Write Now! Persuasive Writing Prompts:
Put Your Most Important Word Last
Practice your copywriting skills with this prompt from The Professional Writers’ Alliance (PWA).
In this Write Now! exercise, you’ll understand an important technique to strengthen everything you write.
Watch this video by B2B Content Master, Gordon Graham, to learn to give any sentence more clout by putting your most important word last. (Or read the transcript below.)
Ever notice how people remember the last thing you said?
We all tend to focus on the start and the end of any message. We’re more likely to forget the middle, when our minds tend to wander.
Why else would people want to get “the last word” in an argument?!
You can use this natural tendency to strengthen any type of writing, in any format. This technique works for sales copy just as well as for content.
And here it is … To give any sentence more clout, rearrange it to put your most important word last.
Sound crazy? Just listen to these examples:
We have a problem, Houston.
vs Houston, we have a problem.
Mistakes were made.
vs We made mistakes.
The truth is something you can’t handle.
vs You can’t handle the truth.
B2B content is a booming market.
vs The market for B2B content is booming.
Did you notice something else? In some cases, putting the most important word at the end of a sentence changes it from passive to active. That’s another big win.
Now try this yourself. Write two or three sentences, making sure to bury the most important word in the middle. Now rewrite each one, moving the most important word to the end.
See how your second version sounds much stronger and clearer? How it’s got so much more clout?
And you can use this technique for just about every sentence you write. It’s easy to remember, and easy to do.
Oh, and here’s a bonus tip. The same thing applies to a list of bullets.
The natural way to format any list is to start from the most important item, and move down to the least important. This is fine for setting priorities.
But it isn’t the best for getting your message across.
We know this from scientific research called eye tracking, which analyzes how long people’s eyes rest on certain items on the screen.
We now know that people spend some time looking at the first couple bullets in a list, then they quickly scan the middle bullets down to the end. Then they spend some time looking at the final bullet.
So when it comes to formatting a list of bullets, don’t let it trail off into insignificance.
Start with your most important couple of points, but move your third most important to the very end of your list. Go out with a bang.
And good luck writing!
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.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »