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Top 5 Tips to Craft a Persuasive Argument


Guest articles > Top 5 Tips to Craft a Persuasive Argument


by: Ethan Lyon


The art of persuasion can be an invaluable skill that can be applied to nearly any personal or professional situation -- from asking for a raise, to convincing prospective customers to buy a product, to persuade a partner to get Chinese instead of cheese burgers for dinner.

Below are the fundamentals for crafting a persuasive argument, regardless of the situation:  

Appeal to Emotion -- Emotion resides in the core of our brains and drives the majority of our decisions. Think about Apple and how the brand has tapped into the envy emotion, making its customers fanatic for new product innovations.

Tailor the Argument to the Decision-Maker -- Generally, we talk to our boss differently than our mother (or let’s hope so). The same, customized communication applies for an argument: the more you know about the other person, particularly their “weaknesses” or soft spots, the easier it is to convince them.

Use Delivery to Enhance Your Argument -- Think about how a drill sergeant screams at his troops to persuade them to do push-ups in the pouring rain or how the president changes their tone when talking about budget cuts versus when they’re giving anecdotes about innovative entrepreneurs to inspire the nation.  

Find Common Ground with the Other Side -- A classic example of tough negotiations and finding a common ground is between pro life and pro choice groups. Although both sides berate their opponents as immoral, both can agree preventing unwanted pregnancy is a worthy cause. Therefore, both, highly volatile groups can work towards a common goal and make progress instead of tirelessly arguing.

Cite Facts and Anecdotes to Support your Argument -- Once you have a perspective, it’s time to back it up. That means using research or anecdotes to support your argument. Joe The Plumber is a perfect example of how Barack Obama and John McCain illustrated the everyday “Joe” to craft their arguments.

Regardless of the type of argument, appealing to emotions, customizing your points based on the other person’s perspective, utilizing delivery, finding common ground and supporting your viewpoint with anecdotes and facts are just a few ways to get a leg-up on your opponent and win an argument.


Ethan Lyon is a lead blogger for, a distance-learning resource that provides resources, tools and information about accredited online colleges.  Browse their accredited online colleges for Bachelors, Masters programs & PhD programs to earn the degree that best suits your needs and goals.

Contributor: Ethan Lyon

Published here on: 06-Feb-11

Classification: Persuasion


MSWord: Top 5 Tips to Craft a Persuasive Argument.docx


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