Persuasive Articles

Change Minds and Move Mountains: The Power of Persuasive Articles

Many men have doubted the powers of persuasion, and even more have taken advantage of its powers. If there's anything that can move mountains, it's persuasion. Over the years, man has learned to play with the human mind in ways that would benefit him and would entice people to listen to what he has to say. However, persuasion is neither science nor math. There are no equations or formulas that would give you the perfect persuasive articles. Like art, persuasion is more fluid and dynamic, involving not only the writer (or speaker), but the audience as well. The key to success doesn't only depend on skill or charisma, but in knowing what the audience wants (in other words, how to tickle their fancy).

The Psychology of Persuasion

Some might consider persuasion as a manipulation of the mind. However, unlike manipulation, persuasion doesn't involve controlling another by unfair means. Persuasion works similar to planting an idea on someone's mind. The person is the one who chooses to believe in your persuasive articles, and your job is simply to lay out the facts.

From a psychological perspective, persuasion takes one of two routes. The central route involves a lot of thinking, with the person focusing on your argument. This produces more enduring effects as opposed to the peripheral route, where incidental cues (e.g. speaker's attractiveness, article's font type) play a major role. For persuasive articles, there are less incidental cues, and the reader has more time to process what the articles say. For this reason, targeting the central route is more effective for persuasive articles. The peripheral route is more effective when the speaker talks rapidly and when the listener finds the message irrelevant.

The Elements of Persuasion

Whether persuasive articles or speeches are involved, these elements are essential as they form the basic building blocks. These elements are the following: the communicator (who writes the persuasive articles), the message content, the means (channel of communication), and the audience. Writing good persuasive articles involves taking each of these elements into account and using them as means of improving your article. Tips for improvement will be further discussed in the next section.

Tips for Writing Great Persuasive Articles

Persuasive articles range from those trying to sell a certain product or service, to those trying to advocate a certain argument. Here are a few tips that will help you make great persuasive articles:

1. Brainstorm

If you still don't have a topic to write about, take time to think about it. You need a solid foundation on which you can base the rest of the article on. Before making a claim, make sure that you understand enough of your view. Read up and research not only about your view, but opposing views as well.

2. Identify the main topic.

Working around a main topic allows you to have an easier and more efficient time constructing good persuasive articles. It helps if the topic at hand is a personal issue, but if it isn't, act as if it is. Not only will it help you come up with good arguments, but it will also make you more determined in coming up with a good article.

3. Identify your audience.

It's essential in all persuasive articles to take into account who the readers will be. Are you targeting an audience that's undecided or totally against your viewpoint?

As mentioned, manipulating the elements of persuasion is a bit limited for persuasive articles. Again, assume that your reader is a thinker - remember that thinking makes strong messages effective, but discredits weak messages.

4. Start strong.

After your title, the first paragraph or your introduction is the next 'make it or break it' point. Contrary to popular belief, starting with a question isn't good practice. Instead, start with another attention-grabber that provides a general statement of what your whole argument is about. Make your thesis statement clear but concise. Adding a bit of controversy will certainly catch your reader's attention.

5. Divide your article into short paragraphs.

As with any other type of article, too long paragraphs might bore the reader. Start with a new paragraph for every supporting statement as this will allow the reader to think more clearly and grasp the concepts better. Make sure that the last sentence of each paragraph allows for a smooth transition to the next statement.

6. Acknowledge your opposition.

Many writers make the mistake of praising their viewpoint too much. Addressing the opposing view allows the reader to weigh his options, and puts you in a better light. This way, the reader will not think that you're biased and this will make you more credible.

7. Present good evidence.

Good supporting statements are the basic building blocks of persuasive articles. Good evidence may mean the difference between accepting an idea or rejecting it.

8. Reason versus Emotion

Again, this is a psychological aspect of persuasion. For persuasive articles, focus on appealing to reason. Emotion is aroused by factors such as food, music and photos, and is perhaps more useful in persuasive speeches.

9. Primacy vs. Recency

Usually, statements mentioned first are most persuasive. However, later statement may be more persuasive if it immediately precedes the decision. This illustrates the need for a strong introduction and conclusion.

10. End strong and proofread.

Make a great conclusive paragraph that summarizes your viewpoint and supporting statements. Make sure to proofread the entire article. You can also ask others to read your article and ask them to comment.

Advantages of Persuasive Articles

As mentioned in the previous sections, persuasive articles are used to advocate a specific viewpoint or to advertise a certain product or service. The better persuasive articles you have, the more people are pushed into action. Remember that your goal is not only to entice people to read your articles, but to move them, whether literally or figuratively. This is how the world's many religions work, and look where they stand today. Persuasive articles are no different.

Thomas Caryle, a British historian, once said "Not brute force but only faith and persuasion are the kings of this world". Considering that faith works through persuasion, persuasive articles are definitely more than enough to move mountains.

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