Persuasion is aimed at changing readers' opinions or beliefs or encouraging them to accept the credibility or possibility of your opinion or belief. At some level, all writing has a persuasive element. You may simply be persuading your reader to continue reading your writing or even to accept in your credibility, that you know your subject area. Or you may be persuading your reader that your complex theory about the causes of the crash of the Asian market are credible and probable.
You can make your writing persuasive by responding to your reader's needs. When you keep your reader in mind, you can identify with his or her point of view and attitudes. Use your style and tone to show respect for your reader. Offer your reader arguments and evidence—the examples, textual allusions, or research—to support your opinion or belief. For more information on using persuasion and formal argument, take a look at one of the writing references listed in appendix A, "Books to Help You Improve Your Writing."
Whatever critical strategy you use to write your paper, you will be supporting your thesis statement. Indeed, a well-developed thesis statement will often suggest the writing strategy you should use.