Outcome 3: Using Language to Persuade

The focus of this area of study is on the use of language in the presentation of a point of view. Students read texts the main purpose of which is to persuade readers and viewers to share a particular point of view. Texts could be print, non-print and multimodal, for example, editorials, letters to the editor, opinion columns, essays, reviews, speeches, segments from radio programs, CD-ROMs, television, newspaper or magazine advertisements, cartoons, documentaries, e-zines and websites. Students identify and discuss how language, verbal and non-verbal (including visual), is used in the chosen texts to position readers and viewers in particular ways. For example, students identify the use in these texts of persuasive techniques such as use of repetition, sound effects (including music), association, colour, symbols, gestures, emotive appeals, logical appeals, active and passive voice, and omission and vocabulary choice, and discuss their intended effect on the reader or viewer.

On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify and discuss, either in writing and/or orally, how language can be used to persuade readers and/or viewers.

To achieve this outcome the student will draw on knowledge and related skills outlined in Area of Study 3.

Key knowledge
  • An understanding of points of view presented in texts whose purpose is to persuade;
  • How texts work to influence readers;
  • Examples of verbal and non-verbal (including visual) language used by authors of texts to persuade readers and viewers to share the point/s of view presented;
  • Appropriate metalanguage to discuss how language is designed to position readers and viewers;
  • Strategies for planning and revising for coherence of form, language, structure, audience and context;
  • Conventions of small group and whole class discussion, including ways of developing constructive interactions and building on ideas of others;
  • The conventions of spelling, punctuation and syntax of Standard Australian English.

Key skills
  • Identify examples of verbal and non-verbal (including visual) language used by the authors of texts to persuade readers and viewers to share a point of view;
  • Use appropriate metalanguage to discuss how the use of language in a persuasive text is designed to position readers and viewers;
  • Plan and revise for coherence of form, language, structure, audience and context;
  • Listen actively and respond constructively to others’ views during discussion;
  • Use the conventions of spelling, punctuation and syntax of Standard Australian English.

Resources


The Persuasive Techniques Handout given out in class: Persuasive Techniques Handout.pdf
An additional persuasive techniques handout: external image pdf.png Second Persuasive Language Handout.pdf

external image pdf.png Tone and Avoid Says That.pdf
external image pdf.png Phrases to Use in Language Analysis.pdf
external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png Using Language to Persuade.docx

Dos and Don'ts


Dos
  • In your introduction, identify
    • The title of the piece – e.g. in “A disturbing vista from the roof of Villawood”
    • What sort of article it is – e.g opinion piece, feature article, news article, editorial
    • Where and when it was published
    • Audience
    • Purpose (generally to persuade reader to accept the author’s contention)
    • Issue being examined
    • The author’s contention
    • The tone used in the article and how this is intended to persuade you
  • Be specific. We know the text is trying to persuade us, so don’t use general statements such as:
    • “this is persuasive.”
    • “it persuades the reader”
    • “this makes us agree with the reader”
    • “this appeals to the reader”
  • Be specific about the tone – assertive and informative are too vague. Most articles will be informative or assertive. Try to use a more specific description of the tone.
  • Think about why that specific technique has been employed. Make sure you explain how that persuasive technique is designed to persuade the reader. Don’t say “Imagery is used to persuade”. Explain how imagery is used to make a specific point.
  • Provide examples of where the author has used a persuasive technique. Don’t simply state the author has used connotations or rhetorical questions. Use TEE.
  • Write objectively in third person – don’t use “you” or “I”. You can refer to “the audience” or “the reader”.
  • Link back to contention in your analysis. Remember every point the author makes is to further the author’s contention
  • Make sure your structure is clear – if you are analysing the article chronologically, your first body paragraph should begin with “the author begins by” with later body paragraphs starting with “then” or “the author goes on to…”. If you choose to analyse it by persuasive technique, make sure you have a separate paragraph for each technique.
  • Make sure you fully explain how the author would intend the chosen language, phrase, or technique to persuade. Consider what is it intended to make you think or feel? How does it do this?
  • Write objectively - use "the reader" instead of "we" and "us"
  • Consider the broader themes and issues raised by the article
  • Use formal language. Do not use “like”.
  • PROOFREAD!
Don’ts
  • Comment on how effective the persuasive techniques are, or how persuasive the article is. Focus on what the author intends the effect of the technique, language or tone to be.
  • Don't give your opinion on the issue, the author or the author's contention. Explain what the author's contention is and how the language used is designed to persuade the reader to believe the author's contention is true.
  • Refer to it as “the Injecting Rooms article” or “the Abbott article”. Instead, you can write “in the article ‘Injecting Rooms the Way To Go” by Steve Price”
  • Comment on the effectiveness of their argument or technique or say it is very persuasive. Explain what they are trying to do or the effect they intend to have on the reader, not whether this succeeds or how effective this is
  • Use informal language

Techniques that you should know/are easy to identify
  • Emotive language
  • Connotations
  • Repetition
  • Evidence, Anecdotal, Statistics
  • The structure of the writing, eg: how does the reader start/end? What points are referred to throughout piece? What are we left thinking?
  • Tone
  • Attacks
  • Use of expert opinion
  • Imagery
  • Appeals – how is the author trying to make the reader feel?

Sample Analysis


external image pdf.png Sample Analysis Abbott Articles.pdf
external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png Sample Analysis Injecting Rooms.docx
external image pdf.png Sample Analysis Cyber Bullying.pdf
external image pdf.png Sample Analysis Terror and the Election.pdf
external image pdf.png Sample Analysis No Day For Posturing.pdf

Feedback on SAC 3


A Sample Analysis of the Article:

external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png KFC’s new macho burger proves the fast and the fried still rules’.docx

What You Need to Do in This Unit


1. Read the following articles. Write down the contention and the tone used. Underline or highlight any persuasive techniques and label them (Use the persuasive techniques handout below to help you)

external image pdf.png A Child's Life is Best Mother's Day Gift.pdf
external image pdf.png Abbott Articles.pdf
external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png Avertising ban will not help fat kids.docx
external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png It's Time To Toughen Asylum Seeker Stance.docx
external image pdf.png Villawood.pdf
external image pdf.png Climate%20Change.pdf
external image pdf.png Injecting Rooms.pdf
external image pdf.png Cyber Bullying.pdf
external image pdf.png No Day For Posturing.pdf

2. Complete the following handouts:

external image pdf.png Humanity on the High Seas.pdf
external image pdf.png Terror and the Election.pdf

3. Analysis in Style 1 - Write 3 - 4 paragraphs on one of the articles above, including:
  • An introduction
  • 2 body paragraphs, each focusing on a different persuasive technique and how this persuasive technique persuades the reader (Make sure you use TEE - Technique, Example, Effect. Name the technique, provide an example from the article of how it is used, and then explain the effect of the technique upon the reader)
  • A conclusion explaining how the article ends and how the author intends the reader to think or feel at the end of the article.

Recommended Articles: Abbott Articles, Advertising Won't Help Fat Kids, Time to Toughen Asylum Seeker Stance.

4. Analysis in Style 2 - Write an analysis of one of the articles above, including
  • An introduction
  • Body paragraphs analysing the article chronologically (with one body paragraph for each paragraph or section of the article) analysing what the author is arguing and what the author does to persuade the reader. If the author uses a persuasive technique that you can label using the persuasive techniques handout, use TEE (Technique, Example, Effect. Name the technique, provide an example from the article of how it is used, and then explain the effect of the technique upon the reader). If you cannot label the technique, simply explain what the author does to persuade the reader (eg the evidence used, the arguments used, the comparisons used). Make sure you focus on how these are intended to persuade the reader.
  • A conclusion explaining how the article ends and how the author intends the reader to think or feel at the end of the article.

Recommended articles: Injecting Rooms, Humanity on the High Seas, Villawood

5. Analysis in Style 3 - Write an analysis of one of the articles above, including
  • An introduction
  • Body paragraphs with one body paragraph for each supporting argument.
  • A conclusion explaining how the article ends and how the author intends the reader to think or feel at the end of the article.

Recommended articles: Climate Change, Cyber Bullying

6. Complete SAC 3 in class on Friday 10 June

external image pdf.png SAC 3.pdf