Persuasive Texts: The language of persuasion by Jeni Mawter


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Children's and Young Adult Author and Writing Teacher Jeni Mawter shares her knowledge and insights in persuasive writing techniques.

Suitable for NAPLAN students.

Published in: Education
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  • Well done you done very well and you didnt rush it but im not being rude or anything but i didnt really understand i know about the persasive bit and exgaterating bit for example: Its my birthday today i could burst like a balloon. or please please mum can i go to the sleepover i promise i will help you all the time. although, ruby was pleading her mum was thinking about it and in the end she said yes. but you still did well and you took your time and i needed some information so i was searching and i came across this and i read it and i found it very intresting. thank you for helping me out by the way. :)
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  • Thanks Michael. I'm glad you liked it.
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Persuasive Texts: The language of persuasion by Jeni Mawter

  1. 1. Workshop Presented by Jeni Mawter
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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 $on, Norri$
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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?
  6. 6. OpinionsPersuasive texts use language to express andjustify an opinion. Gone are the days whenchildren should be seen but not heard!
  7. 7. Opinions differ ...
  8. 8. My Opinion Choose from the following list and explain youropinion: Dogs, fruit, swimming, ball games, watchingtelevisionI like __________________________________________because_______________________________________________________________________________________
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. Presenting Evidence ‘These are the facts ...’ ‘Statistics say ...’ ‘Experts are of the opinion ...’ ‘As a result ...’
  11. 11. Language TechniquesDont Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Williams e=email e=email
  12. 12. 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.
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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’
  15. 15. 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.’
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. Examples of Colourful or Descriptive Words Colour – scarlet, charcoal, aquamarine, copper, emerald Touch – polished, clammy, stubbly, waxy, matted Sound – wheezing, yapping, rasping, screeching, tinkling Smell – musty, spicy, earthy, doggy, acrid Shape – corkscrew, crescent, spiked, sunken, swollen Pattern – chequered, dappled, veined, banded, striped
  18. 18. Ranking Colourful Words Example: cool, chilly cold, freezing 1) devastated, upset, distraught, sad 2) ravenous, starving, hungry, peckish 3) hot, burning, warm, red-hot 4) smart, clever, brilliant, genius
  19. 19. 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?
  20. 20. 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.
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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 ...
  24. 24. 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 ...’
  25. 25. 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?
  26. 26. 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?
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. 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]
  29. 29. 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
  30. 30. 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 …
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. Generalisations Continued What can you notice about this?English speakers often prefer to make generalisations, rather than saying something is a fact.
  33. 33. Active VoiceActive voice is more direct, simple and shorter thanpassive voiceBecause it is easier to understand it is more persuasive
  34. 34. 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.
  35. 35. 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.
  36. 36. Rule of Three ContinuedWhat children’s stories, songs or nursery rhymes arebased on the number three?
  37. 37. 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