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Using Perspective Shifting to Persuade Readers

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Using Perspective Shifting to Persuade Readers

illustration of girl writing and thinking
© Thoughtful Learning 2015

Perspective shifting helps you discover new ways of thinking and understanding. This strategy is particularly effective in persuasive writing because it helps you understand the mind-set of readers and create a convincing argument.

In this example, a student wanted to persuade readers that the gym needed upgrades. To do so, she needed to understand the perspective of some important readers. In the left column, she wrote facts about herself, from general to specific. In the right column, she wrote facts about her readers. Then she tried to imagine what her readers would think and feel about her position.

Position: Our school gym needs a face-lift.

I am (a/an) What if I were (a/an)
Student School board member
13 years old 43 years old
Not happy about the gym Not thinking about the gym
In favor of improving the gym Someone who receives many requests
Not in charge of the school budget In charge of the school budget

Your Turn Make your own perspective-shifting chart. First, write a position statement that names a change you would like to see in your school. Then, in the left column, write facts about yourself, from general to specific. In the right column, write facts about your potential reader. Think of what you have in common as well as differences. Then write a paragraph explaining what your reader might think and feel about your position.

© 2017 Thoughtful Learning. Copying is permitted.

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