Schoolies Week (Language Analysis of 3 Herald Sun Articles)

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Schoolies week is becoming a major issue in Australia, with tens of thousands of kids going on holiday every year and enjoying the so-called ‘booze and drug fest’. In recent years however, students seem to be taking more care and responsibility during schoolies week, and their behaviour has generally improved. In the opinion piece “Parents who just won’t say ‘no’ to blame for schoolies scourge”, published in the Herald Sun on the 25th of September 2010, Rebecca Wilson contends in an alarming and critical tone, that parents must accept responsibility for the growing schoolies epidemic, and must learn to stand up to their kids if we are to purge this harmful event out of our Australian culture. This is a major contrast to the viewpoint of Wes Hosking, whose opinion piece on the issue was published in the Herald Sun on the 27th of November 2010, in which he presents an optimistic and reasoned point of view, that schoolies does not deserve the bad reputation that it has developed, especially given the decreasing number of arrests and fights in recent years. A more specific issue of the behaviour of public school students vs. private school students during schoolies, is addressed in a letter to the editor which was published in the Herald Sun on the 1st of December 2010, with Helen Campbell pleading with the reader to accept her viewpoint, that it is unfair to suggest that troublesome or poor schoolies behaviour is solely caused by public school students, when both sides are clearly to blame.

In “Parents who just won’t say ‘no’ to blame for schoolies scourge”, Wilson utilizes a variety of persuasive language techniques to persuade her audience, which in this case is parents of students who have finished year 12, to support her point of view. She opens her article by recounting her personal experience of schoolies week in high school, when “there were no wire barriers, dance raves, or identity bracelets” needed during schoolies week, and “nobody’s life came to a...
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