Example of how to tackle the comprehending section in an exam (the one with short answer responses)

Posted by Studentbox user
on 08/11/2018 at in  English


Remember this is a comprehension task

Question 1

“Explain at least two ways Stan Grant has used persuasive language techniques in Text 1 to persuade his audience to accept his ideas.”


To answer this question successfully you need to do:

1.     Identify 2 persuasive techniques

2.     Explain how Grant has used these to persuade his target audience


Markers feedback:

·       Some of you misinterpreted the Text 1 – the article is Stan Grants response to the Adam Goodes controversy and debate. It is not from his direct point of view.

·       Many students did not focus on the questions closely enough – did not use key words of question in response. This is concerning

·       Many students identified 2 basic techniques but could not convincingly explain HOW

(eg. the function) of these have been used to persuade.

·       Remember the chart with listing all persuasive techniques? It also listed the effect of each technique eg. Repetition is often to emphasize an idea.

·       This was mostly absent from your discussion, very few students knew this.


Text 1: Ideas

Very good:

·       Main idea - Adam Goodes experience of racial prejudice parallels his own life experiences.

·       The mistreatment of Aboriginal people is ongoing – racial prejudice

·       the historical mistreatment is a legacy of settlement and colonisation – legacy continues

·       Modern Aboriginal culture is in a state of ‘wreakage’ compared to a once proud/rich  culture.

·       A sense of shame about their culture – always marginalised, eg. Meals, clothes, food.

·       Aboriginal people continue to be marginalised and alienated in Australian society.



Not so good (basic ideas)

·       Discrimination (age, gender, race?)

·       Prejudice (age, gender, race??)

·       Ashamed ?

Text 1: Persuasive Techniques:

Very good!

·       Historical context – ‘soothing the dying pillow’ Violence and displacement caused by settlement c.1788

·       Juxtaposition (contrast) – rich/ proud culture of dreamtime compared to ‘bastardised’ culture.

·       Symbolism  - ‘Fringes’ vs mainstream Australian society. Marginalisation anyone??

·       Anecdote – school experience

·       Imagery– mangy dogs and broken bottles suggest disfunction of Aboriginal people.

·       Connotation – ‘stay away from the blacks’ Suggest they are untrustworthy, dangerous.

·       Figurative language – ‘Estranged’ ‘Marooned’ ‘Fringes’ – reinforces exclusion from Australian society. ‘Seeds of mistrust’ – suggests a separation of white community and Aboriginal.

·       Intertextual reference – National Anthem – “rings hollow” suggesting Australian values enshrined are not shared.

Not so good: (Basic)

·       Repetition – “Ashamed, Ashamed”

·       Emotive language – “humiliation”

·       Lots of vague statements that do nothing – “this article contains some key ideas” of What?


Often focusing on Purpose/ Audience/Context – in intro is a good way to understand how the whole text works –  ONE student did this –

Stan Grant purpose in using many persuasive techniques is to search for common ground ‘to be diplomatic’ in all Australian’s opinions to help them see the mistreatment of the Aboriginal people and culture. Grants use of referring to his culture as being on the ‘fringes’ of Australian society is symbolic. If you image a fringed bag, Grant is comparing White Australia as the inclusive section of the bag but indigenous people are the fringes latching on, excluded and alienated from society. His target audience being young Australian is persuaded and engaged by this reference as they can visualise the exclusion that Aboriginal people must feel marginalised simply due to the fact that they do not conform to our ‘picture perfect’ way of life, as Grant compares Adam Goodes experiencing similar situations in his football career.

Sample paragraph:

Emotive language is widely used by Grant to persuade his readers to understand that what might seem like simple or harmless words and actions can have a huge impact on one’s confidence and pride. Grant repeats the word ‘ashamed.’ He discusses his own personal experiences as a child and how he often ‘cringed against’ his own race. He emphasizes how he felt ‘ashamed’ of his ‘poverty’ and bastardised wreakage of culture” that he and others clung to. By repeating the word ashamed it causes the reader to continuously be reminded of the way society has caused them to believe their own role and lead them to be ashamed at the behaviour of Australian’s towards indigenous people. Therefore by using this technique readers have gained a deeper understanding how Australian community is unable to recognize and take responsibility for their own wrongdoings. 



  • admin
    Studentbox User
    Hi. Is there a copy of the text used for this response somewhere?
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