As students from Years 7 to Year 10, you must start to identify an author’s persuasive language skills and think about the words and techniques authors to persuade us, as readers or listeners, to adopt their point of view. Accordingly, you will need to develop an appropriate analytical vocabulary as well as hone your comprehension and reasoning skills.
Analysing an author’s persuasive tactics means that you will focus on the type of words they use, their tone of voice and their reasons. Your task is not to agree with the writer: simply to analyse how they seek to convince you that their views are important and correct.
What do they say? How do they say it? And why do they say it? How do they influence our thoughts and feelings?
TIP: Be clear about the author’s point of view, their evidence and their supporting reasons. This will help you identify more accurately and specifically, the impact of an author’s persuasive words and techniques.
Secondly, you must build an analytical vocabulary so that you can more accurately and insightfully explain and evaluate the author’s techniques and their purpose. The exercises in the workbooks and “Suggested Responses” model the words and phrases you need to write sophisticated responses with confidence. Specifically, you will need a good bank of tone words as well as relevant phrases to accurately identify the impact and purpose of an author’s techniques. Think about wide-branching sentences with an emphasis on analysis – not summary. (eg. The author relies on the disturbing story of Eloise’s car crash to alarm concerned young adults about the consequences of driving while texting.)
TIP: In order to avoid generic responses (simplistic statements that can be applied to any media text) you must have a sound analytical vocabulary and a perceptive knowledge of the author’s views and reasons. You must show an ability to read between the lines. Choose strategic words and explain what they imply. How do they reinforce this author’s views and values?
Thirdly, you will need to write an essay turning an annotated list of the author’s techniques into a fluent discussion. You will need to prioritise the author’s techniques and word choices. You will need to think about which ones are critical to the development of an author’s argument and identify connections between overlapping techniques, appeals and word choices.
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