How to Write a Language Analysis Essay

newspaperThis post is an extension to my previous guide: Journalism 101: Language Analysis. The ability to analyse how language is used to persuade an audience is critical to any journalist; it is also handy knowledge for daily readers of the news so they can avoid being manipulated by crafty journalists. Once you have learnt all of the different persuasive techniques from the previous guide, you would be wise to find an article in the paper, get a highlighter and a pen and try to pinpoint all of the persuasion tactics being employed. This is analysing how language is used to create a certain response from the reader. Once you’ve made your notes, the next step for a student of journalism is to be able to construct an essay outlining and explaining each of the persuasive techniques that have been used. Every article uses at least one or two! Below is a bulletproof skeleton for constructing such an essay.
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Guide to Language Analysis

newspapersThe most fundamental aspect to Journalism, and a skill that is drilled into students of the field before anything else is language analysis. Why? (you may ask). Simple: because journalists are required to write persuasively in order to subtly sway the reader into thinking or believing x instead of y. Before they can develop the ability to write in this manner, however, they must first learn how to analyse writing and track down it’s use of subliminal language persuasion. Below you will find the tools that they use – persuasive language techniques and their application in the world of journalism. Comb through this list and see if you can find the following persuasive techniques being used in today’s paper.

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Steve Jobs’ Batteries Ran Out Today; Couldn’t Find His Wall Charger – Confirmed Dead

Laughs were shared by all at the newsroom today when word had been received about Steve Jobs’ humorously ironic death. Steve Jobs, co founder of the mega corporation Apple – who were responsible for the widely used gadgets the iPod, iPhone and iPad – was found dead this morning, curled up next to his wall socket. Forensic psychologists on the scene say that Steve Jobs had run out of batteries in the middle of the night, woke up in a cold sweat after realising he was on his last bar and desperately searched the house for his wall charger, which was presumably missing… or stolen.

Several people knocked on Steve’s door in the morning, to discuss their iPods with him, and received no answer. Sources say these people just went on with their day, despite the looming possibility that Steve Jobs was in danger. This is another sad glimpse at the bystander effect in all its terrible shame. At roughly 11:30am the milk delivery man, who had been delivering milk to Steve’s home every day for the past 15 years, thought that something was up and forced open Steve Jobs’ back door, which will never look the same again. “Steve is always home, he never leaves the house, so when I knocked on his door and he didn’t answer, I knew something was up” said the milk delivery man when we interviewed him just now. The delivery man, who shall remain nameless because his role in society is not considered to be important, immediately dropped his milk, broke down the door and rushed to Steve Job’s body, who was described by the anonymous milk man as having “a blank white screen, as white as milk… his eyes, which used to be milky white, were now big black crosses”. The milk delivery man attempted to ‘reset’ Stevens’ battery by holding his lock button and home button at the same time; to no success. Steve was confirmed dead at 11:40am, and his wall charger was later found under his bed.

Rest in peace Steve Jobs, you silly man!

iPhone

Police Photograph of Steve Jobs Remains (06/10/11) WARNING: graphic content (too late).

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North Carolina Teen Tries to Rob Bank With Banana, Then Eats It Before Police Arrive

Duel

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. —  Authorities say a North Carolina teen who was thwarted as he tried to rob a store with a banana ate it before they could arrive.

Winston-Salem authorities say 17-year-old John Szwalla held the banana under his shirt when he entered the store Thursday, saying he had a gun and demanded money.

Owner Bobby Ray Mabe says he and a customer jumped Szwalla, holding him until deputies arrived. While they waited, Mabe says the teen ate the banana.

Mabe says deputies took pictures of the banana peel.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s office spokesman Maj. Brad Stanley says deputies joked about charging Szwalla with destroying evidence.

Szwalla faces a charge of attempted armed robbery. Jail officials say he doesn’t have an attorney.

Heavy Metal Kills!

Heavy Metal

By Michael Cunningham

Heavy metal sensation Metallica have had to end their highly talked about world tour due to a tragically ironic event that occurred last night at their concert in Melbourne, Australia. 14 year old boy Andrew Cobb was crushed to death by a very heavy piece of metal that fell from the top of the stadium Metallica was performing in. The object that killed the young boy was supposedly a piece of metal from the scaffolding which rowdy Metallica fans were climbing on and shaking violently. The unfortunate death has caused much outcry, especially from the heavy metal fans who won’t get to see Metallica play in their country. The parents of Andrew Cobb stress that “Heavy metal concerts are unsafe and should be banned,” a comment which has brought about considerable press attention.

“Only at a Metallica concert would fans climb onto a very unstable scaffold in the middle of the performance!” local police deputy, Andy Dufraine tells the Daily Word Newspaper. There is currently a worldwide petition to ban heavy metal music from ever making it to a live stage again; “While I’m not familiar with the music, I think banning it is a good idea” says local official, Ben Wong. “After all, the fans of heavy metal music are clearly all drunken hoodlums and Satanists, hell bent on killing innocent children!” Metallica fans who attended the concert say that it was all just an unfortunate accident, and in relation to all heavy metal fans being violent Satanists, Metallica fan Chris Blueberry speaks up, “We’re all really good people once you get to know us, the whole rowdy scaffolding incident was just because the band didn’t play Enter Sandman, and we were all a little bit upset as you can imagine!” Enter the Sandman, Metallica’s most acclaimed single has reached gold for selling over 500,000 copies in the US and has been a live staple of the band since its release.

Riot