Types of non-fiction texts (3)

Persuasion texts

Persuasive texts try to persuade you to change your mind and perhaps do something you wouldn’t otherwise have done - like buy something or give money to charity. Magazine articles and newspaper reports may try to persuade you to agree with them.

Here is an example of a persuasion text:

Job advertisement in a newspaper with a circle drawn around it.

Dear friend,

Are you tired of the daily grind? Sick of working all hours of the day for little reward? Tired of never having enough money to really enjoy yourself?

Well, now there's a way out...

Argument texts

Argument texts are a form of persuasion but tend to be presented as more balanced and fair, giving various viewpoints or sides of an argument, before coming to a persuasive conclusion.

Below is an extract from an argument text:

Men on horseback, with dogs, setting off on a fox hunt.

Foxhunting is a subject that provokes very strong feelings. Many people believe that it is cruel to hunt a fox with dogs, and totally agree with its ban.

Many farmers, and even conservationists, however, have always argued that the fox is a pest, which attacks livestock and must be controlled.

Here are some clues to help you identify an argument text:

  • It discusses an issue, something that is controversial in society and considers all points of view.
  • It tends to use a more formal and impersonal style to seem balanced and fair.
  • It tends to use signposts (ie connectives) to connect points. Words like 'however', 'but' and 'similarly' help suggest a sense of fluency as well as cause and effect.