Want to Sharpen Your Persuasive Writing Skills?

Girl smiles while doing homework
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This 5th-grade assignment shows you how. Can you do it?

A few months ago, I found one of my son’s old fifth-grade school assignments. The directions read, Create a thoughtful, one-page advertisement that shows the dangers of smoking. There was a specific list of items the advert had to include.

You may find yourself dismissing a grade school assignment as mild amusement. After all, it’s the stuff of childhood nostalgia — lunchroom antics, art projects, chalk dust (for some of us), and the unadulterated joy of summer vacation.

Let me assure you, it’s much more.

The assignment broke down the components of persuasive content. Make no mistake. Every piece of content hinges its success on its ability to persuade. It could be as subtle as convincing the reader to stick around to read the next sentence or as forthright as a bold call to action.

Whatever your moniker — writer, business owner, entrepreneur, marketer, salesperson — the basics of persuasive strategy isn’t an ought-to-know . . . it’s a must-know.

If you want to ensure your efforts are worthy of an A grade, don’t skimp on the assignment’s three required elements:

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