Features of Text Forms
To support ideas presented in sequence to justify a particular stand or viewpoint that a writer is taking.
The writer's purpose is to take a position on some issue and justify it.
An argument usually consists of the following:
- a logical sequence
- begins with a statement of position
- the argument is put forward in a series of points with back up evidence
- finishes with a summing up or restating of position
- a good argument shows cause and effect. This is the connection between an action and what leads to it, eg. The fish died as a result of pollution in the water: Violence in movies contributes to violence in society
Types of arguments
- To plead a case - letters to the school principal / local council with regard to current issues.
- To promote/sell goods and services - advertisement writing to promote the school concert/sports.
- To put forward an argument - School uniforms should not be compulsory.
- The argument is written in the timeless present tense. This might change to the past if historical background to the issue was being given. If predictions are being made the tense might change to the future.
- The writer uses repetition of words, phrases and concepts deliberately, for effect.
- Verbs are used when expressing opinions, eg. I think ___ are the best! We believe students should not be stopped from eating junk food.
- Strong effective adjectives are used.
- Thought provoking questions are used. These may be asked as rhetorical questions. (Rhetorical questions: a question asked only for effect, not for information, eg. Would you give your pre-schooler matches to play with?)
- Use of passive verbs to help structure the text.
- Written in the timeless present tense.
- Use of pronouns (I, we, us) is used to manipulate the reader to agree with the position argued. eg. We all know that smoking causes cancer so we do not smoke.
- Use of emotive language ie. words that will appeal to the reader's feelings, eg. concern, unreasonable, should.
- Use of passive voice ie verbs in which the subject is acted upon and not doing the action. This helps structure the text, eg. We would like to suggest that an enquiry be held into the running of the steel mills. Water is being polluted.
- Conjunctions that can exemplify and show results - they are usually used in concluding statements to finalise arguments
Debates, which are conducted orally, are a form of argument in which two opposing points of view are stated and both sides are argued. Supporting evidence for each side is put forward and finally an opinion is stated based on the two arguments.
- Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? English Online New Zealand unit
- Taha Moana - The Sea English Online New Zealand unit
- Guilty/Not Guilty English Online New Zealand unit
- AsTTle Next Steps
- English Exemplar Project: Argument
- Exploring Language.
Conjunctions page 80
Nouns page 29
Verbs page 32
Adjectives page 38
Pronouns page 49
Tense page 33/34
- Hood, H. Left to Write Too. (2000) Dunmore Press.
Arguments page 44
- Wing Jan, L. Write Ways: Modelling Writing Forms. (1991). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Persuasive Writing page 59.
- Derewianka, B. Exploring How Texts Work. (1990). Sydney: Primary Teaching Association.
Arguments page 71.
- Ministry of Education. The Learner as a Reader. Learning Media Wellington..
Close Reading - Arguments - page 127,128