This book has been written in accordance with a very definite order of priorities. Its main purpose in studying persuasive techniques is to encourage you to develop them for yourself. Its secondary purpose is to analyse persuasive practice both written and spoken, because you need to analyse the persuasive language of others, before you can adequately synthesise your own. This will involve the development of a variety of critical skills. And in order to form judgements about the effectiveness of any kind of persuasion, we shall need to place it within its functional, structural and socio-historical context. In practice, this means looking at extracts ranging from Shakespeare to the newspaper cookery column, from John Keats’s poetry to John F. Kennedy’s speeches. Progressing through a range of examples from successive periods, we shall examine how persuasion is used for many different purposes — at one extreme to create the ultimate tragic emotion, at the other to sell us a car. In so doing, readers will have the opportunity to learn to recognise the flexibility of persuasive techniques, and to develop this skill for themselves.