It is important to be clear about the author’s evidence and motivation for writing. Upon what evidence do they base their views? See the author’s evidence and their reasons, pp. 28-43. (See Techniques Pages.)
Exercise 19: Doing their best (p. 30)
How does Mr Jay Fadal present his story and what is its purpose?
Eyewitness account: Mr Jay Fadal presents his view from an eyewitness perspective to give a first-hand account of the police shooting.
Emotive language: He seeks to defend the police’s actions and describes the situation as very tense and chaotic. The public was worried and “terrified” because the young boy was “flashing” knives. He supports the police’s version that the boy failed to follow “warnings”.
Fear tactics: Mr Jay Fadal’s story proves that it was a stressful situation and no one knew if Jim had guns. Had he been armed the situation could have spiralled out of control and he could have caused a lot of damage.
Mr Jay Fadal seeks to instil a sense of fear in members of the public by comparing the incident to the “Virginia Tech Massacre” to show how serious it was. Therefore, the police acted correctly and decisively. He also seeks to reassure members of the public about safety issues.
Taking it further: Paragraph based on Exercise 19: Mr Fadal’s article
Exercise 20: P-plate extensions overdue (Mr Jonathon Sprinter (p. 31)
- The author refers to an expert, the commissioner of traffic: explain his views; is he trustworthy and why or why not?
- Statistics: what do the statistics prove? How do they reinforce the author’s views?
- Expert opinion: the reference to the surgeon proves that (explain). Why are these views important?
- The author refers to the real-life anecdotal story of Emma Richardson to highlight (purpose and impact). The quotes from her mother also reinforce the (purpose)
- Research : Motor Trends: The author refers to a study published in the Motor Trends magazine in Sweden. (What is its purpose? What does it prove?)
- Write a short paragraph explaining the purpose of the evidence.
- Impossible to trust: According to Ms Goodwin, the statistics prove that (purpose and impact) What does the author imply or suggest?
- Big time for the pokers: the statistics reveal that (purpose) Lives are being “ruined” and families “destroyed”. This information is useful for charity groups and government planners who are seeking a reduction in the amount of poker machines. The author refers to statistical evidence to prove that (purpose)
- No stars for plasmas: In the light of the fact that plasma televisions are using up too much electricity, the Nielson survey suggests that (view). This would enable people to make informed choices. (evaluate the purpose)
Exercise 22: Should alcohol be banned near junior football matches, (p. 33)
- EDFL general manager, Marc Turri, believes that the restrictions will benefit the players and parents alike. He recognises the fact that the ban will harm the clubs and restrict their income but they must become “smarter”. Even though he is club president he is prepared to make decisions for the benefit of families and a healthy environment, even though he knows such decisions would harm the club. For this reason, parents would respect him.
- Ms Goldsmith is a parent. She is an eyewitness and has first-hand experience of the problems caused by drinking. She is trustworthy because she wants the best for the children. She draws attention to the particularly “loutish” behaviour of the “yobbos” to alarm parents about their poor influence.
- Mr Abe Scott is the Home Affairs Minister and can be trusted because he is seeking to protect families. He reasonably believes that if children are exposed to harmful behaviour then they may learn to imitate it. He, too, earns respect from parents because he seeks to protect children and realises that drinking to excess in public places can cause copy cat behaviour, especially among youngsters.
- Extension Word Building Exercise 22: Please click.
Exercise 23: Should secondary school students work and if so, how much? ( p. 34)
- Ms Kelly: She is a MacBurger’s store owner. She has experience in the industry and explains that students can benefit. She also has a vested interest because MacBurger employs many young students.
- Mr Swan: He believes that young children are often exploited by employers because they are unaware of their rights.
His views are reliable in so far as they draw upon his personal experience as a paper boy. However, this is probably 20 years ago and things may have changed. He does note that there are other similar claims to his and refers to the Standing Committee on Education and Training which is a government-sponsored report.
- Mrs Annie Jameson: Mrs Jameson is the principal of McFinten Grammar and, accordingly, speaks with an air of authority. She offers her personal opinion, but supports it with a government study evaluating the effect of work on school children.
We would consider that her views are reliable; the report also comes from a reputable source (the National Centre for Vocational Education Research) which also confirms her view that young adults can work up to 10 hours without an adverse effect on their studies.
Exercise 25: Compare and contrast (p. 36)
- Ms McCarthy compares schools in Australia with those in the United States where drug testing is widespread. She refers to Hunterdon Central Regional High School to draw attention to the benefits
- She makes a comparison between drug testing students and testing people in other professions such as pilots and bus drivers
- Ms McCarthy also makes an analogy between drug testing sportspeople and drug testing school students.
Exercise 26: Plastiki sails across the ocean, (p. 37)
- What is the purpose of the trip?: The purpose of the Plastiki voyage is to highlight how people’s careless habits are harming the marine environment.
- What is the appeal and its purpose?: Mr Spanner appeals to our sense of duty of care and responsibility to the environment. He wants the public to recognise the importance of re-using plastic materials and becoming environmentally responsible.
- What type of repetition? : The author lists a string of verbs that begin with “r” (alliteration) to reinforce that we must re-use our plastic bottles and cartons.
- What type of evidence?: Mr Spanner uses a real-life story and anecdotal evidence from Mr Rothschild to describe the dangerous state of the ocean. Mr Rothschild is a reliable eyewitness who saw the rubbish that floats constantly on the sea. As a concerned and disinterested expert, his evidence can be considered trustworthy. Also, people often see such rubbish on the beach so we can imagine that the sea has a lot of junk. He also quotes Mr Rothschild to show that there are serious consequences if one discards rubbish.
Mr Spanner uses a list to refer to the rubbish: “garden tray, two jerry cans, buoys, plastic bags and bottles…”
- Is the expert reliable?: Dr Parker is a reputable and reliable expert because he is the professor of marine biology. He is a person who has extensive knowledge and would be aware of the problems associated with the disposal of plastics. He states that many sea-life creatures cannot “digest these particles” that arise from plastics. This knowledge is designed to make people aware of the harmful effects and make us feel sorry for the marine-life. It also shows the consequences of people’s thoughtless actions.
- Who is the source and what does it prove?: The source is the United Nations. The study concludes that plastic is causing a great deal of harm. It appears that 100,000 marine animals and fish die each year from plastic. This information is designed to draw attention to the severity of the problem and to warn us of the dangers if we continue to pollute our oceans.
See Exercise 26: Plastiki sails across the ocean: Extension Task: taking it further
Exercise 27: Editorial : Fat tax (p. 38)
- Facts and figures: The editor relies on facts and figures to prove that obese jetsetters are having a big impact on the cost of air travel. They state that the airlines in the United States are now spending an extra $5 billion on fuel because of the extra weight of the aircraft. They also use statistics comparatively to prove that during the past 90 years the average weight of people has increased and therefore action must be taken to ensure that people pay fairly.
- The expert, Mr Webber who is a trusted economist with airline experience, offers his logical opinion, that obese jetsetters must pay according to their contribution to the cost of airline travel. He states that it is obvious that the heavier a person, the heavier the aircraft and therefore the cost of fuel increases.
- Comparative real-life examples are used to prove that there is a solution; the author uses the real-life example of Samoa Air and Southwest Airlines to show that other airlines are trying to cope with the increasing problem of overweight passengers. Many are introducing different solutions in order to cope with the rising weight of passengers.
- Comparisons: disabled people in taxis; insurance policies that may discriminate; these anticipate criticism and show that it is fairer to have a user-pay principle.
Exercise 28: Killer dog on loose!
- Questions the owner’s moral standards: Jay criticises owners because they are irresponsible and do not provide sufficient care with regards to the dangerous dog; nor do they heed the government’s strict regulations. He asks rhetorically, “How does a man’s pit bull terrier end up in the front room of the house down the road?
- Questions a person’s motives: Jay also discredits the owners by implying that the owners think that the dogs will give them a feeling of power. “They represent a symbol of power.”
- The author questions the government’s motives and intelligence: Jay also attacks the council’s/ government’s rules and regulations, which he believes are inadequate because there are too many attacks and the fines of $4,500 are inadequate. “Evidently the government is not doing enough.”
See Extension Exercise: Exercise 28: Killer dog on loose: Paragraph sample
Exercise 29: do you think 9-year-old children should travel alone on public transport (p. 40)
- Ms Skenazy criticises those parents who are over-protective. The author appeals to civil liberties and a child’s health and wellbeing (and family values) when she states that children should be free to make mistakes, take risks and experience new things.
- Ms Skenazy was labelled “America’s worst Mom” because she let her 9-year-old son catch the New York subway by himself. This has pejorative/negative connotations and clearly shows a typical reaction among members of the public.
- A “free range parent” is a person who recognises that children must be given some responsibility and freedom to grow. They understand that children need to become independent and take risks.
- A “helicopter parent” is a person who “hovers and swoops” over their children and watches them constantly. Such parents are fearful and seek to deter their children from undertaking independent activities outside the home. They wish to control and monitor them constantly.
Exercise 30: Smoking at home kills (p. 41)
1i. The author attacks parents’ intelligence and questions their knowledge. Mr Treeton implies that parents are ignorant and do not heed the warnings. They seem unaware of the fact that if they smoke in the presence of their young children they will harm their health.
- The author attacks parents’ moral compass. Mr Treeton infers that they do not take sufficient care of their children’s health and should be ashamed of themselves.
iii. Mr Treeton also makes harmful remarks about their character such as their selfishness and double standards. He questions their motives and suggests that they prioritise their own interests above their children’s. They pretend that they do not know that they are harming their family’s health. They also become a burden on the health system and waste taxpayers’ funds.
- Ms Fit attacks the police (and hence the Government) by trivialising the issue and stating that it is simply a matter of individual liberties. She believes that the Government just wants to interfere unnecessarily in people’s lifestyles.
- Tone: accusatory; flabbergasted; outraged and sarcastic: “Have the police got so much free time …”
Appeal to civil liberties and individual freedoms
Exercise 31: Water for the wealthy (p. 42)
- Helen believes that the people who buy organic water are “suckers”; they are “duped into thinking” that it is healthier; they are “wealthy trendies” who are indulging their “foolish food fad”. She characterises them as selfish and foolish. She suggests that the “booming industry” is exploiting people’s ignorance.
- Helen adopts a disparaging and provocative tone to challenge us to see such people as foolish and wasteful. They are indulging their expensive personal whims and not thinking about the plight of the starving people.
Exercise 32: Outright bans. (p. 43)
Tone: high-minded; sarcastic; practical.
Ms Abbey asserts that drivers should not use their mobile phones or other distractions while driving. She presents herself as an eye-witness observer and using her own real-life experience, Ms Abbey describes the shameless and careless behaviour of many motorists. Accordingly, she adopts the high moral ground (she adopts a high-minded tone) and discredits (attacks) motorists who, she believes, are often reckless and irresponsible. For example, the fact that it is “normal” to eat breakfast, sarcastically implies that they are in a hurry and prefer to eat breakfast rather than watch the road. Her description of the details regarding smoking shows just how distracting this behaviour can be. Her purpose is to vex all readers, particularly motorists, who would be fearful at the careless attitude towards safety shown by such drivers.
Hoon drivers should be horsewhipped
Tone: self-righteous; contemptuous; scornful; dismayed
In a self-righteous tone, Mr Miah states that the government should restrict young people’s access to high powered vehicles because the young drivers are irresponsible.
- “horsewhipped”; this word suggests that the culprits should be severely punished.
- “Bloody idiot”; “complete moron”; “hoon tragedy”. These words reveal his contempt towards the young drivers who are reckless, who compromise other people’s safety on the roads, and who should be severely punished.
Please purchase the workbook for maximum use. Options for use: Please click here if you would like to buy an immediate PDF version. This PDF version of the workbook includes all the exercises that you will need so that you can follow these extension activities and suggested responses.
- Return to Techniques of Persuasion: Red Workbook Tasks
- Go to Lesson 5: Appeals, Exercises 33 – 53, p. 44 – 53
EAL: Taking it Further: for Extension Activities based on specific exercises, please see the following links: