Intracultural Iranian Persuasion The Case of Scholarship Application Letters

Maryam Farnia (1), George Ypsilandis (2), Bahareh Ghasempour (3)
(1) Assistant professor, Department of English Language and Literature Payame Noor University Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of,
(2) Associate Professor Department of Italian Language and Literature Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece, Greece,
(3) MA in English Language Teaching, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Iran, Islamic Republic of


The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which rhetorical strategies, as a sub-genre of persuasive discourse, are deployed in scholarship application letters in Iran in Persian and English. To this end, 96 application letters fora fictitious scholarship were written by Iranian university students and were further analyzed according to a framework initially proposed by James, Scholfield and Ypsilandis (1994). Aristotle’s taxonomy of logos, ethos and pathos was employed to examine the rhetorical organization or moves in this sample and a mixed analysis with quantitative statistics and qualitative comments was followed. The results showed significant differences in the use of strategies between the two versions of the data collected (Persian and English) in different parts of the letters, such as greetings, openings, self-presentation, and letter closing. On the other hand, it was observed that the most frequently rhetorical appeals selected by the applicants lie under the logos and pathos categories in both Persian and English letters.

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Maryam Farnia (Primary Contact)
George Ypsilandis
Bahareh Ghasempour
Author Biographies

Maryam Farnia, Assistant professor, Department of English Language and Literature Payame Noor University Iran

Maryam Farnia, PhD in Applied Linguistics, is Assistant Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, Payame Noor University, Iran. Her areas of research include genre analysis, interlanguage pragmatics, humor, im/politeness and speech act.

George Ypsilandis, Associate Professor Department of Italian Language and Literature Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece

George Ypsilandis is an associate professor with the department of Italian Language and Literature of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Ypsilandis published several articles in Greek and international journals, such as, the 1994 proceedings of the British Association of Applied Linguistics, CALL, World Englishes, Journal of Applied Linguistics, Revista de Linguistica y Lenguas Aplicadas and Language Learning in Higher Education in the areas of CALL, Language Testing and Contrastive Rhetoric. Some of his articles are cited in books and articles published in the USA, Europe and the Far East. He presented papers in conferences in Greece, Italy, UK, USA, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Austria, FYROM, Hungary, Cyprus, Serbia and Saudi Arabia. Ypsilandis was awarded a visiting professorship in year 2012 from King University in Saudi Arabia (160 in the world rank of universities), and in 2014 from the Catholic University of Eichstatt-Ingolstadt (Germany). He was for one year the director of the MA program offered by his department.

Bahareh Ghasempour, MA in English Language Teaching, Faculty of Graduate Studies

Bahareh Ghasempour holds an MA in English language teaching from Amin Institute of Higher Education, Fooladshahr, Iran. Her areas of interest include English for Specific Purposes, genre analysis, and sociolinguistics.

Farnia, M., Ypsilandis, G., & Ghasempour, B. (2019). Intracultural Iranian Persuasion The Case of Scholarship Application Letters. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 19(3), 1–18.

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