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Analysing Language Unit 1 English: Using language to persuade.

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1 Analysing Language Unit 1 English: Using language to persuade.

2 Focus/Purpose of Language analysis The focus of language analysis is to discuss how language has been used to intentionally position the reader in a particular manner.

3 What we analyse How the text is constructed Language choices made by the writer Persuasive techniques used Images accompanying the text

4 How the text is constructed A writer intentionally chooses how a text is put together. Purpose, form, audience The audience will change the language The purpose controls how the reader will perceive the information and how the information is presented The form dictates how the readers will take in the information or opinion. Order of ideas, including sentence structure Writers can choose to hide certain ideas, opinions or facts through the sentence order or structure. Sometimes the hard to take information will appear late in an article once the reader is already on board. Information will be presented in an engaging way to begin with, or with upfront attacks, pleas etc. to coerce the reader into the article Images/Cartoons Used to attract attention or create a preconceived understanding of the article.

5 Language Choices Writers make specific language choices for a number of reasons To ostracise/engage particular readerships (technical/everyday/etc.) To achieve a particular response in the reader. e.g. Sympathy, anger, humour etc. To connect to a particular connotation/denotation Writers use a number of types of language you can discuss in a language analysis Emotive language Loaded language Modal verb/adverbs or relating verbs Titles, formal names, nick names etc Inclusive language

6 Persuasive Techniques Writers of persuasive articles will use a variety of persuasive techniques Look at page 22-25 to familiarise yourself Subtle or blatant You must focus on why a writer has used a persuasive technique. How does it position the reader?

7 Images that accompany the text Images are included in articles to Engage the reader Influence what the reader is thinking before they start reading Create an emotional response to certain ideas It is important that you address any images that accompany the text. Discuss exactly what the image is and how it positions the reader. Also consider the positioning of the image. How does this change the readers understanding

8 In print media sometimes images are used from surrounding articles to change the readers understanding of the article. Consider the placement of images and text on the following slide.

9 Budget tipped to fail Government. The Government, after releasing their latest budget has taken a dive in the polls once again. Many people claim the budget reflects that of a party not expecting to be in power shortly. The budget, though emotionally delivered by Gillard earlier this week, meets some expected ideas includes many cuts designed to get the budget back into the black. Truck Accident Friday morning a truck driver fell to what should have been his death after a serious accident on CityLink. The driver, rushed to hospital in a serious state fell from his vehicle after it hit a barrier and hung precariously over the edge. The accident has caused major disruption to peak hour throughout the area and will continue to disrupt traffic throughout the day. VicRoads is hoping to have the accident cleared before the afternoon rush hour begins. The driver, name yet to be released, remains in surgery throughout the day. The truck remains hanging after the driver fell to the ground below.

10 How to annotate Annotation is not simply identifying the techniques used by the writer. You need to annotate why the writer used this technique and how it positions the reader. It can help to colour code your annotations once you finish. Choose three colours for three different ways the writer positioned the reader – these become your paragraphs.

11 Structuring a Language Analysis The focus of a language analysis is how the reader is positioned. NOT the techniques. Introduction Body Conclusion

12 Introduction The introduction to a language analysis MUST include Title of the publication Title of the article, date Writers name Articles contention Context of the article Purpose, audience, form Tone Your own overarching statement (kind of like your own contention) about how the writer has positioned the reader – this will form the basis of your essay The points you will be making (not techniques).

13 Title of publication Title of article Date Writers Pinpointing of tone and style Writers contention/purpose Identification of target audience Sample introduction Overall purpose, focus of analysis Identification of issue and context In 2011 London was shaken by violent protests and riots, which in turn sparked commentary about the possible reasons for such social and economic disintegration. In an opinion piece, The case for decency published in The Age newspaper in August, sociologists Don and Patricia Edgar offered up a scathing, didactic argument for a return to self-discipline and morality. Their rather depressing assessment of our western democracy as a bad society [where] self-interest rules speaks most clearly to parents and community leaders, and incorporates a number of guilt-inducing attacks and doomsday scenarios designed to enlist support for their vision of a world driven by ethical, humane behaviour.

14 Body Paragraphs Each body paragraph needs to respond to your contention. Each body paragraph will explore ONE way that the writer positioned the reader. E.g. The writer developed a friendly, familiar rapport with the reader. Will follow TEEL. Start with a topic sentence explaining HOW the writer positioned the reader. Then discuss how the writer used 3-4 techniques (with evidence for the text) to show exactly how they achieved this. The link sentence needs to link to your contention and the next paragraph. Do your best to avoid including a specific technique in the topic sentence.

15 Clear focus on how the audience is positioned Shows expert opinion without blatantly stating the technique Zooming in on the implications of specific word choices, discussing connotations without saying the author uses connotations. Grouping use of words with a similar impact on the reader. Phrases that connect various elements to show their collective impact on the reader. Topic sentence outlining the main idea and purpose of the section of text. Sample body paragraph Initially the Edgars seek to paint a bleak vision of a fractured society under threat from an erosion of moral behaviour. They open by claiming that the West is experiencing social and economic disintegration, with this last word conveying a sense of profound loss or decay. The implication is that the problem is fundamental and extreme, making an assumption from the outset that positions the audience to accept a rather extreme premise. This fairly hyperbolic line is furthered by confronting, negative words in the opening paragraph which all imply dishonesty – corrupt, lie, rort- which together establish a vision of the West as in dire need of what the authors later refer to as an ethical base for intelligent behaviour. Here readers are asked to question the very cornerstones of Western life, and are encouraged to feel uncertain and anxious about their world. The destabilising impact of this emotive opening is exploited in subsequent sentences, with a number of didactic commands such as What the world needs now and Children need to learn conveying in forceful terms a moralistic argument in favour of the more emotional intelligence. Furthermore, by supporting this argument with a voice of assumed authority in Harvard Universitys professor of cognition and education, Howard Gardner, the authors imply that theirs is a view condoned by the wests academic elite and therefore should be accepted as an informed and widely held stance.

16 Conclusion One way to consider a conclusion is that it sums up your linking sentences. The conclusion must show how the writer positioned the reader overall as well as in sections. It must show what you have proved, not what you set out to achieve. The writer convinced readers to (insert writers contention) by…

17 General Advice Do not give your own opinion Do not make value judgements Use sophisticated and varying language Do not recount the original article

18 How to do language analysis well! Construct your essay so that each paragraph build and flows on the section before Avoid random unrelated paragraphs that may focus on individual techniques. Focus on the how and why USE EVIDENCE (over and over again, for every single technique you mention and for how the writer is positioned) Use a variety of language choices – dont use the same sentences over and over again (e.g. no more than one says that


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