The word “like” is often used in analogies!
And this one? • Americans view too much television; 50% watch at least three hours every day.
Appeal to Reason! • Your clue? • The numbers and %!
What’s this one? • Watching your very favorite TV show with all of your friends can be mildly entertaining.
Understatement! • The clue? • The word “mildly” is the biggest clue in this statement.
And this one? • Many parents use children’s TV as a babysitter, or worse, as a substitute mother or father. Instead of reading to their children, they plop them in front of the television. If we want to raise children’s reading levels, the TV must be turned off. Parents, don’t abdicate your job!
Sentence Variety! • What was your tip-off? • Three long sentences. • One short sentence.
How about this one? • Every elementary school principal in the state of Arizona agrees that watching too much television is detrimental to their students.
Appeal to Authority! • How did you know? • The principal! (He’s an authority!)
What’s this technique? • Parents, if you truly love your children and care about their futures, you will turn off the TV and take them for a walk.
Emotional Appeal! • Your clues? • Love. • Care.
One more… • Completing the practice homework will be the most fun you have had this entire year in English 10! • What persuasive technique have I just used? • You are correct! • It is OVERSTATEMENT!!