You can find the VCAA exam 2009 here.
Have a go at analysing it yourself first, then see how I've interpreted the article below! For a detailed guide on Language Analysis including how to prepare for your SAC and exam, check out our Ultimate Guide to VCE Language Analysis.
Type of article: Opinion piece
Publisher: Clt Alt
Date of publication: 23rd of May, 2009
Contention: We should embrace the digital technology as it has, and will continue to revolutionise our lives in regards to intelligence, convenience, communication and more.
Number of article(s): 1
Number of image(s): 1 (not disclosed on VCAA website due to copyright laws)
Source: VCAA website
Note: Persuasive techniques can be interpreted in many ways. The examples given below are not the single correct answer. Only a selected number of persuasive techniques have been identified in this guide.
Persuasive technique: Imagery
Example: ‘Keyed In’
Analysis: The term ‘keyed in’ depicts an image of keys on a laptop or computer – one of the important inventions in regards to digital technology as well as the idea that those who are ‘keyed in’ are ‘up-to-date’ with its progression. This invites support from the reader since it is desirable to be ‘up-to-speed’ with the latest developments and trends – especially since new technology allows such accessibility.
Persuasive technique: Type of publication
Example: Online journal
Analysis: By publishing the article on an online platform, Voxi aims to target ‘tech-savvy’ readers who are more inclined to appreciate technology than those who read other publication avenues such as newspapers.
Persuasive technique: Acknowledging the opposition
Example: ‘Some people are naturally afraid of the new, challenged by the discomfort of being dislodged from the known, the safe, the predictable, the tried and the tested – in short, their comfort zone.’
Analysis: Voxi invites readers to view him as someone who is considerate and rational by displaying an understanding front towards those opposed to the use of technology, ‘some people are naturally afraid of the new.’
Example: ‘…maybe they have a point – sometimes it’s good to take time out and just enjoy what you’ve got.’
Analysis: Through admitting that perhaps those opposed to the development of technology may ‘have a point’, Voxi aims to manipulate readers into trusting him since he appears genuine and fair towards the issue.
Persuasive technique:Positioning advocators in a positive light
Example: ‘They see possibilities for making things better where other people want to chill, just responding to the pleasure of the moment.’
Analysis: By positioning technology advocates as people who ‘see possibilities for making things better,’ Voxi attempts to coax readers into support since readers tend to respect and admire those who take action, rather than someone who is static and merely wants to ‘chill.’
Persuasive technique: Characterisation of supporters as heroes
Example: ‘History’s full of moments though, when human beings have been moved forward by people who have been like the grit in an oyster. Gritty people produce pearls.’
Analysis: Though the characterisation of technology advocators as ‘gritty people,’ Voxi urges readers to view those people with admiration as their determination and dedication has lead to the ‘produc[tion of] pearls’ or in other words, valuable inventions.
Persuasive technique: Colloquial Language
Example: ‘Well, sort of.’
Analysis: The use of colloquial language, ‘well, sort of,’ is intended to position Voxi as a someone who appears to be a ‘friend’ as he attempts to display a light conversational tone. As a result, readers may be more inclined to support his opinion since they are more likely to listen to a ‘friend’ than a formal authority figure.
Persuasive technique: Characterisation of advocates as hard workers
Example: They’re the ones who ask questions, who tinker away in the garage, who turn up on ‘The Inventors.’
Analysis: By characterising advocates of technology as hard-working, ‘tinker[ing] away in the garage’, , Voxi relies on the readers’ compassion to embrace modern technology as it is clear that much effort and time has been placed in these inventions and therefore shouldn’t be immediately disregarded.
Persuasive technique: Appeal to a sense of failure
Example: ‘In our lifetime we haven’t had a Copernicus or Galileo reorganising the cosmos, or a Darwin challenging us with a radically new theory of evolution.’
Analysis: Voxi tries to influence readers to step up to past generations’ successes such as ‘Copernicus [and] Galileo reorganising the cosmos, or a Darwin challenging us with a radically new theory of evolution’ through the depiction that the current population has failed to produce any great intellectuals.
Persuasive technique: Repetition
Analysis: The repeated word ‘revolutionise’ is an attempt to instill into readers’ minds that there is a dramatic change currently occurring in society and as a result, they should try to keep ‘up to date’ with ‘the new world’.
Persuasive technique: Rhetorical question
Example: ‘Why wouldn’t you want it in your life?’
Analysis: The rhetorical question, ‘why wouldn’t you want it in your life?’ urges readers’ support since it is apparent that there is no reason why people should not accept technology, especially since in the future, readers will be able to ‘lead happy, safe and fulfilling lives in a free and peaceful world’ – something that would result in satisfaction.
Persuasive technique: Appeal to a sense of youth
Example: ‘It’s older people who are less familiar with it who are suspicious about it, or even
Analysis: By creating a dichotomy between the ‘older people’ and the younger generation, Voxi aims to manipulate readers into believing that only the elderly are ‘suspicious…or even afraid’ of technology, whereas all other generations should have no issues and welcome the ‘digital world’ with open arms.
Persuasive technique: Reference to modern activities
Example: ‘Global shopping, online banking, working out the itinerary for your holiday, looking up Google Maps and Street View to check out where your friends live, and that’s not to mention Facebook.’
Analysis: Through referencing to everyday, modern activities such as : ‘Global shopping…looking up Google Maps and Street View…not to mention Facebook’, readers may be compelled to join the population in using technology since they are aware that many people do find these digital advances convenient and applicable to their daily lives.
Persuasive technique: Use of logic and reasoning
Example: ‘Sure, some people stress about privacy issues, but these can be resolved. Google is not allowed to ﬁlm defence sites from Google cars and Google bikes. Let’s face it, the pictures we see are not real-time images. You can protest about them anyway and get them removed or pixellated if you’re really worried.’
Analysis: Readers are encouraged to support Voxi’s stance since his use of logic, ‘you can protest about them anyway’ and reason, ‘let’s face it, the pictures we see are not real-time images’ makes clear that ‘privacy issues’ is not a valid point to denounce technology.
Persuasive technique: Humourous tone
Example: ‘Besides, the hot air balloon people are always hovering over my back yard and looking into my windows too.’
Analysis: Through adopting a humourous tone in pointing out the irony of people’s concerns about ‘privacy issues’ when ‘hot air balloon people are always hovering over my back yard and looking into my windows too,’ Voxi attempts to assure readers that online privacy is no less risky than their privacy at home.
Persuasive technique: Appeal to convenience
Example: ‘Why go to a library when you can sit at your desk and look up Wikipedia or Google Scholar, or Ask Jeeves?’
Analysis: Through posing the rhetorical question, ‘Why go to a library when you can sit at your desk and look up Wikipedia or Google Scholar, or Ask Jeeves?’, Voxi appeals to readers’ sense of convenience since the benefits of merely ‘sitting’ at home clearly outweighs the effort of travelling to a library.
Persuasive technique: Inclusive language
Example: ‘Let’s be excited – keep being excited.’
Analysis: The incorporation of inclusive language, ‘let’s’ urges readers to feel as though they are directly part of the issue or somehow responsible for the outcome and thus, may lead readers to become advocators of technology.
Persuasive technique: Juxtaposition
Example: ‘We’d still be swinging in the trees or huddling in caves if we’d taken the view that new things are harmful or dangerous or unpredictable.’
Analysis: Through the juxtaposition of current society and history when ‘we…sw[u]ng in the trees or huddl[ed] in caves’, Voxi intends to demonstrate that without taking some risks and disregarding that ‘new things are harmful or dangerous or unpredictable’, society would not have come as far as it has now, and thus, readers should continue to push forward with the new digital age.