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Emotive Language

In this worksheet, students study the use of emotive language in writing and the effect it can have on the reader.

'Emotive Language' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Writing

Curriculum subtopic:  Be Aware of Audience/Purpose/Context in Own Writing

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In this worksheet you will learn to recognise emotive language in writing and understand its effects. This is important for your analysis of non-fiction texts and for your own persuasive or argument writing.

Emotive language is used by writers to manipulate the emotions of the reader. For example they may use words to make the reader feel anger about an issue or to make them feel sympathy or guilt.  Emotive language can be used to manipulate a reader.

 

Read the options below and select the correct definition of emotive language;

Emotive language is used to describe emotions.

Emotive language is used to explain what a character's motive is.

Emotive language is used to manipulate a reader and make them feel certain emotions such as guilt, anger or sadness.

Emotive language is often found in newspaper articles, particularly the headlines, charity leaflets, advertising and persuasive political speeches. 

 

Where might you read or hear examples of emotive language? Select from the answers below.

Recipes

Political persuasive speeches

Instructions

Newspaper articles

Newspaper headlines

Information leaflets

Charity leaflets

Advertising

Read this extract from a charity leaflet for the RSPCA. The leaflet is persuading people to donate to the charity to help animals. 

 

Poor, helpless Stanley was cruelly abandoned by his heartless owner and left cold and hungry tied to a fence. When we found him he was shivering, starving and scared...

 

 

Select some of  the emotive words that have been used from the list below.

Poor

helpless

Stanley

cruelly

by

heartless

fence

abandoned

Select the most effective sentence from the options below:

This poor puppy was left by its owners.

This poor, helpless puppy was abandoned by its owners.

This poor, helpless puppy was cruelly abandoned by its heartless owners.

Now read this newspaper headline:

 

Pathetic player hits helpless referee.

 

 

Which words are emotive in this headline?

pathetic

player

helpless

referee

Read the headline again:

 

Pathetic player hits helpless referee

 

Who does the emotive language create sympathy for?

spectator

Player

Referee

Can you think of some different emotive words that could be used instead of 'hits' in the headline?

 

Pathetic player hits helpless referee

 

Select the three most appropriate emotive alternatives from the list below:

slaps

taps

whacks

smacks

Read the phrases below thinking about emotive words that could be used to replace the words in bold. 

Ten villagers killed by soldiers.

Argument closes school.

Money shortage creates problems for banks.

 

Now match the phrase with the best alternative emotive word for the word in bold.

Column A

Column B

Ten villagers killed by soldiers
crisis
Argument closes school.
massacred
Money shortage creates problems for banks.
Dispute
  • Question 1

Emotive language is used by writers to manipulate the emotions of the reader. For example they may use words to make the reader feel anger about an issue or to make them feel sympathy or guilt.  Emotive language can be used to manipulate a reader.

 

Read the options below and select the correct definition of emotive language;

CORRECT ANSWER
Emotive language is used to manipulate a reader and make them feel certain emotions such as guilt, anger or sadness.
EDDIE SAYS
Emotive language is used to manipulate a reader and make them feel certain emotions such as guilt, anger or sadness.
  • Question 2

Emotive language is often found in newspaper articles, particularly the headlines, charity leaflets, advertising and persuasive political speeches. 

 

Where might you read or hear examples of emotive language? Select from the answers below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Political persuasive speeches
Newspaper articles
Newspaper headlines
Charity leaflets
Advertising
EDDIE SAYS
Emotive language is found in political and persuasive speeches, newspaper articles and headlines, charity leaflets and advertising.
  • Question 3

Read this extract from a charity leaflet for the RSPCA. The leaflet is persuading people to donate to the charity to help animals. 

 

Poor, helpless Stanley was cruelly abandoned by his heartless owner and left cold and hungry tied to a fence. When we found him he was shivering, starving and scared...

 

 

Select some of  the emotive words that have been used from the list below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Poor
helpless
cruelly
heartless
abandoned
EDDIE SAYS
The examples of emotive language in this list are: Poor, helpless, cruelly, abandoned,and heartless.
  • Question 4

Select the most effective sentence from the options below:

CORRECT ANSWER
This poor, helpless puppy was cruelly abandoned by its heartless owners.
EDDIE SAYS
The last sentence is the most effective as it uses lots of emotive language to emphasise the cruelty of the owners and the helplessness of the puppy.
  • Question 5

Now read this newspaper headline:

 

Pathetic player hits helpless referee.

 

 

Which words are emotive in this headline?

CORRECT ANSWER
pathetic
helpless
EDDIE SAYS
The correct emotive words are pathetic and helpless.
  • Question 6

Read the headline again:

 

Pathetic player hits helpless referee

 

Who does the emotive language create sympathy for?

CORRECT ANSWER
Referee
EDDIE SAYS
The readers feel sympathy towards the referee, as he is described as 'helpless'.
  • Question 7

Can you think of some different emotive words that could be used instead of 'hits' in the headline?

 

Pathetic player hits helpless referee

 

Select the three most appropriate emotive alternatives from the list below:

CORRECT ANSWER
slaps
whacks
smacks
EDDIE SAYS
The three most appropriate alternatives are: slaps, whacks and smacks,
  • Question 8

Read the phrases below thinking about emotive words that could be used to replace the words in bold. 

Ten villagers killed by soldiers.

Argument closes school.

Money shortage creates problems for banks.

 

Now match the phrase with the best alternative emotive word for the word in bold.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Ten villagers killed by soldiers
massacred
Argument closes school.
Dispute
Money shortage creates problems f...
crisis
EDDIE SAYS
Ten villagers killed by soldiers = massacred
Argument closes school. = Dispute
Money shortage creates problems for banks. = crisis
---- OR ----

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