Indirect Persuasive (AIRA) Letter
Who you are: a university student living in the Halifax Regional Municipality
Who your reader is: the Nova Scotia minister for transportation
Background information: In July 2013, distracted driving became the main cause of fatalities in Nova Scotia in the past five years. Although the use of hand-held cell phones while driving (including text messaging) was made illegal in Nova Scotia in 2008, distracted driving now accounts for one-third of all traffic deaths in the province. Distracted driving includes texting, eating, viewing GPS, and attending to children.
You want to persuade the province’s minister of transportation to take a specific action (your choice) to reduce distracted driving, such as changing existing legislation or implementing either an education program or an advertising campaign. Write to
Hon. Maurice G. Smith, Minister
N.S. Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
Halifax, NS B3K 2N2
Pre-writing:Research and analyzerecent information on distracted driving in Nova Scotia and fatalities. Find evidence of how other jurisdictions have responded to distracted driving to increase public safety, change public attitudes, and change drivers’ behaviour. You may focus on a recommendation to reduce distracted driving among drivers of all ages or among drivers 18 to 25 years old.
Use at least two credible online sources to back up whatever you recommend to the minister. Examples include the Canadian Automobile Association, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, articles on distractions and driving performance, and provincial departments of transportation such as Alberta’s.
Writing: Using the indirect (AIRA) strategy, write a letter to the provincial minister persuading him to take the action you identify. Use specific, researched details to build his interest before you make your request.Provide counter-responses to anticipated objections (resistance) to your request. For example, how will you counter resistance to possible cost (education, media campaigns) or enforcement of larger penalties?
Revising: Revise your draft several times to ensure your message follows all the instructions given here, in your COMM class, in Chapter 10 of your Guffey textbook, and on the reverse side of this sheet. Revising frequently will help your message meet your reader’s needs and will reflect your professionalism as a writer.