Contrastive Rhetorical Analysis of Argumentation Techniques in the Argumentative Essays of English and Persian Writers

Document Type : Research Paper


Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


The present study intended to compare and contrast the techniques used by English and Persian writers to develop argumentative essays. To this end, 20 argumentative essays (10 in English and 10 in Persian) were selected from among the available online argumentative essays with the same length and topic. These essays were analyzed with focus on the frequency of the four argumentation techniques of refutation, rhetorical questions, statistics, and appeal to authority. The results of the study revealed that while the writers in both languages made use of all these four techniques, they significantly differed regarding the frequency of refutation and rhetorical questions. While English argumentative writers preferred direct, explicit techniques, Persian writerswere mainly in favor of indirect techniques. The findings also suggested that in EFL contexts, cultural differences and their influence on rhetoric and formal writing can make it difficult for Persian learners of English to write logical argumentative essays in the new medium.


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