Persuasive Technique Example Why used (Purposes) Images or figurative language Painting a word picture of a scene or action; using similes, metaphors, analogies. ‘Logging is creating smouldering, air-polluting wastelands.’ ‘You can’t ban boxing. The horse has bolted.’ If readers can visualise the problem through the writer’s words, they may be more likely to support his or her argument. Appeal to history or tradition Using evidence from history, shared beliefs and customs, to support argument. ‘Boxing has been around too long to be banned.’ ‘Just remember that slavery, child labour and whaling were once legal. Times change and logging is now socially acceptable. People are not very willing to change something that has existed for a very long time. We are supposed to learn from our history. Appeal to patriotism Referring to Australian or national customs. Questioning the loyalty of opponents. ‘Those who oppose this plan are simply un-Australian.’ ‘Australians fought and died in two world wars to preserve our democracy.’ Label opponents as disloyal to their country. Readers do not like to be thought of as unpatriotic or disloyal to their country. Emotive appeals Aim to engage people’s feelings not logic. ‘Sensible people know that reading books should come before computers.’ ‘It is immoral to build a theme park for dogs when we have the starving and the poor out on the streets.’ If the writer can manipulate the reader to feel a certain way, the reader should be more likely to agree with the writer’s overall contention. Appeals to logic or reason Using logical-sounding arguments. Predicting undesirable effects or logical consequences. ‘If a great white shark takes a swimmer, do we then kill the entire population?’ ‘People fall off mountains, are the mountains then guilty of murder?’ Readers who regard themselves as logical thinkers might be attracted to this argument. Hyperbole Using language that exaggerates the problem or situation. Big statements. ‘Rugby league’s ample bellied meatloafs with 10 thumbs plod in gangs towards eachother to thump, maul and gouge – for a few centimetres of turf.’ Often expressed in colourful or ‘over the top’ language. Makes a dramatic impact on the reader, especially where time and space are limited. Rhetorical question Using a question to which there is only one answer, or to which no answer is needed. ‘Do we allow dangerous dogs to roam the streets?’ ‘Is there not a risk of serious injury or death in all contact sports? Should we therefore ban rugby?’ Invites or challenges readers and listeners to agree with the argument. Says to readers and listeners: ‘how could you possibly disagree?’ Repetition Repeating arguments, images, expert evidence, appeals, emotive language, big statements. “The soil erosion problem has been neglected for 200 years…. So the cost of this neglect is all around us.’ Emphasises key parts of the argument, helps readers remember them, links sections of the argument. Humour – ridicule, irony, satire Mocking opposing views; using humour to attack the logic of an argument. ‘The dog playground should be been announced on 1 April – April Fool’s Day.” “In the same week that two rich Sydney bosses got bonuses of $7 million 160,000 Sydney children went without breakfast.’ ‘A University of Newcastle survey has reported that 96 per cent of young women want to have children but not give up their career.’ Encourages people to laugh at opponents and their arguments. Can be an effective way of demonstrating the weakness of arguments. Anecdotal evidence Using evidence from events in one’s own life. ‘I have a small dog that I take for a walk on a lead twice a day and I have been attacked, knocked over and badly shaken several times.’ Writers use these to make themselves appear more credible. Expert opinion Quote opinions of experts to correspond with the writer’s opinion. ‘My stand on the issue of exposed underwear is supported by fashion designer Ruby Reed, who recently stated ‘Anyone whose underwear is exposed due to low slung jeans should be punished as forcefully as possible.’ ‘That’s the kind of response I would expect from a three time loser like Kim Beasley’ Experts are often called on to make one side seem stronger and more believable. Alliteration Repetition of the first consonant sound in consecutive words. ‘To commit such a crime only shows he is cunning, cruel and calculating.’ To draw attention or highlight. Inclusive language Using words such as us, we, you, our. ‘It’s time for us all to stand up and show our support for our country.’ Aims to directly address the reader personally or as a member of a group. Use of statistics Using the results of research. Attacks A version of playing the man not the ball. Attacks can belittle, embarrass or insult and opponent. Provides impressive evidence that justifies the point of view or contention. Readers are likely to regard statistics as objective evidence. Make your opposition seem less credible to make the reader more likely to agree with your side of the argument.