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Persuasive Language

Persuasive Language

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Persuasive Language

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  1. Persuasive Language A guide to completing a successful language analysis

  2. The task • Analyse the use of language (both written and visual) in persuasive texts that debate a current issue in the Australian media.

  3. Need to know • How to distinguish between different text types. • How headlines work to persuade. • How to identify persuasive techniques. • How each persuasive technique works. • How to articulate how the writer positions the reader to agree with his/her POV. • How to identify a writer’s contention. • How to identify persuasive techniques in images. • Vocabulary that describes tone. • How to write an analytical essay (including embedding quotes).

  4. Handy to know • How the media works (eg the types of issues/stories different newspapers and magazines cover, how issues get coverage in the first place, what is news etc). • Who some of the more well-known columnists are and how they write. • Why someone would want to persuade someone else. • Why someone would want to simply ‘stir the pot’. • What is an issue. • What the current topical issues are. • Who the target audience is of particular articles/certain publications.

  5. What is a media issue? • With the person next to you, try to define what an issue is. • Definition: An issue is a controversial subject with at least two opposing sides. It is debated in a range of media texts.

  6. Issues Game • You need to stand up and go to the side of the room where your answer to the question is located. • The question is always: • Is this an issue? • Your answer will be either Yes / No / Don’t know

  7. 1. Ben Cousins

  8. NO! • Ben Cousins is a high-profile person but Ben on his own is not an issue. He may be in the media a lot but he is not an issue. A recent issue related to him is: “Should he have been allowed to profit from a documentary that showed him taking illicit drugs?”

  9. Does the AFL’s illicit drugs policy give players the best chance at rehabilitation?

  10. YES! • There are views for and against this topic. • It has been in the media on and off for the past few years. • It has been debated a lot recently due to the Ben Cousins doco and the Travis Tuck story.

  11. The Federal Election

  12. NO! • The Federal Election is a major event in Australia. While it has been in the news a lot lately, the ‘Federal Election’ is not an issue because you cannot have a point of view for or against the Federal Election.

  13. Should the voting age be dropped from 18 to 16?

  14. YES! • There are views for and against this topic. • It has been in the media on and off for the past few years.

  15. Other popular issues • Should Australia become a republic? • Should school uniform be compulsory? • Should public transport be free? • Whether Australia should have a cap on population. • Whether Bert and Patti Newton should have gone on ACA about their son’s troubles.

  16. Different FORMS of persuasive writing • Q: Where are persuasive texts most likely to be found? • A: In the media. • Q: Which types of media can the SAC material be taken from? • A: newspaper, magazine, online, blog, email, speech.

  17. Different media text types (FORM) • Opinion pieces • Columns • Letters to editor • Editorials • Feature articles • Photographs • Cartoons • Speeches

  18. Headlines • Headlines are written by the editor or sub-editors of a newspaper. • They are generally: • Brief and designed to catch the eye of the reader • Big and in a distinctive font. • Dramatise and sometimes sensationalise an issue. • Are designed to manipulate reader to feel something toward issue. • Use a range of persuasive techniques like: puns, hyperbole, sensationalism.

  19. Points of view (contention) • Once you’ve identified the issue, you need to identify the writer’s point of view – their stance on the issue. • A writer will be either support (for) the issue or be against it. • Helpful vocabulary: The writer John Doe is passionately in favour of ... ; adamantly against the issue ... ; The writer claims in a ___ tone that ...

  20. Tone • Tone: The mood or feeling of the language used by the writer. • Tip for identifying and describing tone: Ask yourself what the writer’s purpose is ... To inform? To ask questions? To make people laugh? Then extend on that verb and make it an adjective... Eg inform = informative tone, ask questions = ________ tone; make people laugh = ________ tone.

  21. Tone 2 • Tone can be difficult to detect in writing. • It is much easier to determine tone in a __________. • All writers use tone to convey their attitude on an issue. If you can identify a writer’s tone, you will easily be able to identify their stance on the issue. Likewise, if you can identify their stance, this will give you a hint on what kind of tone is being used.

  22. Tone 3 • It has been said that tone falls into two broad categories, serious and non-serious OR approving and disapproving. APPROVING DISAPPROVING

  23. Tone – words to describe tone

  24. Tone 5 • Tones can shift throughout an article • Tone depends on context. • You need to read between the lines to pick up on tone. • Tone can be subtle or blunt.

  25. Persuasive techniques • Writers use these – intentionally or not – to persuade readers to agree with them. • Indentifying persuasive techniques and merely listing them is the easy part (believe it or not!) • By doing this alone you will not get a very good grade. • You need to show HOW they actually work by explaining the intended effect of the language on the intended audience.You need to provide three or four good examples as evidence to show the writer has used a PT you have identified.

  26. Persuasive techniques

  27. Persuasive language 2 • These are some more difficult terms: • Pejorative language: language with negative connotations. Eg: hooligan, lazy, stupid are all pejorative and make us think negatively about the people who are described. Techniques that come under the umbrella of ‘pejorative language’ include: attacks, appeal to sense of fear, hyperbole etc. • Figurative language: language that is not literal. These include euphemism, metaphor, simile, analogy. • Satire: the art of creating humour out of what is originally intended to be serious. • 1st, 2nd person: read from little book. • Understatement: when a lesser expression is used than would be expected.

  28. Emotional appeals (little book page 17) • Appeal to our sense of love • Appeal to our sense of humanity • Appeal to our sense of morality • Appeal to our sense of social responsibility • Appeal to environmental responsibility • Appeal to sense of justice/injustice • Appeal to self interest • Appeal to tradition • Appeal to sense of pride/vanity • Appeal to people’s desire to be modern/fashionable • Appeal to conformity • Appeal to democracy

  29. Emotional appeals (little book page 17) • Appeal to our sense of love • Appeal to our sense of humanity • Appeal to our sense of morality • Appeal to our sense of social responsibility • Appeal to environmental responsibility • Appeal to sense of justice/injustice • Appeal to self interest • Appeal to tradition • Appeal to sense of pride/vanity • Appeal to people’s desire to be modern/fashionable • Appeal to conformity • Appeal to democracy

  30. REMEMBER: Your language analysis MUST NOT be simply a list of persuasive techniques. As you discuss which persuasive techniques the writer uses, you need to show HOW and WHY the techniques are persuasive.

  31. Headlines • Headlines are written by the editor or sub-editors of a newspaper. • They are generally: • Brief and designed to catch the eye of the reader • Big and in a distinctive font.

  32. Headlines - Continued • Dramatise and sometimes sensationalise an issue. • Are designed to manipulate reader to feel something toward issue. • Use a range of persuasive techniques like: puns, hyperbole, sensationalism.

  33. Analysing images • Images you are likely to get in a SAC include • Cartoons • Photographs • Graphics • Diagrams • Graphs

  34. Cartoons How they persuade They attract attention. Cartoonists can often say with their pictures what writers can’t with their words. Cartoons provide a strong and succinct message combining text with an image. The text is often in a speech or thought bubble. Persuasive techniques in cartoons include: exaggeration, irony, attacks, emotional appeals, satire, puns and humour.

  35. Cartoons continued... • Cartoons almost always use some kind of humour. • Often a cartoonist will identify a humorous or absurd element of the story/issue and draw a picture that pokes fun at it.

  36. Famous cartoonists • Mark Knight

  37. Ron Tandberg

  38. Spooner

  39. Photographs • Generally have a powerful emotive impact on readers • Photos can support a point of view by: • Highlighting an extreme aspect of the issue • Showing expressions on people’s faces that convey an emotion and therefore having an impact on the reader. • Showing people in a familiar context that encourages the reader to empathise with those people... Eg commuters crowding on a platform waiting for train • Presenting a landscape – pretty or ugly – in a way that provokes an emotional response to the issue. • Sometimes photos are not very persuasive but merely complement the story by catching the reader’s attention and sum up the story in a small space.