“Riding your bike to work has many benefits for the individual and the community: it reduces traffic, improves your health and protects the environment.”

Effect on reader

Listing as a technique is exactly what the name implies: a list, generally of the benefits or detriments of a particular decision or event. By giving a list, the writer is providing multiple arguments to sway the reader, and furthermore, targeting multiple readers at once in case one particular argument or idea is not persuasive to a particular person. In this way, a list can overwhelm a reader with the many arguments on the side of the writer.

For this reason, listing can be useful in convincing multiple readers simultaneously. In the above example, a reader may not necessarily be interested in all three benefits, but may be convinced of one individual benefit. Equally, in a piece that recommends changing your diet and lists the health benefits, a reader may know they are not at risk of one of the conditions listed, but that another is a possibility for them. This ensures that the piece is widely persuasive.