- Slides: 51
Analysing Argument YEAR 12 REFRESHER, 2018 M. MOSSAMMAPARAST, ST LEONARD’S COLLEGE
1. Approaching the Comparative SAC What You Need To Understand
Preparation 1. This is not new learning for you. Gather all the resources you already have: o o o Vocabulary/phrase banks – including analytical verbs, linking/comparative terms, tone words Frameworks eg. structure Samples and models Drafts and teacher feedback Visit VCAA website: Read Examiners Reports and samples responses (http: //www. vcaa. vic. edu. au/Pages/vce/studies/englishexams. aspx) Textbook resources 2. Ensure you have a clear and accurate understanding of the task (next few slides). 3. Start practicing now! o o You will have 10 mins reading time and 70 mins writing time for the SAC – all practice needs to keep this in mind Start your preparations by writing these pieces in 80 min and gradually reducing the time down to 60 min (5 min plan/annotation at start, 5 min proofread at end). Give yourself 10 min of reading time (with no writing). Work through sample tasks/practice articles/past SACs (your teacher will be giving you many of these!) Tune in – analyse whatever is around you (ads, billboards, radio interviews etc. ) – this is a crucial critical literacy skill you are developing so you are able to intelligently and carefully navigate your way through the world of communication and ideas: Ø Heineken beer ad: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=et. Iqln 7 v. T 4 w Ø Mercedez-Benz ad: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Ok. UXd 4 Zx. BLI&index=6&list=PL 0 ORtgsuktfm 07 l. DGs. DKt 6 LGk. Rj 5 Ql. MPS
The Task: Understand What It Is Task: Analyse and compare the use of argument and persuasive language in texts that present a point of view on an issue currently debated in the media. Texts must include written and visual material. Note to self: ◦ Analysis – not summary or description or evaluation or paraphrasing ◦ Compare – need to consider similarities/differences between text – what they say and how they say it, who the authors are and what their experiences/values are etc. ◦ Argument – claim/premise, supported by evidence, engaging with rebuttals, using logic and sequencing to build towards a conclusion – tightly structured and developed, multi-dimensional, based on deduction, induction, cause and effect, generalisation, rationalisation – necessitates understanding of the piece as a whole ◦ Persuasive language – how is language being used to present a point of view? Devices? Strategies? Use metalanguage where you can! Language is chosen deliberately to have an effect on a particular group – must identify target audience(s) ◦ Texts – what are they? Form! ◦ Written and visual – must work with images/symbols/layout and look for relationships/alignment
The Task: Understand What Writers Do Author/ Speaker
The Task: Understand What It Is NOT #1 NOT persuasive techniques bingo list – where are the arguments? In her opinion piece Bonnie Norton uses personal anecdotes, attacks and loaded language to convince the reader of her opinion. The personal anecdote uses the example of her grandson and his pet Buster to show loving pit bulls can be. The attack is on people who are near-sighted and want to impose quick solutions to “isolated incidents” of dog bites in the community. An example of loaded language is “irresponsible”, referring to owners who don’t look after their dogs. At the outset, Norton seeks to overturn the perception that pit bulls are a dangerous breed of dog, inviting a reluctant readership into her piece by depicting how loyal and gentle they can actually be as pets. Drawing on a very personal anecdote of her grandson Jayden and his “best mate, Buster”, Norton closely details the nature of their relationship, in which Buster serves as “friend…companion…and playmate”. This affectionate written portrayal is accompanied by the photo of the two, wherein Jayden – despite the imposing figure of the dog – evidently shows no fear and is instead petting the larger animal. Buster appears in a protective stance, highlighting how this breed can be look out for vulnerable children.
The Task: Understand What It Is NOT #2 NOT parroting empty textbook phrases – what’s the issue and the contention? Who is the “reader” / “audience”? Norton uses a personal anecdote to initially engage the interest of the audience in the issue. Appeals to logic are used to get the audience to think clearly about the issue and not be emotional about it. Her own expert position is used to show she has first-hand experience in the issue. Norton not only relies on her first-hand experience as an owner who has “bred, judged and rescued” pit bulls for over two decades, but also uses her position at the ”secretary of the American Pit Bull Terrier Club of Australia” to render her opinion more powerful and credible. Her personal and professional background serve as a reminder that there are many terrier owners in Australia who have a deep-seated love for the breed, and who will rise up to resist any moves towards a ban. Despite this clear bias, her involvement at a club level would presumably also expose Norton to any real dangers that the breed poses – and thus her continued alignment with the breed reassures any reluctant readers that perhaps these concerns are, in truth, unjustified.
The Task: Understand What It Is NOT #3 NOT summarising the author – what is the intended effect of all this on a particular target audience? Norton argues that pit bulls should not be banned. She claims that they are friendly companions, that bans are ineffective, that the issue of dog bites is not restricted to pit bulls and that we need to address the problem through education. Having established that the issue of dog bites in the community is not merely restricted to pit bull breeds – and thus having made an attempt to quell the anxieties of fearful readers – Norton moves to outline the “problematic” nature of dog identification in general. She describes this task as “simply not possible”, given the “absence of documented breeding history. ” The flat and declarative nature of this claim – conveyed through the use of the adjective “simply”– implies that there is no alternative reality, and indeed, many owners themselves would likely at this point attest to this difficulty, which is what Norton is implicitly relying on. Having then dismissed any “certainty” and “reliability” associated with dog identification, Norton is able to discredit the idea of a ban and reinforce her contention that they are not a viable solution. Even readers in support of a ban are forced, perhaps with some alarm, to concede a hint of doubt, destabilizing their position and rendering them more open to Norton’s argument.
The Task: Understand What It Is NOT #4 NOT an opportunity to get involved in the issue – focus is all on the author and what they intend for their audience, not what you think about the issue. Clearly, pit bulls should not be banned as a breed because the problem extends to all dog breeds. Further, owners need to take more responsibility for their dogs and ensure they don’t harm others in the community. Norton is clearly opposed to the proposed ban on pit bull terriers, and seeks to highlight to those who do not know much about this breed that they can indeed be loyal and faithful companions. Furthermore, she claims that any attempt to impose such a ban will be ineffective in eliminating the harm caused by dog bites in the community.
The Task: Understand What It Is NOT #5 NOT an opportunity to evaluate how well the author achieves their aims – Focus is on what the author intends to do, not how successful they are. Norton is successful in convincing her readers that pit bull breed bans are not a viable option in this debate. Her arguments have been effective and conveyed with a strength that is able to sway readers to adopt her point of view. Norton is forthright yet sensitive in her attempts to convince skeptical readers that pit bull breed bans are not a viable option in this debate. Her arguments systematically problematize the solution offered by the Brumby government, seeking to highlight some of the issues that have not been taken into consideration by what she deems to be a “reactive, emotional and extreme” measure.
2. Training For The SAC The Eye - Reading The Mind – Probing The Hand - Writing
Eyes Wide Open What’s happening overall? Who – what – why – how? Flow/structure? Key arguments? What’s happening in the details? Language! The process of zooming out (contextualisation) and zooming in (analysis) In a comparative analysis – what similarities and differences are immediately evident between texts? In this case – differences: authors! Tones! Position in regards to the solution, personal vs detached… In this case – similarities: advocate for a solution, flat, declarative, simple sentencing, rely on generalisations not supported by tangible proofs…
Seurat vs Monet
Reading Time – Questions To Ask: The Basics: 1. What’s the issue? 2. Why is the issue being debated/brought up now? Has something happened? 3. Who are the authors/speakers/illustrators of the texts? How are they affected by the issue? How are they biased? Anything interesting/noteworthy about them/their position? 4. Where does each author stand on this issue/debate? What is their perspective? Has anything personal brought them to this point of view? What do they WANT/hope for? 5. Who are is being directly addressed? Who is being implicated? 6. Relationship between texts?
Reading Time – Questions To Ask: Arguments: 1. What are each author’s main arguments? Identify the range of angles they come at this issue from. What values do they base their arguments on? How do they try to consider the issue from a personal/social/global perspective? What human incentives/motivators do they appeal to eg. financial/economic, humanitarian, ethical/moral, progressive/traditional etc. ? 2. Consider structure of the argument as it unfolds and develops – any patterns or trends? Hook at the start/end? Sequencing of main points – why this order? Rebuttal/counterarguments? Establishing problem and building towards solutions/alternatives? 3. Points of comparison in arguments (between texts)? Supporting/reinforcing? Opposing/attacking?
Reading Time – Questions To Ask: Language (Written and Visual): 1. What language features really stand out upon your first reading of each text? Use of questions? Repeated phrases? Speaking directly to audience through “you”? Evidence and hard data? Anecdotes? Imaginative scenarios? Imagery of a particular kind that is sustained throughout? How does this all link with what the author is trying to achieve? How does the author SOUND? Does this change? When and why? Any important words you don’t know (must look up)? 2. Where are the images? What kinds? Why have they been placed IN THIS SPOT? Which part of the argument do they connect with? What part of the text do they correspond to? What are the most noticeable features of the visuals? Is there anything you are NOT SEEING? What do they ADD, overall? 3. Anything interesting about layout/formatting? Dot points? Bold? Relative size? Watermarks? Logos?
The Big Picture Approaching your reading of the material, ask yourself: o How does this issue affect the rights/responsibilities/autonomy/sovereignty/wellbeing of: Ø the individual (me) – and by extension, those with whom I would immediately identify? Ø the local community? Ø wider society? Ø the nation? Ø the global community (networks/relationships/peoples/partnerships)? Ø future generations (intergenerational responsibilities)? Ø past generations – history? Ø people, places, other living entities, nature – and dreams, ideals, possibilities (concrete world vs abstract world)? o Consider where the material is published, delivered, being responded to – which publication, platform, occasion etc. ?
Stakeholders Approaching your reading of the material, ask yourself: o Along what lines are stakeholder groups comprised? Ø gender/sexuality Ø Religious Ø special interest/expert groups Ø Age Ø Ethnicity / nationality Ø minority groups Ø individuals vs groups Ø Political Ø Cultures Ø class – economics, education, postcode etc. Ø career/vocation/industry/specialisation Ø particular characteristics?
Pit Bulls - Some Initial Thoughts…. Herald Sun - what we know: general public interest stories, emotionally-charged, playing on fears rather than appealing to higher intellect…………… Dog bites - danger! Health! Safety! Wellbeing! Punishment! Who - owners, victims, public, government – what do they want? What are they responsible for? What power do they have? Fear – loss of individual rights! Pets! Fear – for safety! Fear – punishment! Death! Being sued! Law enforcement Problem…. what is best solution? Who will thus advocate for what, given range of interests?
Background Information Extremely important: READ THE ‘BACKGROUND INFORMATION’. This will give you important information about audience, purpose, context and form.
Biodiversity Purpose of speaker crucial to understanding how argument is constructed and language is used – keynote presenter (professor) at international conference: 1. Stimulating deep and honest reflection 2. Seeking renewed, collective commitment 3. Urging action from leaders in their own countries How is language used to convey argument and achieve aims? § questioning and strings of words (”in truth”, “honestly”, “justly”, “truly”) stimulate reflection… § emotive and cognitive appeals, including use of imaginative scenario, evocative descriptions/imagery, reasoning, cause and effect and statistics/examples audience would be familiar with are used to establish stark reality and therefore garner commitment from them both as humans and as leaders in the field… § visuals build sense of collective, shared responsibility… § rhetorical and sonic devices (repetition, rule of threes, short declarative sentences, alliteration etc. ) render argument emphatic and compelling… § use of imperatives, collective pronouns and direct referencing call audience to immediate action…
Argument Focus on structure of argument for a particular audience – introductions (claim/contention), major points (premises/ideas), reasoning (to support claims), acknowledgment of and engagement with opposition, conclusions (claim proven) etc. Focus on organisation and construction of argument for a particular audience - ordering, sequencing, development and flow, shifts etc. Focus on core elements of argument such as cause and effect, generalising, rationalising, induction/deduction etc. Focus on rhetoric – how it is conveyed (marriage of argument and language)
Dimensions of the Argument Approaching your reading of the material, ask yourself: ◦ From which angle does the author/speaker/illustrator approach their arguments? By appealing to economic concerns the author attempts to gain the support of the Australian public, especially those who are stakeholders in the tourism industry, and create a sense of instability in economic wellbeing, warning that unchecked shark attacks may personally affect them. Thus Forsythe tries to cement his contention that the culling sharks is necessary, building upon the moral dimension of his first argument that it is our duty to protect human life first and foremost. Pit bulls: • Individual rights! • Personal / emotional • Public safety • Civic responsibilities • Law & enforcement Conflict: personal vs civic
Appeal To Values Approaching your reading of the material, ask yourself: o What are the values that distinguish between target audience and speak directly to the target audience? o How do they talk about those within the same group? o How do they talk about those outside the group? Consider inclusion, exclusion, fear, categorisation, stereotyping, latent assumptions, support, rejection etc. o Australian vs “un-Australian” values? Pit bull breed bans - appeal to values of : Ø belief in egalitarianism • a fair go for the underdog Ø everyone deserves a fair go” • anti-authoritarian nature – freedom to do what we Ø never dob like and suspicion of anything coercive Ø “she’ll be right” • love of animals/nature Ø the importance of mateship and loyalty above other qualities • being outdoors without concerns/fears Ø tall poppy syndrome • government getting on with the job Ø suspicion and natural aversion towards big business Ø suspicion and natural aversion towards government Note how often values can 1) come into conflict OR 2) Ø the little Aussie battler / the underdog same value can serve two different purposes Ø the quarter acre block Ø pride as a sporting nation
Analysis of Visuals Do not take visuals out of context – look for the distinct link between the written material and the visual material, which may also include elements of formatting/layout Questions to ask: 1. Why has this visual been included in this piece? 2. Why has it been included at this point? 3. Which of the author’s arguments does it link in with? 4. What can I see (description)? What does it mean (analysis)? 5. Does it link with any other aspects of the text eg. headline?
Section C, Exam 2017
Comparative Analysis - Structure Introduction (BACT) Introduce the background to the issue, the context and key players. Why has this issue become prominent at this time? Introduce the 2 -3 text: ◦ ◦ Article/text type and source Headline Author (representative of which stakeholder group? Bias? ) Mention the intended audience of each article Compare the contention of each of the articles (use linking words to contrast) Compare tone of each of the three articles (use linking words to contrast)
Sample Intro – Short, Sharp and Clear The attack on two people by a pit bull terrier has sparked controversy in the community as to whether or not this breed of dog should be restricted. A warning by Premier John Brumby that “dangerous dogs will be put down without a right of appeal by owners” led to passionate responses in the Herald Sun on 20 October 2009. In an opinion piece (“Pit bull bans are not the way to go”) Bonnie Norton, secretary of the American Pit Bull Terrier Club of Australia, adopts a personal stance when contending that ”bans are, quite simply, ineffective as a means of reducing dog attacks”, yet balances this approach by attempting to substantiate her arguments through her long-standing expertise. The unequivocal editorial “Put them down”, however, is clearly in support of “keep[ing] this killer breed off the streets” – though ultimately quite skeptical that the government’s efforts will actually yield any tangible results. comparison of contention
Comparative Analysis - Structure Body Paragraphs (ALEE) [Body paragraphs are built upon arguments advanced by each text. Longer text might require 2 -3 body paragraphs, shorter text might require 1 -2 body paragraphs. ] Consider the arguments presented as well as the language used, examples of language use and the intended effect of the language on the audience. Use linking words between your body paragraphs – moreover, similarly, likewise, in contrast to, conflictingly etc. This is essential for highlighting how arguments unfold and develop, as well as the comparative element between texts. Introduction – issue and context, article/text details, comparison of contentions and tone Text 1 – hook, argument 1 (including image), argument 2 Text 1 – argument 3, rebuttal Text 2 – Argument 1 & 2 analysis Comparison – arguments, language and audience in text 1 and 2
Comparison Analysis - Structure Comparative Paragraph Compare the overall similarities and differences in the types of argument and language that each text utilises/predominantly relies upon etc. Compare audience – how does each piece work on their intended audience? How is each piece differ in their target audience? Consider the “bigger picture” here – compare the perspectives of the authors, what may have motivated them to write etc. Are there any contextual factors which impact on an article? What values does each article espouse and how are they different?
Sample Comparative Paragraph It is clear that both articles champion the rights of individuals in the community, with Norton supporting the rights of dog owners and the editorial upholding the right of the public to security. Both acknowledge that part of the resolution to this issue resides in the law, though they clearly have different notions of what the law should be. It is not surprising that Norton – a keen lover of the breed – advocates for the long view with her reference to “education” as the “better” solution, aiming thereby to avoid more punitive and “extreme tactics” which would see pit bulls put down. In contrast, the editorial team seek more immediate redress through ”strong laws”, attempting to curry favour with a readership that primarily values personal safety. Much of the responsibility, the editorial implies, lies with owners – and so it follows that they should bear the consequences. This accounts for the rather unsympathetic tone of this article, especially when compared to the more reasoned and nuanced response to the ban in the opinion piece.
Succinct Sentencing Very important! Quick win! Descriptive/Summative In the cartoon there are two cars – one of them is an older vehicle splashed with mud and the other is a shiny red racing car. The artist shows that government schools (the older vehicle) are not as well-resourced as private schools (the race car). Analytical – this is what you need to aim for! The artist’s representation of government schools as an older vehicle splayed with mud is contrasted with that of private schools, depicted in the cartoon as a shiny red racing car. Not only is the artist satirically reminding parents that government schools are not as well-resourced as private schools, but through the use of this juxtaposition he is symbolically highlighting the injustice of these two different types of schools competing in the same educational race.
The Benefits of Polishing - Audience Original: In her letter to the editor, Burke attempts to persuade her readers that a recent women’s football match was organised and executed by AFL officials in a sexist manner. Polished: In her letter to the editor (The Age, 6/217), Belinda Burke vehemently argues that the recent women’s football match was organised and executed by AFL officials in a sexist manner, attacking the management and seeking to garner support from fans and feminists alike.
The Benefits of Polishing – Argument & Language Use Original: Inclusive language is used by Burke with the pronoun “we”, in order to connect with female readers and enforce a sense of communal responsibility and disgust with the match, and fight to improve the upcoming women’s AFL matches. Burke adopts an almost “I told you so” attitude, where she intends to appeal to those who were cynical about the success of women’s football, and believe this match would not attract a “big crowd”. Polished: Burke implies that it is the responsibility of all women to become involved in this cause by establishing a direct connection with her female readership through the use of the collective pronoun “we”. This creates a sense of solidarity and enforces a sense of communal disgust at the treatment of this group. Further, she is derisive in her attitude towards those who were cynical about the success of women’s football and didn’t think the match would attract a “big crowd”, refuting such assumptions with her first-hand account which provides ample evidence that the “trams…were full”. As such, she cements her argument that better planning is required when it comes to the AFLW league.
The Benefits of Polishing – Intended Effect Original: This hard-hitting language is intended to rally her readers into disgust at the AFL who she claims “poorly planned” the first round of the AFL Women’s League. Polished: The hard-hitting idiom “to add insult to injury” to intended to rally supporters into a state of disgust at the AFL management who not only “poor[ly] plan[ned]” the first round of the AFL Women’s League but additionally made no provision for commentary to be provided by female reporters. This is intended by Burke to underscore the complete lack of trust, faith and credibility that the male establishment place in women, further inciting anger and agitating her support base.
3. Important Reminders Keeping It Together
Practical Elements 1. Timing is EVERYTHING. Use your full 70 mins and your 10 mins reading time. 2. Write as legibly and as clearly as you can. 3. Use as much of the provided material as possible. Do not reference only two or three examples. 4. But - cannot cover everything! Must be judicious - provide ”meaningful insights” on all texts.
Don’t Forget: 1. Read the pieces holistically and analyse their intention as a whole. 2. Avoid technique identification; instead explore how language is being used to persuade. 3. Focus on the tone – why it is being used and how it may change throughout a piece. 4. Work on incorporating visuals into the response. 5. Consider the effect of specific connotative words at key points of an argument. 6. WHAT? – HOW? – WHY? 7. LOGOS – PATHOS – ETHOS – what does the author lead with and/or rely on predominantly? 8. Must consider how argument and language work together - do not split analysis
What About Techniques? Well, use them when you can! Building your metalanguage is important! Instead of writing “she uses a personal story”, write “she utilizes an anecdote”. Instead of writing “the word ‘slaughter’ brings to mind blood and guts”, write “the imagery of blood and guts that is evoked through the verb ‘slaughter’ is horrific and bound up with connotations of brutality and bestial behavior”. Your textbooks are full of these tables – and your teachers will provide you with these resources.
Checklist – Analysis �Focus more on WHAT – HOW – WHY (or ALEE) �Track the major arguments �Link analysis to specific audience – differentiate (even if grouping according to characteristics of the reader eg. the compassionate reader �Give examples of language – “quotes” �Label techniques if you can �Consider article as a whole and how it all fits together �Use analytical verbs �Use comparative phrases between articles �Use comparative phrases in intro and conclusion
Checklist – Expression �Know what the weaknesses in your expression are eg. fragmented/run ons/convoluted sentences �Avoid too many simple (short) sentences – no flow �Avoid too many summative sentences – need to write analytical sentences �Avoid repeating key words/phrases �Avoid slang/informal expressions �Do not phrase sentences as questions! �Don’t use “you” or “I” statements �Don’t use author’s first name �Avoid contractions �Proofread - does make sense? ? Clarity above beauty!
Checklist - Structure �Paragraphs �Logical development of analysis �Clear introduction and a conclusion �Paragraphs linked together through use of connectives (comparing, contrasting, furthering etc. )
Banned Vocabulary �States �Informs �Shows �Says �Talks about �Writes �Expresses �Good / bad / nice �Is successful �Does a great job �In conclusion
Some Useful Analytical Phrases directs our attention to… positions herself to appear… the suggestion that… is bound to challenge readers, especially…by… generates a feeling of… the use of… strategically reminds the readers that we are all at risk… evokes a sense of… urges readers to direct their sympathy towards the victims of… provokes / inspires / incites… attacks/undermines his credibility… dispels the preconceived notion that… embedded within the article is… attempts to instill fear into the reader conjures a feeling of…. with images such as… using her personal ordeal, the writer attempts to… such sentiments are bound to … and predispose them to support the attack on… readers are more likely to feel empowered by the …comments and pressure…for more action the suggestion of… is likely to instill a sense of… the word …. has positive connotations of…which suggest that … these comments are likely to be well received by ….
Get Writing! 1. Short introductions – orient the examiner 2. Track flow of argument through text, shifts in tone, register and audience 3. Incorporate analysis of visual in appropriate place 4. Sentencing – summative vs analytical; use of accurate analytical (plumber) verbs 5. Coherent structure – constructed around arguments/main points 6. Use of comparative phrases and linking phrases 7. Develop habit of self-audit – test your sentencing! Know your own weaknesses 8. Drafting – target weak spots – micro-improvement goals and quick wins 9. Write under time constraints – especially in lead up to SAC 10. Create list of banned vocabulary!
Eyes on the Prize: ‘The central crisis in Rear Window revolves around a loss of identity. ’ Discuss.