Persuading the reader

Lots of magazine covers on a magazine stand.

Media texts are an important kind of persuasive text. They include advertisements, reviews, articles, posters and leaflets produced by mass media companies such as TV and film companies, as well as newspaper and magazine publishers and charities.

The purpose is often to persuade us to buy products or to give to charitable causes such as BBC Children in Need.

Typical features found in media texts include:

  • Logo – this acts to identify a brand and sometimes a company. Logos can become trusted and can even persuade us to pay more money for a product.
  • Headings/headlines – these are designed to grab your attention and can feature exciting or crucial pieces of information about the product that you are being encouraged to buy or donate to.
  • Sub-headings – these will be a word, phrase or sentence that is used to introduce part of a text. They can also be used to support a headline in adverts.
  • Images – these will try to attract the reader’s attention. There is usually one main image and some supporting images. The supporting images will be smaller and these are known as secondary images.
  • Splashes of information – these are different pieces of information that are placed around the page in order to give you shorter pieces of information at a time. They may be short sentences or quotations, and will be easy to read as they are designed to be read at a glance.
Charity leaflet for ‘Rescue our rhinos’ with the heading ‘Can you help me?’, the sub-heading ‘Before it’s too late’, images of rhinos, splashes of information which give facts and a charity logo.Typical layout of a charity campaign leaflet

It is these features that the copywriter or creator of the text wants you to notice first.

When you are analysing a non-fiction text, such as the one above, it is important to consider all of the elements and how they contribute to the overall purpose of the text.

You should analyse how the language is being used to persuade the reader and what techniques are being used.

Stories can also be persuasive, as writers will often try to convince us of certain information. A writer may want you to like or dislike a character, and the way that they describe them can persuade you to do either of these.