ERIC Number: ED351676
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Persuasive Elements of 100 Successful Magazine Query Letters.
Building from scholarly works on persuasion and compliance-gaining, a study investigated magazine query letters that attempt to persuade an editor to buy the article offered, examining what message elements make them successful. Forty magazine editors provided copies of 100 recently accepted magazine query letters, which were compared with 50 rejected queries. The first 100 words of each of the letters were coded using measures from previous research. Results showed that several time-honored techniques were not confirmed as useful: readability, use of proximity words, and use of metaphors failed to provoke a positive response in editors. The most significant differences separating successful from unsuccessful letters were the use of concrete/senses words, as well as vividness and cohesion of the text. Others factors in successful letters included greater human interest and vocabulary diversity, more realistic sentences, and use of an opening narrative. A successful freelancer will thus construct a query letter that includes these elements: a story, with several individual characters, told in concrete terms with varied language and with care to maintain a sense of flow by use of cohesive devices that refer back to people and things previously mentioned in the text. (Fifty-one notes which comprise about half the document are included.) (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Historical Background; Rhetorical Strategies; Text Factors; Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (75th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 5-8, 1992).