Writing to Persuade: How to Bring People Over to Your Side

Writing to Persuade: How to Bring People Over to Your Side

by Trish Hall


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From the former New York Times Op-Ed page editor, a definitive and entertaining resource for writers of every stripe on the neglected art of persuasion.

In the tradition of The Elements of Style comes Trish Hall’s essential new work on writing well—a sparkling instructional guide to persuading (almost) anyone, on (nearly) anything. As the person in charge of the Op-Ed page for the New York Times, Hall spent years immersed in argument, passion, and trendsetting ideas—but also in tangled sentences, migraine-inducing jargon, and dull-as-dishwater writing. Drawing on her vast experience editing everyone from Nobel Prize winners and global strongmen (Putin) to first-time pundits (Angelina Jolie), Hall presents the ultimate guide to writing persuasively for students, job applicants, and rookie authors looking to get published. She sets out the core principles for connecting with readers—laid out in illuminating chapters such as “Cultivate Empathy,” “Abandon Jargon,” and “Prune Ruthlessly.” Combining boisterous anecdotes with practical advice (relayed in “tracked changes” bubbles), Hall offers an infinitely accessible primer on the art of effectively communicating above the digital noise of the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631493058
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 83,437
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Trish Hall worked for the New York Times for more than two decades, where she oversaw six feature sections and served as both Op-Ed editor and senior editor. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I Lessons from My Story

1 Becoming a Writer 3

2 Becoming an Editor 17

3 Running Op-Ed 23

4 Dealing with Celebrities 34

Part II What's Your Story?

5 Finding Your Voice 43

6 When to Go Personal 52

Part III Winning People Over

7 Know Your Audience 63

8 You Like Dogs? So Do I! 75

9 Play on Feelings 84

10 The Power of Empathy 92

11 Don't Argue 102

Part IV Tips on Writing

12 Tell Stories 111

13 Why Facts Matter, Even When They Don't 118

14 Focus. Be Specific. Prune. And Kill the Jargon 135

15 Coming Up with Ideas 151

16 How to Please Editors 162

Part V The Psychology of Persuasion

17 We Believe What We Believe 175

18 The Power of Moral Values 182

19 What Really Changes People 188

Coda: Go Forth! 197

Acknowledgments 199

Index 201

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