Commentary for English Language

For my Persuasive writing piece, I chose to write a persuasive speech. I knew I needed to use certain techniques in this as my speech had the purpose of persuading and motivating into action. Firstly I needed a scenario where a speech would be used. I chose to write a motivational speech from Winston Churchill which had already been done, I wrote it without any influence from his original speech however. I chose this as I felt I could use my techniques best in this scenario. To persuade effectively, I used appeal to emotion, character and Reason effectively.

Also known as Logos (reason), Ethos (Character) and Pathos (emotion) founded by Aristotle. The audience of my speech would have been the men of England at the time – 1940 and the Genre to persuade. “We shall not fail; Can you sit back knowing our Children will be raised as slaves? ” I asked questions which I knew were provocative and would get the audience going, this particular question would appeal to emotion and reason, as no parent would want to see their child rose as a slave and the thought would definitely inspire people to put up a fight.

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At the time, people were far more patriotic than today, so I used lines such as: “can we sit back and watch while our shores are polluted by Nazi rule? ” which I knew people would disagree with. I used prestigious language as Winston Churchill was of course Middle or upper-class, by revealing the consequences of not fighting, the speech would have motivated people to stop this from happening. I used long sentences with commas to separate my points whilst keeping the speech a sophisticated piece of writing rather than a list.

I laid the speech out in short three-line paragraphs, which all expressed the points from different angles. I appealed to character by putting across a common feeling, which I/Winston shared with the public to unite them and persuade them to fight for my cause “Like you, I share the heartbreak and horror at our losses”, also reminding them of losses to trigger anger. In my Speech, I used two main semantic fields. I used the group of Evil words such as “tyranny” and “pollute”, I also used a Good group of words such as “good men” and “unity”.

I used the two groups in contrast, to show what we would be fighting as evil, whilst depicting our cause as good. Also I claimed God was on our side, as England was mainly Christian at the time and with God being all powerful, people would feel safer and feel the obligation to do his bidding. I used sophisticated lexis in my Speech to show a high status not to gain power, but to show strength and intelligence, so people felt they had a strong leader to rely on. I felt my piece would be strongly motivational, due to the combination of appeals and lexis I used and although it was short, it should be effective.