In the article Parent Plan too Pushy, published in the Herald Sun on 29/1/03, the writer, Robyn Riley argues against Mark Latham's proposed parenting classes. Ms Riley challenges that such a suggestion wrongly holds parents solely accountable and lets government agencies easily off the 'hook'.
Throughout the article the writer uses a number of persuasive devices in order to manipulate the audience's response. These include, rhetorical question, attack and emotive language
One example of a persuasive technique used is that of the rhetorical question. A rhetorical question is one that is not answered, as it assumes that the answer is obvious. It positions the reader in such a way that to disagree would be to ignore a point that clearly commands agreement. Examples of this technique throughout the article include: "Should we allow Parental Responsibility Contracts to be introduced at the whim of a political party?" "Will those under contract have to attend classes if they are planning to have another baby?" and "What about the stigma attached to such orders".
Such questions cleaverly have the answer embedded in them and leave the reader thinking with a particular frame of mind. In this instance that frame of mind is one, which heavily doubts the effectiveness of such a proposal. We are led to believe that parenting classes do nothing except give leaders such as Mark Latham further political gain, meanwhile ignoring the real source of the problem, leaving the blame solely with parents.
Yet another way the author persuades the reader to agree with his stance is by using emotive language. Emotive language is a powerful way to manipulate the reader's response as it deliberately uses strong emotive words to play upon the reader's feelings. Such examples of words and phrases used throughout the piece include, "intrusive", "failure", "conveniently...