Persuasive Writing for Activists

This was a first attempt to introduce this topic, but I’ve done it better elsewhere. Check out https://kristinking.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/persuasive-writing-for-activists-intro/. I’ll be adding content about once a week. — 4/11/2013.

If you know me, you know that to say I have progressive politics is an understatement. If I see a progressive make an argument I agree with, half of me says, “Right ON!”

And the other half is saying, “Seriously? You expect that to persuade anybody? Preaching to the converted, folks.”

As much as I disagree with the conservative point of view, I have to give conservatives props for effective persuasive writing. And honestly, they get empathy points for at least knowing their audience.

There’s a reason for that. The corporate world teaches persuasive writing. And they teach it well.

How do I know? Back at the beginning of the millenium, I taught business writing at a university. That’s where I learned to do persuasive writing. I keep thinking I should create a document “Persuasive Writing for Activists” or make a Power Point and teach a course. That’s one on my list of several hundred things I wish I had time to do.

But until I get around to it, here’s a teaser: the grading matrix I used for the business writing course. (This was back in 2002, when some people still used memos.)

With an offer of free advice! Progressive activists: if you would like, I will grade your persuasive writing. Post a comment with your writing, or include a link to it. Then tell me who your intended audience is. I’ll tell you where it went wrong and where it went right.

(P.S. I would grade this blog post as follows: Content – 2; Organization – N/A; Tone and style – 2; Layout – 3; Mechanics – ?. We’re not always at our best, are we?)

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