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CRAFTING TONE in persuasive writing How the words you use in your essay affect your persuasiveness.

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Presentation on theme: "CRAFTING TONE in persuasive writing How the words you use in your essay affect your persuasiveness."— Presentation transcript:

1 CRAFTING TONE in persuasive writing How the words you use in your essay affect your persuasiveness.

2 Persuasive appeals: TONE Your job is to CONVINCE the reader that your idea is the right one Cannot be done if you OFFEND Cannot be done if your logic is not reasonable Cannot be done if your sincerity is not believable (if you are not trustworthy)

3 Tone: educated, formal, reasonable Formality means: I take shortcuts Avoid contractions: CAN’T WON’T SHOULDN’T = NO!!! longer, more complex sentences sharp vocabulary choices

4 CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE!!! THINK: If you are writing to Mr. Liss, don’t shift to 2 nd person (you): “How would you feel if you had to sit next to someone you can’t stand at the lunch table? You might get picked on and then you would hate lunch time.”  NO! “Don’t you hate it when you run out of time in the gym locker room, then you are late for class and get a detention?”  NO!!

5 Avoid overuse of personal pronouns (you, we)! Instead, stick to collective nouns: students community members teenagers citizens adolescents children teachers the MJS student bodyfaculty residents “Students feel uncomfortable…” “Most teenagers agree…” “Madison residents would gladly help out…” “Many community members strongly feel…” “Most faculty members would agree that…”

6 Avoid hostile, rude tone Avoid insulting your audience It’s obvious that.... Everybody knows/agrees that… How would you like that now? I bet you never thought of that… This is the worst idea ever… Any person alive could see that this makes sense… Only an idiot would do such a thing… Everyone will be mad and hate you. People will revolt. I, for one, would revolt if you do this. Your audience will not be receptive to what you say!

7 Avoid exaggeration of claims Every single student at MJS agrees that _____. If you implement such an idea, we will all be happier, so we will all do better in school, then we will get into better colleges and then we will be successful for the rest of our lives. This idea would be devastating to the lives of MJS students and would crush our very souls into oblivion, effectively smashing any chance of future happiness. All Americans agree wholeheartedly that _______. This makes your logic sound questionable and suspicious!

8 Avoid insincere flattery “I know you will choose the right course of action because you are always so wonderful and wise.” “Of course you already know this, because everything you do is so intelligent and accurate.” “This school is the best in the whole entire world and your intelligence will enlighten students for centuries to come.” This makes you seem untrustworthy and not believable.

9 Tone and Organization Avoid questioning the reader Too informal & relaxed Your job is to ANSWER the question at hand, not to ASK them!!! You should be the authority persuading the reader what to think: Example: Haven’t you seen a lot of large people around town? Don’t you think obesity is a problem? Better: Any walk around a suburban shopping mall reveals the hard truth about the rising obesity rates. It is tough to ignore such a growing problem, given the evidence.

10 Remember…. Persuasion is an art, and it takes careful consideration of how your message is being received. THINK: In your own life, does smart-mouthing a parent win him/her over to your side? “I deserve an iPad because EVERY SINGLE KID at MJS has one….” Not the best approach, right? You need THREE well-planned reasons and details, and your TONE sets how well your argument will be received!

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