Persuasive Letter Format

Similar to a persuasive essay, a compelling letter strives to convince the reader of a specific position or opinion. The goal of both letters and essays are the same, and in truth both are structured in a very similar fashion.

To create a persuasive letter, it is always best to establish your primary goal or argument and then brainstorm the arguments that support your position. After you have listed your primary arguments and have an idea of the strength of each, organize each idea into your outline.
Within the outline begin with your primary position and then move to the most compelling argument. Then list each argument in turn with the most valid being closest to the beginning of the letter. Conclude your outline with the summary idea and the explicit request or direction to the reader.

Once you have completed your outline and have organize zed your ideas, it is time to write. The format of the letter should follow standard business prose. As such, you should include the salutation and the date of the letter. Indentation of paragraphs is not necessary in a business letter and this format should be adhered to when drafting a professional communication.
Begin with your salutation and your opening paragraph. Here you should state your position and your request of the reader. Within this paragraph you should include what you expect the reader to do once they have concluded reading and state why you fell it is necessary.

Once your opening paragraph is complete, move onto the arguments that support your position. Within these arguments and the body of the letter it is good form to consider opposing opinions, but when writing try to avoid validating those arguments. Instead strive to mention the opposing position and why it is not valid or not significant in the overall goal behind the communication.
Once you have created your arguments, close the letter with a summary paragraph. Summarize the primary position of the letter and mention again the supporting reasons for your position.

Within the closing paragraph, be sure to include what you want the reader to take away from the paper. If there are explicit instruction, expectations or next steps, this is the place to state them. In general, your closing paragraph should provide the reader with an understanding of what is now expected of them; whether it is an official response, directions on next steps, or simply food for thought. Regardless of the next steps you should always conclude your letters expectations that the reader now must take an action.

How to Write Persuasive Letters - mchalepacAfter your closing paragraph, simply conclude the letter with a close that you are comfortable with. In professional situations, Best regards are generally preferred over Sincerely yours, but it is all a matter of personal taste.

Once you have completed and formatted your persuasive letter, do a check of spelling and grammar. If the letter is controversial, you may want to request that a colleague look it over to ensure that it has the proper tone for what you are trying to convey. Because print does not allow for body language and interpersonal context, the tone of the letter is extremely important. All too often, messages and intent have been misconstrued simply because the communication was in print and not in person.

After you are comfortable with the letter and are sure that it conveys the right message in the proper tone, your work is complete. Create your copies, post the message as needed by mail, email, or other form of transfer and move forward accordingly.