ENG 101 English Composition- Compelling a Friend or Family Member


The Persuasive Letter

You will be writing a letter compelling a friend or family member to change either a behavior or a belief with which you disagree. Choose your own topic, but for example, this letter could petition an enthusiastic neighbor to scale down his blinding Christmas decorations, an Immature cousin to take a gap year between high school and college, a grandparent to vote to pass the new school district budget, a friend to stop drinking, or a spouse to reconcile with an estranged sibling. Because the letter will be written to an individual of your choosing, you must tailor your language and logic to the person to whom you are writing.

Rhetorical Mode

The goal of persuasive writing is to get a reader (your audience) to agree with your point of view. Persuasive writing blends facts and emotion to convince the reader that the writer is right. This genre relies on opinion and emotion to a greater extent than argumentative writing, but in moving a reader, the successful persuasive letter also deploys logically sound argumentation and quite often researched support and fact.

Rhetorical Considerations 

Purpose: The purpose of drafting a persuasive letter is to move your reader to agree with your point of view. Persuasion is single-minded; it is based on a conviction that a particular way of thinking or acting Is the only way to go: all of the energy of the letter works toward this end. As a writer, you will present one side-your side. While an opposing point should be mentioned, it is only mentioned to be refuted or dismissed in the service of your position. 
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