Choose Your Form• Letter to the editor – Written form – Newspaper or magazine – Responds to a recent issue from the media, refers to the news article or letter they are responding to – Can use first person or colloquial language depending on the author and audience – Author often directly involved in the issue – Use specific examples to support their contention• Persuasive essay – Formal tone and structure, third person, avoid colloquial language – Written form – Rarely use first person – Use subtle persuasive techniques
Choose Your Form• Speech – Spoken, address your audience, introduce yourself, your event, topic and contention in the opening address – Formal or informal depended on your audience and event – Less formal structure, starts with a ‘hook’, may include anecdotes
1. Letter to the editor• Published in a tabloid or broadsheet newspaper• Structure is less formal/strict than an essay but still must include the following – An opening ‘hook’ a anecdote or reference to current events which engages your reader. Why should the reader be interested in your article? Give your piece context; why are you writing this piece, what in the news/current events has sparked you to write about this issue? – An introduction which states your contention (your overall argument) – Paragraphs which introduce your supporting arguments and are supported by examples, quotes, evidence etc. – A rebuttal of possible opponents, think of counter examples and explain why they do not weaken your argument or why your opponents arguments are flawed. – A conclusion where you sum up why your piece is important, what is the message your are trying to get across, what do you want your audience to realise or do and why is this important?
2. Persuasive Essay• Your essay could be published in student guide, a magazine or newspaper insert• Formal, third person, avoids colloquial language, instead uses examples and a wide vocabulary appropriate to an educated audience• Uses signposting, connectives and subtle persuasive devices e.g. appeals to logic and use of hard evidence. Avoid using rhetorical questions.• Tone is usually rational, calm and reasoned• Structure includes a formal introduction, three arguments (focussing on ideas rather than examples), a rebuttal and then a conclusion• Events or examples from the text ‘The Rugmaker of Mazer-E- Sharif’ should be referred to as an example which supports your conclusion, this can be done in one or two of your body paragraphs
3. Speech• A speech is NOT an essay read aloud• You MUST have a PERSONA• Decide what TONE your piece will have, humorous, outraged, attacking, reasoned? Your tone will help determine what persuasive techniques you use.• You must refer to your audience in your opening and throughout your response – E.g. “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to… (introduce your event”. Or “Delegates, welcome to this years …conference on …”I’m sure all the voters here tonight agree”• Your introduction should engage your audience with a ‘hook’ – E.g. by referring to some current events , telling a anecdote and/or posing a question which you will go on to answer.• Include a more formal introduction where you outline your contention and purpose.• Use signposting and persuasive devices e.g. attacks, rhetorical questions. Also include a rebuttal of opposing arguments.• A powerful conclusion should reiterate your contention and leave your audience with a clear message a direction of what you want them to believe or do and why.
YOUR TASKWrite a complete persuasive response to last year’s essayprompt…Prompt: Conflict is crucial to bring about positive changeChoose one form (speech, essay or letter to the editor andchoose a personaRemember to draw on Rugmaker as well as other texts, newsstories, examples from History etc.Make sure your contention and supporting arguments areclear before your start writing. Brainstorm!!
Prompt: Conflict is crucial to bring about positive changeContention (The overall argument of my essay):It is though times of hardship that we find inner strength and learnlife’s most important lessons.Introduction:The word conflict might prompt us to think of images of warfare,struggle, tears and despair. (General discussion of ideas in the prompt)The tension on the UN security council over Iran’s nuclear program,the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the plight of asylum seekers.(Signpost examples) These are the conflicts that dominate newsheadlines and the pages of our newspapers. However, there is anotherside to times of hardship; lessons learned, the triumphs against all oddsand the inner resilience people can build in response to the periods ofhardship and that inevitably a part of our lives. (General discussion ofideas in the prompt) It is though times of adversity that we find innerstrength and learn life’s most important lessons. (State contention)
Prompt: Conflict is crucial to bring about positive changeContention (The overall argument of my essay):It is though times of hardship that we find inner strength and learn life’smost important lessons.First Paragraph (Use TEEL):The experiences of refugees and asylum seekers perfectly highlight thatstrength that can come from times of pain and suffering. (Topic Sentence)Najaf Mazari, an refugee from Afghanistan, travelled to Australia in the1990s in search of a new home far from the warring mujahedeen and Sovietsoldiers in his home town of Mazar-e-Sharif. Najaf’s travels took himthrough the war ravaged Pakistan, the limbo of Indonesia and the horror ofWoomera Detention Centre. For over a year Najaf’s resilience was tested ashe tried to maintain his sanity behind the barbed wire of the ‘November’unit. Rather than break his resolve Najaf’s desire to settle in a place of peace‘where bombs do not fly overhead’ became even stronger. (Example andExplanation) Najaf’s desire to be re-united with his family consumed hisevery thought and helped him to stay strong despite the uncertainty of hisvisa application. Najaf’s experience in seeking asylum highlighted what wasmost important in his life, peace, freedom and family. (LINK to contention)