Write a Persuasive Letter • Example Letters and Guides
The purpose of this letter is to motivate the reader to take a specific action. The rationale you give for your letter is what will motivate the reader to act. Give good reasons for taking action and minimize any reasons the reader may have for not taking action.
How to write this persuasion letter:
- Get to the point immediately. State the problem or issue and your stance on it.
- Give evidence supporting your stance. If necessary and appropriate, give evidence against the opposing view.
- Elaborate on why you feel as you do. State (or restate) what action you want the reader to take.
Example Letter #1
By now you have certainly heard of the plans to extend the parking lot north of the boat harbor into adjacent wetlands. May I request your help and the help of your local chapter of birders in opposing this proposal?
A recent, independent analysis of the state's Environmental Impact Study of the site has turned up several major flaws. I urge you and your members to attend a presentation on this subject Tuesday evening, March 3, at 7:00 p.m., at the Springfield Auditorium. You will find the information we present at that time compelling. We must act now or risk losing yet another irreplaceable link in our ecosystem. Would you please contact me as soon as possible to let me know how you or your group might be able to participate in this important action?
I realize these wetlands do not lie strictly within your chapter's boundaries, but your help will still be critical in halting construction. My hope is to unite environmentally concerned organizations throughout the state in a concerted effort to preserve this small but crucial habitat.
Example Letter #2
I have learned that the county is considering a plan to build a middle school to accommodate seventh graders only. I am opposed to the idea for two reasons.
First, it is not cost effective. If the county is going to invest $350,000 for school facilities, it might as well invest another $50,000 and include facilities for eighth grade students too. Acquiring the land and building the school account for most of the cost. By spending only $50,000 more we could have ten additional classrooms. The county will probably spend that much to maintain the run-down facility that eighth graders currently occupy.
My second reason for opposing the plan is that it would be emotionally difficult for the students to be isolated. Students at that age want to feel as though they are entering a higher level of education with older peers. It would be a letdown for them to be alone for a year before experiencing junior high school.
Please consider these concerns and present them to the school board. I appreciate the service you give to our schools.
Example Letter #3
As your broker, I urge you to accept John Doe's offer to purchase your sailboat for $3500, cash. This is a fair price considering the exorbitant moorage fees and the coming winter weather. At the asking price of $5000, this boat could easily remain on the market for six months or longer. Mr. Doe would like to take the boat for a short test sail this Saturday. He has indicated that he is willing to make the purchase at this time if the boat passes muster. Please let me know your decision concerning this matter as soon as possible.
Example Letter #4
I am opposed to Governor Doe's plans to build another expressway to connect all the towns east of the current expressway. Studies by the combined communities indicate that sixty percent of our commuters drive to work by themselves, the commuting option that causes the most pollution in the area. If we build another expressway, we will be inviting even more people to commute to work in separate vehicles.
The monies the Governor has earmarked for the expressway would be much more wisely used to develop the commuter rail system that has been ignored for the last three years. Call the Governor. Say no to pollution and yes to a real solution!
Example Letter #5
It's just before the holidays, and the Springfield Food Bank is almost out of food! We're asking the principals in all the city schools to sponsor a food drive so that the less fortunate in the community can also have a happy holiday season.
I know you are concerned about teaching students to be good citizens as well as good learners. What better way to teach citizenship than to invite them to participate in caring for the needs of all members of our community?
Though some people feel that the Food Bank encourages undesirable elements in the community, Jane Doe, Executive Director of the Food Bank, notes that the majority of their clients are families who are struggling to support themselves on low-paying jobs.
Won't you please join with your colleagues on December 1 at 10:00 a.m. in City Hall to plan a food drive? Each principal in attendance will receive a packet of information outlining the successful elements of a food drive and describing effective incentives. I look forward to seeing you there.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Get to the point immediately. State the problem or issue and your stance on it.
Sentences for Step 1
- As you may know, my secretary, Jane Doe, has recently requested a leave of absence. I support her request.
- You are an effective voice against the inhumane treatment of animals. As a result, I can count on you to take action against the horrible experiments at the State Research Center.
- I am aware of the unpopularity of the new budget policy, but I see that it must be implemented.
- I urge you all to support the zoning proposal next week.
- As I am sure you will remember, on March 6, 2018, I tripped on one of your makeshift displays, tearing my trousers and cutting my leg. As the store manager, you admitted that the display was in a hazardous location, and agreed that the store would replace my trousers and pay for reasonable medical treatment.
Phrases for Step 1
- are already aware of
- are no doubt aware of
- as indicated on your FAX
- for your insightful comments concerning
- has come to my attention that
- last year alone we
- is essential to
- is what makes our team so
- it is imperative that
- may already be aware that
- may try to convince you to
- must decide soon how we will
- please consider the proposal
- please consider this solution
- thank you for
- this recent legislation will
- to provide the necessary funds for
- to protect what we value most
- need to find a solution to
- have discovered that
- would you be willing to
- your support could help us to
2 Give evidence supporting your stance. If necessary and appropriate, give evidence against the opposing view.
Sentences for Step 2
- Since I hired her three years ago, Jane's work has been excellent. I believe her outstanding performance justifies her request. She worked overtime to complete last year's fiscal report, thereby sacrificing a vacation. She has also completed tasks far more difficult than her job description requires. Jane is invaluable to me and my department. Since her absence would affect only my area, and she would be gone for only three months, I would plan to hire temporary help while she is away. I don't want to lose her services.
- A reliable source has informed me that scientists are maiming unanesthetized dogs in behavior modification experiments. Furthermore, the head supervisor of the study, Dr. John Doe, is using thousands of dollars from the federal government to fund his experiments.
- As much as we all dislike the policy, it is our only hope if we are to stay afloat financially in the upcoming year. We must fill several positions, and we can do it only by drastically cutting the current budget.
- Several major cities across the country have tried this zoning concept. In every case it has boosted the economy, creating more tax revenues and more jobs.
- We encourage you to take the time to write to your representatives today. Let them know that you oppose this proposed ruling. We have enclosed a sheet explaining what the ruling was originally intended to do and what it will actually do.
- On April 3, 2018, I sent you a single bill for $56.50 to cover the cost of new trousers. You will be pleased to know that I have not incurred any doctor bills. As of today, May 3, your check for the trousers has not arrived. The Better Business Bureau has agreed to step in, but asked me to write to you one more time before taking other measures to recover my losses.
Phrases for Step 2
- according to the outline
- are obligated to
- cannot overestimate the importance of
- don't want to risk
- has been interpreted to mean
- has met on several occasions
- in light of what has happened
- in order to complete the
- it is extremely important that
- it was mentioned that
- may provide the necessary link to
- means a great deal to
- never gave any indication that
- productivity reports show that
- so far as we know
- the firm has provided
- the recent assault on
- these actions must be
- to maintain our image as
- we agreed that
- when we began this project
- when this policy went into effect
3 Elaborate on why you feel as you do. State (or restate) what action you want the reader to take.
Sentences for Step 3
- Jane's request is, admittedly, unusual. But she is a remarkable employee, and because of her outstanding performance, her request deserves special consideration. I hope you will agree and grant it.
- It is a disgrace that such unfeeling scientists are using the taxes we pay to torture helpless animals. I trust you will use your position and influence to put a stop this terrible practice.
- We need everyone's cooperation if the policy is to work. If we all pitch in, our long-term goals will have a chance of becoming realities. Things will be a little difficult for the time being, but our efforts will surely pay off in the end.
- Don't allow your individual rights to be restricted. Communicate with your congressional representatives today and let them know how you feel.
- Please send a check for the above amount immediately. I trust that you are as eager as I am to settle this claim. You were very helpful and polite the day of the accident, and I assume that you are willing to honor your agreement. If I receive a check within the next two weeks, I will take no further action.
Phrases for Step 3
- am totally opposed to
- am strongly in favor of
- am devoted to
- ask you to support my
- find great value in
- for the benefit of those who
- have the freedom to
- highly recommend that we
- if you are willing to
- invite you to
- persons of this caliber
- please reconsider your
- requests are not at all unreasonable
- should a conflict arise
- thank you for
- to look into the problem
- to commit to seeing this through
- to discuss possible solutions
- upon the successful completion of
- urge you to
- will take the following actions
- will provide us with
- your stand on this issue