Task 2C asks you to create a text discussing a powerful text (this could also be a film) you have worked with this year and compare it to one of the texts from the preparation material. Texts 1, 4, 5, and 6 are all suitable choices for this task.
The assignment requires you to:
- Introduce the two texts you will be discussing
- Compare the two texts in terms of the message conveyed
- Explain and compare what makes the texts powerful
- Discuss how a character's or person’s “just do it” attitude affects readers
As we do not which texts you have studied, we will focus on the texts in the preparation material, respecting the points you need to cover in your assignment. You can find our discussion on text 1 A-G, text 4, text 5, and text 6 in the next pages.
- Text 1
- Text 4: Dear White People
- Text 5: Wing$
- Text 6: I Chose To Look The Other Way
Text 1A - Facebook post by actress Emma Watson
Text 1A from the assignment is a Facebook post by actress Emma Watson, which conveys a powerful message about the importance of sustainability and encourages people to donate clothes.
What makes the message powerful is the use of statistics about clothes waste. Watson mentions that “23% of London’s clothes are unworn” and that “22% of Londoners throw their clothes in the bin after clearing out their closet” (p. 5). This is a strong appeal to people’s reason to argue that the unused clothes could go to people who need them or be sold for charity. This is why Watson calls her audience to action and asks them to donate clothes to a charity.
Another element that helps Watson build a powerful message is the appeal to authority (ethos) by mentioning the UN Sustainable Development Goals, because the UN is a respected institution. In addition, Watson implicitly draws upon her own ethos as a celebrity who is known to be concerned with important issues such as women's rights and environmentalism.
Finally, her message is appealing because it also uses friendly language such as her interjection “Yay!” (p. 5) and hash tags which are a popular way to get a message across social networks. These elements also help Watson create an optimistic and motivational ‘just do it’ attitude, which encourages readers to answer her call to action.
The second text you choose to compare this one to could be related to sustainability, consumerism, and the environment. In your comparison, consider if the other text also makes use of appeals to logos or ethos, or if it includes calls to action and a friendly tone like Emma Watson’s text.
Text 1B - quote from a speech delivered by Steve Jobs to students
Text 1B presents a quote from a speech delivered by Steve Jobs to students. Steve Jobs sends a powerful message about following one’s dreams instead of conforming to norms, traditions, and the expectations of others: “Don’t be trapped in dogma which is the result of other people’s thinking. […] have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” (p. 5)
What makes the message powerful is Jobs’ direct address and appeal to ethos and pathos. Firstly, Jobs speak directly to the students, making them the target of his address. Secondly, by mentioning ‘courage’, Jobs uses emotions to get an emotional response from his audience. His listeners might feel empowered as the speaker tells them to trust themselves. Finally, this feeling of empowerment shows that Jobs believes in the students’ capacity to make a difference, which constructs ethos.
Furthermore, at the time of the speech it was widely known that Jobs suffered from cancer, which might give an extra level of significance to his message about not wasting the limited time you have.
Steve Jobs’ reputation and the powerful words he chooses (‘dogma’, ‘courage’, ‘most important’) suggest he has a determined ‘just do it’ attitude through which he wants to inspire his audience to follow their dreams.
The text you choose for comparison could also be about the importance of dreams, ambitions and perseverance, and breaking the mould. When comparing it with Steve Job’s message, consider if your chosen text also includes appeals to emotions and authority or direct address. Consider also how the sender’s attitude compares to that of Steve Jobs.
Text 1C - Maori teenager in New Zealand
Text 1C is about a Maori teenager in New Zealand whose actions send a message about the importance of protecting the environment and speaking out on behalf of indigenous minorities.
Watene Campbell creates a powerful message by linking culture with the environment, as nature is important for the Maori. He first uses criticism to be persuasive, by talking about selfishness in relation to the environment: “People sometimes think too much about themselves and don’t think ahead.” (p. 6)
Then he makes his message more convincing by appealing to emotions (pathos) when he talks about his future children needing a safe environment: “I want my children to experience the beauty of the sea and forest as I have, and connect to our Maori gods as I have…” (p. 6) By mentioning gods, Campbell adds power to the message through an appeal to the authority of religion. Ethos is further used in his message as Campbell also presents himself as representing “a voice for the Maori in the future” (p. 6) and advocates for equal opportunities for everyone.
Campbell has a ‘just do it’ attitude towards speaking out which appeals to readers through his genuine concern over the environment. His attitude encourages readers to reflect on the importance of future generations having access to a safe environment.
The text you choose to compare this one with could also be connected to topics like protecting the environment and respecting indigenous cultures.
Text 1D is about a schoolgirl in Australia who present...