Persusasive writing can be filled with statistics, but many readers have become skeptical, knowing stats can be manipulated and the message muddled. Research is another avenue used in persuasive writing, but it too can be twisted with half truths and unreliable sources. Storytelling, a human interest tidbit may well be the way to go when wanting to make a point.
The following story is an old one, remade and shortened, and it delivers a point of view the reader may or may not agree with, but the important part is it compells the reader to absorb the persuasive message.
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. She considered herself a liberal and in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs to redistribute the wealth in the country. She was rather upset her father held a different view. She had participated in class discussions and listened to professors explain their reasonings of fair distribution regarding the needs of the people.
One day she challenged her father on his opposition to higher taxes and more government programs. He in turn asked how her classes were going. Thinking he was trying to change the subject she quite adamently told him she was working hard and holding a 4.0 GPA. It was tough keeping her grades up with such a heavy course load. She studied every day and spent very little time partying like other people she knew. She didn't have time for a boyfriend, and had only made a small group of friends who worked as hard as she did.
Her father nodded in understanding and asked, "How is your friend Audrey doing in school?"
"She's barely getting by. She takes only easy classes, never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. But she is popular and thinks college is a blast. She's always invited to these great parties and then misses class because she stays out so late."
The father then said, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 of your GPA and give it to Audrey. Then you will both have a 3.0 GPA. That would be a generous and equal distribution to someone who sounds as if they could use a little help."
The daughter, visibly upset replied, "That's crazy! And so unfair! I've worked hard for my grades. I've invested a lot to time and effort to keep my GPA. Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She's playing while I've worked my tail off."
The father smiled a bit and said gently, "Welcome to the conservative side of thinking!"
Persuasion techniques are valuable tools every writer needs. Share with us on how you have manipulated a plot with persuasive methods.
Til next time ~