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English - Analysing Media Texts - An Acronym - AALP

AALP

About – Audience – Language – Presentational devices

What is the text About?

This is its subject matter.

Understand the content of each piece.

You need to be able to understand the details of the text and be able to summarise its subject content in your own words, and explain the arguments offered by the author to support a point of view.

You should also be able to decide which are facts and which are opinions.

Look out for quotations from experts, and statistics being used to add 'weight' to the writer's argument.

 

Who is the text intended for – Audience?

Asking yourself this question will help you to recognise the particular ways in which a text has been created and presented to suit a particular kind of reader.

In your answer you can include a commentary about these features and the style of writing to gain extra marks.

Think about the differences between an article about keeping pets, written for a young person, and a newspaper article about dog training, written for knowledgeable adults.

 

The style features will include:

The length and complexity of the sentences and paragraphs.

The way the information is presented.

The vocabulary used.

The tone of the article.

The intellectual level of the information and arguments, as well as the different kinds of presentational devices.

 

How Language is used in the text?

Look in a detailed way, at the use of language in each text:

Start at the top of the text with the title. This often summarises the whole text and may contain a 'play on words'. In 'Erica has it' this comes under humorous. It is meant to attract you to read the text.

The whole text may use emotive language to influence the reader. This may include the use of vivid adjectives. In 'Erica has it' this comes under adjectives.

Now move on to think about the tone of the language in the whole text. Is it friendly and controversial, or formal and detached?

Look through the text to find some examples of metaphorical language such as similes, metaphors, alliteration, onomatopoeia and personification. In 'Erica has it' this comes under imagery, and sound appeal.

You could also think about the ways writers use sensory imagery. Notice descriptions that include how someone feels, what they can taste and smell, or the noise they hear.

Rhetorical techniques include questions that do not require answers, but emphasise the point(s) the writer is trying to make.

Some articles aim to entertain and amuse us and they will use lots of lively and funny imagery. In 'Erica has it' this comes under imagery.

Some texts use short anecdotes to add interest and ensure the reader's attention.

Many adverts, and some newspaper articles, use hyperbole to create effects. This is extreme exaggeration and is eye-catching and often sensational. In 'Erica has it; this comes under exaggeration.

 

What kind of Presentational devices have been used?

Examine closely the whole text and think about all of the following (and also any other devices that you can see) and the effect they have on the reader:

Illustrations: photos, drawings, maps, cartoons, graphs and plans etc. These add interest and information and attract attention to the text. Some adverts have very little text and rely on images to tell the story.

Short, eye-catching titles, often in very large, bold type faces.

Sub-headings, side headings to highlight items from the text, possibly as 'quotes'.

White space to add impact and emphasis.

Bullet points, numbered lists to make the information clear and easy to follow.

Type faces and font sizes are important, too. Does a particular handwriting-style make the content seem more authentic or sincere?

Colour - can add emphasis and impact.

A logo - this can create a feeling of familiarity and expectation.

 

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