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Persuasive Language Techniques

Persuasive Language Techniques. What does persuasive mean?. When you try to persuade someone, that means you are trying to convince them to do something.

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Persuasive Language Techniques

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  1. Persuasive Language Techniques

  2. What does persuasive mean? When you try to persuade someone, that means you are trying to convince them to do something. Persuasive Language Techniques are used in the media. They are techniques that the media use to try and “convince” us to do something, buy something, believe something, want something, etc…

  3. We are going to be studying persuasive language techniques – in particular; the way they are used in newspaper articles. Firstly, let’s look at some common persuasive language techniques that you are probably already familiar with.

  4. Main Contention The main contention is the writer’s point of view on the issue. Read the following letter to the editor: Dear Editor, I am not pleased with the way you have portrayed P-plate drivers. We are not all hoons who cause accidents. In your article [May 5th, 2008] you stated that “P-platers are dangers to themselves and everybody else on the road.” This is just not true. Yes there are some bad P-plate drivers but the majority of us, like other drivers, do the right thing. In the future, think before you publish such garbage. - From an angry P-plate driver. What is the author’s contention in this letter?

  5. Evidence This is where the writer tries to persuade the reader by using facts and evidence – believe what I say because I have evidence to prove my claims. E.g.A television ad might try to persuade us to buy their car because it is the safest. The persuasive language technique they use, to persuade us to buy their car, is evidence – such as studies that show the car was rated the safest in a recent safety test. OR The writer might use a professional as evidence. E.g. Dr. K Smith from Western University says that…

  6. Attacks This is where the writer attacks people who support the opposite opinion to theirs. They employ various means such as undermining/ belittling/insulting/dismissing/embarrassing the person, political party or institution. E.g.On the TV ad for Ingham’s chicken the woman spokesperson says “If you don’t like chicken, there is something seriously wrong with you.” She is “attacking” the people who oppose her opinion [that chicken is yummy].

  7. Emotive language This is the deliberate use of strong words to play on the readers’ feelings. These emotive words can evoke strong emotional responses in order to pressure, even force, readers to agree. E.g.It is absolutely horrifying and disgusting that children are able to look up pornography on the internet. The emotive language used here is used in an attempt to make the reader go “Oh my God that IS horrible; I agree.”

  8. Emotive Appeals These play on people’s emotions / fears / desires / insecurities. Used most in advertising. E.g.In this day and age it’s no longer safe to travel alone on public transport. This statement appeals to people’s fears and concerns. E.g. You don’t need to be fat any more – let Lyndhurst Liposuction do all the work for you! This statement appeals to people’s insecurities and desires.

  9. Anecdotes Anecdotes are short accounts, or stories, of an entertaining or interesting incident. They can be used to engage the reader, add variety and offer another way or giving information. E.g.The latest in a string of incidents I have witnessed on public transport occurred last Wednesday when…. * This particular example is also an example of “evidence” because they were there and SAW the incident on public transport.

  10. Tone Reflects the writer’s attitudes or emotions towards their subject matter or audience. If the tone is very aggressive, the language itself can be forceful and persuasive. A calm tone often informs a reasoned piece of writing. The tone can be the same throughout a piece of writing or can change. Different tones include: Accusing Aggressive Angry Authoritative Calm Concerned Disappointing Mocking Optimistic Outraged Pleading Sarcastic

  11. Activity: Name the tone All unemployed people are just bludgers who waste space and get money from the real workers. It is a real shame that footballers let fame get to them. I can’t believe that John Ronkel only got 13 years for murder! He is a vile, hideous monster who deserves the death penalty. Even though we are in a recession, the signs of improvement look promising. Oh yeah sure Ben Cousins. As if we believe you when you say you’re “sorry” for using drugs. Well, you are sorry I suppose – sorry you got caught!

  12. Generalisations Is when the writer makes claims that aren’t actually proven by any facts. These claims are usually not correct. E.g.All P-plate drivers are bad drivers. This is a generalisation as he is grouping ALL P-platers in to the same category with no backing up evidence.

  13. Rhetorical Questions These are questions that the reader asks to which the answer is already obvious. Rhetorical questions help persuade the reader because when they read the question they think the answer is so obvious so therefore the rest of what the person is saying must be as obviously correct. E.g.Do you think I like being disabled and having people park in the disabled car parks so I can’t use them? [Obvious answer is: no]

  14. Alliteration Is the repetition of a letter or group of letters. Commonly used in headlines. E.g.Big Brown Bears Break into Bank Building Freddo Frogs for families in France.

  15. Bias This is when the person writing the article/letter has an interest in the viewpoint. If a person is bias it means that they can’t offer an objective view on an issue. E.g.Dear Editor, I believe that the media are too hard on football players. The media like to print articles saying how ‘irresponsible’ football players are with drinking, drugs and women but that is simply not the case. You don’t have any evidence to back up your claims so stop printing such rubbish. Signed, John Belnore [Werribee Football Club].

  16. E.g.Dear Editor, The new Tom-tam biscuits are made entirely overseas. This means that money is leaving our country. Customers need to buy Australian products – such as Arnott’s biscuits – to keep profits in the country. Signed, Merv Hillman [Manager of Arnott’s biscuits, Australia]

  17. Hyperbole This is when the writer uses exaggeration to get their point across. E.g.I’ve never, ever, ever heard anything so ridiculous. Expert Opinion It’s a form of evidence. It’s when the writer of the piece is an “expert” on the topic or they use quotes from an expert on the topic. E.g.“Too many kids today are fat” [Dr McGoo] “Carrots cause heart problems” [Sue, Heart surgeon]

  18. The following statements have been taken from Letters to the Editor. Copy down each statement and then write what type of persuasive technique – or techniques – are used. The poor, innocent little children can’t defend themselves. If you barrack for Geelong you’re an idiot. Are you an idiot? What a gorgeous creation. Truly a gorgeous creature. She must’ve caused the accident because everyone knows all red-heads are bad drivers.

  19. 58% of all university students claim that public transport is too expensive. Deadly dynamite detonation in Denmark. “As a Jenny Craig consultant, I can safely say that Jenny Craig is the best way to lose weight!” The level of obesity is on the increase and many scientists believe that it will continue to rise unless people start eating better and exercising.

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