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Writing Tutor: Persuasion Part B Think More... Write More Dr. Otto In Persuasion Part A, I cautioned writers against using false persuading strategies.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Tutor: Persuasion Part B Think More... Write More Dr. Otto In Persuasion Part A, I cautioned writers against using false persuading strategies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Tutor: Persuasion Part B Think More... Write More Dr. Otto In Persuasion Part A, I cautioned writers against using false persuading strategies. Are there appropriate persuading strategies that writers can use? Fortunately, the answer is YES! Look at the following strategies. To illustrate these thinking strategies, I concentrate on some of the arguments presented by Mat Ridley in his book, The Rational Point of View (2011) and the challenges presented by Bill Gates.

2 Thinking Strategy # 1. State a position Matt Ridley, in his most recent book, The Rational Optimist (2010), faces a real challenge in this time of pessimism. How will he overcome the prevailing pessimistic view of global population growth, climate change and unprecedented economic pessimism, just to mention a few issues? Ridley begins with a bold statement of his position when he says, ‘I am a rational optimist: rational, because I have arrived at optimism... by looking at the evidence” which he claims points to a “richer, healthier and kinder” world than ever before. With this statement, Ridley has presented his challenge as a rational optimist. Might readers be interested in what he has to say? Who is not interested in living in a “richer, healthier and kinder” world than ever before?

3 Thinking Strategy # 2. Analyse the issues In his challenge of the prevailing pessimistic view of humanity, Matt Ridley provides detailed analyses supporting his claim that the human race has experienced amazing prosperity and therefore has cause to be optimistic as opposed to being pessimistic. He offers a detailed comparison on the challenges of acquiring food, clothing, shelter and fuel in a self-sufficient world to the world of exchanging goods and services.

4 Thinking Strategy # 3. Challenge an opposing view In a rare review, Bill Gates challenges Matt Ridley’s claim that ‘exchange’ is the key mechanism in the successes of the western world. Gates points out that Ridley fails to take into account the role of education, government, patents and science. This is particularly true of the role these institutions played in the 19 th century – the height of the enlightenment period. To quote Gates, “Electricity, steel, microprocessors, vaccines and other products are possible only because of our efforts to understand the world and how it works. Without these inventions, generated through the curiosity and creativity of scientists, there would not have been new products for exchange. Ridley needs to rethink the primacy of the role played by ‘exchange’ in the light of the challenge presented by Gates.

5 Thinking Strategy # 4. Declare a solution The solution for the widespread pessimism today, for Ridley, is ‘rational optimism’. His solution, he claims, is rational in that he ‘arrived at optimism not through... instinct, but by looking at the evidence.’ Second, he attempts to show that, in balance, the world is a ‘richer, healthier and kinder’ than ever before.

6 Thinking Strategy # 5. Present reasons If Matt Ridley wanted to present reasons for claiming that ‘exchange’ drives all progress, he should have addressed the point raised by Bill Gates when he says, ‘Ridley fails to take into account the role of education, government, patents and science’. Had he successfully shown how ‘education, government, patents and science’ had a significant influence, his presentation would have been more convincing.

7 Thinking Strategy # 6. Produce evidence Here is the evidence presented by Ridley. ‘If you lived in a completely self-sufficient world, you would have to maintain a garden, feed a pig, fetch water from a nearby stream, gather firewood from the forest, wash your vegetables, catch a chicken, light a fire without matches, cook your dinner, prepare your bedding just to mention a few of your basic tasks.’ ‘On an average wage today, you would be able to earn the money to pay for your food in ten minutes a day, work less than an hour a day to pay for your clothes, work another hour or two to pay for the gas, electricity and fuel, work two hours to make your mortgage payment and another two hours to pay your taxes.’ To make this lifestyle possible, Ridley points out that you are trading your wages for the services of many people. That’s why he maintains that ‘trade’ makes possible today’s convenient lifestyle. This dramatic change in lifestyle is cause for optimism, Ridley claims.

8 Thinking Strategy # 7. Present the writer’s qualifications Matt Ridley Matt Ridley, is a British scientist, journalist and author. He has written several science books including the The Red Queen (1994), Genome (1999) and The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010). In 2011, he won the Hayek Prize. He was recently elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and won the Julian Simon award in March 2012.

9 Thinking Strategy # 8. Address the interests of the readers Some critics claim, Ridley addresses the interests of the wealthy. George Monbiot, for example, claims that the rich and powerful “needn't worry about social or environmental issues, because these will sort themselves out if the market is liberated from government control. He tells them that they are right to assert that government should get off their backs and stop interfering with its pettifogging rules and regulations.” Ridley vehemently denies Monbiot’s accusation. I insists he does not preach what the rich want to hear.” He concludes by claiming “that economic liberty leads to greater opportunities for the poor to become less poor.” So, who are his readers... the rich, the middle class, the poor or a broad cross section?

10 These are some of the thinking strategies that good writers use to persuade their readers. 1.State a position 2.Analyse the issues 3.Challenge an opposing view 4.Declare a solution 5.Present reasons 6.Produce evidence 7.Present the writer’s qualifications 8.Address the interests of the readers Writers select the most effective strategies for every essay they write... they don’t use all eight strategies in every essay they write. So, whenever you write an essay, select the most effective thinking strategy to persuade your readers. And, remember not to use the strategies identified in Writing Tutor 15.

11 That’s all... thanks for listening. Try this … 1. At go to Writing and to Persuasion. Read the ESSAY and complete the template.www.sponsoravillage.ca 2. Write an essay using appropriate persuasion strategies. After you are pleased with your essay, edit it for grammar to create a reader’s draft. If you have any questions about the writing process, send them to Ask Dr. Otto at Enjoy your writing experience.


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