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ENG 101/ENG107: General Research Papers, Persuasive Writing & Annotated Bibliographies

This guide will direct you to the best library resources for developing a topic, researching a topic, locating argumentative sources and understanding the difference between scholarly and popular sources.

What is Persuasive Writing?

The purpose of persuasive writing is to influence or persuade the intended reader on how they think, feel or act towards an issue, idea or proposal. There are a variety of formats for persuasive writing including:

  • Essays
  • Letters
  • Articles
  • Advertisements
  • Reports
  • Reviews

A strong persuasion may include any or all of the following:

Logical dataincluding facts, statistics or evidence that will back up your perspective. This involves researching your topic and collecting actual published statistics and data from reliable information sources.

Emotional appeal - this allows the reader to empathize with your appeal or situation. This may include writing about how your persuasion is a basic need for your survival or how it will provide you a sense of belonging, self-fulfillment or achievement. 

Moral obligation - this includes acting on a cause or issue because it is either right or wrong (good or bad) or a duty that you feel you are morally obligated to perform. Essentially, if your appeal is not fulfilled, there will be adverse effects to you or those involved. 

Things to consider when undertaking a persuasive writing exercise:

  • Who is your intended audience?
  • What is your purpose or intent?
  • What are altering sides of your persuasion?

When choosing a persuasive topic, consider your personal goals, desires and needs. The more emotionally invested you are in the topic you choose, the stronger your persuasion will be!