I've redirected this post here: Language Analysis - Forms of Persuasive Texts
If you want to discuss further, go there.
First time contributor, long time teacher and tutor. For each thing I d/l from here, I'll post some wisdom back.
Ask yourselves - how many opinion pieces from 'major newspapers' have been on the exam since 2000?
There have been consultancy reports, speeches, local newsletters, letters, magazine articles, blog entries, ads, emails etc.
But no standard 'opinion piece'. Be ready for something more specialised with a fairly clear target audience whose values, knowledge and typical use of language has been targetted. Ever since the disaster of the "tattoo" exam piece, you can expect the examiners will stay in their shells and keep the issue and format fairly traditional. Two speeches with slides in three years make me think it might be time for an online article with links again. Analyse the format and image in terms of how it suits the purpose of the piece. And for god's sake don't obsess over 'techniques'.
Advice duly noted, but I still think it's worth practising using opinion pieces from newspapers. As a tutor myself, my students analytical abilities particularly for this section of the exam have gone from a C standard to an A+ standard by just grabbing everything from newspaper to tweets and Facebook posts and analysing them, and opinion pieces are highly conducive to practice.
Furthermore, the VCAA sample exam, which was posted in August of this year, included an opinion piece for Section C: http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Documents/exams/english/english-samp-w.pdf
I do agree with your sentiment regarding not obsession with 'techniques'. I think students enjoy the safety of thinking PLTs are all that LA requires, but for the most part that standard 'list' and the concept of PLTs in themselves is mostly arbitrary. Much more important to analyse purpose and think of the articles on a level beyond simply isolated incidences of language. The author's contention and arguments as well as an active audience's response should really be the crux of the essay, leading on to then understanding the role of language in persuasion
For the future everyone, this thread is not intended for discussion. Unless you're going to post an article/persuasive text please refrain from posting, as much as I appreciate posts saying how useful this thread is. If you want to discuss something, create a new thread.