How to Write a Persuasive Letter


Did you receive a faulty item and want it replaced? Has your rent gone up suddenly? Or do you find that you need to write a letter to your university to allow you to keep your place while you take care of some important things? Whatever the reason, being able to write a persuasive letter is a part of everyday life and a necessary skill if you want to be effective in getting others to do more of what you want.

Preparing to Write Your Letter

Be aware of your target audience. Persuasive essays can comprise of an appeal to emotions, an appeal to logical reasoning or even a moral argument can be made. However, in order to make any of these types of arguments effectively a clear understanding of who your letter is intended towards will allow you to tailor it in a way that makes it more impactful. This is because it enables you to understand what issues and topics are pertinent when making your points and those that are not as useful or will not be as relatable.

Brainstorm your ideas carefully. Consider questions such as what the purpose of your letter is, what you are trying to achieve, and why the person you are writing your letter to should grant your request. Also consider any opposing views against your argument. By anticipating the opposing points against you, it can help you focus on making your letter stronger by already having an answer for those potential questions that may arise.

For example: “I understand your reservations regarding my candidacy because of my lack of experience, however I would like to highlight the fact that I have been volunteering for an international agency the past few months in a similar capacity as the one you have currently available”.

In this example, the writer has already anticipated her lack of work experience could be a potential obstacle that could derail her from achieving her objective. She has addressed the issue and explained how she has overcome this.

While some people might be afraid of anticipating potential counterpoints to their arguments as they do not want to draw attention to their weaknesses, rest assured that the person reviewing your letter has more than likely already thought of these opposing points. Moreover, when your letter fails to work, usually you do not receive substantive feedback as to why it failed to make an impression. More than likely, many of these opposing viewpoints has played out in their minds. By providing your counter argument in anticipation of potential perceived flaws or weaknesses in your letter, you actually bolster your argument.

Do your Research

Letters that are persuasive contain facts and evidence. To gather this, plenty of research has to be done on the topic. When writing, use expert evidence, statistics, and anecdotal evidence to support your points.

Writing Your Letter

Don’t forget the basics of letter writing.

  • Address the letter properly. It should start at the top left hand corner of the paper. If you live in Britain, your address should start on the right side.
  • Start your letter with a greeting such as Dear followed by the person’s name. Don’t forget to write their appropriate title as well such as Mr. Mrs. Dr. etc.
  • Make sure you spend a little extra time on your closing paragraph. This is often the last impression the reader will have of you and it should be done correctly in order to gain maximum effectiveness.
  • Close off the letter by writing Sincerely, Kind Regards or even something more informal depending on the audience you are speaking to.

 Make sure your letter is concise

 If the person you are writing to is busy, they might not have much time to read it. It is important you make your point as quickly as possible.

 Be polite! 

If your letter is nasty in tone, this will work against you. Remember the point is to persuade not turn off the reader.

Final Touches

Once your letter is complete, it should be proofread. Ensure all grammar and punctuation mistakes are corrected. It is also important to verify your essay follows the proper structure and flows well.

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