Features and rhetorical devices of non fiction text encourage responses from the reader, how do they do this ?
We are often bullied into doing things against our will, this could also be said of expository texts which aim to inform, instruct and explain but importantly to persuade. They use shock value to force us to look at our values, attitudes and ideologies. When devices such as statistics, personal touch, persona, language and case studies are used the responses from the reader will have been deliberated by the author, Who uses these features to illicit the desired response. Looking at articles such as Real Gorgeous, The other country crisis and Columbine it is obvious to see the many features and devices that have been carefully positioned to encourage responses in the reader.
Almost all statistics do not consider the varying factors contributing to the study. When reading a text containing statistics the reader feels they are attaining the hard facts, this however could not be further from the truth as Rod Quin points out with the example of the text Manhood written by Steve Biddulph. Biddulp states “One in seven boys will experience sexual assault by an adult or older child before the age of eighteen.” Reading this the audience will feel outraged or sympathetic towards men, Quin however asks us to consider the “rest of the “facts” that “one in a hundred girls will experience sexual assault by an adult or older child before they reach eighteen” that’s five times the rate of men. While the statistics are convincing it is also the source they come from that can encourage a response from reader. They will feel the “fact” is more credible if it comes from a well known source. The Other Country Crisis by Stephen Scourfeild states that “According to the Bureau of statistics, Australia has once of the highest rates of youth suicide” Once again the reader is not seeing all of the facts, yet the source from which the statistic come from is credible and well known. With this in mind the readers response will still be swayed because we are taught to trust authority. The author has triumphed in encouraging the desired response.
It is always more pleasant and enjoyable to read something that appears to be personal or sympathetic. Real Gorgeous by Kaz Cooke is a perfect example of manipulative language. The text encourages the reader to feel comfortable with themselves that they are fine “the way they are” .