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Overview: writing persuasively

When writing an argumentative essay at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in Australian universities the type of writing you are expected to use is persuasive analytical writing.

It is not enough to simply list your sources and the evidence in them. You have to argue a position and present your case persuasively to support that position so that the reader is convinced by your arguments.

The position you take and the way you argue in support of it is what shows the reader your ‘voice’. It shows your reader your interpretation of the sources and their relationship to the topic. This type of writing is known as persuasive analytical writing – writing to convince your reader that your position is valid.

In this unit you will review three different types of texts to help you move towards the goal of persuasive analytical writing. These text types are:

  • Descriptive
  • Analytical
  • Persuasive analytical

By identifying the differences between the three forms of writing, you will better understand how to reach the goal of persuasive analytical writing in your essays.

You will also learn about how to make your own position clear to the reader; that is, you will learn how to show your ‘voice.’

Descriptive, analytical, persuasive analytical– what’s the difference?

Descriptive texts

This type of text merely lists information without showing relationships between main points or concepts. There is no interpretation and therefore no ‘voice’.

Analytical texts

This type of text shows relationships between the main points or concepts. However, there is no clear position stated, and therefore, no explicit ‘voice’.

Persuasive analytical texts

Persuasive writing, like analytical writing, shows relationships between the main points or concepts. In addition, it states a position and argues in support of it, making judgments about the source information and its relevance to the position argued.

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