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The Language of Persuasion and Argument

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Ms. Mc Caffrey

on 8 April 2015

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Transcript of The Language of Persuasion and Argument

Persuasion and Argument
The difference between persuasion and argument is that persuasion manipulates your emotions, appeals to your heart, changes how you feel while arguments appeal to your brain, your sense of reason and logic.
Persuasive Techniques
Emotive Language:
This type of writing appeals to the audience's emotions. It can play on feelings of love, guilt anger, desire, envy etc. - drink and drive ads
Language of Persuasion
You cant just present information to a reader and hope that they will agree with you.
You must use persuasion to encourage the audience your viewpoints are sound.
In using persuasion you make a deliberate attempt to manipulate your audience's emotions in order to encourage agreement with your viewpoints.
The Language of Persuasion and Argument
Aim: To examine two out of the five language categories.
The composition assignments at Leaving Certificate level are intended to reflect language study in five areas. Students are expected to develop the ability to comprehend and compose in a range of genre covering the five prescribed language categories.
Persuasive Techniques
Rhetorical questions:
This technique is a question where the answer is implied. It is used to include the audience and to draw attention to a point.
The language of information
The language of narration
The language of persuasion
The language of argument
The aesthetic use of language
Depending on the essay question asked you should be able to identify which language category to use. If it is a speech you will use persuasion and argument.
An argument is an attempt to convince a person that your point of view is correct using logic and facts.
However, you will rarely find an argument without elements of persuasive writing.
What techniques of persuasive writing do you remember?
Language Types

The way we use language changes depending on the situation. The words you use in a job interview are obviously more formal than the words you choose when chatting to your mates. If you write a fawning comment to win a competition you’ll use lots of superlatives (think ‘biggest’, ‘best’, ‘brightest’) but for a political speech on bank debt you’ll use financial terminology.

The division of Paper 1 into language categories (information, argument, persuasion, narration/description and aesthetic language) reflects the fact that we use language in different ways in different contexts. These categories aren’t absolute, in fact they often overlap, but understanding the basic rules for informing, arguing, persuading, describing and narrating will make you a more discerning reader (i.e. better at comprehensions) and a more skilled writer (i.e. better at QB & composing).
Language of Persuasion

What is it?
Writing which draws you in emotionally to manipulate how you feel and how you think is persuasive.

Advertisements, competition entries, sermons, inspirational speeches.

It depends on the genre. Advertisements pay close attention to layout and use a wide variety of headings and font sizes for captions, slogans, statistics etc. A persuasive speech will use a traditional essay-style layout. A competition entry or proposal will have a clear structure – introduction; details (3 – 4 paragraphs); what you expect to happen next.

Rather than purely factual (information) or logical (argument), persuasion manipulates your emotions to make you feel strongly about an issue. The writer draws on personal experiences to lure the reader or viewer into feeling certain emotions – sympathy, distress, disgust, admiration, pride, anger, fear, amusement. Once you are emotionally ‘hooked’ it becomes harder to analyse, assess and accept or reject the writer’s message logically because the heart, not the head, is now in the driving seat! Asking rhetorical questions, making urgent references to time, using emphatic, superlative and emotive words, repeating a key phrase, adopting collective personal pronouns, creating vivid imagery, hyperbole, contrast and humour are all effective ways of manipulating people’s feelings. Argument & persuasion often overlap – logic and emotion is a great combination if you want to win people over. You’ll also find significant overlap between the language of persuasion and descriptive writing, which also draws people in emotionally.
Repeating a word or phrase for emphasis, it makes a speech memorable. "I have a dream"

Exaggeration: Emphasises a point, relies on manipulation rather than fact unlike argument.
This adds weight to your point, it is used in argument also.
Inclusive statements:
Use 'I', 'you', 'we' statements to include the audience and give them a reason to listen. Persuade through inclusion making them feel there is a reson to keep reading as it affects them personally.
Personal anecdote:
These snippets or examples impact with the audience on an emotional level. Recounting an experience makes your view relevant and accessible
Makes the reader laugh, feel good about themselves, it can also be used to ridicule another point of view.

Dramatic over the top language.
Language of Argument

What is it?
Writing which offers personal opinions & refutes opposing views logically is argumentative.

Speeches, debates, opinion pieces, letters to the editor, election material.

The headings and bullet points you used for the language of information are generally speaking not appropriate here. You are expected to write in complete sentences, alternating between short snappy sentences and longer more complex ones. You need to build up a series of inter-connected ideas paragraph by paragraph, with each one flowing into the next. Election leaflets, however, will use headings, bullet points, etc…

Argumentative language is logical, rational and convincing. Obviously there is a certain amount of overlap with the language of information, with a focus on facts, statistics and examples. However, unlike the language of information, you are not presenting all of the facts and allowing the reader to decide for themselves. Instead, you are emphasising only those facts which support your point of view and offering logical reasons why those who disagree with your viewpoint are wrong.

A strong argument uses logic and reason:
1. to arrive at a particular point of view
2. to defend this position and
3. to refute counter arguments.

Once a person stops utilising the facts to prove their point and resorts to personal insults, they are no longer arguing, they are now persuading.
Argument Techniques
Facts are used to support ideas. "Acohol misuse is estimated to cost the economy more than 2.7 billion a year."
A number of logical arguments are used to build an overall view.

Anticipatory statements:
The writer anticipates some objections people may raise to his/her ideas. He then tries to dismiss them.
Reliable authorities:
Appeals to reliable experts. Quotes from renowned professionals.
What are the main differences between the language of argument and persuasion?
Full transcript