eCite Digital Repository

Writing persuasive texts: using grammatical metaphors for rhetorical purposes in an educational context


To, V and Thomas, D and Thomas, Angela, Writing persuasive texts: using grammatical metaphors for rhetorical purposes in an educational context, Australian Journal of Linguistics, 40, (2) Article 139-159. ISSN 0726-8602 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Open XML Document (Author's accepted manuscript)

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Australian Linguistic Society. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Australian Journal of Linguistics on 1/4/20, available online:

DOI: doi:10.1080/07268602.2020.1732867


Martin (1989) described persuasive language as the language of power. When a person can use persuasive language effectively in speech and writing, it increases their ability to participate and access power in democratic societies. Persuasive writing is one of three key text types in the Australian Curriculum: English, and language features of persuasive text types are taught across the curriculum. Australian students’ ability to write persuasive texts has been assessed in seven of the past nine years of National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) testing. One of the language features that is considered important in persuasive writing is grammatical metaphor. This paper employs concepts from systemic functional linguistics (SFL) to examine how ideational grammatical metaphor was used in the 32 highest scoring persuasive texts written by Tasmanian primary and secondary school students for the 2011 NAPLAN test. The results show that high achieving students demonstrated an ability to use ideational metaphor in their persuasive writing from the middle primary school years. This paper aims to provide guidance for Australian primary and secondary school educators by showing how and in what ways high achieving students use grammatical metaphor for persuasive purposes in NAPLAN responses across the tested year levels.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:grammatical metaphor, ideational metaphor, systemic functional linguistics, persuasive writing, NAPLAN, high achieving students, Australian school context, primary and secondary school years
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:English and literacy curriculum and pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Pedagogy
UTAS Author:To, V (Dr Vinh To)
UTAS Author:Thomas, D (Dr Damon Thomas)
UTAS Author:Thomas, Angela (Dr Angela Thomas)
ID Code:137608
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2020-02-21
Last Modified:2021-09-08
Downloads:99 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page