VCE students (and all those who want to improve their English!)
For Analysing Arguments and Persuasive language: Please read an editorial/opinion piece every week. You must pinpoint the author’s key ideas and their most important persuasive/reasoning tactics. This is becoming a rare skill among VCE students. Please send me your paragraph. Please also see my suggested responses for the exercises in the Arguments and Persuasive Language workbook.
Weekly Task for Students
Please write a paragraph/analysis on an editorial each week (more to come)
Preparing for the VCE exams:
- See “The emotional need behind a place to call home” by Claire Thurstans
- Miss Universe Australia 2017: Pageant may do good but the bikini section must go, Melissa Singer, The Age
- Turban ban school should be more flexible, Editor, The Age
- My boiling frog moment, Tim Winton, The Age, (Great Barrier Reef)
- Proper debate on sugar tax far from “bonkers”, The Editor, The Age
- John Silvester: another violent loser enthralled by cult of infamy, The Age
- Michael Leunig: A new Land still learning: Citizenship test , The Age
- I stopped buying clothes and it has changed my life, by Jayne Christensen, The Age
- Enough gloom, let some light into VCE reading list, by Melinda Houston, The Age
- Admit it, mums and dads, you are addicted, by Allison Pearson, The Age
- Mabo has not been the panacea many visualised, by George Williams The Age (good for those studying Mabo)
- Australian’s gun laws: are we going backwards? The Conversation
- Examples : Welfare drug test plan is on the nose; Judith’s Ireland’s “Based on love“;
- Note the comparative structure of this argument: “Both harming plenty: but only one tax is hurting” by Peter Martin
- Example 1: Stop the Adani Coalmine and another Example: Coalmine is good for Queensland economy (Good topic for speech)
- Example 2: The Age: Rule of Law (an ideas-based editorial)
- Example 3: The Age: Revolt against revolting web content
- Example 4: ABC: Chris Berg, If you’re worried about privacy
- Examples 5: Benjamin Law: The race question and If the face fits …
- Example 6: Spirit and Culture: Michael Leunig
- Example 7: Making our children future ready by Sonia Orchard
- Example : Michelle Grattan: re the facebook Anzac Day post by Abdel-Magied
Weekly Written Task
- At the start: a plan of the core paragraph.
- Identify, and explain, the editor’s main contention and key ideas (1-3). Do this in your own words – avoid lengthy quotes when identifying key ideas. (Use nominals and appropriate metalanguage!)
- Please see these notes for a guide to the analysis.
- Discuss the persuasive/reasoning tactics that are connected with, that support, this key idea. (See example: Revolt against revolting web content)
- What is the author’s key evidence; what points are they proving with the evidence; what are the links; what comparisons are evident and what do they prove?
- Identify the editor’s cause-and-effect reasoning strategies (A leads to/causes B) and attacking strategies.
- Explain the editor’s purpose and positioning strategies: what appeals/values/principles do they expect us to foreground/prioritise/respect?
- You will clearly stand out if you can analyse the author’s key points. (Many students are losing this knack.)
- The key idea must shape the paragraph. You must group together at least 2 similar points/phrases/purpose. Your paragraphs become too much of an isolated list/isolated purpose, if you cannot analyse the main points and group together the complementary/associated key persuasive/reasoning tactics.
- You must clearly identify key ideas/arguments in order to do a polished comparison. Conversely, if you can clearly pinpoint the key ideas, a comparative discussion becomes murky.
Return to Arguments: online exercise study program