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The Objection: Why This Persuasive Writing Technique is So Powerful

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

Present the case … that we may consider the evidence. (Isaiah 41:21-22, NLT)

A Word For Writers

One powerful persuasive writing technique you can use is to raise objections. (Here are some others.)

The Objection: a powerful persuasive writing technique. A devotional based on Is 41:21-22 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #Copywriting #ContentWriting

That is, anticipate why your reader may protest, question, doubt, or embrace skepticism about your point.

Then in your copy or content address those objections head-on and refute the objection with evidence. 

That is what Carol Werner and her colleagues at the University of Utah discovered when they tested the power of raising and refuting objections to recycling.

To conduct the study, they placed aluminum can recycling bins at locations across the university campus and labeled them with different signs.

  • The first read:
    “No Aluminum Cans Please!!! Use the Recycler Located on the First Floor, Near the Entrance.”
  • The second was just like it – with just a few words added:
    “No Aluminum Cans Please!!! Use the Recycler Located on the First Floor, Near the Entrance. It May Be Inconvenient, But It Is Important!!!!”

The second message acknowledged an objection: who wants to inconvenienced by taking the used cans to the recycler? Yet the message also refuted the objection by reinforcing the idea that recycling was important. 

The outcome? Bins featuring the second message collected double the number of cans over those with the first message.

Carol and her team concluded that that raising objections (“it’s inconvenient”) validates the reader. Refuting those objections (“but it’s important”) persuades the reader to act for the simple reason that it is true – it’s important that each of us takes on the responsibility to recycle.

Presenting an objection and refuting it is persuasive for a simple reason: the evidence points to what is true.

A Wise Word

Persuade when you raise an objection and refute it with evidence.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

You understand our objections to embracing faith and have presented evidence of your Lordship through creation, the Word, the work of Christ, and the Holy Spirit. As I write, reveal objections that my readers have. Show me how to point them to the truth by presenting evidence that refutes those objections.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

More Devotionals for Writers

The Repeat: To Persuade, Say It Again ...

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The Positive Word: Long Term, It’s More Persuasive ...

The Statistics: How Jesus Used Numbers to Back Up His Claims ...

The Speech: How Peter’s Words Persuaded 3,000 Listeners ...

The Persuasive Writer: No Manipulation Required ...

The Facts: They’re Especially Persuasive When Combined with a Story ...

The Script: Replace the  Objection in Your Reader’s Head with Truth ...

The Sequence: Peter Shows How to Write a Logical, Persuasive Argument ...

The Direct Mail Letter: Copywriting Basics Are Persuasive ...

The Chart: How to Persuade When You Translate Features Into Benefits ...

The Ask: Moses Used Specifics to Persuade. Shouldn't You?

The Fact Check: Truth Is a Powerful Writing Tool ...

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