Persuasive responses

This article refers specifically to writing a persuasive response to context in the VCAA English exam. The other forms of writing to consider are creative and expository.

Persuasive styles of writing can be quite similar to an expository essay, but invites students to present a particular viewpoint or argument. Refer to the article on expository writing for further advice on this style of writing.

Quick tips


  • Have a clear contention
  • Use a range of examples to make your point
  • Incorporate arguments or morals of the text to display your understanding of it
  • Draw on your understanding of rhetorical language from your studies of Language Analysis and utilize these techniques


  • Blindly argue one side of the issue without thought for the other – some of the most persuasive pieces take into account all major arguments in the context of their main contention


Keep in mind that you are not writing a text response essay and getting your argument across that way. You are still expected to show creativity and originality in the way you respond to the prompt. One way you can ensure your creativity is showing is by considering a structure that is creative in and of itself. Examples include taking on a character and writing:

  • A speech
  • A blog or opinion piece
  • A letter to the editor
  • A transcript of a debate, or radio talk show

You are by no way limited by this list though. There is also no harm in structuring your persuasive essay just like an expository essay, so long as it retains the creative style that goes hand-in-hand with expository.