Using Language to Persuade Task 1 and 2 Language Analysis What is an issue? Genres Contention Arguments Tone Persuasive Techniques What is an issue? An issue causes debate A reasonable person could argue for either side EG: People can’t argue that chopping off innocent babies heads is an issue because no reasonable person could argue that chopping off a baby’s head is a good thing X EG: People could argue that same-sex marriage should be legal √ Genres Editorial Opinion Piece Letter to the editor Feature and News Article Web Pages Blogs Speeches As you can see, Persuasive Writing can occur anywhere... Audience • Who is the audience? • How is the article/speech specifically targeting the audience? Contention What is the writer’s main point in the piece of writing? Arguments • What arguments are being made by the writer/speaker to support their contention? Tone The way that the article sounds EG: The enthusiastic tone creates a sense of energy and progress, in phrases such as, “Let’s be excitedkeep being excited.” Tone Words Persuasive Techniques Are used by writers to persuade audience to convince them to agree with their contention. Emotional Appeals Emotional Appeals • Like many persuasive techniques, emotive appeals aim to engage people’s feelings, not logic or reason. If a writer can manipulate a reader to feel a certain way, that reader should be more likely to agree with the writer’s overall contention. Often writers will use other forms of persuasive language techniques in order to appeal to people’s emotions. • There is a huge variety of emotive responses that can be aimed at by writers, such as: • Example 1: “…a discovery that is already revolutionizing human experience…” • This appeals to the reader’s desire to be up to date with modern trends. • Example 2: “feeding the teeming multitudes…to lead happy, safe and fulfilling lives…” • This appeals to our desire to feel generous towards people less fortunate than ourselves. Inclusive Language Inclusive Language • Inclusive language aims to directly address the reader, either personally or as a member of a shared group. This involves using such words as us, we, you, our. • Examples: • “It is time for us to show our belief in the value of mateship and a fair go, and give generously to the Good Friday Appeal. ” • “In our lifetime… the way we live our lives together in the world…” Rhetorical Questions Rhetorical Question • A rhetorical question is one in which the answer is so obvious it is not required. The idea here is not to receive an answer, merely to reinforce a point. • Example text: • “Should footballers be treated as above the law?” • “Why wouldn’t you want it in your life?” Exaggeration Exaggeration • A writer may describe a situation in forceful, overblown language in order to make the issue seem more important or urgent than it may otherwise be considered. Exaggerating the scale of an issue can draw an emotional response from a reader. Also known as hyperbole. • • • Example: “Councils are losing the war against vandals.” “We’d still be swinging in the trees…” Repetition Repetition • Repeating a single word a number of times over is repetition. • Example text: • “We will all suffer for years to come unless we stop this government, stop them in the workplace, stop them in the polls, and stop them on election day.” • “They’re the ones who ask questions, who tinker away in the garage, who turn up on ‘The Inventors.” Alliteration Alliteration • Repetition of the first sound in consecutive words is alliteration. • Example text: • “To rip people off so blatantly shows Mr. Craven to be cruel, calculating and crooked.” • “polarise people” Anecdotal Evidence Anecdotal evidence • An anecdote is a tale involving real life events, a true story. Such stories can be used by writers as evidence to back their claims. To support a contention, and to make themselves appear more credible, writers often use personal anecdotes. • Example: • “I can tell you that, as a single mother of two, I received very little in the way of financial support during my attempts to return to fulltime work.” Expert Opinion Expert opinion • To make a writer’s position seem more credible, they may quote the opinions of experts that correspond with their own. As in a court case, experts are often called on to make one side seem stronger and more believable. • Example text: • “My stand on the issue of exposed underwear is supported by fashion designer Ruby Reed, who recently stated: “Anyone whose underwear is exposed due to low slung jeans should be punished as forcefully as possible.” Statistics Statistical evidence • Like any form of evidence, statistics can be used to make an argument seem more conclusive, a writer’s opinion more valid. Often statistics are used that are out of context, or from unreliable sources. As the saying goes, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” • Example text: • “A recent survey found that 90% of students favoured no school uniforms at all.” Colloquial Language Colloquial Language • Colloquial (slang) language can be used in different ways. It can set the writer up as knowledgeable, on the inside of a social group. A writer may also use slang in a sarcastic manner, to attack an opponent or mock an argument. It may also be used to appeal to a reader’s own sense of cultural identity, or reinforce a writer’s overall tone. • Example text: • “She’s a top sheila that Jessica Rowe. Channel Nine are stark raving to give her the boot.” • “…other people want to chill… I pretty much like the look of it.” • “…but what a loser you’d be.” Attacks Attacks • Attacks are a version of playing the man, not the ball. If you can make your opposition seem less credible, you may be more likely to get a reader to agree with your side of the argument. At the least, attention can be taken away from the issue itself and put on to the personality. Attacks can attempt to belittle or embarrass or just plain insult an opponent. The idea is that the weaker you can make your opposition appear, the stronger you and your contention will appear. • Example text: • “That’s the sort of suggestion I’d expect from a nose-in-the-air toff like Turnbull.” • “It’s older people who are less familiar with it…” Simile a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more forceful or vivid e.g., “as brave as a lion, crazy like a fox.” “..we now zip along the surface like jet skiers.” Metaphor Definition: Metaphor is when you use two nouns and compare or contrast them to one another. Metaphors are comparisons that show how two things that are not alike in most ways are similar in one important way. Metaphors are a way to describe something. Authors use them to make their writing more interesting or entertaining. • Unlike similes that use the words “as” or “like” to make a comparison, metaphors state that something is something else. • EG: We would have had more pizza to eat if Tammy hadn’t been such a hog. • EG: The poor rat didn’t have a chance. Our old cat, a bolt of lightning, caught his prey. Essay structure of a Language Analysis Introduction Body Conclusion Introduction A general statement about the issue and the breadth of the issue Title Author Source Text Type Date Contention Audience Tone Compare and contrast when there is more than one article Breadth of issue Local, National and International How long has this issue been discussed? Author Who wrote the piece of writing? What is their background? Are they an expert in the field they are discussing? Sample Introduction There is constant ongoing debate regarding the rights of young people to have input into making decisions that affect their future. In Australia this debate is centred around whether the voting age should be lowered to 16. Melissa Young in her opinion piece “Lower the Voting age to 16...NOW!” (May 5th 2010) contends that Australian youth are capable of and should have the right to vote. The article appears on the website Young People Unite which was specifically created for the Australian youth voting initiative. Young varies her tone throughout the piece to target her audience of young people. For each of the arguments you must... Find and discuss the language that is used to support the arguments Discuss the effect the language has on the audience EG: The writer uses statistics to substantiate his point of view. By doing this the writer is proving to the audience that his arguments are supported with factual evidence. Argument Persuasive techniques/ language used. Example Intended Effect . Argument • What is the writer is doing? • Consider the contention/arguments • The argument is not always explicit but may be a general feel or stance within the piece. Note: Often the argument will relate to the overall intended effect of the paragraph. Persuasive Techniques or Language used •How is the writer is doing it? Consider: The language/techniques the writer is using to present this point to the reader and group them according to each idea/stance/argument. . Example • Where or which specific parts of the article? i.e. Provide the examples of the techniques/language • If using quotes make them short and integrate them into your sentences • Don’t use lengthy quotes. . Intended Effect • Why do we respond? • Consider who is the audience/reader • The intended purpose is questioning how we are likely to respond and why? • Think about the feeling/emotions the language/technique might be eliciting. • Step 1: Read the article . • Step 2: Identify the writers contention • Step 3: Read the article again and then identify the arguments/stance (3-4 year 10 and 4-5 year 11) • Step 4: Find the techniques/language that support the argument/stance. (3-4 per paragraph) • Step 5: Identify the intended effect. Ordering paragraphs and planning the essay “Lower the Voting Age to 16...NOW!” Melissa Young Reference to current powerlessness of young people to make their own decision Tone - Sarcasm Spot the pattern here?” •To gather support •Create an exclusion “you guessed it” between youth and adults. Inclusive language “you” “you’re” “we’ve” •Personal involvement which inspires youth to want to take action Listing recent parliamentary debates •Desire to take action •Be in control Young emphasises the powerlessness of young people to make their own decisions. She lists the recent parliamentary debates which play a significant role in young peoples future. This evokes outrage amongst the youth as they can clearly identify the breadth of decisions being made about youth without youth input. This aims to encourage them to want the right to vote. Young uses a sarcastic and conversational tone, using terms such as “Spot the pattern here?” and “you guessed it” to highlight the inability of young people to control issues that directly affect them. Young people are more likely to swayed by conversational language because the writer appears genuine to readers. This further prompts readers to take control and change the current system. The sarcasm is directed against adults who make these decisions without youth input. This tends to gather support from the audience of young interested youth, creating a cohesive mentality against the law makers. The inclusive language such as “you” “you’re” “we’ve” encourages readers to support Young’s argument as they feel a personal involvement in the issue and are therefore more likely to take action. YOU TRY “Lower the Voting Age to 16...NOW!” Melissa Young Presents young people as ‘politically engaged’ Image Statistics Data website . “Lower the Voting Age to 16...NOW!” Melissa Young Attacking the government Appeals to logic Presents adults as out of touch Hip pocket Emotional language “Lower the Voting Age to 16...NOW!” Melissa Young Calling for action Petition Heading Scenario links “Lower the Voting Age to 16...NOW!” Melissa Young Decision was based on inaccurate information Appeals to logic Evidence to support her argument Rebuttal Conversational language Conclusion • Sum up the author’s/speaker’s intention of the article/speech etc. (consider the issue) • Comment on tone • Consider how the writer/speaker/author finishes the piece – the effect of the finish • Comment on the global effect of the issue • NOTE: Advise students to avoid reviewing the article e.g. evaluate the piece or say which technique was the best. Young finishes by asking readers to sign the petition for the voting age to be lowered. She creates a sense of togetherness when referring to the ‘5000 young people’ who have already signed the petition. Young further stresses the importance of the petition when reminding readers of the political involvement further highlighting to youth their power to make a difference. Her frustrated tone supports the urgency in the title “NOW!” further forcing readers to act. Overall the united front presented by Young, contributes to the persuasion and this is further signified through her audience, ‘Young People Unite’. For this reason the issue is quite narrow, it ultimately effects one target audience and those who already have the right to vote would not feel compelled to take action.
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