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Unit 3/4 English > Language Analysis > Flashcards

Flashcards in Language Analysis Deck (61):

What is analysis?

It involves examining details or breaking down something. It allows us to help us understand/realise something's meaning.

To analyse a text involves looking closely at the key ideas, language and the techniques.

To analyse means to pull the elements apart


What are techniques?

Language designed to intentionally convey what the author is promoting.


What are the steps of analysis?

What - what am I reading
How - language attempts to do something (instil image/evoke particular emotional response etc.)
Why - what is the effect on the audience (you have to spend a lot of time on this)


What is example of analysis?

Your cumulative effect of the adjectives "bloody" and "red" help instil the images of culling and evoke a particular emotional response, such as anger.


How do you analyse visual language

You have to shift from the image to written text.
The visual may support the written/spoken language
The visual maybe oppose the written/spoken language

How significant the visual is dictates how much of your essay will be spent analysing the visual.


How do visuals influence or persuade?

Images can support a contention:
. Images can illustrate a contention
. Images can inflict feelings and emotions
. Images can inform
. Images can attack


What are the different forms of visual language?

Photo, picture, drawing, cartoon, caricature, graphic, symbol

Photos can be stage or real (can have powerful effect)

Photos can make us view a person differently (smiling vs shifty vs guilty)

Camera angles are important (close up vs wide angle vs low angle)

Pictures and drawings (eg. Courtroom artist impressions can let us see what the cameras can't)

Cliché pictures (eg. The scream) (some pictures are used so often we know what the article will be about and what kind of response is desired)


What is the analysis structure?

Your introductory paragraph must address the following points:
. The issue (background info)
. The text (author, form, publication)
. The contention of the writer (or writers)
. The target audience (what is the intention of the writer - be specific)
. The tone of voice

Individual/key concerns/arguments
What is the writer saying/advocating/highlighting/emphasising
Put the words of the writer in your sentences

Begin each paragraph with the clear identification of a key assertion (what words from the actual text will you weave into your own sentences)

You must focus on specifically powerful words/phrases and describe what the intended effect is on the reader.


What is some language that helps you avoid "says that"? (Part 1)

. Accepts that
. Advances the argument
. Advocates that
. Argues that
. Asserts that
. Attempts to show that
. Believes that
. Concludes that
. Condemns the idea that
. Considers that


What is some language that helps you avoid "says that"? (Part 2)

. Contend that
. Counters that
. Decries the suggestion that
. Discloses that
. Emphasises that
. Expresses the view/idea that
. Highlights that
. Hints at/that
. Is critical/sceptical of


What is some language that helps you avoid "says that"? (Part 3)

. Maintains that
. Observes that
. Outlines the ideas that
. Points out that
. Proposes that
. Puts forward the view that
. Reasons that
. Refutes the ideas that
. Rejects the idea of
. Urges the audience to


The strategy is designed to/the aim here is to/the writer hopes to ...

. Alienate dissenters by
. Appeal to a sense of
. Advocate the view that
. Divide the audience by
. Elicit an emotional response which
. Encourages support for
. Evoke/instil a sense of
. Include the audience in the debate by
. Incite anger or outrage by
. Propose the viable alternative to
. Provoke serious debate by
. Validate their underlying contention by


Verbs to explain the aim of a particular strategy.

. Accentuate
. Achieves
. Adds to
. Advances
. Affirms
. Allude to
. Attack
. Boosts
. Builds up
. Cements
. Challenge
. Clarifies
. Criticise
. Deepens
. Dismiss
. Draw attention to
. Educate
. Emphasise
. Encourage
. Heralds
. Highlight
. Inform
. Intensify
. Lend weight to
. Negate
. Praise
. Provoke
. Rebut
. Reflect
. Stir


What are linking words and what can they indicate?

Linking words are effective 'signposts', they make it easy to follow a line or argument. They can indicate:
. A new point of a similar nature to the previous one
. A new point of a different or contrasting nature
. A conclusive or summarise point (the logical end of an argument)
. A complete change of topic


What are some examples of linking words and phrases?

. In addition
. Similarly
. Likewise
. Moreover
. Furthermore
. On top of this
. Added to this
. First of all, second, third etc.
. Conversely
. On the contrary
. However
. In contrast
. On the other hand
. Meanwhile
. At the same time
. Yet
. As a result
. Therefore
. For this reasons
. Hence
. Finally
. Consequently
. Thus
. In conclusion

There is also admittedly, despite this, although and nevertheless


What are some examples of tone? (Part 1 - neutral)

Calm, controlled, diplomatic, moderate, open-minded, reasonable,

Authoritative, educated, expert, formal,

Cautious, conservative, guarded,

Bland, dull, insipid,

Apathetic, detached,


What are some examples of tone? (Part 2 - happy)

Amused, humorous, ironic, ridiculing, sarcastic, satirical,

Animated, elated, enthusiastic, fervent, passionate, zealous,

Forthright, frank, matter of fact, unequivocal,


What are some examples of tone? (Part 3 - earnest)

Admiring, amicable, appreciative, approving, benevolent, conciliatory, friendly, supportive, sympathetic, understanding,

Earnest, humble, modest,

Apologetic, remorseful, nostalgic, sentimental, soppy,


What are some examples of tone? (Part 4 - arrogant)

Arrogant, boastful, condescending, patronising, self-righteous, snide, self-important,

Heavy-handed, moralising, pedantic, punctilious,

Cynical, negative, pessimistic, scathing, venomous, vindictive,


What are some examples of tone? (Part 5 - shocked)

Alarmed, astonished, bewildered, confounded, outraged, shocked,

Disappointed, dismayed, regretful,

Abusive, aggressive, attacking kt confrontational, forceful, hostile,

Complaining, critical,


What is ITAARSC?



What must you have in your introduction

. Context
. Tone
. Contention/s
. Audience
. Author
. Source/type
. Each article and visual

(Can talk about similarities too)


Things you must remember.

Write about what the writer is writing
Describe what the writer:
. attempts to do
. seeks to do ➡ to the reader
. hopes to do

. Use active voice
. Figure out the points in texts/a text
. Don't base your paragraphs off the paragraphs of the writer
. Start each paragraph with an argument presented and then talk about the techniques that persuade the audience to follow the arguments
. Link texts together as much as possible
. Weave writers words into your sentences
. Don't have empty sentences


What you did wrong in practice analysis.

Too much "thus", "therefore", "in turn" - don't use this as they imply the writer/photographer etc. HAS done something (when we don't know that for sure. This means you must say the writer attempts/hopes/aims to do something)

Use the writers words (thread them into your sentences)

Base your paragraphs off the arguments presented (not their paragraphs)

Get straight to the point - (writer/photographers name) highlights/emphasise/accentuates/decries/further advances ... In order to ...

Don't get too wordy

Use more active voice


List all the language techniques.

. Active and passive voice
. Adjectives*
. Alliteration and assonance*
. Appeals*
. Attack*
. Bias
. Cliché
. Colourful language
. Connotation*
. Design/structure*
. Evidence*
. Formal and informal language*
. Generalisation
. Gesture
. Humour*
. Hyperbole/exaggeration
. Imagery and figurative language*
. Inclusive and exclusive language*
. Irony
. Logic*
. Nouns*
. Repetition*
. Rhetorical questions*
. Sarcasm
. Satire
. Sensationalism
. Sound and sound effects
. Verbs*
. Vocabulary choice

* = important


Explain active voice and passive voice.

Provides subjective or objective tone.

Active - "they released the report" (direct and clear)
Passive - "the report was released" (indirect and detached)


Explain adjectives.

They are describing words or phrases (writer usually utilises a number of powerful adjectives).

Eg. "A stirring speech speech" "her perplexing approach"

. They add detail to make text more interesting (provides descriptions)
. Can evoke an emotional response
. Can imply something is positive/negative
. Can make us picture something


Explain alliteration and assonance.

This is the repetition of:
. Initial consonant sounds (alliteration)
. Vowel sounds (assonance)

Eg. Alliteration - "Sydney's slippery slide"
Assonance - "The elite meet-and-greet"

. Adds emphasis, reinforces meaning
. Draws attention to key words or ideas
. Can create an emotive image
. Memorable


Explain appeals.

These attempt to persuade through emotional manipulation (targeting of particular interests or concerns).

Eg. "Long-range weapons don't discriminate, we are all a target" (appeal to a sense of insecurity)
"Sadly, Aboriginal health and education are responsibilities we have still to address" (appeal to a sense of social justice)

. They trigger an emotional response
. Evoke feelings of guilt, shame, concern, fears, pride, honour, satisfaction


What can something appeal to/evoke?

. Anger
. Authority
. Common sense
. Concern
. Confused
. Curiosity
. Family values
. Fear and insecurity
. Guilt
. Happiness
. Helpless
. Hip-pocket nerve
. Honour
. Inspiration
. Loyalty and patriotism
. Pride
. Satisfaction
. Sense of justice
. Shame
. Tradition and custom
. Urgency


Explain attacks.

This is a means of criticising or opposing an individual or idea.

Eg. "Her comments are little more than adolescent gibberish" (mudslinging, ridicule)
"Teachers must be held accountable for those appalling literacy levels" (scapegoating)

. They belittle the opponents arguments, may lend weight to those of the author
. Can help author argue from position of authority
. Can offend or alienate audience if overdone


Explain bias.

This is the overt preference or sympathy for a particular point of view.

Eg. An advertisement for the Federal Liberal Party announcing benefits of its changes to Australia's workplace legislation.
An opinion piece critiquing Australia's involvement in
Iraq written by an aid volunteer.

. This can strengthen an argument it bias seems relevant and within the context, and if author has some authority (eg. doctor in vaccination debate)
. Can undermine argument argument if disproportionate to context


Explain cliché.

This is the overused or 'hackneyed' phrase or opinion that shows a lack of original thought.

Eg. "A gold medal performance by the athletes"
"Take a bow, West Coast Eagles"
"World-class City"

. They can sway an audience by appealing to something with which they are familiar
. Maybe make audience feel informed
. May alienate sophisticated audience


Explain colourful language.

This is the use of vulgar or rude language (particularly unusually or distinctive expressions).

Eg. "They are certainly up the creek now"
"Who gives a toss about the Queen anyway?"
"The whole policy is a dog's breakfast"

. It can provide humour
. May offend a conservative audience
. Establishes informal register (friendly, one of us, one the same level)


Explain connotations.

These refer to the positive or negative implications, pejorative phrases ('loaded' language) that evokes an idea or feeling, either positive or negative.

Eg. "The children were slaughtered as they slept" (helpless, sympathy)
"The reckless behaviour was questioned"
"The Anzac legend"

. They encourage an audience (either subtly or overtly) to accept an implication
. Seeks to persuade audience to share particular view of person or event


Explain design/structure.

This refers to the appearance and layout of text, including colour, font selection and page presentation.

Eg. A letter from a principal on formal school letterhead paper
A websites appearances consideration of how presentations appeals to certain demographics

. Persuades through association
. Establishes genre and context
. Can manipulate audience emotions


Explain evidence.

This refers to the material used in support of an argument, such as:
. Facts and statistics
. Expert testimony
. Research findings
. Anecdotal evidence

Eg. "The city's 1.5 million households used over 500 billion litres of water" (statistics - shock audience)
"Wind power generates fewer pollutants than the hiring of fossil fuels" (fact)

. Can lend argument wight and author credibility if employed responsibly
. Can undermine argument if used inappropriately or if overused


Explain formal and informal language.

Formal: more elaborate, precise, sophisticated (adhering to standard Australian English)

Eg. "Success can be facilitated only through the employment of sound educational principles in a supportive learning environment"

. Creates sophisticated, often authoritative style
. Can lend weight to argument and command respect
. Can sound pretentious out of context

Informal: colloquial, everyday or slang terms

Eg. "How do you like them apples?"
"She'll be right, mate"

. Conversational, establishes a rapport with audience
. Humorous
. Appeals to sense of identity
. Can alienate if overused or out of context


Explain generalisation.

This is broad statements inferred from specific cases.

Eg. "This poor behaviour was modelled by the parents, and it is the therefore ultimately a parental responsibility"
"It is clear from the evidence at this school that all girls benefit from single-sex VCE classes"

. Seeks to validate a theory or contention, sometimes dubiously
. Can be inferred to be evidence by a naïve audience
. Can detract from or undermine an argument if unrealistic or illogical


Explain gesture.

This is the use of body language to communicate meaning and positive or nag taiga sentiments.

Eg. An interview folding his arms and crossing his legs to indicate dissatisfaction
A speaker pointing to an idea on a slide

. Helps to convey arguments and moods
. Can influence a subject by making them feel either welcome or intimidated


Explain humour.

This is the quality of being amusing, through the use of puns, irony, sarcasm, satire or wit etc.

Eg. "George Dubya Bush and his weapons of distraction"
"Gillard and Rudd came out of the conference room licking their lips like a couple of love struck Cheshire cats"

. Often denigrates a subject
. Can provide a more engaging and friendly tone
. Can sway an audience by having them enter into the joke


Explain hyperbole.

This is an exaggeration or overstatement used to imply something is better, worse, more/less important etc.

Eg. "Every weekend the city's overrun by beggars"
"We're all being brainwashed by mind-numbing reality TV shows"

. Creates dramatic effect, often through imagery
. Argues through employment of 'shock tactics', appeals to fear
. Can undermine argument if taken too far


Explain imagery and figurative language.

This is the use of metaphorical (non-literal) language to illustrate points and make comparisons (similes, metaphors, etc.).

Eg. "Australia is a fabrics woven of many colours" (metaphor)
"Citizenship was tossed around like confetti" (simile)
"Bodies were piled up in makeshift roadside graves and in gutters" (imagery)

. Paints 'word picture' for audience, helps to illustrate point visually and by comparison
. Author may appear sophisticated, well spoken
. Can have an emotional impact


Explain inclusive and exclusive language.

This is the use of personal pronouns (I, you, we, they, their, our, etc.) to either involve (inclusive) or distinguish/alienate (exclusive).

Eg. "We all have a role to play in the conservation of our previous resources" (inclusive - positive)
"We are destroying this planet all by ourselves" (inclusive - negative)
"Their poor policies" (exclusive - alienating)
"They had their own laws, their own beliefs" (exclusive - distinguishing)

. Targets or accuses particular groups
. Can create a sense of solidarity
. Can create an 'us and them' mentality
. Can encourage a sense of responsibility


Explain irony.

This is humour found in contradictory situations, often highlighted through the use of sarcasm.

Eg. "The war on terror has produced a volatile environment more susceptible to terrorist forces"
"In order to ensure our freedoms, more control is required"

. Can engender support through use of humour
. Can evoke emotional response
. Encourages audience to see flimsy logic in a situation or statement


Explain logic.

The refers to the use of justiciable and valid arguments to sway an audience (reason).

Eg. "Research has proven that a prison term for a minor offence only hampers rehabilitation, therefore we must adopt a new approach, as locking people up simply does not work."

. Appeals to reason rather than emotions, therefore lends credibility
. Sound logic is hard to refute
. Often offers proof and solutions


Explain nouns.

These are naming word or phrases.

Eg. "An Australian legend"
"Terrorist" vs "freedom fighter"

. Adds detail to make text more specific (provides a label/name)
. Can imply something positive/negative


Explain repetition.

This is the reuse of words or phrases for effect.

Eg. "We cannot imagine the horrors they faced; cannot imagine the strength of their spirit. And we cannot allow it to happen again"
Martin Luther King's famous repetition "I have a dream" in his 1963 address

. Memorable - enables words or phrases to be held and recalled
. Highlights main ideas
. Creates a hypnotic rhythm


Explain rhetorical questions.

These are questions which do not require an answer.

Eg. "Did anyone listen to the garbage he was spouting? Was anyone awake? And do I really have to wait another four years for this baboon to leave office?"
"And why do we do this? Because we are fair"

. Encourages audience to consider the issue and accept the authors answer
. Can imply the answer is obvious and that anyone who disagrees is foolish
. Can evoke emotional response
. Can get readers attention


Explain sarcasm.

This is the use of irony to mock or to show content, by implying the opposite of what is actually said.

Eg. "Great - we can now look forward to longer ticket queues, sweater rides and more train rage. I for one am excited beyond belief."
"Why stop at 30 students to a class when we can cram at least 15 more in?"

. Can provide humour
. Serves to mock or question the logic of a situation (under,ones its validity)
. Can backfire if used excessively of in the wrong context


Explain satire.

This is the use of either exaggeration or caricature to expose, criticise or ridicule.

Eg. Television programs such as Real Stories, The Chaser's War on Everything and Summer Heights High are satirical in nature
Political cartoons

. Makes a point in a humorous fashion
. Serves to mock or question a situation
. Can engender hostility in a sensitive audience


Explain sensationalism.

This is the use of provocative language and images, and exaggeration.

Eg. "Overseas fee-paying students stealing our university places!"
"Juvenile joyriders terrorise community!"
"Paris Hilton 'exposed' again!"

. Appeals to an audience's curiosity and prejudices
. Reinforces stereotypes
. Can offend or alienate critical audiences


Explain sound and sound effects.

This is the use of musical effects and other audio to enhance a multimodal text.

Eg. Background music during a current affairs report to create a particular mood
Song playing on a website to associate a product with a particular or demographic

. Manipulates audiences emotions
. Persuades through association (eg. Classical music = 'sophisticated')
. Sound effects can make a text seem either more 'realistic' or more exciting


Explain verbs.

These are 'doing' words or phrases.

Eg. "She sprayed her response at the audience"
"As he staggered down the aisle it became clear - here was a man who had lost all control"

. Adds detail to make text more specific (provides the action)
. Can imply something positive/negative


Explain vocabulary choice.

This refers to the careful selection of particular words (nouns, verbs and adjectives) with a positive or negative connotation.

Eg. "Terrorist" vs "freedom fighter"
"Health issue" versus "health crisis"

. Paints a subject in a flattering or unflattering light
. Subtly or overtly supports a particular point of view


An example of a good introduction.

Issue - ....... Has recently fuelled debates/contrasting opinions
In April 2015, the Abbott Government announced that, as of January 2016, childcare and tax benefits would be taken away from all families who "conscientiously object" to their children being vaccinated and as a result, varied opinions have risen.

Author + piece + source + audience - in his rousing opinion piece, "vaccination is a community responsibility to keep our children safe" (The Age, 13/04/2015), Dean Robertson emphasises that it is irresponsible to refuse the vaccination of children as it endangers so many. Robertson uses loaded language such as "free-rider" to embed anger into parents who vaccinate their children and brands guilt on reluctant parents in an attempt to push them to vaccinate their children.

Similarly, Peggy Mckinlays letter to the editor, "deadly diseases wiped out" (The Age 14/04/2015), encourages the announcement, however she does so in a happier tone and highlights how far humans have come as a result of vaccinations through a brief anecdote.

Conversely, many, including Michael Leunig and Daria Fedewytsch-Dickson disagree with the announcement. Both subtly criticise that the government is hard to stand up to, however Leunig displays this via a humorous cartoon (title source date), whilst Fedewytsch-Dickson employs a highly critical letter to the editor (title, source, date).


An example of a good paragraph.

Robertson contends in a critical tone that it is extremely irresponsible ...... OR

In an attempt to persuade his audience of vaccination objectors that denying the vaccination of children is foolish, Robertson advocates that "childcare and family tax payments, worth up to $15,000" will become non-existent for "conscientious objectors" of child immunisation.

Robertson aims to alarm families through the incorporation of this facts in the hope that a direct appeal to the hip pocket nerve will push them towards becoming pro-vaccination.

Robertson then transitions to a critical tone as he attacks the common defends against forced immunisation, being that we should have "individual choice".

He destroys the credibility of this argument by comparing the potentially lifesaving decisions of immunisations with ordinary decisions regarding "haircuts and handbags". Through this juxtaposition, Robertson hopes to belittle the "individual choice" argument as he coherently shows that vaccinations are not as trivial as "haircuts and handbags". He then moved onto his highly emphasised point, being that vaccination keeps children safe.


What are some other language techniques?

. Anecdote
. Deductive reasoning
. Inductive reasons


Explain anecdotes.

These are short accounts or stories - often entertaining (provides human angle that engages the reader, can convey information)

Eg. "There is now a widespread prejudice against PC users that seems to be little more than brand snobbery. Last week I experience this growing prejudice firsthand, when a friend told me his Apple computer was vastly superior to my PC.

. Positions readers to respond emotionally (eg. with fear or pleasure)
. "Rings true", thus positioning readers to take notice and accept information.


Explain deductive reasoning.

This draws on general rules or ideas about a group to from a conclusion about one small part of the group.

Eg. "The player has been described by friends as a recreational ice-user turned addict. As we know, drug addicts are toe unless individuals, so clearly the player is battling some deep-rooted emotional issues that led to the substance abuse.""

. Moving from the general caves to the specific instance appears logically sound.
. Can appeal to familiar stereotypes or generalisations about certain groups.


Exhaling inductive reasoning.

This presents a general theory about what is happening based on specific events or observations.

Eg. "Every time I see my teenage daughter she is glued to her smartphone. And even when she is with friends, they all sit screen-to-screen on their devices. This current generation of teenagers is in the grip of serious technological addiction that is only going to get worse."

. Moving from the specific to the general suggest the conclusion is based on real-world evidence.
. Can make a reader feel concerned or fearful by creating a sense of a problem being widespread or having serious consequences.