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Language Analysis

What is it
How is written and visual language used to
position audiences
Which means:
How do specific language choices impact on a
specific audience in relation to this specific issue?
NOT:
What is being said?
Do you agree with it?
Is it successful?
So
Language features: adjectives, verbs, repetition,
descriptive language, collective pronouns,
similes, alliteration
Argument based language: statistics, references
to authority, imperatives, offering alternatives
Stylistic language: personal anecdotes, attacks,
humour, tone (bank of tone words in course
book),
Appeals: to authority, justice, family values
Forms
Editorial
Opinion Piece
Feature Article
Letter to the Editor
Speech
Online Forum
Blogs
Structure
2006 and 2007 t wo articles with an embedded image
2008, 2009, 2010 single piece of writing (of varying length)
with an image
2011 one article with five online responses
2012 speech with PowerPoint slides
2013 Newsletter with images and graphs
2014 t wo articles- one longer than the other, a flow diagram and
a cartoon
2015 speech with PowerPoint slide AND a response speech from
someone collecting an award
2016 2 articles AND a cartoon

SO NO GUARANTEE OF WHAT YOURE GETTING we just know its


at least 1 article and an image
SAC

USUALLY, a larger article, a smaller


response and an image- you must analyse
all three
Structure for one
Introduction:
1. Introduce issue
2. Introduce author, form, publication, date,
contention and tone
3. Identify target audience
Paragraph one: heading and image
Paragraph t wo: first third of article (arg 1)
Paragraph three: middle third of article (arg 2)
Paragraph four: final third of paragraph (arg 3)
Conclusion: very short
For example:
The recent identify incident which has caused
media attention has sparked intense debate
within the identify community. In response to
this, identify writer has written identify tone
and form, published in name publication (date
in brackets) which strongly asserts that
contention. Authors surname targets
identify audience through their use of consistent
identify most prominent stylistic features
Topic sentences
Opening with the bold heading __________ writers
name invites readers to
P1: By beginning her argument with a reference to her
own authority It seems I am not the only one...
P2: there is a tonal shift as writers name becomes
increasingly concerned for the welfare of name group
at stake. This concern is reinforced by language choices...
P3: In order to further cement her contention writer
invites readers to consider future ramifications through
the provision of anecdotes
Conclusion: In closing her article with last observation,
writer aims to...
More than One
The Weave: VERY DIFFICULT. When done well,
this method is excellent, when done to a
mediocre standard this is WOEFUL
The weave is a constant comparison and
discussion of both articles that allows for
differences to be noted
THE BLOCK method: introduce articles together
and then discuss them in isolation and compare
in the conclusion
I RECOMMEND YOU COMPLETE THE BLOCK
Introduction:
The recent identify incident which has caused media
attention has sparked intense debate within the identify
community. In response to this, identify writer has written
identify tone and form, published in name publication (date in
brackets). Authors surname targets identify audience
through their use of consistent identify most prominent stylistic
feature in order to contend quote contention from article.
LINK WORD (eg similarly, in contrast, in direct opposition
etc), name writer in full argues in his form (publication, date)
that quote contention. Writer aims his discussion at identify
target audience as their concerns align with his argument best.
Introduction
Issue

Effect (current standing)


Writer: point of view (agree/disagree),
article, source details

Contention
Tone and style
Write an introduction for your oral speech
The Body
P1: First para of article one
P2: Second para of article one
P3: LINK WORD first para of second article
P4: Second para of second article

If doing three then continue with analysis of


third article- because the articles wont be the
same length your analysis does not have to be
either
Conclusion
Can compare
Can predict future outcome of issue

Dont worry too much about this, keep it


short (one sentence)
Focus on the body paragraphs
Visual features: what to
look for
MUST DISCUSS VISUAL FEATURES
Photo
Cartoon
Painting
Diagrams, charts etc.

Angles, background vs foreground, who is there?


Who is not? Contention, Attention, what is the
image designed to do? Reinforce? Trigger?
Tones

Tone and Style Also available on SIMON: Tones vocabulary


Tones

Tone and Style Also available on SIMON: Tones vocabulary


Tones

Tone and Style Also available on SIMON: Tones vocabulary


Persuasive techniques and strategies:
Persuasive techniques
Structuring strategies
Placement of the main contention
Order of supporting points
Creation of a dichotomy
Use of headings, subheadings and visual material
Order of specific and general information
Placement of rebuttal
Examples of structuring strategies
Placement of the main contention
This is strongly influenced by the form in which they
are writing
Also by the way they think their audience will
respond to the arguments

Stated at the beginning

Stated at the end

Repeated

Implied
Placement of the main contention
Stated at the beginning
Usually in short pieces like a letter to the editor

Argument is structured around their strongest supporting point


Might be stated in the title or headline

This up-front declaration can convey the writers sense of conviction and grab the readers
attention.

Stated at the end


Usually in longer texts such a feature articles or opinion pieces

Contention is stated following a reasoned discussion


Create the impression the writer has carefully considered both sides of the issue
before arriving at their point of view
Placement of the main contention
Repeated

Might be stated in introduction and conclusion

Might link supporting points back to contention throughout the piece

Conveys the argument is consisted and strongly supported by evidence

Implied
Allows the reader to work through various examples and reasons for and against a view

Reader will be positioned to arrive at the same point of view as the writer

Suggests this point of view is the inevitable conclusion of the discussion


Order of supporting points
Strongest to weakest
be highly persuasive from the beginning
immediate reader attention and approval
later arguments consolidates strongest argument with further reasons examples
and evidence

Weakest to strongest
reader is left with a powerful impression at the end of the piece
effective with an audience likely to be neutral or hostile towards a writers
position
big, strong opening mights alienate this type of audience
argument developed methodically and progressively is more convincing to this
audience
Creation of dichotomy
Dichotomy: division of t wo things or ideas

Creating this dichotomy frames a debate as having t wo


opposing sides: good and bad side

Suggests to the audience that a moderate position is not


possible

Use language with positive connotations for own point of view


Use language with negative connotations for opposing point of
view

Positions the audience to align themselves with those on the


right side of the debate
Think: tone activity
Use of headings, subheadings and visual
material
Headline

Summarise the writers point of view


Can pose questions and make provocative statements
Hook

Subheadings
Breaks text into more manageable units of information

Signals main points


Suggests a logical approach in examining multiple sides
Also can use bullet points for the same effect

Placement of images
Can emphasise emotive aspects of an issue
Order of specific and general information
Begin with a specific piece of information or case
Writer follows with a general discussion of underlying principles and wider consequences

Suggests writers conclusions are based on real-world evidence

Begin with a discussion of broader ideas


Ideas underpins contention

Then move onto supporting with specific information or evidence

This suggests the writer is well informed and has solid evidence to back up their initial point of view

Begin with an anecdote


Engages audiences attention by seeming relatable

Establishes authority to address a particular subject

Often used in speeches

Moves from experience to discussion of universal examples

Omit relevant information


Information that doesnt support a contention is often omitted

Be aware of what information is excluded as this could suggest writer bias and self-interest
Placement of rebuttal
At the beginning
Pre-empts an audiences objections to the writers arguments
Positions the audience to reject opposing viewpoints immediately

At the end
Often in longer pieces, after arguments for own position are outlined
Reader is well-prepared to accept writers rebuttal
Effective with audiences who could be annoyed by an up-front dismissal of opposing view points

Followed by a conclusion that restates main contention

Incorporated throughout
The writer regularly compares and contrasts their point of view with opposing arguments
Suggests a considered approach
Persuades the reader through accumulated weight of evidence
However, spending more time on rebuttal could lessen impact of own argument
Analysing the article
Each sentence should have three parts to it:

Identification of device

Quotation
Effect of reader

WORK THROUGH the article - top to bottom.

DO NOT list techniques or pick out language to talk


about in a separated manner

SIMON: Language Analysis - Sentence Templates


Analysing the article
THREE IMPORTANT EXAMPLES:

In a [tone], [the article] presents This imparts a sense of

The [quote/image] illustrates in doing so, the [writer]


presents as viable and suitable

Connecting the word [quote], a [metalanguage], with the


word [quote], representing , [writer] and in doing so,
positioning his/her [audience] to view

SIMON: Language Analysis - Sentence Templates


Connotations

ALWAYS talk about connotations; they


are present in every article
Connecting the word [quote], a
[metalanguage], with the word [quote],
representing , [writer] and in doing so,
positioning his/her [audience] to view
Checklist:
Contention
Tone
Image
Analyse, dont tell me what is being said
Focus on how LANGUAGE is being used NOT what
the argument is
What does this specific language device/choice do
in this particular article on this particular issue
TASK

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