Power of Persuasion

In this section, you’re going to annotate a trailer script in order to identify how a specific type of language is used for persuasive texts.

Watch the two trailers - both for the movie Despicable Me 3.

What types of words and language are used?

Despicable Me 3 (Trailer 1)
Despicable Me 3 (Trailer 2)
Despicable Me 3 (Trailer 1)

You are going to work through the scripts for each trailer, highlighting key words and annotating them. This means labelling them. By the end of this activity, you will have a firm idea of the types of language used in persuasive trailer texts. The script for the first trailer has been done for you.

Download the Transcript for Descpicable Me 3 (Trailer 1), and highlight and annotate examples of the following:

  • Modal verbs - to indicate degrees of possibility [auxiliary verbs], like can; could; may; might; will; would; must; shall; should; ought to
  • Exaggerated language
  • Hyperbole - over the top words
  • Present tense
  • Casual connectives
  • Word play - or humour
  • Rhetorical questions - questions that don’t require an answer
  • Onomatopeia - words that sound like the thing they are describing, like ‘bang!’
  • Make persuasion more powerful

Try again with the second trailer. Download the script of the second Despicable Me 3 trailer and annotate. This time persuasive language tool names are given but can you decide where to use them?