Gokujou Naruto

Persuasive Essays

Appealing to the heart

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Essays that Appeal to Emotion and Ethics




One of my teacher's has noted that most of the essays we write for school are trying to convince people to do something, or to believe something. So in a way, this makes persuasive writing one of the easiest. But to get someone to change their mind is rather difficult, and listing facts generally doesn't work. We can all convince ourselves that statistics are wrong, that facts are misleading, etc. But it's incredibly difficult to dissuade yourself something when your heart strongly tells you, "That's right."


How to do it


This kind of writing is difficult, because emotions are fickle things. Very difficult to fit on a page. Simply stringing words together (like I'm doing now), can be very informative, but probably won't make me believe I ought to write an essay, even though that's kinda what I wanna do.


Making someone believe something, Cooley warns, "cannot [be done] simply by being emotional." (344). You see this at work in many published authors' pieces; even though the character is crying hysterically, the words (usually) aren't broken. Adjectives rule in emotional writing, but with thought. . .too much can make you appear hysterical, too. So the "narrative" voice is best. Remember, you're trying to persuade someone to follow what you say, not that you're insane. ^__^




Back to the adjectives. . .word choice is of extreme importance in essays like this. If I'm talking about a serious subject that could offend people, I don't want to use any offensive words. If I'm addressing students at high school, I'd get different reactions to calling them classmates, peers, friends, oppressors, dorks, or just people.


In turn, adjectives play a part in the author's tone, or "voice." Your goal is to be trustworthy, so keeping your style of writing with the topic is a good idea. Urging your audience to move towards world peace is all fine and well, but don't do it by yelling at people; your tone clashes (badly) with your message. "Sincerity is the soul of ethical appeal," Cooley notes (345).  People can tell when you're lying, most of the time, and we rarely trust liars.


Your audience believing-in-your-statements is generally a good thing. By demonstrating knowledge about your subject, and confirming you really do know something, the audience can begin to trust you. If you say Naruto is a well liked popular ninja at the beginning of the story, and a show about personal growth, your audience might go away. Really quickly. To do this, you combine other forms of reasoning, namely, appealing to reason, too.


Things to remember


While writing a persuasive essay, it's best to remember your goals. Generally speaking, if you're persuading anybody, you want them to do what you suggest. This works better if they can't find holes in your argument.


So. Get writing. Maybe you'll inspire someone. (Like me!)


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Please note that I'm basing most of this off my class notes. See the work cited page for references.

Works Cited


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