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Students listening in a lecture

Organising thoughts

So far, Gina has thought about herself and her qualities, and has started to make choices about the best things to include in her personal statement.

This means that most of her thinking to date has been focused inward, on herself. However, the point of persuasive writing is to convince the reader of the value and validity of the thing you are writing about. This means thinking about who the reader is, and what he or she values.

In this case, Gina’s reader is a university lecturer who is considering which applicants to accept for her course. This means that Gina needs to show the lecturer that she is genuinely interested in the subject and has the ability to do well. It can be helpful to imagine the questions in the lecturer’s mind when she reads Gina’s writing.

These questions might include:

  • What’s your point?
  • Why are you telling me?
  • How could you support your point?
  • So how does this make you a good candidate for my course?

How can Gina make everything she is saying relevant to the lecturer?

What evidence does Gina have to support what she is saying? How can Gina connect all the ideas she has, so the overall piece of writing ‘flows’?

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UEA (University of East Anglia)

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