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Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts by Tom Sant

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4. The Structure of Persuasion

Most people are comfortable providing information. That’s a writing or speaking task you probably feel good about. Evaluations are a little tougher for most of us, and if they involve touchy material, as a performance appraisal might, we may actually dread doing them. However, for the majority of people, persuasive writing is by far the most difficult communication task. It involves a step-level increase in complexity and difficulty over what the other types of communication require.

Unfortunately, when we’re short of time or feel uncertain about our readiness to proceed, we’re likely to revert to the type of writing we find easiest. For most writers, that’s presenting information, usually to an audience that’s ...

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