Techniques of persuasion


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This slideshow provides an introduction to the techniques of persuasion.

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Techniques of persuasion

  1. 1. Techniques of Persuasion Series 1: Techniques of Persuasion (978-0-9808397-2-2) This step-by-step introduction to persuasive techniques provides the perfect foundation for students in Years 7 to 8. This workbook focuses on: •the author’s views, tone, style and choice of words; •the author’s evidence and reasons and •the author’s appeals and values. The “Why” boxes help students think about the impact of these techniques. Students will build an analytical vocabulary and start to write essays.
  2. 2. The task of analysis Focus on the author’s views and values. Do not offer your own views on the issue. Ask yourself: ◦ What does the author say, how and why. ◦ How do they seek your support?
  3. 3. The task of analysis • Focus on: – What the author says (views) – How the author says it (their tone and style). – The author’s choice of words. – The author’s evidence and reasons. – The author’s appeals and values. – The author’s purpose and impact: see the “why” comments for each technique. The Techniques of Persuasion
  4. 4. The author’s views Clearly and concisely identify the author’s viewpoint on the issue. Do they use the first or the third person? (voice: “I’, “we”, “he/she/they”) On whose behalf do they speak? What is their personal and/or professional experience and background? The author’s voice, their status and position in an organisation influence their views and values. Can we trust them? The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 3-8, Ex. 1-4
  5. 5. The author’s tone How the author speaks is often just as important as what they say. • An author’s tone reflects their attitude, their passion and their personality and influences their relationship with the audience. • Think about their choice of words (modality: they must put an end to whaling;) and their sentence style (statements and questions). • Learn a bank of tone words. (See tone descriptors) The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 9-17, Ex. 9-17
  6. 6. As an adjective: • Ms Snare adopts an indignant tone to … • In an exasperated tone, the author condemns parents who fail to provide adequate supervision. As an adverb: • Ms Snare states dogmatically that … • Mr Smith assertively supports the rights of all .. (see Language of Persuasion: become an expert p. 59 and 60) Use tone words to accurately identify an author’s attitude
  7. 7. Tone descriptors: See tone descriptors and definitions on pp. 74-75. See tone clues: imperative, modal, rhetorical sentences (p. 10.) Tone words are modelled in the “Suggested Responses”. See CD-Rom and website: – word games – tone test matchups. – extended tone list and definitions. (See Language of Persuasion: pp. 74-75 and CD-Rom word games) Extending your tone word vocabulary
  8. 8. The author’s style The author’s style complements their message and their tone. Is the text formal or informal or a combination of both? The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 9-17, Ex. 9-17
  9. 9. The author’s style Look for: Colloquial language: closely imitates spoken language. (He doesn’t give a stuff!) Questions: interrogative sentences (What is the government’s response to the whaling crisis?) and rhetorical questions (Why does he listen so loudly to the music?) Repetition: the author often repeats words or phrases for an effect. (Tripling, use of three (“the system lacks rigour, repetition and routine”), and listing (so obese is the child that he snacks on mars bars, chips, smarties and roll-ups every 20 minutes) are often used for effect.) The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 9-17, Ex. 9-17
  10. 10. The author’s words Words mean different things to different people. Some words are “neutral”; others are loaded or colourful and reveal a person’s approval or disapproval. The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 18-27, Ex. 11-18 A fat cat
  11. 11. The author’s words • Words have connotations: that is, extra meanings apart from the literal, dictionary meaning. • Words may be inclusive or exclusive. • Words may be figurative: similes, clichés, metaphors, idioms. Such words have connotations. The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 18-27, Ex. 11-18 Barking up the wrong tree
  12. 12. The author’s evidence What evidence does the author rely on? Facts and figures: statistics, survey, expert opinion, quotes, research People stories: anecdotes, human interest stories, personal and first- hand experience and observations; eye-witness accounts. The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 28-34, Ex. 30-34
  13. 13. The author’s evidence TheTechniquesofPersuasion:pp.28-34,Ex.30-34
  14. 14. The author’s evidence: exercises TheTechniquesofPersuasion:p.31,Ex.20
  15. 15. The author’s evidence: see “responses” Exercise 20: P-plate extensions overdue (Mr Jonathon Sprinter (p. 31)  The author refers to an expert, the commissioner of traffic, who asserts that a seven year probationary period that includes zero-alcohol readings, would reduce traffic accidents. He is credible because he has professional experience with regards to traffic control.  Statistics: the statistics prove that there are too many young adults involved in tragic car accidents. The young adults are disproportionately represented in car accidents which suggests that there is a problem with drinking, speed and young adults.  Expert opinion: the reference to the surgeon proves that young people’s brains are underdeveloped. They cannot be trusted to measure their alcohol intake and therefore are potentially endangering their lives and that of other road users.  The author refers to the real-life anecdotal story of Emma Richardson to show the devastating consequences of one fatal mistake. Emma is cited as a typical example of teenagers who are killed because they seem to underestimate the dangers on the road. They also jeopardize the safety of other drivers. The quotes from her mother also reinforce the tragic consequences and devastating impact to the family. The author includes this story to show both parents and young adults that mistakes can have tragic consequences, and to encourage them to be keen about tighter regulations. TheTechniquesofPersuasion:p.31,Ex.20
  16. 16. The author’s reasons What links does the author make, and what conclusions does the author draw from the evidence? Authors often appeal to logic and common sense. Authors often make comparisons or analogies with other situations, issues, schemes and proposals. Look for generalisations and stereotypes. The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 35-38, Ex. 24-27
  17. 17. The author’s attack Authors often attack or criticise opponents in order to show the superiority of their views. How does the author criticise opponents? What words do they use? The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 39-43, Ex. 28-32
  18. 18. The author’s appeals The author’s appeals reflect their values and priorities. An author’s appeals are a clue to how they seek to influence our thoughts and emotions. The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 39-43, Ex. 28-32 “appeal to the nanny state”
  19. 19. Common appeals Appeal to common sense Appeal to emotions Appeal to morals and guilt Appeal to duty of care and leadership Appeal to civil liberties and freedom Appeal to fear Appeal to family values Appeal to health and wellbeing The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 44-55, Ex.33-40
  20. 20. Impact and purpose Sympathy Fear and uncertainty Guilt and shame Anger Hope and reassurance The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 54-55, Ex.34 Think about how the author seeks to influence our thoughts and emotions.
  21. 21. Purpose and impact
  22. 22. Outcomes You will:  learn to accurately identify the author’s views:  Ms Johnson criticises the installation of CCTV cameras because they invade people’s privacy  identify an author’s persuasive techniques and their purpose  write sentences relating to the author’s tone and techniques:  Adopting an authoritative tone, Mr Jon comments that “its use is shaming their religion and is of no benefit to anyone.” Build an analytical vocabulary: In order to accurately identify the author’s attitude and values, you will need an extensive vocabulary relating to tone.  Tone descriptors: The workbook encourages you to become familiar with the extensive list of tone words on pp. 63-64. Tone words are modelled in the responses. There are also tone tests and match-up exercises to constantly test and reinforce the tone words. The Techniques of Persuasion: pp. 54-55, Ex.34
  23. 23. Outcomes: analytical precision • Students will recognise the difference between generic and analytically-precise sentences. • Generic sentences: – The speech is in a forthright tone, getting straight to the point to show you how serious he is. – He uses his first-hand experience to build credibility and to show an unbiased and reasonable perspective. – He uses an expert who can be trusted because he has experience in the field.
  24. 24. Outcomes: aim for analytical precision • Students will rewrite their sentences: • “Sharing the fat load” Evidence/technique; The expert, Mr Webber who is a trusted economist with experience in the airline industry, states that obese jetsetters must contribute fairly to the cost of airline travel. He adopts a logical tone to suggest that the heavier a person is, the heavier the aircraft and therefore the cost of fuel increases.
  25. 25. Ready for the next step: • You are now ready to work through The Language of Persuasion: become an expert (2015) • This workbook consists of practical tips and guidelines to help you sharpen your analysis, perfect your analytical awareness and vocabulary. • See for an outline and for the next slideshow.
  26. 26. Language Analysis pathway program (Yr 7-12) Series 1. Techniques of Persuasion Series 2. Language analysis: become an expert Series 3. Language analysis: an essay-writing guide
  27. 27. Language analysis pathway program Suggested Responses Each workbook has a corresponding “Suggested Responses” booklet for 20-40 exercises. The Responses and “Taking it Further” extension activities are an ideal correction resource for teachers. They are also ideal as an independent self-directed learning program for students.