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The distinction between narration and persuasion is often studied as part of the theory of rhetorical modes, a theory that was popular in composition pedagogy in the mid-twentieth century. Within this sort of modal theory, narration would be defined as telling a story, or, in other words, writing which has a strongly chronological structure. Exposition would include summary of an abstract concept or idea or issue. Persuasion has to do with taking a stance, and trying to convince an audience to believe or act in a certain way. Argument, although it may seem similar to persuasion, focuses on proving something but not actually using a full repertory of techniques to convince an audience, but rather restricting itself to logic and factual evidence. Although a narrative can be persuasive, it is not necessarily so.
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