Towards a research methodology: analysing persuasive language in Australian opinion and editorial writing

Swinburne University of Technology
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Bukker Tillibul: The Online Journal of Writing and Practice-led Research, 2019, 13 (1), pp. 01 - 06 (5)
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DWeller_Research_Methodologies (3).pdfAccepted Manuscript Version246.87 kB
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In February 2019, as part of the Masters of Writing unit Creative Industry Enterprises, I set out to write a 5,000-word research paper examining opinion and editorial writing in Australian mainstream media. I had recently observed on a holiday that my father and his friends got all their news from the opinion section of the paper. Consequently, they held views on issues like climate change and refugee movement that are not fact-based. I became curious about the role opinion writing plays in journalism, specifically: why in this genre do we tolerate such a low quality of truthful, well-reasoned arguments that adhere to the basic principles of logic and morals that we would demand at most dinner-table conversations? Further to this, I wondered whether Australians knew (or cared) that using opinion writing as a source of knowledge was not a sound practice of information gathering. With these questions being obviously too huge to contemplate in a single journal article, I set out to narrow the field and conduct some original research into opinion writing. The process is detailed in this report.
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