How Can You Achieve an Effective and Persuasive Writing?


I. What is an effective and persuasive writing?

II. What does effective and persuasive writing require?

III. Main points you should avoid in writing



In the present age, one of the main reasons why lawyers are not ready for a professional work environment is that they do not have a sufficient level of academic legal writing skills. The way to strengthen your writing skills is using fundamental qualities some of which are efficiency and persuasiveness. Efficiency and persuasiveness in writing are preliminary requirements as you have to present the information in a more useful and suitable way since the readers can be a lawyer, judge, law students or maybe regular people who are not involved in the legal field. The main importance of these two qualities is to eliminate time-wasting content and make your reader trusts you undoubtedly. What do these all mean and how can we keep a balance between persuasive and academic legal writing? Which techniques should authors use to encourage readers to consider and accept a particular point of view? The main points and requirements for effective and persuasive writing, as well as the obstacles encountered by most authors, will be discussed in this blog.


Knowing the literal meaning of persuasion will assist you to figure out your purpose when you write a persuasive text. Persuasion is an attempt to change or shape another’s attitude, as it comes from the “pre-suasion” word combination which represents the initial stage before convincing somebody.[1] Besides, persuasive writing is convincingly presenting your ideas and strategies.[2] With the help of this type of writing, authors can change the reader’s position towards the issue and direct people’s attitudes easily.

For grasping the characteristics of persuasive writing clearly, it should be compared with objective writing. A brief overview of the comparison between objective and persuasive writings would manifest that both of them are based on logical support. In objective writing, you address all – both positive and negative – points of your argument without any specific conclusion. Moreover, the core feature of objective writing is an unbiased presentation of facts. In contrast, in persuasive writing, the author aims to convince the reader and the typical peculiarity of this type of writing is including arguments and facts which support the author’s point of view only.[3] Both types of writing are based on critical thinking and require logical presentation of the information.

The notion of effective writing is more general as it incorporates the form, style, content and purpose of your writing. The effectiveness of the writing is determined by using correct commas, clarity, avoiding ambiguity, choosing correct legal terminology, etc.[4] In addition, imposing discipline and structure on your writing is the main component of effective writing. Criterions of effective writing are determined as follows: rapidly understood by the audience, sounding logical and scientific, focusing on the main clauses, expressing ideas accurately.[5]

Meanwhile, efficiency and persuasiveness are inseparable elements, without their unity, it is meaningless to talk about successful writing, therefore you should attach both components of efficiency and persuasiveness to your work. Simultaneously, if your fail to convince the reader and there is an observed lack of persuasiveness in writing, it cannot be considered effective either.


Once you are aware of the importance of effective and persuasive writing, the next step is to comply with the basic requirements. As mentioned earlier, there are unique elements which utilized by authors to establish trust and credibility.

Firstly, your writing must be based on these general rules: write your decision faster, shorter, more understandably.[6] Seemingly, persuasive legal writing starts with knowing the reader, trying to figure out what would fill their needs.[7] The next trick is to begin your writing with affirmative arguments which confirm your statement. If you begin the article with contrary arguments, it may weaken your credibility.[8] However, it does not mean you ought to conceal the weakness of your arguments because readers of the article know enough about this subject.[9] A more impressive way is to reveal damaging information first and responding to it with the help of evidence and call it a “challenge”, instead of a “problem”. [10]

Another critical point you need for effective writing is analogy skills.[11] It means you should make a comparison between two points and explain by moving from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Analogy based on experience is more effective to convince the readers, as it helps them to understand ideas better.[12] Because people believe true-life cases and their feelings more than “dry” facts. Also, telling compelling stories draw the reader’s attention easily to your theory.

Additionally, the power of facts and arguments plays an irreplaceable role in persuasive writing.[13] Facts must be concrete and relevant to your arguments. In order to get the reader to agree, your arguments must be a combination of careful research and word choices.[14] The order of facts can also influence the persuasiveness of your article, so that, you have to present facts from least important to most. Instead of ending your written work with trivial information, you should choose the point of emphasis.[15]


Knowing obstacles to write more effective and persuasive can help you to find the right direction in the writing process. The first rule is to avoid writing in complex language. Remember that, you should create convenient communication and use plain language to convince your reader. By using overly formal words, readers may think you try to hide something or cheat them.[16] Also, long block quotations make your article dull and time-wasting, the solution is paraphrasing and editing.[17] Eugene Meehan who is Law professor at the University of Ottawa said, “if you are writing it and it makes you feel smart, it probably makes the reader feel dumb”.[18]

The next obstacle is trying to prove that your side is right and attacking the opposite side.[19] Using this method can weaken your arguments; readers know that absolute expressions are rarely accurate.[20] Your claim must be debatable and open to criticism, decisive point is to be polite and fair in dealing with different comments and approaches.[21]

Another influential matter, the aim of effective and persuasive legal writing is clearly presenting facts and analyzing them, so there is no need for exaggerating or using “flowery” language. It is academic writing, not creative. Lastly, try to not use sentences in the passive voice as far as it goes, the subject of the sentence should be near the start.[22] This type of writings requires accuracy, you only complicate the reader’s mission by hiding subjects.


This blog refers to the notion of effective and persuasive writing, main requirements and biggest challenges for authors. There is a need to master oral and written persuasion skills for being a successful lawyer, as they argue motions, draft various legal pleadings. Great attention must be paid to these types of writing, otherwise, your writing has no impact on the reader, regardless of how sensible arguments might be applied. Hence, the authors should know and take advantage of the essential points of effective and persuasive writing in the practice, thereby they can communicate easily with the reader and convey their claims or ideas.


[1] Robert Cialdini, Pre-suasion, A Revolutionary Way to Influence People, 3 (2016).

[2] Catherine Carulas, Persuasive Writing, 1 (2019).

[3] Ibid.

[4] The University of Houston, Five Principles for Effective Legal Writing (2017), (last visited Sep. 16, 2021).

[5] Southern Cross University, Tips for Effective Legal Writing (2019),  (last visited Oct. 9, 2021).

[6] Eugene Meehan, Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, 1 (2017).

[7] Carulas, supra note 2, 2.

[8] Id., 4.

[9] Id., 2.

[10] Meehan, supra note 5, 13.

[11] Id., 9.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Jennifer Davies, Effective and Persuasive Written Advocacy (2013), (last visited Sep. 18, 2021).

[14] Supra note 5, 9.

[15] Daniel Smith, Persuasive Legal Writing, 3 (2009).

[16] Supra note 2, 9.

[17] Supra note 5, 10.

[18] Supra note 6, 4.

[19] Id., 5.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Eugene Volokh, Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review, 262 (2007).

[22] Supra note 10, 9.

Author: Khoshgadam Salmanova, Baku State University Law faculty, a sophomore.