Edited By Kevin Norley, Mehmet Ali Icbay and Hasan Arslan
Persuasion Techniques in Persuasive Texts of Undergraduate Students: A Case Study
With regards to an ancient Chinese proverb, a curse used by Chinese people against their enemies supposedly says that “May you live in changing times.” Indeed, in our age the curse in this saying is more evident than in previous periods. Since “globalisation”, perhaps one of the greatest changes in world history is developing at full speed. In our age, mass communication, “persuasion, and propaganda” have come into prominence more than ever before. Whereas in his own scientific approach, H. D. Lasswell defines propaganda as “the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbols” (Qualter, 1980), while the online dictionary Wikipedia describes persuasion as “the process guiding people to adopt an idea, attitude or behavior toward rational and symbolic (which is not always necessarily logical) means.”
In this respect, the thing to take into consideration is the relationship between persuasion and propaganda. Propaganda, defined in Wikipedia as “the systematic, widespread distribution of specific ideas, doctrines, practices which can help one cause or be harmful to another cause”, is set out to achieve its aim. All the efforts, both harmful and beneficial, are accepted as fair means for propaganda. On the other hand, persuasion “basically requires influencing people towards an opinion that they are unfamiliar with or do not hold. This process does not involve force, deception or beseeching. Instead, it requires a thorough preparation and review, preparing evidences and explaining them in an appropriate manner. Thus, persuasion becomes a learning process...
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