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September 21, 2019, 02:58:40 pm

Author Topic: Language Analysis  (Read 168 times)  Share 

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sendthemtotherange

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Language Analysis
« on: August 18, 2019, 09:35:37 pm »
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I have no idea on how to write a language analysis, I'm able to point out persuasive techniques and say why the author used but I can't write an essay. Nothing comes to mind and I always end up writing up trash. I don't know how to structure my sentences and I feel as if my vocabulary is limited so I can't write this essay to the best of my abilities

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literally lauren

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Re: Language Analysis
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2019, 09:44:51 pm »
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I'll break this up bit by bit, since you have a bunch of different options to improve right now - it just depends on what you most want to work on!
I have no idea on how to write a language analysis,
Not at all your fault; this is usually not taught very well from Years 7-11 (and even in Year 12 tbh) so unless you get lucky and have a teacher who explains it clearly, it's really not unusual for students to get all the way to their exam not really knowing what the aim of a language/argument analysis essay is!

On the most basic level, the task is to analyse how the author uses language to create an argument, and how this is intended to persuade the audience. The easiest way to make sure your essay does this is to use an essay structure like the following...

I'm able to point out persuasive techniques and say why the author used but I can't write an essay.
Essay structure:
INTRO:
- Outline any relevant background information
- State the author's contention (i.e. main argument)
- (optional) Acknowledge the target audience, or tone of the piece

BODY PARAGRAPHS:
- Structure by sub-arguments or 'key players'
- Start with a topic sentence that explains one of the author's sub-arguments
- Use the WHAT-HOW-WHY method to analyse the language:
      - WHAT is the author doing? What language features are they using? (this is where you quote, and you can identify techniques if they are important)
      - HOW does the author want readers to feel? How is the author evoking certain thoughts/feelings/beliefs?
      - WHY does this contribute to the author's sub-argument, or contention?
      (e.g. The author's use of the pejorative adjectives "big stinky mean idiot" in characterising the police officer is designed to engender readers' derision and contempt for the stupidity and unappealing nature of the individual and the laws he represents. Thus, the author's attack is intended to position readers to dismiss the authority of the police and rebel against them. ~~silly example, but you get the picture :P
- Focus more on the construction of an argument than just the persuasive devices used. If you were asked to describe a house, you would talk about things like 'bricks' and 'stones' rather than the clay molecules inside the bricks, right? It's the same when analysing a text - you can't talk about a big argument by pointing to a single rhetorical question - you have to look at what the author is saying through the sub-arguments they create.

CONCLUSION:
- 'Zoom out' and talk about the overall impact of the piece
- What does the author want? What is their best case scenario? Describe this, and state how any particular parts of their piece might help them achieve this.


^This is not the only way to do things; I've just listed some general tips here to guide you :)

Nothing comes to mind and I always end up writing up trash. I don't know how to structure my sentences and I feel as if my vocabulary is limited so I can't write this essay to the best of my abilities
Don't stress about vocab or sentence structure until you feel like you're confident in what you're trying to write. (You can jazz it up with nicer words later!) For now, concentrate on writing stuff that makes sense to you, and hits the targets outlined above. Afterwards, you can go back over your work and look for opportunities to use a wider variety of language or to restructure your phrasing.

Also, the examiners care WAY more about what you write than how you write it. Obviously you have an advantage if you're a good writer anyway, but in general, clear, effective writing that fulfils the task criteria is always going to score higher than some fancy-shmancy essay that's 2,000 words long and uses vocab like 'superciliously' or 'extrapositionality.'

I hope this helps clear things up a bit! I'd highly recommend checking out the Analysing Argument Club here where you can practise your LA skills in small doses to help you improve really quickly! You can also just read through some of the resources or other students' responses + feedback on that board if you're still unsure :)

Best of luck!!