Thursday, April 1, 2021

The world is new

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Analysis of Expository Text.

Assessment Eight

Qu Can writers of expository texts ever present the 'facts' without promoting their own attitudes and values?

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Writers of expository texts cannot present the 'facts' without promoting their own attitudes and values. Turning Point; 'Australians choosing their future' (TP) a book written by Australian sociologist and phycologist Hugh Mackay, promotes his own values and attitudes through the employment of techniques such as selection of detail and point of view. Expository texts are the writers version of 'fact,' a text that is shaped to position its audience to accept, acknowledge and even agree with the values and attitudes promoted.

The word 'fact' is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "a thing or event that is (known to be) true, reality." Mackay's novel TP devotes a chapter to "Egalitarianism' in Australia, it is based on fact, however this 'factual' information is clearly influenced by his values and attitudes. The purpose of expository texts is to present events through descriptions and explanations. Both Hugh Mackay's TP and Diana Bagnall's feature article "A great place to live," present attitudes and values which do not challenge those of the audience. Both expositionary texts present 'fact' through the promotion and re-establishment of common Australian ideologies such as the positive outlook on "equal opportunity" and "cultural diversity." By not challenging a readers ideology a writer has the power to manipulate the readers' point of view and promote their own values and attitudes through the techniques employed.

The techniques employed in expository texts are the tool a writer has to promote his or her attitudes and values. Techniques are used in expository texts to persuade a reader to accept and acknowledge these ideologies. It is clear in all expository texts that the selection of detail is due to the writers need to persuade or position a reader in a certain way to accept and agree with their particular point of view. The feature article "A great place to live" presents factual information in a way that positions the reader to believe that "opening up our lands of opportunity to more migrants would boast the nations economic and cultural stocks." This is a reflection of Bagnall's attitudes and values, her belief that a culturally diverse Australia is positive for both our social and economic growth. The selection of certain statistics such as the information that Australia is rated as the second top country in regards to quality of life, helps to shape the text. Through this shaping of the text Bagnall's purpose to persuade the readers that immigration is positive economically is promoted. Mackay also uses this technique in his novel TP. Particularly in his chapter on "Egalitarianism" Mackay presents percentage statistics such as "[In Australia] the top 0 percent of households control about 60 percent of the [average] house hold income." This information backs up Mackay's personal value in egalitarianism, he selects details that challenge his own values to persuade the reader that Australia needs to make changes to their socio-economic position. Both of these texts present factual statistics regarding Australia's economy and growth, the 'facts' however are not free of the writers own value system, the writers manipulate the reader through the construction of the text to promote their own attitudes towards the subject matter.

The use of personal and emotive language positions the reader to consider the writers' values and attitudes thoroughly; often believing that these are representations of their own ideologies. Mackay's novel TP is written to promote understanding of the socio-economic status of Australia and how that position is changing. Through the use of language Mackay positions his readers to believe that a mere "tolerance of generational and economical differences" between Australians is ineffective in promoting social unity. The idea that "the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer" that Mackay presents in the chapter "Egalitarianism" appeals to the middle class of Australia. Through the use of personal pro-nouns Mackay engages the reader and involves them personally. The use of 'we' and 'us' shape the text to persuade readers that Australia's demographic position is their problem. It is a dictatorial technique which is used by Mackay to persuade the readers that they need to make a change to their society, changes which fit directly into the confines of his own personal attitudes and values. Bagnall also uses this technique; she appeals to the 'average Australian' by using emotive language. Bagnall positions her reader to believe that they live in the 'Lucky Country,' it is as if she is asking her audience 'are you selfish enough not to share your wealth and economic status with the less fortunate?' She appeals to human values such as sharing, kindness and kinship. The writer of expositionary texts positions his or her reader to agree and often act on their own values towards particular 'factual' information and events.

Expository texts position readers to a particular point of view, the point of view of the writer. It is clear that both Mackay and Bagnall value economic growth, and more importantly the Australian society working together for the common good, this attitude is presented clearly in both texts. Through the use of selection of detail, point of view and language both writers encourage common Australian ideologies and therefore do not challenge the values and attitudes of their audience. Readers of expository texts can often see the information as being totally factual; however, all expository writers shape their texts to promote particular values and attitudes. Therefore however 'factual' the text may be it is not free of bias and it has a clear purpose to persuade and position its reader to endorse the writers particular attitudes and value system.

Alexandra Milne

85 words.

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