Any tips for a language analysis piece? (VCE English)This week on Friday, I have a SAC (School Assessed Curriculum) on Language Analysis. This entails reading a piece taken from a newspaper (e.g....

Any tips for a language analysis piece? (VCE English)

This week on Friday, I have a SAC (School Assessed Curriculum) on Language Analysis. This entails reading a piece taken from a newspaper (e.g. letter to the editor, opinion piece or even a cartoon) and then writing a response (approx. 800-1200 words) in which we analyse language techniques the author has used to persaude his/her reader.

Having completed year 12 Media last year (and also having special interest in the field anyway) I feel quite capable of my ability to pick apart pieces and analyise their internal workings (language techniques and all the like). What I am not confident in, however, is my presentation of the piece. I lack the skills to write a formal 'language analysis'.

So, any tips or strategies for how this could be improved would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

2 Answers

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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An ambitious project, especially for a highschool student. I would like to suggest some areas of inquiry: first, if you are familiar with Noam Chomsky's approach to linguistic analysis, you might like to analyze the subtexts in an op ed piece, either by a reader or by a staff editor. Secondly, if your interest is in rhetoric, look at a particularly verbal advertising piece, analysing connotation, buzz words, cliches, and the like. Finally, spech act theory could be applied to a spoken utterance by a politician. The "formal analysis" aspect of any of these projects calls for three features: 1. Break the subject piece into discernable sections -- intro, development, etc. -- or whatever internal structure presents itself; 2. Use technical terms specifically and correctly; 3. Make sure to quantify your observations; 4. Finally, give your discussion a strong essay structure: thesis statement, followed by organized evidence, followed by a conclusion that restates the thesis. Hope this helps. You are well on your way to an outstanding education.