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Definition: persuasion from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Means of communication that involves putting forward opinions and beliefs with the intention of influencing the opinions and beliefs of others. Skilful persuaders present a structured argument in a style that powerfully emphasizes their point of view and, consequently, often make use of devices of rhetoric (or figures of speech) such as exaggeration and rhetorical questions.

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Features of persuasive writing

Using persuasive language

Persuasive writing techniques


Summary Article: Persuasion
from The SAGE Glossary of the Social and Behavioral Sciences

The exercise of influence. Persuasion can be accomplished by various means, including argument, entreaty, and expostulation. Interpretations of the word are broad, ranging from coercion to behavior modifi cation. Persuade, the predicate form of the word, is often used interchangeably with the word convince, but their Latin origins show them to differ, in that convince comes from a word that means to conquer, while persuade comes from a word that means to advise, to make appealing, or to sweeten.

Persuasion as rhetoric has been discussed among scholars as far back as the ancient Greeks. In contem porary times, persuasion has become a subject of communications science and is studied for its appli cation to political processes, public relations and corporations, advertising and consumerism, inter personal relationships, and societal change.

Persuasion theories include language expectancy, regarding the effects of linguistic variations on message perception, and inoculation theory, regarding message resistance. For more information, see Dillard and Pfau (2002) and Oxford University Press (2002) in the bibliography.

See also

Language, Media, Perception (communication)

Copyright © 2009 by SAGE Publications, Inc.

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