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Lesson 7. Providing Rationale for Your R... > What Is a Rationale? - Pg. 27

Providing Rationale for Your Recommendations 27 Also, including more than five rationale points may be taking more of your reader's time than nec- essary. If you haven't convinced the reader to accept your recommendation after providing the three to five most important reasons to do so, additional reasons are unlikely to be any more persuasive. Tip Even for less important recommendations, digging deeply enough to provide at least three strong reasons to accept your proposal is valuable. Acquiring this habit can significantly improve your persuasiveness and your ability to think logically about why you want to do what you're recommending. What's in the Rationale? In the rationale you not only must have key points to support your recommendation, but must present them in a persuasive, easy-to-read format. A good rationale contains the following elements: · A topic sentence for each point that clearly and succinctly states the information to be consid- ered. The topic sentence of a rationale point is generally set apart from the rest of the paragraph by using italics or bold print. · Supporting data or corroborating information that demonstrates the validity of the topic sentence of each point. This corroborating information may be a chart of numbers or a brief summary of previous learning. If the supporting data take up too much room in the main document, you may wish to use a sentence or two to summarize the point, and include the complete data set as an appendix. · The rationale points listed in order of importance, from most important to least. While you may be tempted to "save the best for last," giving the most powerful and persuasive reasons first shows respect for your readers' time and their interest in quickly understanding exactly what you