Video:
Write Now! Persuasive Writing Prompts:
Try a Before-and-After Approach

Practice your copywriting skills with this prompt from The Professional Writers’ Alliance (PWA).

This Write Now! practice exercise will help you become a more convincing writer.

This video prompt from Heather Robson reinforces the concept that in order to write persuasive copy, you need to convince your reader that your product will change his life. (Or read the transcript below.)

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When you’re writing persuasive copy, you really want to get to the heart of how the product you’re writing about is going to change your reader’s life for the better. If you can convince your reader that their life is going to be better after buying your product, then the buying decision becomes easy.

So here in my hand, I have a basic corkscrew, like you might see a waiter use in a restaurant. And your writing assignment is to write, in five sentences, what a waiter’s shift is like without this corkscrew. And then, in five more sentences, how much better it is, with this corkscrew. Have fun.

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Write Now! persuasive writing prompts are presented by the Professional Writers’ Alliance (PWA) — a professional association just for direct-response industry writers. Learn about the many benefits of a PWA membership.

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Average: 4.6
Published: July 5, 2017

35 Responses to “Write Now! Persuasive Writing Prompt: Try a Before-and-After Approach [video]”

  1. Karen had a problem. She had 12 bottles of Dom Perignon waiting to be served and no way to extract the corks. She tried pulling, twisting and pondered breaking the bottles' necks. It seemed hopeless. She could lose her job if it went unserved.

    Then she found the ACME Wingspan. Its dual-lever action allowed her to insert the shaft into the corks and pry them out. The Dom soon flowed freely. Karen became the hero of the banquet. She also earned a promotion, thanks to the ACME Wingspan!

    Detrick Cornelsen November 20, 2018 at 5:19 pm

  2. Tim loves to serve fine wines. But uncorking specialty bottles was frustrating with ordinary corkscrews. The cork split or got stuck midway. What a mess! What a waste!
    Tim went online. To his delight he found the corkscrews he needed. Our company, Specialty Kitchen Accessories, sells all kinds of corkscrews. Now Tim uses a range of corkscrews for bottles of specialty wines, olive oils and salad dressings. The diners love his confidence and winning smile.

    lisa25August 30, 2019 at 6:20 pm

  3. Ferrell returned to the table with the red wine for the couple; he described the red wine so eloquently that the couple could not wait to taste it, reaching into his apron pocket he pulled out his corkscrew. He began to remove the cork but the corkscrew was failing him. He twisted, he pulled but nothing and now he’s sweating and embarrassed. Suddenly, Dante grabbed the bottle and said to him “Here, you need the Rabbit; no twisting, no pulling and certainly no sweating; just insert, lift the lever and pop!” Then Dante said to him “Keep that one I got two,” “Thanks” said Ferrell, thinking my day just got a whole lot easier thanks to the Rabbit!!!

    Guest (VeeJay24)April 19, 2020 at 1:02 pm

  4. Do you ever feel unease when opening a bottle of vine in front of customers... where you really can't afford any hiccups. Where your reputation as a waiter is at stake!
    It's one thing to have trouble opening a vine bottle with your friends – where you can all just laugh it away. But its a different story entirely when it happens at work... it's outright embarrassing!
    I don't know about you but I just can't take that chance anymore. And that's why I am using the new WaiterMax CS. Unlike your regular run-of-the-mill corkscrews, this one is designed for professionals. It uses a revolutionary “dual-grab” hook that opens even the most locked in place cork on a first try, guaranteed! WaiterMax CS truly has boosted my confidence... and tips!

    Guest (Kendrick)April 22, 2020 at 4:03 am

  5. James leaped for joy upon hearing the restaurant owner said, "You're hired!".

    Ready to create the first impression on his first day, he welcomed the first guests with full excitement and led them to their reserved seats.

    He offered them the best wine and the couple nodded for approval.

    He groped for corkscrew from his pocket but found none. His heart started racing and his palms began to sweat.

    Then he heard footsteps approaching, getting nearer. Is it his boss to shout at him, "You're fired!"? Good thing it was Jim, his co-waiter, to hand him Saverr's Corkscrew! The best corkscrew of all time because it saves future and saves life.

    Guest (Rowena)April 24, 2020 at 10:48 pm

  6. Nice to see examples as I just start out.

    New Path in learningMay 3, 2020 at 1:52 pm

  7. It was unexpected, exciting and frankly, terrifying. The elusive Gianni Torino and family, with notorious mob ties had just entered the restaurant. No one had told him. Now made sense that no other patrons were there. Shaking, he wondered if he would make a fool of himself, opening their wine bottles.
    As politely as possible, Jax excused himself. He just remembered! Only yesterday a distributor gave him a commercially designed corkscrew. He knew he would not fail. Bring on the art of crime!

    Konnect-with-KateMay 10, 2020 at 11:22 am

  8. Thank you for this challenge it is my first one. Writing the one I chose I know will help me in writing persuasively

    Mary MyersMay 24, 2020 at 4:11 am

  9. Imaging you are celebrating your first anniversary, and decided to chart a yacht for celebration.You hire a chef and a waiter to serve you.Your dinner is an specialty of the chef and is going to be served with wine.The waiter is ready to serve you, when he noticed that he forgot to bring the corkscrew!You get mad, the waiter try to apologize, but you don’t accept it.The discussion was heard by the Chef, who decided to show up and ask what was going on.After you explain, he shows you “a corkscrew”.

    Barbara VazquezMay 25, 2020 at 5:56 pm

  10. The Tale of 2 Waiters...

    Customers were always not in a good mood when attended to by Mr. Paul.

    He's seen as a time-waster when trying to open bottles for customers.

    Why? His corkscrew is always missing.

    He once spilled wine on someone's shirt, while trying to open a bottle using his teeth when he couldn't find his corkscrew. (It was unhealthy, and the customer was angry.)

    Most customers don't like his service.

    His colleague noticed that. He advised him to get the new (XXX Corkscrew) with a bracelet attached to his hand, so he never forgets or misplaces it.

    Now, most of his customers are happy with his new way of treating them, that they always tip him for a job well done.

    Guest (Saifullah Fateh)June 9, 2020 at 4:23 pm

  11. It’s a busy Saturday and you want to make the most tips tonight. Your goal is to serve 15 tables and at least 25 bottles of wine.

    You have one challenge - opening the wine bottle corks takes you too much time – the back and forth to the kitchen reduces your efficiency and ruins your customers dining experience.

    Hurry now and get the new True-Tap redesigned, compact cork screw which has been rated top corkscrew by ‘Restaurant Inc.’ magazine.

    With its quality precise sharp tip, its balanced metal worm and a comfortable handle, you will pull out the wine corks with ease, and speed up your service.

    Without the True-Tip cork screw it will be a challenge to meet your goals and of course take home some good tips.

    DodiJune 13, 2020 at 11:22 am

  12. Sam started his shift unable to find his corkscrew. Of course the very first table asked for a full bottle wine. The pit in his stomach made an appearance.

    Frustrated and upset Sam needed a solution. His night was long and filled with more customers.

    Then he found the smoothlift 2.0 behind the bar.

    He was able to open more bottles quickly making him look like a real pro.

    His presentation and confidence had him floating on air. And so did all the tips, because of the NEW smoothlift 2.0.

    rockeys copyJuly 15, 2020 at 8:59 pm

  13. Hi Heather,

    Your beautiful and made me think of a wife.

    The potential Business Owner without Net Penny Stocks will not be able to easily invest. Most Investment Management Companies like The New York Stock Exhange cost thousands of dollars just to get started with very high risks. You'll lose alot of unnecessary finances that quickly won't pay your rent forcing yourself to be homeless because you lack Shared Investments. Forget buying a Two Family Home not being Independent the way you want without a Wealthy Retirement Strategy. The flexibility and financial freedom you always wanted is at a long distance.

    Internal Intelligence 1July 22, 2020 at 12:40 pm

  14. Marco’s first day in the mob restaurant was quite bad. You see he wanted to make a great first impression on the family. He got up earlier, made sure he was on time. All he had to do was set up, help bring in the food and help pour the booze. When it came to booze he grabbed a bottle and then panic set in, he had no way to open the wine. BANG…no more Marco.

    Lara was away for the summer in Paris. Her first day at her job at La Jules Verne went great. Lara was always a stickler for being prepared. Well that paid off, and she had brought a notepad, a pen and a corkscrew in her pocket just in case. Turns out that someone had stolen all the corkscrews so Lara was the only one able to serve the wine. Promotion!

    Sean FAugust 10, 2020 at 6:04 am

  15. A corkscrew is especially used fo drawing corks from wine bottles.
    The Reverend Samuell Henshall patented the first corkscrew in England around 1795...
    Since then there have been several versions of the corkscrew.
    The well-heeled group, from the investment firm across the restaurant just walked in and Flo’s heart skipped a bit... She knew they did not have a corkscrew and these guys drank very expensive wines and tipped like ...
    Luckily there was a convenience store around the corner and that saved the day. She got her “huge” tip.

    This guys tipped big time and they drank very expensive wines.
    As he rushed to get their wines, she looked around for the corkscrew and it was nowhere to be f

    Billikpi August 17, 2020 at 10:06 am

  16. Hillary raced to the bar on a hectic Friday night. She was behind on placing food orders, the hostess had just sat her another table, and her regulars were wondering where their wine was. The bartender was busy, but what could she do? Without his help and trustee corkscrew, she could only wait. Hillary saw the tips she so desperately needed slipping away by the second.

    Saturday was full of promise. Hillary wouldn’t be held back tonight, she’d be the creator of her fate. No one would wait tonight. As diners filled the restaurant and placed their orders, she patted her very own corkscrew in her pocket. Hillary smiled knowing she’d go home with enough money in tips to provide for her family and her future.

    Aspire KerriAugust 20, 2020 at 1:44 pm

  17. Just a tool

    Imagine that you are a waiter in a prestigious restaurant, your first-time working tables alone. However, you are missing one small tool. As you approach the first table you are immediately gripped in fear. You stumble over a simple introduction.

    This small tool is just a corkscrew. You say just a corkscrew, it is so much more then that. Yes, it can open a bottle of expensive bottle of wine and so much more. Knowing that you are prepared with the right tools gives you confidence and peace of mind that anything that happens, you can handle.

    Guest (Bill McCraney)August 26, 2020 at 12:03 pm

  18. The restaurant was packed! Many of the tables were ordering bottles of wine. Robby was frantic! Because he left his corkscrew at home. He didn't know what he was going to do!!

    As luck would have it; he remembered that he had a spare corkscrew in his locker. Robby made more money that night than he had in weeks. The night was a complete success.

    New to the GameAugust 26, 2020 at 2:30 pm

  19. You just started your shift and you can already tell it’s going to be a long one. Guests are pouring in through the door. It’s getting towards evening and most guests will want wine with their dinner. One problem though. All the restaurant’s corkscrews are broken and the order was never sent in for new ones. It was going to be a long night.
    You just started your shift and you can already tell it’s going to be a long one. Guests are pouring through the door. It’s getting towards evening and most guests will want wine with their dinner. But no worries. You’re restaurant uses the Big Baby Corkscrew, guaranteed for life to never break. You take a relaxing breath in because you’re all set.

    Guest (Morg)September 15, 2020 at 8:48 pm

  20. Imagine you are hosting a large Christmas party. The hall is decorated like a royal castle, lights are strung on the walls, and the tree is decorated Christmas balls that shine like beautiful gemstones. The delicious smell of the holiday dinner wafts through the room and everyone takes their seats. The wine is about to be served however the staff cannot find a corkscrew to open it. Panic Starts to set in, then your realize that you bought a Pop It corkscrew. You retrieve it and save the party!

    CarlyeSeptember 21, 2020 at 10:41 am

  21. Get ready to earn more tips.
    No more fumbling in your apron pocket for the wine key.
    No more awkward moments struggling to pull a long French cork or a stubby Italian stopper.
    No more angry guests complaining how long your take.
    Forget about wasted spillage.
    Now you can have the confidence of a qualified Sommelier.
    Your co-workers will be envious of the quick and easy way you open a bottle of wine. Imagine returning guests asking for you by name. And think of how to spend all that extra tip money.
    I invite you to check out the latest openers seasoned professionals use at www dot modern dot corkscrews dot com

    D KirbySeptember 25, 2020 at 3:23 pm

  22. Imagine, two hours into your night shift, that awkward moment when you have to make small talk during what is clearly a first date with two uncertain strangers. You’d love to leave this couple in peace, but the cork...won’t...budge.
    With the Corel corkscrew, you’ll never have that problem again. Quiet and sleek design with a solar panel just like a calculator, this corkscrew looks like a standard wine opener, and requires no batteries, but will complete the task for you 2.79 times faster than a standard corkscrew, so you can get back to making your money without the awkward small talk.

    caley October 29, 2020 at 4:36 pm

  23. The waiter sets the tone for the restaurant experience. The diner orders an exquisite wine: An $80 Bordeux aged 20 years. But the waiter can’t deliver a quality service. She doesn’t have a cork screw to open the bottle of wine. Her eminent ratings and income as a hospitality provider now cease to exist.

    Now imagine if she had that cork screw tucked away in her work apron. With a suave retrieval the waiter reaches into her pockets and harnesses the wine in to the crystal. Voila! The diner’s delight is served. All due to the presence of a handy cork screw.

    Guest (A Rubin)November 7, 2020 at 4:42 pm

  24. You come to the restaurant ready to wait tables...and rake in the tips! You smooth your apron, flash your best smile, and cringe as they order a bottle of wine. Oh, no! You feel your tip sliding away as you pull out your Swiss army knife to open a fifty dollar bottle of wine. It's gonna be a long shift.

    You need SmoothPop! This elegant and efficient corkscrew will ensure that your patrons' glasses, and your tip pocket will stay full. Let the amateurs fiddle with gadgets and waste time borrowing corkscrews from the bar back. Don't lose another tip because you weren't prepared. All you need to be the smoothest server is SmoothPop!

    S WallaceNovember 10, 2020 at 5:08 pm

  25. It was his first waiter shift that night in this fine-dining restaurant. His first clients ordered a high-end Bordeaux to have with their dinner. He brought the bottle to their table and realised he did not have a corkscrew. Oh how embarassing! He quicked hurried to the bar to borrow one.
    Tomorrow he would remember to bring his own Pulltap's professional hinged double-lever system corkscrew with a serrated knife blade. He had had it for a almost ten years, and he had never broken a cork.

    SofiaNovember 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm

  26. Another shift at the busy restaurant. You love to serve your customers - but not the embarrassment of keeping them waiting as you run around frantically, trying to open that bottle of wine!

    New shift, new day - and a corkscrew!
    (compliments of a customer).
    Now your floating around from table to table as you effortlessly open each bottle of wine. Life just got better..

    Guest (Fidel)November 25, 2020 at 11:10 am

  27. All Because of A Corkscrew!
    My gig as a waiter in a fine restaurant was quite memorable when my cheap-a** corkscrew broke and corked a very expensive bottle of wine.
    WOW!
    No tip.
    Boss said I would be fired IF that happened again.
    I searched to find best corkscrews! The best are called WINE-KEYS! I bought the best, 100% in charge as I easily extract corks from finest wine for the most refined clients. Now, easy tips coming in!
    P.S. My boss eventually saw the improvements and gave me a raise!

    Karen ChaddeDecember 7, 2020 at 12:21 am

  28. I lost my corkscrew at work the other day, let me tell you that was a nightmare. I tried to pull the cork out to no avail, and even got another waiter to hold the bottle while I pulled. No dice. Next, I tried my teeth, that did no better, and now I think I need a filling replaced. Then I had the idea to try a fork, which left cork floating in the wine. It just wasn’t my day.

    When I do have my trusty corkscrew opening the wine is a breeze. I just screw it right into the top of the cork. With a wiggle and a tug it comes out with a POP. It’s so easy to use, and no dental work needed!

    NikkiZDecember 9, 2020 at 8:09 pm

  29. Joe really enjoyed working at the winery, he had a real passion for wine and dreamed of becoming a winemaker someday. Today was wine tasting day and Joe had been given the assignment of opening the bottles of wine for the patrons. He was so excited, but Joe had a problem, he could not find the corkscrew to open the bottles of wine, what was he going to do?
    With little time left before the patrons would begin to arrive, Joe frantically searched everywhere for the corkscrew, finally, with minutes to spare, he found a corkscrew in the boss’s office. Now, armed with the confidence born of the knowledge that he possessed the one tool needed to do a good job, Joe entered the tasting room ready to do his part to make the day a success.

    ShopeDecember 14, 2020 at 8:58 am

  30. "WHERE IS MY CORKSCREW?!" I just started my first shift at La Mer, a 5-Star restaurant in NYC, and I'm about to look like an absolute Dunce!
    I have three tables waiting for my attention, one of which has just ordered a $500 bottle of wine to go with dinner.

    T-Minus five minutes before a perfectly caramelized Porterhouse arrrives on the table..Without a glass of wine to accompany it.

    Do I ask one of my new coworkers to borrow theirs?..and risk looking unfit for my job.
    I smooth down my apron and try not to look as frazzled as I feel..but wait, could it be?! Rushing to the server station I reach under my apron and into my pocket.
    My ACME Wingspan! My greatest friend! My prized possession! The key to my success!..For the night.

    Erin FrankJanuary 14, 2021 at 6:38 pm

  31. Waitress Lia relies on tips. Upselling is key. Appetizers, desserts, & alcohol all make her more money; selling bottles of wine can line an apron in $10s & $20s! Lia avoids this because her corkscrew's cheap. She struggles with every bottle, peeling the top open with her fingers. Lia lacks confidence, and always has some sort of mishap.
    A wine vendor gave the staff corkscrews embossed with their logo. The CLEVER COIL is an easy-to-use, continuous screw, complete with foil cutter. For 1.5" - 2" + corks, the longer than standard screw on this tool ensures slow & gentle removal, with no breaks or fragments. Lia's confident and ready to sell. The CLEVER COIL is compact and lightweight, so the only thing weighing down her apron'll be the CASH!

    Sara ScribesJanuary 15, 2021 at 2:53 pm

  32. These examples reminded me that I was writing for a company instead of myself, which is a new style of writing for me. The arrow will now point in the "write" direction from now on. Thank you.

    eghicksonJanuary 15, 2021 at 4:41 pm

  33. Are you a bartender that's tired of wasting time twisting and pulling corks?

    Do have trouble pulling the cork out in one piece?

    Want to be able to pull the cork, and then insert the cork back into the bottle, keeping your wine fresh, from the first glass to the last?

    Isn't it embarrassing having so much trouble pulling corks?

    Want to pull corks over and over without any trouble?

    Never worry again with our newest design that has a screw, twist, pull method will leave you speechless.

    Never struggle with corkscrews again.

    Screw the cork screw in as you get a better grip with every turn

    Twist it back and forth as you pull the cork out with ease.

    Visit www dot CorkScrewHero dot com today and you'll get 20% off with promo code GIVEME20.

    Guest (Jdstoutdigital)February 4, 2021 at 6:34 pm

  34. This exercise was my first with this course. It really put my mind in a place to explore ideas. I think I'm going to enjoy the growth. It may be a little difficult at first. My writing has been stale for a long time. I love these "prompts", just what I need!

    SandeebeeFebruary 23, 2021 at 11:13 am

  35. Michael está em um dia com o restaurante lotado e um casal que chegou cedo estava esperando há horas pelo vinho que haviam pedido enquanto michael estava na cozinha desesperado pela demora sem encontrar o saca-rolhas, decidiu então tentar com uma faca, conseguiu tirá-la mas fico boiando no vinho, o medo dos clientes reclamarem para seu chefe era enorme e a pressão só aumentava, até que os clientes cansaram e zarparam.

    Michael recebeu as melhores gorjetas e foi notado pelo seu chefe, foi ágil e não ficou perdendo tempo e não deixou cliente esperando, em menos de 15 segundos abriu o vinho especial com o saca-rolhas power que permitiu ele se tornar mais ágil nos atendimentos e receber um aumento salarial pelo seu desempenho.

    Guest (joao jaques)March 14, 2021 at 7:46 pm


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