THE ART OF PERSUASION: RHETORICAL TECHNIQUES
1. Colloquial language – e.g. ‘She’s a top sheila that Jessica Rowe. Channel Nine are stark raving bonkers to give her the boot’. This language is used to appear inclusive or ‘on the inside’ of a particular social or cultural group. It could reinforce a sense of cultural identity between the reader and the writer. It could also be used sarcastically, to ridicule the attitudes or language of an opponent - e.g. 'I'm sure Ms Gillard thinks it's 'right on' to have so many people out of work. 2. Inclusive language and connection language – e.g. ‘We need to take a stand…It is time for us to show our belief in the value of mateship and a fair go, and give generously to the Good Friday Appeal…it is either us or them…you can understand that but this is another matter’. Like colloquial language, it implicitly assumes symapthy between the reader and the writer. It rallies the reader behind the writer against an ‘outside’ threat or set of ideas. 3. Rhetorical question – e.g. ‘Should footballers be treated as above the law?...Is this what we want from our politicians?’ Asking, rather than telling, is a softer and more effective way of persuading a reader – especially when the answer is obvious. 4. Appeals to authority – e.g. ‘What would Jesus do?...If it is good enough for our Prime Minister… NASA has approved it…The Education Department has stated…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”.’ Anyone who is credentialed by their experience, community standing or education can strengthen your argument. They must have some expertise in the area. Do not be tempted to 'drop names' of well-known people who have no knowledge in the area - e.g. 'I know Paris Hilton would approve of the new freeway.' 5. Emotional appeals – e.g. ‘…it was the saddest thing about her...
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