Access keys | Skip to primary navigation | Skip to secondary navigation | Skip to content | Skip to footer |
Problems viewing this site

Narrative writing

Persuasive writing

Sample texts for teaching persuasive writing

The texts cited in or linked below, are suitable for teaching students how to recognise and apply the persuasive writing techniques used by skilled writers. They were selected to be accessible for Queensland teachers. The Sample texts for teaching persuasive writing is also available in PDF format.

Years 1–3

Years 1–3: Sample texts for teaching persuasive writing
Butterfly sequence – Text 1: Butterfly
Cover image of the document

A description of the physical features and life cycle of a butterfly using a typical information report structure and style.

Teaching focus

Purpose of text sequence: Differentiate informational and persuasive texts; learn basic persuasive writing features

This sequence of texts is designed to introduce students to the difference between informational texts and persuasive texts. Students can learn that the task that they are asked to do will influence the type of text they will produce. Some elements of informational writing can be adapted for persuasive purposes.

Informational features

  • Word choices — scientific vocabulary, e.g. proboscis, thorax, antennae
  • Use of a diagram with labels to illustrate print information
  • Use of sentences written as statements with many “being” and “having” verbs, e.g. A butterfly has a head, thorax and abdomen.
  • Different types of sentences and punctuation — statements to add authority

Adapting for persuasive purpose: Establish or build writer’s credibility

  • Scientific vocabulary and positive statements with “being” and “having” verbs can add authority (show that the writer
knows what he or she is talking about)
Butterfly sequence – Text 2: My favourite animal

Cover image of the document

States an opinion and presents opinions and personal experiences instead of evidence.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to the reader’s emotions

  • Use of highly emotive and evaluative vocabulary
  • Extensive use of personal “thinking” and “feeling” verbs
  • Personal pronouns, I, meaning the author, and, they, referring to butterflies, are used throughout
Butterfly sequence – Text 3: The world’s best animal is …

Cover image of the document

An embryonic argument text; attempts to convince the reader that butterflies are the world’s best animal.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Positive comparison

  • Use of comparison to establish own point of view, e.g. (i) … have many features that no other animal has and (ii) Most animals … but butterflies …
  • Explanations describe some similarities between butterflies and other animals but show negative aspects of other animals, e.g. … Some insects like bees change from a pupa into a bee, but bees sting you.

Persuasive purpose: Present evidence

  • Use of scientific information as evidence for some key points
  • Use of personal experience and generalised statements about people to elaborate and provide evidence.
Save the planet

QCAA, 2011 Year 3 Reading preparation test

A letter to the editor of a children’s magazine that develops a position about an issue, how to save the planet. An editorial introduction establishes the context.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to logic

  • Use of sentence order to show logical links between ideas
  • Elaboration of some ideas through lists, e.g. water, fruit juice, milk drinks and even medicines
  • Explanations used to add detail to reasoning
  • Clustering of ideas into paragraphs.
Message in a bottle

Gives a positive point of view about recycling and encourages the reader to take personal action in response to the information provided. It uses photographs to illustrate the information.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Direct appeal to reader

  • Pronoun choices, e.g. you
  • Lower modality is used to soften a direct appeal to the reader, e.g. You could throw…, You could recycle
  • Statement of behaviours that readers see as the “right thing”. The choice is yours.
  • Questions that invite a response and “right” answer, according to the author’s position, are used
  • Rhetorical question is asked at the end of the text, e.g. Where will your next plastic bottle end up?
  • Exclamations to emphasise a point, e.g. Your bottle may stay there for hundreds of years!

Persuasive purpose: Develop a reasoned argument

  • Cause and effect relationship, e.g. When you recycle plastic, it can be made into something new

Persuasive purpose: Engage and call reader to action

  • Contrasting images, e.g. choice of negative images to show the effect of rubbish on the environment and happy children involved in recycling materials to present the positive aspects of recycling.
  • Word choices, e.g. hundreds of years, hurt ocean animals
  • Use of personal pronoun you
  • Use of statements and questions as a call to action, e.g. Where does your bottle go? It’s up to you.
Yes, No, or Maybe So

Gives a positive and a negative opinion text for each of the following topics:

  • GPS for all kids
  • All kids should have jobs
  • Time out for kids
  • Robot teachers

There are several books in this series with increasingly harder readability and covering different topics.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Take a position

The various opinion texts provided in this text give teachers an opportunity to have students explore the idea that there can be more than one point of view about an issue. The models of writing in this book and others in this series of books can provide initial understandings of persuasive texts, however students need to develop understandings of more than personal opinion when responding to a persuasive writing task.

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to logic (logos)

Most of the texts in this book:

  • state an opinion then follow with several sentences as evidence to support the opinion
  • restate the initial opinion using a rewording of the ideas in the original

Some of the texts in this book:

  • use cause-and-effect relationships, e.g. If … then… or when … , then…
  • make assertions without evidence, e.g. There are better ways to make kids think about the consequences of misbehaving.

Having students investigate the texts to evaluate the effectiveness of the logic in each would be a worthwhile activity.

Years 4–5

Years 4–5: Sample texts for teaching persuasive writing
Killer shark hunts our beaches

Newspaper report of a fatal shark attack.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Emotive vocabulary choices, e.g. Mr Cooper-— innocent victim; the shark — brutal killer
  • Headline to appeal to audience fear of sharks
Sharks need protecting too

QCAA, 2011 Year 5 reading preparation test

Activist website (invented) describes the plight of shark species threatened by a fishing practice and urges readers to take action.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Emotive vocabulary choices, e.g. Shark finning — barbaric practices, sharks — magnificent creatures
  • Stark descriptions of the act of finning, e.g. chopping off the sharks’ fins

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect through use of reasoning

  • Use of logic to persuade
  • Use of definition of humane and inhumane acts to develop the argument
  • Use of statistics to develop credible argument

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect through use of evidence

  • Use of statistics as evidence

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect by managing opposing ideas

  • Use of a publicly held view as an argument against opposing views
NOTE: the QCAA’s 2011 NAPLAN preparation reading tests include one persuasive text for each Year level.
Zoos

Cover image of the document

Reading card, part of the Nelson Literacy Directions Exemplar Card Kit. The card is styled to look like a website. It presents information identified as the pros and cons of keeping animals in zoos. Some of the information is in bullet form, while other sections present paragraphs of text.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect by managing opposing ideas

  • The Cons section of this text refutes publicly held opposing views

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Word choices — positive vocabulary choices related to zoos and zoo keepers
  • Image choices — images that support a positive view of zoos and zoo keepers

NOTE: While the text is a useful resource for teaching about persuasive texts, the bullet point format in the Prossection of this text should not be used as a model for students’ own writing. Students who write their text in bullet form in the NAPLAN writing test are unlikely to score as well as those who write continuous text in paragraphs.

Snow leopard

QCAA, 2010 Year 5 reading preparation test

Activist website (invented) designed to persuade the audience to save snow leopards.

It has three main sections. The first provides information about the snow leopard’s physical attributes. The second uses an information style of writing to give reasons for saving them. The final short section is the obvious call to save the snow leopard.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • emotive language choices, e.g. beautiful animal, exceptional athlete, magnificent cat

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect through use of reasoning

  • Use of logic to inform audience of facts related to the author’s point of view
  • Information is presented as facts in order to develop the argument that the snow leopard is endangered, e.g. Its survival is under threat as humans begin to take over the mountains.

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to audience

  • Use of a question, with answer supplied, to invite the reader into the information section of the text, e.g. Question: What’s so special about a snow leopard? Answer 1: It’s a beautiful animal
  • Use of a repeated catch phrase to engage the reader
An astonishing survivor

Cover image of the document

Informational text but with some persuasive aspects. Presents cockroaches as “astonishing survivors”.

This text is one of several texts contained in the book Fact Finding. The texts provide information about characteristics of humans and other animals.

Teaching focus

NOTE: Mostly, this book is in the form of an information text that does not specifically have a persuasive purpose. However, this makes it suitable to be transformed into or used to create a persuasive text type.

Purpose: Supply information

  • Provides lists of facts as evidence (the facts are not substantiated by supporting evidence)
  • Cites a belief of some scientists as evidence of an authoritative source
  • Some facts are elaborated with logical reasoning, e.g. the difference between cockroaches and most animals when their head is removed (note: the elaboration occurs in the following paragraph)
  • Use of some technical vocabulary to specify and define the ideas presented, e.g. r adiation exposure, decapitated, heart rate, blood pressure

NOTE: Some elements of persuasion are used to frame the informational content:

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to the reader

  • Use of an inviting title (It needs to be pointed out to students that the title is not reflected in the opening paragraph)
  • Use of exclamations to make ideas appear exciting
  • Use of emotive vocabulary to appeal to readers, e.g. remarkable creature, astonishing survivor
The Right to Survive

Cover image of the document

The book provides information, with some persuasive force, about the basic needs of humans to survive. The author’s point of view in relation to the right of people to survive emerges.

Several sections establish a basic survival need such as water or food. They then describe the effects of abundance of these basics followed by an explanation of cultural groups who do not have ready access to these survival basics.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect through use of reasoning

  • Establishes or defines a position as reasonable, e.g. safe shelter is a basic human right
  • Contrasts a defined position on basic human rights with situations in which these are not met
  • Use of strong modality to describe what should be basic rights, which makes it clear to the reader that these statements cannot be argued with, e.g. Every person has a right to shelter.
  • Frequent use of lower modality to explain what happens in places where these rights are not met, e.g. getting medical help can be very difficult, could be far away, may not have
  • Frequent use of the negative, e.g. no homes, no choice, not able to get care, many countries can’t afford these or can’t get them (medicines)

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to emotions

  • Emotive book cover — the title and front cover image provide the author’s key message using emotive words and image
  • Emotive vocabulary, e.g. even worse, not fortunate enough, infested
  • Images to evoke emotional response:
    • the effect of the image may be enhanced through thought-provoking questions
    • labels with image provide information that enhances the point of view, e.g. image of a man sleeping in the streets and text No place to sleep
    • positioning of images to contrast excess and deprivation, e.g. image showing excess food with text, We need food to survive, but too much food can make us unhealthy, and an image of children lining up for a meagre supply of food with text, Hungry children waiting in a food line.
  • Rhetorical questions mostly associated with the images in this text, e.g. a photograph of a very small and unsafe-looking home with the questions Durable? Enough space? Secure? Is this a safe shelter?

Years 6–7

Years 6–7: Sample texts for teaching persuasive writing
Rose’s story

Cover image of the document

This charity organisation website contains a collection of persuasively intended biographical accounts (such as “Rose’s story”) aimed at showing school-aged children that programs such as “Send a cow” are effective and worth supporting.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Use of a real child’s story
  • Use of emotive vocabulary choices
  • Juxtaposition of negative and positive vocabulary choices, e.g. negative: armed gangs, kill everyone, horrible time and positive: hope, improved health
  • Inclusion of extremely disturbing events to build empathy
  • Image choices showing happy children and adults, presumably happy because of the effect of the program being promoted in the text

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to logic

  • Presents a list of reasons followed with some supporting evidence
  • Use of reasoning, e.g. make a point and support it with evidence
NOTE: While this resource is in the form of an information text that does not specifically have a persuasive purpose, the information could be transformed into a persuasive text type, e.g. an argument, an exposition
Orangutans sequence – Text 1: Global palm oil demand fuelling deforestation

Cover image of the document

Palm oil and deforestation

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect

  • Presenting a rational argument (logos)

Persuasive purpose: Managing opposing ideas

  • Acknowledges opposing views, e.g. the perceived financial benefits of the existing palm oil industry and the need for expansion
  • Acknowledges authority of opposing views, e.g. statements made by a global authority explaining the need to expand the palm oil industry
  • Use of facts and figures to develop the opposing argument thus establishing the major difference between the two viewpoints, e.g. pro-palm oil expansion = positive financial considerations, anti-palm oil expansion = environmental position
  • Refutes opposing view in a principled manner, e.g. acknowledges opposing views and predictions to demonstrate cause and effects in support of own argument — If more rainforests must be cleared to c a ter for the growing global demand of palm oil, then the negative effects of deforestation will increase further.

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Embeds emotive vocabulary choices within factual writing to give the impression of impartiality
  • Use of an emotional hook, saving orangutans, in a complex debate about the palm oil industry, a topic that lacks an automatic emotional response by the public
  • Use of emotive pictures and videos showing orangutans and rainforests
  • Use of personal stories and real people to link to readers

Persuasive purpose: Relate to readers

  • Use of personal stories and videos of real people to show that people just like the readers are concerned too
Orangutans sequence – Text 2: Join the movement: Palm oil resistance

Cover image of the document

Amongst other texts on this activist site is a page on the use of palm oil and the effect of its production on orangutan habitat. There are two texts on this page that seek in different ways to persuade people not to purchase food and other items made with palm oil. The written text seeks to develop a more logical argument supported with fact. The video on the page makes more use of emotions in its appeal.

These two texts can be used to compare and contrast the different choices made in the printed and visual text.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Titles — discuss how the banner JOIN THE MOVEMENT and the decal PALM OIL RESISTANCE frame how we are to read the page and how titles on the graphics at the end of the article reflect this.
  • Text structure — compare and discuss the reason for and effect of the different structures used in the two texts. In particular, explore the effect of the development and interaction of the characters, Lena and Strawberry, in the film, and the scene of forest clearing. The revealing of the positioning at the end of the video is clever and can be used as a point of discussion for how this kind of development might be used in a written text.
  • Vocabulary — while appearing to be more factual the choice of vocabulary in the written text is designed to have an emotive appeal, e.g. most rich and biodiverse rainforest, unique and iconic endangered rainforest, grave danger, precious remaining forest. Compare how these sentiments are linked or extended in the film.
  • Grammar — discuss the effect of the choice and structure of the verbs and the use of the imperatives at the end of the written text. In the film, compare the use of written sentences/subtitles with those spoken in the forest clearing scenes.
  • Graphics — compare the selection and positioning of the graphic in the written text and the choice of shot, angle and framing in the video.
Earth Matters

Project book organised with several short texts on each double-page spread. The spreads each have a section to establish the author’s argument (thesis) and a variety of additional pieces of information that exemplify or extend the identified issue on each page. The text offers several topics for focused debates and/or development of position statements that incorporate fact and opinion (e.g. developed countries providing aid to Third World countries, social services, drought, flood, water access, etc.).

Texts include a timeline of actions that have positively affected the environment, an anecdote/case study about a child named Denzel, a very brief persuasive text arguing for and against environmentally friendly building practices and a pro and con opinion piece.

Earth Matters is one of the “Shockwave” series. Not all texts in the series are suitable for teaching persuasive writing.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect through use of evidence

  • Use of anecdote as evidence and example, showing the reader that environmentally friendly practices are plausible because Denzel and his family have achieved them
  • Use of a timeline to show evidence
  • Identification of facts used to support the argument, e.g. The very first Earth Day took place on 22 April, 1970. Across the United States, 20 million people celebrated the occasion.
  • Use of photographs as evidence, e.g. satellite photographs of lights used across the world

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect through use of reasoning

  • Cause-and-effect relationships, e.g. Polar bears are affected by global warming. Rising temperatures are melting their icy habitat.
  • Comparison and contrast, e.g. These chemicals kill bugs that damage or destroy crops. However, they don’t only harm bugs … Organic fertilisers and pesticides are often better for soil quality and less harmful to the health of humans.

Persuasive purpose: Relate to readers

  • Direct appeal to reader and use of third-person pronouns to invite the reader into the argument, e.g. We wonder what we could do to make a difference; Environmental problems are on the minds of many of us.
  • Poses questions to invite the reader to consider their personal views about the issue
  • Use of anecdotes (e.g. the case of Denzel) to personalise the issue Persuasive purpose: Develop and elaborate a point or argument
  • Building and drawing on field knowledge

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Use of headings and titles to evoke emotions, e.g. Smog alert! Shocker
  • Negative images of negative effects on the environment, e.g. image of an enormous pile of rubbish to emphasise the need to follow The Five Rs described in the body of the text
  • Happy people in images showing positive actions, e.g. happy people using compost in home garden and happy child buying organic Braeburn apples
  • Use of facts and figures to shock readers, e.g. How long does it take for rubbish to break down in a landfill: Paper 2–5 weeks … Aluminium can 200–500 years; glass, polystyrene: 1 million years or more!
  • The S hocker section, used on some pages, provides factual information but in a forceful frame. The reader needs to infer the effect of the information, e.g. Shocker: On average, each person in the United States throws away two kilograms of rubbish every day!
  • Use of exclamations and other emotive vocabulary choices

Years 8–9

Years 8–9: Sample texts for teaching persuasive writing
Great Queensland women from our past — Suffragists

Cover image of the document

This website contains a range of resources that were collated to celebrate Queensland’s suffragist history, the movement for granting the vote to women.

There are various text types available on this website.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Managing opposing ideas

  • Considering, yet refuting, opposing views

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Careful and precise choices to influence reader perspectives
  • Precise and sustained vocabulary choices to influence the reader’s point of view
Should we send humans to Mars?

Cover image of the document

This news article provides a brief argument for and against a manned mission to Mars. Its main purpose is to invite readers to comment on this newsworthy issue.

The forum below the article provides opinion texts of varied lengths and structure that could be used as a springboard to developing a more reasoned argument.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Managing opposing ideas

  • Considering, yet refuting, opposing views
  • Careful and precise choices influence reader perspectives
  • Precise, powerful and sustained vocabulary choices to influence the reader’s point of view
Yeti sequence – Text 1: Is this footprint of Yeti, the Abominable Snowman of Himalaya?

Cover image of the document

News article providing “evidence” of the existence of Yeti, a creature often described as mythical, fictional or even as a hoax.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: To establish and build the credibility/authority of the ideas in the text

  • Use of scientific terms, figures and precise details to demonstrate the validity of information
  • Use of quotations by “experts” to imply authority in the field
  • Makes claims as facts, e.g. It had a gorilla-like lifestyle.
  • Uses facts and figures to substantiate information, e.g. 5 million to 100,000 years ago in about the same areas; it was 3 m (10 ft) tall and weighed 300–500 kg (660 to 1100 pounds)

Persuasive purpose: Managing opposing ideas

  • Compares and contrasts opposing views, e.g. … unlike Big Foot or Chupacabra, Yeti has a palaeontological record
  • Refutes opposing views in a principled manner
  • Suggests possible flaws in others’ arguments, e.g. its diet could have been based on bamboo.
Yeti sequence – Text 2: Yeti’s “non-existence” hard to bear

Cover image of the document

News article discussing claims made about the existence or non-existence of the Yeti. While appearing to report each side’s views, the article’s perspective is made evident by damning one side with faint praise, using humour to disparage and discredit.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: To establish and build the credibility/authority of the quoted expert

  • Provides a paragraph supporting the credibility of the Japanese expert, including years of research in the location
  • Background information about the issue is provided through quotes from the expert
  • Expert’s claims are written as facts
  • Use of quotations to imply authority

Persuasive purpose: To manage opposing ideas

  • Use of the cartoon illustration of a Yeti as main image
  • Giving the “experts” views first in a way that makes it sound authoritative
  • Vocabulary choices about the Yeti construct it as a mythical creature
  • Damning opponents’ views by implying that their views lack credibility. The humorous way these are described implies that they are laughable, e.g. A very informal straw poll (not a valid research method) of mountaineers (not qualified experts) in Kathmandu carried out for BBC Online (the validity of online polls is notoriously flawed) at the city’s legendary Rum Doodle Bar (the name is derogatory and the poll occurred in a bar, which implies the participants are drunk, so their ideas are not credible) … found three people (not a huge number) who claim without proof or reason) to have seen the Yeti.
Greenhouse effect sequence

Cover image of the document

This text provides six different viewpoints about the same issue, the greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse effect: Who has the answers? (PDF, 1582 kB)

Description

The text is designed to allow students to investigate several persuasive devices writers use and to evaluate the effectiveness of these for the purpose of persuasion. The texts were written as an example of what students might write if asked to write from a different point of view to persuade others to that point of view. They were also written to be used in a clever cloze activity through which the power of the language choices has been made evident.

A retrieval chart, tricky cloze activity and deletion summary chart are included at the end of the text. To activate their prior knowledge about the topic, students may be asked to complete their retrieval chart from their own perspective. Students read the text of one character silently, then read it aloud as the character to encourages deeper understanding of the character's view. Students complete the retrieval chart from their character's view. Working individually or in groups, the retrieval chart is completed for all characters.

Students then complete the tricky cloze to demonstrate each character's point of view. The deletion summary can be used to collate all responses to the tricky cloze. Discussion and analysis of the texts and the deletion summary should show how perspective influences the language choices used to persuade a reader.

Greenhouse effect sequence – Text 1: Dr Sean Tol: A scientist

Cover image of the document

Dr Sean Tol presents the view that the greenhouse effect is real.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect by using reasoning

  • Begins with a thesis statement that clearly defines and limits the scope of the argument
  • Argues validly from stated premises
  • Defines terms
  • Use of reasoning including cause-and-effect relationships between ideas
  • Includes a diagram to demonstrate a complex process
  • Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect by presenting evidence
  • Presents evidence ( NOTE: any flaws in the evidence or negative findings are

omitted)

  • Selects relevant facts and figures as evidence of argument
  • Cites and evaluates findings and opinions by relevant authorities
  • Presents examples or anecdotes as evidence

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to emotions by strongly stating opinions

  • Strong modality is used to express an opinion assertively, to ensure no one could possibly disagree with the statement, e.g. is irrefutable, has changed, will c ontinue, is definitely
  • Use of questions that invite the reader to contemplate the issue is used in last line

Persuasive purpose: appeal to values and emotions by building writer’s credibility

  • Explains and qualifies author stance
  • Use of specialised vocabulary to indicate intimate subject matter knowledge
  • Establishes authority on the topic through use of relevant facts and figures
Greenhouse effect sequence – Text 2: Dr Pamela Boffin: Another scientist

Cover image of the document

Pamela Boffin presents the view that the greenhouse effect is not real.

Teaching focus

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

  • Asserts opinion, often aggressively, to suggest her opinion is self-evident and no alternatives are reasonable
  • Use of personal pronouns, I and we to position the reader as being in agreement with the writer

Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect – managing opposing ideas

  • Some logical argument to draw a conclusion that refutes an opposing view
  • Use of negative vocabulary to disparage opposing views
  • Makes disparaging remarks and generalisations about opposing perspectives
  • Makes personal attacks on other scientists
  • Use of questions and expressions of puzzlement — rhetorical questions used, often in combination with statements of puzzlement about opposing views, e.g. How do we know the data used in these current computer models is accurate?
  • Emphasises points by repeating words/phrases, exclamations and the use of short sentences (often declarations), e.g. Computer modelling! Computer modelling! Computers are just so limited.

      Persuasive purpose: appeal to reader’s intellect – presents evidence

      • Argues from stated premises, e.g. Scientists have been wrong. The whole greenhouse thing is a myth.
      • Cites authoritative source, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but also cites an economist, whose expertise in matters of climate science is not authoritative.
    • Greenhouse effect sequence – Text 3: Jeremy Finn: Pseudo-scientist

      Cover image of the document

      The Pseudo-scientist presents concerns about the greenhouse effect as a conspiracy.

      Teaching focus

      Persuasive Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

      • Use of conversational tone to suggest that the writer is a friend whose views can be trusted
      • Develops empathy with the readers’ views by stating that he is not a recognised authority in the field, but is still an authority worth listening to: I’m not a scientist but ...
      • Invites readers to view themselves as an important part of the situation through deliberate pronoun choices, e.g. we, we’re, humans, I, our, you, they, us
      • Deliberate emotive vocabulary choices are made, e.g. obsessed, killing, fairytale, clever enough, bigger and better, harmlessly
      • Use of exclamations with emotive language, e.g. What a load of rubbish!

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect — managing opposing ideas

      • Invites readers to view themselves as opponents of the media and scientists and therefore be on the side of the writer, e.g. The earth is warming they say. So why do we see ...
      • Use of rhetorical questions to have readers question views that oppose those of the writer

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect — presents evidence

      • Cites a media source as evidence of the fallacies in the arguments of scientists
      • Asserts a point of view, sometimes with reasoning or with everyday logic as reasoning

      NOTE: There is some attempt to provide a sound argument with supporting ideas, but these instances are usually undeveloped and are being used to support the appeal to emotion.

      Greenhouse effect sequence – Text 4: John Smith: Politician

      Cover image of the document

      The Politician presents a view that something has to be done about the greenhouse effect at a global level.

      Teaching focus

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to emotions by employing rhetorical devices

      • Direct appeal to the reader — modality, vocabulary and pronoun choices are very deliberate. The writer moves from them, to Australia, to “I” and finally to “we”

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

      • Contextualises and states the opinion — asserts an opinion in a manner that suggests it is self-evident and there is no room to think otherwise, and defines and limits the scope of the argument
      • Relates to the reader — invites the readers to view themselves as an important part of the argument and to understand that they are directly affected by this issue
      • Building the writer’s credibility — discloses any personal involvement and interests in the outcome and establishes trustworthiness implicitly by seemingly fair dealing with the reader. After discrediting alternative views, presents own ideas and actions as the only viable option

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect

      • Uses reasoning — attends to definitions, distinctions and cause and effect AND also argues validly from stated premises
      • Manages opposing ideas — disparages opposing views by making them appear ineffective to date
      • Presents evidence — hides any flaws in the evidence and researches and selects relevant facts and examples. Presents examples or anecdotes that engage the reader and concretise the ideas
      Greenhouse effect sequence – Text 5: Dr Maryanne Wendon: Captain of industry

      Cover image of the document

      The Captain of industry presents the greenhouse effect issue as an issue of economics.

      Teaching focus

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to emotions by employing rhetorical devices

      • Uses questions that engage and questions to think about
      • Emphasis — use of italics
      • Modality — choices are deliberate and shift from low to high according to the level of engagement or command the writer intends

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

      • Appeals directly to the reader — the writer invites readers to view themselves as an important part of the situation and makes deliberate pronoun choices and sentence type choices to achieve this
      • Builds the writer’s credibility — establishes the writer’s qualifications and seeks to assist rather than to impress the reader. Discloses any personal involvement and interests in the outcome and establishes trustworthiness implicitly by seemingly dealing fairly with the reader.Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect • Manages opposing views — acknowledges opposing views and refutes them in a principled and relevant way that indicates they have been considered but are impractical in their current form
      • Presents evidence — researches and selects relevant facts and examples and cites and evaluates findings and opinions by relevant authorities. Also presents examples or anecdotes that engage the reader and concretise the ideas
      • Uses reasoning — argues validly from a stated premise and creates a compelling and sound case that attends to cause and effect, definitions and distinctions
      Greenhouse effect sequence – Text 6: Dr Jill Lightyear: Environmentalist

      Cover image of the document

      The Environmentalist presents an impassioned plea based on a personal opinion that the Earth must be saved from the greenhouse effect.

      Teaching focus

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to values and emotions

      • Language manipulation — instances of figurative language are used (Trees are the lungs of the Earth, the people of the Earth may become an “endangered species”)
      • Adds emphasis through the use of capitalisation and quotation marks
      • Appeals directly to the reader — the writer invites the readers to view themselves as an important part of the situation and makes deliberate pronoun choices and sentence type choices to achieve this. At times the writer uses blunt demands and has possibly confused persuasion with command
      • Language choices — deliberate vocabulary choices are made (pristine, destroyed, serious, the fact that, doomed, responsibility, benefits)

      Persuasive purpose: Appeal to intellect

      • Presents evidence — there is some suggestion that facts and citations need to be presented (role of trees in CO2, Amazon jungle, animal species) BUT the writer relies mostly on the use of examples and anecdotes as forms of evidence that engage the reader and concretise the ideas

       

      Back to top

       

      Share this page:

      email  Facebook  Twitter