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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (May 28, 2007)

Persuasion or Propaganda?

These days, we are exposed to persuasion daily, from the television advertising we see through to the editorial comments in our newspapers.

Since the goal of any persuasion is to move us, the readers or viewers, to action or to, at the least, a change of our thinking, we must be careful in our evaluation.

To be effective, persuasion must be supported by evidence, the facts and examples the reader expects as support for an argument. In particular, for opinions that are not widespread or common, persuasion must use strong, verifiable evidence.

If not, and particularly if the writer or broadcaster presents persuasion without any contrary views, then we name this propaganda (one-sided persuasion that speaks to those who already agree).

Take a hard look whenever you are asked to change your opinion. Have you been persuaded by evidence? Or, have you had your own biases confirmed? 




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