Persuasive Texts: The language of persuasion by Jeni Mawter
Workshop Presented by Jeni Mawter
Language of Persuasion Persuasive texts use complex language to express and justify an opinion. The writer is trying to persuade the reader to their point of view. Examples: letter, speech, debate, thesis, essay, expert opinion Facts, statistics and information are evidence that support your argument.
Persuasive Letter WritingHi Mum and Dad,Camp i$ fun. You can buy $weet$ and chip$ at the$hop but I don’t have any $. Plea$e write $oon and$end a $urpri$e.Your $on, Norri$
Structure of a Persuasive TextForm your opinion then: State your position in your introduction Provide argument(s) or reasons for your opinion: make the point + elaborate Use evidence to support your argument New paragraph for each idea Reinforce your statement position in your conclusion
Audience The audience will influence the way you try to persuade someone. Problem: You want your friend to sleep over on the weekend. Roleplay: How would you persuade your friend? How would you persuade your dad? How would you persuade your mum? How would you persuade your friend’s parent?
OpinionsPersuasive texts use language to express andjustify an opinion. Gone are the days whenchildren should be seen but not heard!
My Opinion Choose from the following list and explain youropinion: Dogs, fruit, swimming, ball games, watchingtelevisionI like __________________________________________because_______________________________________________________________________________________
Evidence Information, facts or statements used to support your belief, opinion, point of view or proposition. Evidence is found in: research, statistics, facts, expert opinions, reports, case studies, editorials, ideas. The reader must make decisions as to the accuracy of the evidence.
Presenting Evidence ‘These are the facts ...’ ‘Statistics say ...’ ‘Experts are of the opinion ...’ ‘As a result ...’
Language TechniquesDont Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Williamshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuGFiphslAk&featur e=emailhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuGFiphslAk&featur e=email
Emotive Language Emotive language plays on people’s feelings and persuades them to agree. We care about human traits: loyalty, humility, generosity, patience, strength, honesty, humour. Heavily weigh the persuasive text with abstract words such as heart, love, sorrow, despair, hate, destiny, truth or pain. Use humour.
Examples of Emotive Language Negative Emotive Words liar, cheat, lazy, rude, thoughtless, disgusting, slimy, sleazy Positive Emotive Words beautiful, friendly, intelligent, talented, athletic, kind, thoughtful Evaluative or Value-laden Words important, valuable, significant, innocence, guilt, serious
ExaggerationWhen you overstate, or Hyperbole is a figure ofexaggerate, it reinforces speech which is anyour point and gives it exaggeration:greater importance. Don’t ‘I cried a million tears’just like or dislike, love ordetest. ‘I nearly died from laughing’ ‘I’m so full I could burst’
Exaggeration Examples1) ‘My mum’s going to be angry with me.’2) ‘Well, my mum’s going to kill me.’3) ‘That’s nothing. My mum’s going to kill me, then boil mein oil.’1) ‘I caught this fish which was big enough to eat.’2) ‘I caught this fish which was big enough to feed mywhole family.’3) ‘Well, I caught this fish that was big enough to feed thewhole navy.’
Colourful or Descriptive Words Colourful or descriptive words make your writing more interesting and exciting They command attention and add emphasis Descriptive words are used for colour, touch, sound, smell, shape and pattern
Modality The selection of words used by a writer or speaker to express different shades and degrees of meaning. Examples: may, will, must, probably, possibly, usually, definitely Modality can be expressed through various language features such as: • modal verbs I might go, I must go, I could go • modal adverbs I could possibly go, Perhaps I will go • modal nouns There is a possibility I will go • modal adjectives What is the probable ending?
ModalityDifferent modalities have different degrees of emphasis. The stronger the emphasis, the more persuasive. It might have been her. It must have been her. It probably was her. It possibly might have been her. It was her. It was definitely her.
Cliché Clichés are overused expressions that are familiar to the audience Because they are well-known they are easier to understand and this makes them more persuasive Compile a list of the most clichéd excuses for not doing your homework
Anecdotes Anecdotes, or yarns, are short stories about an amusing or interesting incident They engage the audience and make them receptive to the point you are making Anecdotes are often humorous with a punch- line
Anecdotes ContinuedFamiliar narrative beginnings set up expectations forthe reader, helping them to relate or engage with thewriter’s point of view.Once upon a time ...It was a dark and stormy night …A long, long time ago …In a land far, far away ...
Inclusive Language This is language that includes the ‘Know what I mean?’ reader/audience Examples: us, we, you, I, ‘Most people me think/feel/know ...’ It sounds friendly and engaging ‘Wouldn’t you agree that ...’ ‘We all know ...’
Rhetorical Questions Questions that we don’t Why is it that when expect our audience to someone tells you that answer theres billions of stars in the universe, you believe The answer is implied them. But if they tell you theres wet paint on something you have to touch it?
Rhetorical Questions Continued Because the answer is obvious, a rhetorical question is more like a statement (or fact) and can be a powerful persuasive device Are we there yet? [I’m bored] Who do you think you are? [You’re arrogant or conceited] Think of some situations where you might start your exposition with: How many more children have to die?
Repetition The repetition of a word, For example: phrase or idea Never, never, never emphasises the point to be released you are trying to make. It reinforces the point and helps the reader to remember it‘Constant repetition carries conviction’Robert Collier
Alliteration Repeating and playing In the names ‘Severus upon the same letter Snape’ and ‘Salazar Alliteration is persuasive Slytherin’ the ‘s’ creates a because it adds emphasis hissing, scary sound. and reinforces meaning It occurs in everyday Examples: speech: Fee, fi, fo, fum! ‘Look before you leap’ Stop, Drop, and Roll Veni, vidi, vici [Julius Caesar]
Repetition Continued What are these texts trying to persuade us to believe? Practise, practise, practise Of the people, by the people, for the people (Abraham Lincoln) That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth Location, location, location
Bias When only one opinion or I’d like to you to think point of view is presented about … the reader is persuaded that no other opinion or Against that, it could be point of view exists or is said … worth reading. The best piece of advice I can give is … I understand that but …
Generalisations These are sweeping Examples: Children statements that claim to today watch far too be true for nearly much TV; everyone All kids love pizza; They contain words such Most students hate as ‘everybody’, ‘nobody’, broccoli. ‘everything’, or ‘nothing’, - inclusive words which leave nothing (or very little) out
Generalisations Continued What can you notice about this?English speakers often prefer to make generalisations, rather than saying something is a fact.
Active VoiceActive voice is more direct, simple and shorter thanpassive voiceBecause it is easier to understand it is more persuasive
Active Voice Examples A copy of this letter will be sent to you by me. I will send you a copy of this letter. The report was lost by me. I lost the report.
Rule of Three Things that come in threes are more persuasive. Blood, sweat and tears Humans process information using Cool, calm and collected patterns. Three is the smallest Scissors, paper, rock number of elements required to create a pattern. Stop, look and listen Being brief and having a pattern makes our content more memorable.
Rule of Three ContinuedWhat children’s stories, songs or nursery rhymes arebased on the number three?
Summary of The Language of Persuasion Opinions Anecdotes Audience Inclusive Language Evidence Rhetorical Questions Emotive Language Repetition Exaggeration Alliteration Colourful or Descriptive Bias Words Generalisations Modality Active Voice Cliché Rule of Three