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Language analysis

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  1. Language analysis

  2. Big problem # 1 Students don’t analyse the articles, they simply summarise them.

  3. Simple solution By using the right sort of words, you will often move from summary to analysis.

  4. Good words to use include ... Contends Reader Tone Appeals Suggests Encourages Implies Effect

  5. Big problem # 2 Students don’t understand the contention of the article or cartoon

  6. Solution Read the headline (it often summarises the contention or at least gives you a hint) Read the article all the way through (twice if you can) Read the beginning and the end of the article carefully. The concluding remarks of an article often sum up or reiterate the writer’s contention.

  7. Big problem # 3 Students run out of time and don’t write on all three articles

  8. Solution Write two or three practice SACs under timed conditions. Give yourself 15 minutes for reading time and 70 minutes for writing. Work out how much you can write in the time available and plan accordingly. How much time will you spend on each article?

  9. Little tip ... Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Choose carefully when deciding what to write about Be realistic and disciplined ... when time is up, move on to the next article.

  10. Big problem # 4 Students aren’t sure how to structure their response

  11. Introduction In the first paragraph of your essay, identify the issue or event that is being discussed in all three texts. The background information will help Keep it short ... most of your marks will come from the analysis of the articles, so get into it quickly

  12. The body of the essay Start with the longest article. It stands to reason that you should deal with it in depth. Move on to the shorter article, but don’t spend quite as much time on it. Finish with the cartoon / graphic. Make sure that you write a detailed analysis of the image.

  13. Conclusion Discuss what the articles had in common and how they differed. You could talk about the following things: • Contention • Tone • Style of language • Main persuasive devices employed

  14. Biggest problem Vocabulary “I just know what to say about the article!”

  15. Reason and logic “That makes sense” If I do A, B will logically follow “Don’t touch the fire.” “Why?” “Because you will get burnt.”

  16. Writers often employ a measured, calm, reasonable tone of voice (suggests that they are in control and confident) They support their arguments with compelling evidence (statistics, survey results, facts) They often mention the opposing viewpoint, but go on to show that it is flawed or simplistic

  17. “If the Japanese have a serious interest in whales as a unique and highly intelligent creature of the sea, they should organise research vessels equipped with cameras and other sophisticated monitoring devices rather than harpoons” Letter to the editor, The Australian (19/01/08)

  18. The writer begins with the Japanese claim that their whaling is for research, and suggests that the logical equipment for this would be cameras and monitoring devices. Since they carry weapons instead, the implication is that their purpose cannot be scientific. This use of reason and logic positions the reader to be sceptical about the Japanese justification for whaling.

  19. The writer begins with the Japanese claim that their whaling is for research, and suggests that the logical equipment for this would be cameras and monitoring devices. Since they carry weapons instead, the implication is that their purpose cannot be scientific. This use of reason and logic positions the reader to be sceptical about the Japanese justification for whaling.

  20. Emotive language “That makes me feel sad” “That makes me feel angry” “That makes me feel disgusted” ... I’m going to do something about this!

  21. These are words and phrases that play on people’s feelings. They trigger a strong emotional response in the reader. The words often have strong connotations (they bring certain images to mind). “I’m sick of seeing grotty teenagers scurrying through the streets of our town when they should be home in bed.”

  22. “I am absolutely disgusted at the travesty of justice apparent in the pathetic sentence given to such a vicious killer”

  23. The writer uses highly emotive words such as “absolutely disgusted”, “pathetic sentence” and “vicious killer”. These words encourage the reader to share the writer’s outrage about the leniency of the sentence and contribute to the bitter and scathing tone of the piece.

  24. The writer uses highly emotive words such as “absolutely disgusted”, “pathetic sentence” and “vicious killer”. These words encourage the reader to share the writer’s outrage about the leniency of the sentence and contribute to the bitter and scathing tone of the piece.

  25. Being part of the majority “We all know that ...” “We all feel that ...” “Most forward thinking countries have already ...” “Any rational human being would have to admit that ...” “It’s obvious to most of us that ...”

  26. This feeling is often generated through the use of inclusive language (we, our, us) and the use of rhetorical questions: “Time and time again the Minister has lied to us and broken his promises. Are we supposed to trust and believe him now?”

  27. “The local council have been ‘going to’ clean up the reserve for three years and nothing has been done. How many more broken promises are we supposed to put up with before we say enough’s enough?”

  28. The writer uses a rhetorical question to suggest that the local council can no longer be trusted: “How many more broken promises are we supposed to put up with before we say enough’s enough?” The use of the word “we” makes the reader feel personally involved in the issue and encourages them to think that the council has betrayed the community as a whole.

  29. The writer uses a rhetorical question to suggest that the local council can no longer be trusted: “How many more broken promises are we supposed to put up with before we say enough’s enough?” The use of the word “we” makes the reader feel personally involved in the issue and encourages them to think that the council has betrayed the community as a whole.

  30. Appeals This is by far the most important thing to keep in mind. Use the following phrase on a regular basis: This appeals to the reader’s _______________

  31. Appeals to our sense of patriotism – national pride, loyalty to their nation Appeals to our sense of justice – everyone deserves fair treatment Appeals to our desire to protect the innocent – animals, children, the poor often can’t defend themselves, so we must look out for them

  32. Appeals to our desire to save money – People worry about their financial situation (or the financial situation of the country) Appeals to our desire to uphold tradition • People are often proud of their heritage, traditions and customs. They worry that losing these traditions will harm their society Appeals to our desire to save the environment - We want to preserve the environment for future generations (our children). We sense that something precious is lost when pristine environments are destroyed or species become extinct.

  33. What now? Don’t forget about language analysis after the SAC. Language analysis is worth 1/3 of your exam mark Read the newspapers and reputable on-line opinions regularly