Persuasive arguments Unit 1 – Part 3
Literacy Strategy • Key writing skill for practitioners in the legal system: • The ability to write flexibly– to be able to adapt one’s personal writing style to suit a variety of purposes and audiences. • Keys to writing effectively: • Must identify the purpose of a piece of writing, the intended reader, and the most appropriate tools for organizing different writing products.
Informational vs. Persuasive Writing • The goals are different. • For your open letter, your purpose is to persuade someone to change a school rule or to maintain/support a rule, and your audience is someone who has power to keep or change that rule. • Legal professionals need to be able to write persuasively.
Persuasion Map • A persuasion map can aid in organization of thoughts, evidence, and writing. • Planning and organizing ideas can provide you with a road map for the arguments you want to make and the most compelling sequence in which to present evidence. • To persuade someone to agree with you on a particular issue, you need to be clear about the position you are taking on that issue.
Ineffective Persuasive Techniques • It’s not enough to just take a position – if you want to change someone’s mind, you need to make convincing arguments. • Are the following arguments effective? • People who support the use of school uniforms are opposed to creativity and original thinking. • People who oppose the use of school uniforms are afraid of discipline and order.
“Ad hominem” arguments • It is Latin for “against the person” – refers to arguments that attack the individual and do not address the opposing arguments or evidence.
Conclusory statements • These are statement that simply restate the conclusion or position statement and do not provide any supporting arguments or evidence. • Examples: • School uniforms should be required because it’s stupid not to require them. • School uniforms should not be required because it should not be mandatory to wear uniforms.
Possible Effective Persuasive Arguments • Make an emotional appeal. • Build a sense of urgency or importance for your case. • Use examples of experts who agree with your position. • Support your arguments with different kinds of evidence.