Bringing about a change in people’s ideas, opinions, and perspectives through reasoning, evidence, & sentiment—that it is the very essence of persuasive writing. Persuasion is a core aspect of rhetoric and involves three key techniques to impress & move the audience—ethos, pathos, and logos.
Respecting the reader’s perspectives & presenting trustworthy & credible evidence, presenting logical arguments with substantial evidence, and using your arguments & statements to evoke emotions are the foundations of successful persuasion, according to one of the world’s greatest thinkers & philosophers, Aristotle. Naturally, the success of any persuasive write-up depends on how well a writer appeals to these aspects.
But how does it all work? How to develop persuasive content that appeals to readers at every level? This article explores.
Persuasion: A Psychological Perspective
We all know what it is, don’t we? It is about changing someone’s mind, swaying opinions, and steering mindsets.
Probably, the biggest examples of persuasion stem from the speeches delivered by political and religious leaders, wherein emotions such as nationalism and fear (Pathos) are stirred to move the masses and marketing & promotional campaigns of major corporations.
But why DO people get persuaded? A look at the six central principles of persuasion showcases why.
Pioneering research by Professor Emeritus Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University uncovered six principles of persuasion or influence. They are:
- Reciprocity àThe audience feels a need to give back to the speaker/writer who provided them with some information about of c programming assignment help;
- Scarcity àPeople want things that they think are scarce;
- Authority àAn audience gets easily swayed when the presenter of information is trustworthy, credible, and an expert in their domain;
- Consistency àThe audience strives to be consistent in their behavior and actions;
- Likability àThey tend to align themselves with people with similar thoughts, perspectives, etc., and portray themselves as cooperative.
- Consensus àThe generic tendency of individuals is to follow the consensus and make popular choices among the masses.
These principles apply, irrespective of whether you are preparing a persuasive speech, essay, or dissertation.
Things change a bit when we think from an academic context.
The essay and paper help state that logic and evidence-based arguments trump blatant emotional appeals in academic writing. And reasonably so, as you are talking to educated professionals, professors, and domain experts through your essays, theses, and dissertations.
A healthy mix of critical arguments backed with impeccable evidence and careful emotional appeal lies at the heart of the best persuasive essays. And, for that to work, understanding your audience and the way they think is key.
Crafting Strong Arguments & A Moving Narrative
When you connect the principles of persuasion with the three vertices of the rhetorical triangle, you will understand that ethos and pathos are much more effective in moving any audience. But logic is central when persuasive write-ups are developed for academic purposes.
- People are more likely to get influenced when a famous or authoritative figure delivers information.
Showcase your authority on a topic when writing your essay.
- Emotions influence mindset and decisions substantially. Establishing an emotional connection with the audience is a sure-shot way to steer the audience’s perspective.
And, while the great Aristotle declared that logical appeal is the best way to develop strong arguments, an emotional heart trumps the rational mind in many cases.
Arguing and appealing to emotions simultaneously is thus necessary for persuasive essays.
- People are inclined to relate easily with those with whom they can connect & identify.
For essays, that occurs when you present data from numerous credible sources.
- It is extremely hard to sway popular opinion and even more so without proper logic, supporting evidence, & credibility.
Strong arguments backed by evidence are the only surefire to assail and influence emotions in such cases.
If you wish to sway mindsets & influence opinions, then understanding your audience and clarity in purpose are some of the first things to determine. Only then can you frame an ideal narrative and develop pertinent arguments. Once those are sorted, start preparing logical arguments supported by substantial evidence. Use various rhetorical devices to boost the persuasive ability of your prose, avoid logical fallacies, and showcase authority.
Let’s take a closer look at how to craft solid persuasive arguments.
- The Appeal to PATHOS: Establish an emotional connection with the audience.
Pepper the write-up with personal anecdotes and use charged words to arouse sympathies and appeal to subconscious belief systems, assumptions, and the like. Develop an emotionally-charged narrative with moving descriptions, as it can act as the perfect fabric for your essay onto which strong & irrefutable arguments can be weaved for maximum effect.
Connotative diction, personal examples, similes & metaphors, an authoritative tone, and vivid examples with relevant details – are some excellent strategies for persuading using pathos.
- The Combined Appeal to LOGOS & PATHOS: While emotions often score higher than logic, especially during these times, there’s nothing stronger than sharp logic & concrete evidence when it comes to solidifying your point of view.
To ensure rationality prevails, however, appeals to logos must be combined with emotional appeal. Develop legitimate arguments with reasoning and use emotionally charged statements in conjunction to boost chances of persuasion. Avoid biases and incorporate ideas from varying perspectives to form well-rounded opinions.
Present solid arguments with conviction, back them up with evidence to stir the reasoning capabilities of your audience & then hit them with a gut-wrenching sentence. Avoid logical fallacies and distorting factual evidence while playing on your audience’s emotions. The strong and logical arguments you craft will strengthen the persuasive techniques you employ to appeal to emotions.
Premise, logical reasons & evidence, and conclusions are the foundations of good arguments. Stirring up emotions while doing so can make things perfect. Present an emotionally-stirring premise, use logical arguments, and present emotionally appealing evidence. Conclude by again engaging audience sentiments. Cajole, flatter, and, if need be, pressurize to steer readers towards your conclusions while presenting accurate facts & statistics with reason.
- The Appeal to ETHOS: Ethical concerns are important, especially when talking to an educated and well-informed audience. Again, regarding persuasive essays, information and statistics from credible sources are the best way to alleviate ethical concerns.
Use appropriate tone and pertinent diction, and present everything in a cohesive, professional, and polished manner. Cohesion, order, and a proper narrative flow are vital to persuade successfully.
Remember the above points the next time you write a persuasive essay. Be aware of your audience, chalk proper plans, be well-versed about the topic you are writing about, and use logic & emotion in tandem with authority.
That’s about it for this write-up. Hope it was a good read for everyone. Put in the hard work, read more, and practice essay writing to boost your skills. And, if you could do with some expert assistance, look for academic services that offer top-tier essay writing help, cheap dissertation help, and the like.
Author-Bio: Ray Nielsen is a linguistics professor from a prominent university in London, UK. He is also an essay and dissertation expert at MyAssignmenthelp.com, a leading global academic service provider.