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Directive Versus Persuasive Writing

Persuasive vs Directive Writing

First, imagine that your company headquarters has initiated a Casual Friday rule at your workplace. The rule works fine in most departments, but in your department you have two problems. First, unlike most departments, you deal with the public often and unexpectedly; a customer can come by anytime. Second, your staff tends to overdo. They wear sandals, shorts and ...well, let's say you avert your eyes often .
Imagine you have authority to order your staff to do what you want them to do. Formulate an email in directive mode.

Now imagine that you do *not* have authority over this group. It's a headquarters policy. However, you want to persuade them to dress differently on Casual Fridays. Formulate another email message, this time in persuasive mode.

Do not offer a bribe or reward. ("If you do this, you will get time off.") Motivate your reader by appealing to his or her interests, needs and desires. Use logic and reasoning.

Do not make threats. You can't say, "Failure to comply will result in dismissal." Remember, you don't have the authority to do anything. You are relying totally on your persuasive powers.

Think of 2 or more reasons to persuade the other person to do what you want. Consider the other person's perspective. What would motivate him, her or them to act this way? For example, "When you come to work on time, you will work more efficiently the rest of the day and you'll feel more relaxed."

Explain the difference between persuasive and directive writing in Part 1 and Part 2.

899 words

Solution Preview

"Dear Staff Members,

"It has been brought to my attention that some staff members have different interpretations of the new "Casual Friday" rule here in the office. In the interests of maintaining "Casual Friday", I have some suggestions that I advise you to take very seriously: don't take 'casual' too far and don't wear anything that on someone else, would make you stop and look.

"Since we are all adults, I will leave you to interpret my suggestion as you see fit. However, if adjustments are not immediately noticeable (as in, by tomorrow, which is, by the way, a Friday), I have decided to initiate a 'Casual Friday Worst Dressed' contest, the winner of which must dress formally on Fridays for a month. Just to head off those of you who might take pride in winning such a contest, those who win this contest more than once will be assigned to represent the company during our new Friday Customer Visit program.

Thank you so much!


The Boss (not Bruce Springsteen)


"Dear Staff Members,

"I love Casual Fridays just as much as everyone else, but I did want to let you know about a conversation I happened to overhear in the cafeteria between two muckymucks (you know, the kind that wear three ...

Solution Summary

This solution compares two different styles of writing: directive and persuasive.