Section Two: Persuasive Language

In Section Two you will be given a range of material about an issue. You will need to read the information, and then write a persuasive response to it.  
As a way of preparing for the exam’s point of view task, you might like to read through the material provided in the text Ananlysis and Argument p126~129 (Drugs without Crime). The piece below drew on the material provided there when writing a speech on the topic. I have identified some elements that I thought would generate a high mark if such a task was presented in the exam.

Decriminalising Drugs

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman.(1) The topic i wish to put forward to you all is that Australia’s plan to decriminalise drugs is a good idea.(2) Although there is a lot of conjecture about this topic. I assure you it is beneficial for us all. Some of the points i will argue to support my case are that there will be a severe reduction in the amount of illegal drug trade and production, thus rendering the drug black market in-operational. Also that drugs will be less appealing to Australia’s youth due to drugs becoming legal and taking away the “rebel”(3) mentality of using the drugs. Decriminalising drugs is also a better use of the resources of the police force and will reduce the costs that the government will incur.

1: The piece was supposed to be a script for a speech and is therefore introduced appropriately.

2: The speaker’s contention was clearly expressed from the start.

3: This is an example of loaded language. I would have like to see more of this but at least it’s there.

As Australians we are forever feeling the effects of the illegal drug trade.(1) Too many times are these people interfering with our lives. We are surrounded by illegal drug acts and organised virtually in our backyard.(2) The black market drug business is infiltrating our society. Easily influenced adolescents are having their minds corrupted and are purchasing these illegal harmful drugs. An example of this is the Melbourne gangland war. Where at least 30 people have died. All these deaths were as a result of these people being linked and having association with the production and distribution of drugs. These people have been murdered in and around our streets. But the most worrying thing about this is that the drug manufacturers use the cheapest and most dangerous chemicals and put these into the drugs. Causing immense dangers to any individual who purchases these drugs, risking their lives. By making drugs legal it will eliminate the illegal drug trade in Australia stopping many associated illegal activities and violence that it brings with it.

1: This is an example of inclusive language which helps persuade the audience to the speaker’s viewpoint.

2: This is a generalisation and an exaggeration (hyperbole). It is an invalid one but they have their place in persuading an audience. Just don’t go overboard and rely on them too much. 

Another main reason for decriminalising drugs is that it will make it less appealing for our citizens to use. Adolescents today use drugs for many reasons and one of these is due to peer pressure, it will look “cool”(1). However by making it legal it will just be an average occurrence so people won’t be encouraging their peers to take drugs and be “rebellious” because now it will be legal. Far less tempting for all. Back in the 1930’s the US government made alcohol illegal, trying to stop its people from drinking. As for the result? The complete opposite of what they wanted had happened. More alcohol was drunk than ever before.(2) Banning it made it forbidden and “glamourous”(1). This created opportunities for criminals to move in and make their money and control the illegal alcohol market which is just like how it is here only with drugs being the item being distributed illegally. Therefore decriminalising drugs will eliminate the illegal drug trade as well as the drug culture and the amount of drug use amongst our people(3).

1: Loaded language (they don’t always need to be in “”)

2: Use of an anecdote to help illustrate the argument. Doesn’t really
prove anything but they are very persuasive.

3: Inclusive language

Finally another key reason to decriminalise drugs is that it would be a beneficial use of government money and resources. Drug addiction is a health problem that should be treated as any other health problems are such as cancers and mental illnesses. As such they are treated as having a sickness that requires medication where they can get their drugs from a chemist. These “addicts” commit crimes to feed their addiction.(1) The reason for this is that they pay huge amounts of money to buy illicit substances off the drug dealers through black market trading. By having a system of recording yourself as a drug addict you will be able to obtain the drugs you need to help control your addiction for a small price. Meaning drug addicts will no longer be forced to create havoc on our streets by stealing from us. These drugs will be clean with the ingredients being labelled on the packaging and will be measured so people don’t sustain an overdose. The most pleasing aspect would be these people many of whom are criminals will now be able to be treated in society as respectable human beings. There will be less requirements for police to put their resources in catching and investigating illegal drug activities. This will give police more time and money to combat other crimes happening on our streets which will be a much better use of their resources. Making drugs legal in turn helps the community because they won’t be in fear of being robbed or assaulted by an addict trying to feed their addiction. It will also result in police infrastructure being used to investigate other matters such as corruption and everyday assaults.

1: An example of a valid generalisation. It’s simplicity helps provide impact and emphasise the point.

In turn decriminalising drugs means less organised crime and dealings happening around us. Reduces the temptation for young people to use drugs. It is also a better use of our government resources and money and allows police to focus on other crimes affecting our country today. To make our streets and neighborhoods safer we must decriminalise drugs. For the greater good(1) of our people. 
1: A small example of alliteration which may add emphasis to the points given.

Obviously the arguments presented here are the most significant part of the speech, but the other points highlighted can be used in any and every point of view piece. Try using these on one of the case studies in the back of the A&A text before the exam for practice.