Persuading others through writing is an important skill, and one that we use all the time, whether consciously or not. Writing a professional persuasive letter is one task where this skill is particularly useful. As students, you do a version of this more often than you might realize, like when you write a cover letter for a job application or an email to a professor. These are both instances where you are asking your audience to do or believe something, so it helps to know how to persuade.
For your second project, you are going to write a persuasive letter. This assignment builds off of the work we’ve done so far discussing your community. The topic of your letter and to whom it is addressed is totally up to you, but this letter should be written on behalf of the community you identified in your homework, and your letter must make an argument and try to persuade your reader of something. What Iâ€™d like you to do is pick an argument youâ€™re passionate about and then decide who the most appropriate person is to send your letter to.
Once you have written your letter, Iâ€™d like you to reflect on it a bit, thinking especially about why you chose this topic and what strategic choices you made as the writer to target your specific audience. Here are some questions to answer in your reflection:
- Why did you choose to write about this topic? Why does it matter to you/your community?
- Who did you address this letter to, and why? Why did you think that this was the most appropriate audience for your letter?
- What moves or choices did you make in your writing to target this reader in particular?
- Why do you think that the writing choices you made will work to persuade your audience?