Module 12 - Persuasive Messages
As PP 12-20 shows, persuasive messages—whether short-term or
long-term—will be more effective if the writer
Builds emotional appeal.
Uses the right tone.
Offers a reason for the reader to act promptly.
Build Credibility: Credibility is the audience’s response to the writer as the source of the
message. In order to do so, writers should be factual, specific, and reliable.
Teaching Tip: People usually see credible people as powerful, attractive, or
trustworthy, or as an expert at something. Ask students who they find credible—
these examples could be people they know, celebrities, or even historical figures.
Why do these people seem credible? What values or ideals do they represent? Make
a master list and then ask the class to share thoughts and feelings. Does everyone
agree with the names on the list? Why or why not?
Emotional Appeal: This approach means making the reader want to do what the writer asks.
Emotional appeal works best when people want to be persuaded. A powerful technique to use is
psychological description, as discussed in Module 8. Telling a story also works; recent research
suggests that stories are more persuasive because people remember them.
Teaching Tip: Have students research creative writing techniques to understand more
about telling stories and using narrative. What tips can they share with the class for
effective story-telling? Create a master list for the class.
In-Class Exercise: Ask students to write a 1- to 2-page story about how they got to
college. The story can start at the point they made the decision to attend and end
with the first day of class. Or, it could start with memories of the first day of
kindergarten and work up to the point they made the decision to attend college.
Students should use strong description and dialogue, as well as such standard
story-telling elements as character, setting, plot, and conflict. Ask for one or two
volunteers to read their stories to the class.
Use the Right Tone: Typically, when writing to coworkers, superiors, or people outside the
organization, writers need to be forceful but polite. Giving orders to subordinates may be OK,
but don’t sound parental or preachy.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.