The purpose that differentiates a persuasive speech from any other kind of academic paper or speech is that the writer is expected to take a position on an issue related to the topic and defend it. The essence of writing a persuasive speech is to convince the reader to agree with the writer and perhaps to be moved to take action. This type of writing utilizes reason and logic to illustrate that one idea is more legitimate compared with another while persuading the reader to adopt a certain view. The use of solid evidence and sound reasoning is therefore a must if the writer is to convince the reader.
Just as it is when writing any kind of paper, the writer of a persuasive speech must plan before beginning to write it if the ideas are to flow smoothly and logically. The process of developing a carefully planned persuasive speech begins with the selection of a position, which is basically deciding on which side of an issue one is going to support and the solution to the problem that the writer is proposing. In order to do this well, the writer must always keep in mind the purpose of the speech. Developing a persuasive speech also involves analyzing the intended audience and deciding if the targeted audience is likely to agree or disagree with the writer’s position or if the audience is likely to be neutral to the position or to disagree with it.
The next step in planning is the analysis of the persuasive topic to find some convincing and specific evidence to support the chosen position. As a student, one may have to go to a college library or access an online database to search for information that can be used to write the persuasive speech. One might also interview a few individuals to get primary data to be used in the speech. The last stage of planning entails deciding the structure that the persuasive speech will take. This requires determining the evidence that the writer will include in the piece. All these steps must be completed while considering the purpose of the speech and the targeted audience.
The persuasive topic that is selected must be one that can be defended convincingly from either side. In other words, the main issue must be one that can be successfully defended on either side. One should research the thesis of the persuasive speech to determine if it is good enough for providing effective arguments. A good way to thoroughly test how controversial the issue is would be to write a thesis statement that opposes that which is stated in the essay and try to defend it. Regardless of which side of an issue one decides to defend, though, one must be able to generate effective arguments. Therefore, the writer must be well informed about the topic. This will require the writer to thoroughly research the topic, most often using peer-reviewed sources while taking notes on all important pieces of information that the writer finds. One should also document the sources used. Finally, adding some personal experience or insight to the information that is already known about the issue will enhance the position, as well.
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