How to Write an Exhortation
An exhortation is a persuasive or inspirational speech or text that strongly advises the audience how to feel or act about a certain subject. Often used in reference to biblical matters, an exhortation can be made about anything that you are passionate about and want to encourage others to feel strongly about as well. To write a strong exhortation, you will need to appeal to the needs and desires of the reader. Supporting facts are important, especially if they draw on the emotion of the reader.
Study your audience. Like any piece of effective writing, you should have a strong sense of who is reading the piece. This will help you to best appeal to their interests and convince them to share your view. For example, if you are writing an exhortation proposing a reformation in an institution, you might write a very different paper for the leaders of the institution than the members.
Research the subject matter. If you are writing an exhortation, it is likely that you already have an opinion on something that you want to share with others. The best way to communication why the reader should feel the same way is to prove that you have done your homework. Find supporting details that defend your argument and reputable sources for your claims.
Write an introduction that includes a well-developed thesis statement and introduces the subject. Your introduction should instantly grab the reader's attention, either with a quote, anecdote, statistic or a lead that will draw on their emotional connection to the topic.
Include supporting details that defend your stance. Add presence to your argument with in-text citations such as excerpts from books or quotes from respected thinkers that support your stance. Consider what information drives you to feel the way you do. Including these facts will personalize and empower your writing.
Conclude with a final plea that calls the reader to act. Now that your audience is knowledgeable of your point a view, they should know how to proceed. Define this clearly in the final passage because this might be your last chance to reach the reader on the subject.
Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.