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Here's To You!

Writing a Testimonial or Endorsement

Have you ever purchased an item that you really liked? Did you like it enough to write a letter to let the company know how much you liked it and why? Perhaps you have read or heard something a famous person has said about a product. When products are being marketed there are many ways that are used to get the buyer's attention. One way that Fred Frick tried to let potential customers know about his clock was by providing them with testimonials of satisfied customers.

Objectives:

  • To learn what writing a testimonial means.
  • To consider the purposes of writing testimonials.
  • To use descriptive writing to write a testimonial.
  • To have the opportunity to learn more about persuasive writing and product marketing.

Items to Discuss:

Read the testimonials written for the Frick Electric Program Clock. It might be good to print out copies for the class to refer to during discussion and group work.

  1. What qualities of the clock were mentioned most often?
  2. Would reading these testimonials convince you to purchase this type of clock if you had needed one for your school?
  3. Why would an inventor want to gather and publish testimonials about their invention from those using it?
  4. After reading the testimonials, how do you think Fred Frick was able to get some of the testimonials written?
  5. What are testimonials and endorsements? How are they alike?

Discuss some of the ways that advertisers try to convince us to purchase their products. Make a list of these for the students to refer to during their writing activities.

Activity:

Write a testimonial of your own for the Frick Clock. Read the information page about the clock, find out about the different Grades and classes of the Frick clock and view the slide show to get more information. See what different qualities and features you could praise so that your letter might convince a school or business to purchase a Frick Electric Program Clock.

Direct students to write a testimonial for something they have bought or used. You might direct them to begin by making a list of what they liked about the item. Be sure to direct them to mention at least 3 qualities that impressed them and to include why others might also like this item. Encourage the use of descriptive and persuasive writing.

Have students read their testimonials to a small group. See if others can think of additional characteristics which would make the testimonial more convincing.

Have the group think about products they see advertised on TV or in print ads. What makes these products seem to be appealing? What techniques do advertisers use to try to convince us to purchase their products?

They might like to try to produce an ad for their item using some of the persuasive techniques discussed.

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Carla Schutte, Mike Lipinski, Susan Silverman
Gail Watson, Tammy Payton
March 2000