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How writers use language to influence the reader

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Presentation on theme: "How writers use language to influence the reader"— Presentation transcript:

1 How writers use language to influence the reader
Rhetorical Devices How writers use language to influence the reader

2 Rhetorical question Definition Effects Example
The writer will not expect you to answer this question – they suggest the answer for you Effects Draws the reader into the text Introduces ideas / topics Makes the reader think Example Should the UK leave the European Union?

3 Examples of Rhetorical Devices

4 Alliteration Definition Effects Example
Within a sentence, a series of words will begin with the same sound Effects Draws attention to the key words Can be used to reinforce ideas / concepts May be used for humorous effect Example Politics is probably pointless

5 Lists of 3 Definition Effects Example
Three nouns, adjectives or verbs will be used in a list within a sentence Effects The ‘magic 3’ fixes itself in the reader’s mind Highlights important ideas Example School uniforms are uncomfortable, unattractive and unfashionable

6 Repetition Definition Effects Example
The technique of repeating the same word and phrase Effects Highlights key messages Reinforces important points Links different parts of the text Example That class is boring, boring, boring.

7 Personal involvement / anecdote
Definition The writer incorporates aspects of their personal experience into the text – look for ‘I’ Effects Appeals to the reader – makes the writer seem more human or involved Can be used for humour / pathos Example I was shocked to find that many children don’t know the National Anthem!

8 Audience involvement / direct address
Definition The writer involves the reader by relating the subject to their lives Look for ‘you’ / ‘we’ / ‘us’ / ‘our’ Effects Makes the reader care about the subject Establishes a relationship between the reader and writer The writing is less intimidating Example We all know how bad school lunches are!

9 Facts and statistics Definition Effects Example
Information and data, that can be proved to be true Effects There are a range of specific effects, including to shock, surprise, support the writer’s view etc Example 60% of the world’s population lives in poverty

10 Expert opinion / quotations
Definition The knowledge of an expert is referred to by the writer Effects Can show an alternative point of view The reader trusts what the writer is saying Quotations are very persuasive Example Dr. Martin believes that more needs to be done to improve the health of young people

11 Metaphor and simile Definition Effects Example Types of imagery
Metaphor – one object is said to be the same as another Simile – objects are compared to each other – look for ‘like’ or ‘as’ Effects Makes the writing more interesting and imaginative for the reader Example As dead as a dodo

12 Over-exaggeration Definition Effects Example
The writer uses superlatives and adjectives to make a situation seem much worse / better than it really is Effects Shows the writer’s strong feelings Can be used in humorous or ironic ways Example Many schools have become like learning factories

13 Emotional language Definition Effects Example
Language that is used to create a particular emotional response in the reader Effects Can create strong feelings such as anger, guilt, joy, concern, empathy, hope etc Involves the reader in the text Example This disastrous situation will only get worse unless we do something about it

14 Irony / Sarcasm Definition Effects Example
Ideas are presented in a way that seems opposite to what is really meant Effects Creates humour Can over-exaggerate a situation Engages the reader on a personal level Example “What a lovely day” when it is pouring with rain

15 Parenthesis Definition Effects Example
Brackets, dashes or commas are used to separate phrases from the main sentence Effects Shows the writer’s personal views Can be used to create irony or humour Example Most teenagers in the survey said they didn’t like homework (what a surprise!)

16 Pun Definition Effects Example
A joking use of a word sounding the same as another Effects Engages the reader’s attention through the use of humour Can be used to highlight an important idea Often an interesting way of starting a text e.g. a headline Example Deciding where to bury him was a grave decision

17 Combining techniques Remember that writers will often combine several rhetorical devices within a section of text Example: Over 90% of us believe that Americans are dull-witted, dreary and docile (no surprise there then!) Try to comment on the overall impact of this on the reader

18 Important advice Use your reading time efficiently. If you know you have to write about the language in one of the texts, highlight key examples as you read it You do not have to write about every device – it is better to evaluate three or four good examples than to simply ‘spot’ lots of them

19 Aristotle’s Triangle Logos, Ethos, Pathos

20 Aristotle’s Triangle: A pictorial analysis of the speaking or writing situation.
Speaker Audience Purpose or subject

21 Rhetoric Rhetoric is a fancy word for using persuasive techniques in writing or speaking. Basically: using language effectively or persuasively In rhetoric, a rhetorical device is a technique that an author or speaker uses to convey to the listener or reader a meaning with the goal of persuading him or her towards considering a topic from a different perspective. Examples: Irony Metaphor List of 3 Repetition

22 In order for a speaker or writer to speak or write, he or she MUST consider both the audience and purpose. For example: If you are talking to an elementary school class, your topic, diction, and tone will be different than if you were speaking to a high school class. Another example: When you talk to your friends, your topic, diction, and tone are different than when you talk to your parents or teachers.

23 The speaker uses different approaches to influence the audience’s attitude toward the subject. These are the three ways you can appeal to an audience.

24 Logos (logic) Logos refers to any attempt to appeal to the intellect. Everyday arguments rely heavily on ethos and pathos, but academic arguments rely more on logos.  Use clear and reasonable ideas with proof (any statistic) Effect of appeal: Evokes a cognitive, rational response For example: Nine out of ten dentists prefer Crest toothpaste. If you have a good education, you are more likely to find a good job.

25 Ethos (ethical or credibility)
Related to the English word “ethics” and refers to the trustworthiness of the speaker/writer. Effective persuasive strategy because when we believe that the speaker does not intend to do us harm, we will more likely listen. The person must be qualified to give this speech. You must be credible and knowledgeable about the content about the speech or piece of writing Effect of appeal: Demonstrates author's reliability, competence, and respect for the audience's ideas and values For example: If you walk in to your calculus class, and I am the teacher, I have no ethos in that class. A high school football player gives speech about the time and discipline required to be a successful football player. If you are sick, you are not going to go to your mechanic for help.

26 Pathos (Emotions) Pathos is related to the words pathetic, sympathy and empathy.  Whenever you accept a claim based on how it makes you feel without fully analyzing the rationale behind the claim, you are acting on pathos. As the writer or speaker, you try to appeal to their emotions You may want them to feel sympathy or joy Effect of appeal: Evokes a personal, emotional response For example: The commercials about the starving children or dogs use pathos to appeal to your emotions hoping to persuade you to believe in their purpose.

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