The piece of persuasive writing that I will be analysing is a letter from the Post Office. The letter is for people looking to obtain money through a loan.
In this text there are a lot of rhetorical questions which are their for a specific reason which is to persuade the reader to take out a Post Office loan.
“Why wait for the things you want.”
“Why just think about it?”
Above are examples of rhetorical questions in this text. These rhetorical questions both have something in common in that the main focus of these rhetorical questions are the verbs “wait” and “think”. Both these verbs have a time element to them in that they are saying to the readers that they should take a loan out now and no to take time in deciding whether to take out the loan.
“Perhaps you have been promising yourself a well-earned holiday abroad?”
“Maybe you are considering buying a new car?”
The main focus of these rhetorical questions are the nouns and the pre-modifiers. The nouns are “holiday” and “car”. The pre-modifiers are “well earned” and “new”. These pre-modifiers make the reader believe that he has earned this chance for a new car or anything else that he wants to spend the money on.
“Or possibly you would like to make this Christmas extra special”
“Can you really afford not to take out a Post Office personal loan?”
In the above rhetorical questions we see a great technique of persuasive writing. In the first rhetorical question Christmas is mentioned purposely because the writer of the letter knows that Christmas is just around the corner and that presents can cost a lot of money and this help ion persuading the reader to take out a loan. In the second rhetorical question the writer makes it seem like the only way the person reading this letter can loose is if he does not take out a loan by asking the question “can you really afford not to take out a loan?”
The main focus in this sentence is the word afford which brings some ambiguity into this question, and the ambiguity also makes a play on words because you don’t really know what it means because there is no such thing as not being able to afford to not do something but yet this makes it seem like to not take out a loan is something that you just can’t do or something that you can’t afford to do.
At the beginning of this letter straight away in big bold writing it say’s “Now there’s an affordable way to get almost anything you want”. The reason for it being big and bold is that it is the first thing that the reader sees when he/she opens the letter and this makes the reader want to read on rather then just throw the letter away as junk mail.
Also in this letter in big writing are four circles in the middle of the page which catch the reader’s eye. These circles contain in them, something that is written in bold writing that clearly tells the reader that when you take out a Post Office loan you do not have to make the first repayment until the fourth month.
On the other side of this letter we are told how easy it is to take out a loan/
“One quick call, an instant decision and a cheque in as little as 24 hours”
Here we are told that the process is a very quick one and that we can take out a loan by phoning the Post Office and the reader does not even have to travel anywhere. Also that the reader can have their hands on the cheque and money after just a little 24 hour wait. This pushes the reader towards taking out a loan because not only does it say that the process of getting the loan is quick it also says that you can have the money after 24 hours, the next day which means you can spend the money quicker and you won’t have to wait to long.
Then at the end of the letter it says “P.S. For peace of mind, it’s well worth considering Post Office Creditcare, just in case an accident or illness prevents you from making repayments.” This tells the potential loan taker that the Post Office are not cold blooded and that they will understand if you miss a repayment for a legitimate reason and not take you to court or insist that you have to pay this repayment and this further persuades and pushes the reader to take out a loan because it makes the loan look like a win only situation. Then we are told that there is more information in a leaflet that is enclosed with the letter. This leaflet is also a type of persuasive writing that persuades the reader to get Post Office Creditcare.
Then right at the bottom of the page there are three questions and it says “Answer yes to these questions and give us a call” in very big writing, that makes it stand out to the reader and the questions are ones that most people would answer yes to and this will be the final point that finally persuades the reader to at least phone up and find out about a possible loan if not take out a loan. I believe this is the purpose of these questions because the only thing below this is the rhetorical question “why just think about it?” now you can do it with an affordable Post Office personal loan!
Call now for a fast decision on…..” and then we are given the phone number on which you can contact the Post Office on. Also there is a website that is given on which you can apply for a loan on which further cuts down the time and price element to taking out a loan which persuades the reader even more to take out a Post Office loan.