Persuasive writing is typically employed by a salesperson to sell a product or service. Advertising and copywriting are probably the most prevalent examples. But, persuasive writing can also be used by a trial lawyer to advocate a position. This example of the use of persuasive paragraphing appears in my book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” which is available on amazon.com in print and on Kindle Books.
“An argument in favor of class actions is shown in the following, albeit abbreviated, example:
Class actions are disfavored by many people because they believe that the lawyers get most of the money and individual class members get little, if any. The problem with that argument is that the lawyer who files the case takes a lot of risk. That lawyer may have to work for years without pay and must usually spend a substantial amount of money up front on investigative costs and expert witness fees. Failure to get a court order certifying the intended class as a lawful class is generally regarded as the “death knell” for the case. The lawyer may wind up with nothing if the class is not certified or the case is lost after trial.
On the other hand a successful class action may result in a court order and resulting judgment correcting questionable company practices such as putting a dangerous or unhealthy product on the market. Moreover, class actions are often settled. A settlement usually creates a class fund, which is approved by the court, used to compensate individual class members for damages suffered, and to pay attorneys fees. Under these circumstances, the lawyer’s pay is earned.
The most satisfying class action I filed was brought against two banks, Bank One, and First USA Bank. These banks are no longer in business. The lawsuit alleged that the banks violated the federal telemarketing act by using their customers’ credit card information for telemarketing purposes without the customers’ knowledge or consent. This case was certified for class action with a class of approximately four million California credit card holders and was ultimately settled in the six to seven million dollar range. Settlement proceeds, after attorneys fees and costs, were distributed to court approved charities because it was not practicable, in view of the small individual losses, to distribute any money to individual credit card holders.”
In order to add to the readability of my book as well as to further illustrate the uses of descriptive paragraphing, I took the liberty of adding two recipes to the book. Here is one of them:
Only four ingredients are required, as follows: 30 whole Honey Maid graham crackers, 2 – 14 ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk, 1 tablespoon of milk, and 12 ounces of chocolate chips.
Break up the graham crackers and add them, a few at a time, to a food processor, grinding them
until very fine. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with the sweetened condensed milk and 1 tablespoon of regular milk. Mix well and blend in the chocolate chips. Add chopped nuts, if desired.
Place the mixture into a well buttered 9 by 12 inch baking pan, pressing down evenly. Bake them in a 350 degree oven about 25 to 30 minutes until the sides start to separate from the pan. These brownies are best when soft, so don’t overcook them as they will become too dry.
Let the brownies cool before cutting them into squares. This recipe makes 24 to 30 squares, depending on how big they are cut and what size pan is used.
WARNING: These brownies are habit forming and disappear fast. You’ll have to taste them to believe it!”
I have used the two recipes as well as several historical vignettes to make my book entertaining as well as useful. Among other things, it encourages writing every day as well as extensive reading to overcome the hidden fears of writing and to bolster confidence. It also teaches that good grammar may be learned by word association through reading rather than memorization of rules. The book may be previewed free of charge on amazon.com.
Copyright © 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.