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How to Write a VCE Argument Analysis for English

Feature Image - VCE Argument Analysis

Are you unsure where to begin with the VCE argument analysis? If so, you’ve come to the right place. 

The argument analysis essay is usually introduced in Year 11 English, and a part of your final exam in VCE English. Unlike your analytical or comparative pieces you are unlikely to have had much practice writing this type of essay in earlier years.

To get you started on how to write your argument analysis response, we have compiled everything you need to know right here! 

Let’s get started! 

What is the VCE Argument Analysis? 
Types of Articles for Argument Analysis
What Makes a Good Argument Analysis?
Consider the Following Before Writing Your Response 
How to Write Your VCE Argument Analysis 

What is the VCE Argument Analysis? 

The VCE Argument Analysis is one of three types of responses you are assessed on in Year 11 and 12 VCE English.

You are presented with an article from a source such as a newspaper and you are then asked to analyse the language that the writer has used, as well as how they convince an audience of their stance on an issue. 

Make sure you’re ready for everything in the VCE English Language Study Design and read our guide!

Types of Articles for Argument Analysis


Editorial - VCE Argument Analysis

An editorial has the insignia of the newspaper in which it is published, and does not have the name of the writer. This type of article should be referred to as an editorial, an article or with the name of the newspaper when referred to in your response. 

Want a deeper dive on the different types of feature articles? Check out our complete guide to writing feature articles!

Letter to The Editor

Letter to the Editor - VCE Argument Analysis

A letter to the editor has the name of the writer and the place from which they have come. These articles are typically shorter in length and should be referred to with the writer’s last name, as a letter or an article. 

Opinion Article

Opinion Article

An opinion article has the name of the writer and their credentials. These are generally longer articles. Can be referred to as an opinion article or by the last name of the writer.


Cartoon - argument analysis

The cartoonist’s name should be found on or near the illustration. Watch for what occupies much of the cartoon to show impactful analysis. Make sure to analyse what is presented in the foreground as well as the background.  

Note: Not every article you will be asked to analyse will be from a newspaper, they may also be from a blogpost or a post from an online forum. It is important to identify precisely what type of article you have been presented with, so you can gauge why the article has used specific language and the specific audience they are targeting. 

What Makes a Good Argument Analysis? 

The concept and structure of an argument analysis are fairly simple to get your head around, therefore it is important to pay attention to some close details that will make your analysis of a particular article stand out.

Here are some tips! 

Check out our definitive guide to each VCE English SAC text response!

Tip #1: Have a Good Understanding of the Issue

Before you begin to analyse the writer’s persuasive techniques, it’s important that you have a thorough grasp on what they are trying to persuade the audience of.

This helps you better understand their techniques thereby resulting in better quality analysis. To achieve this make sure that you read the article slowly instead of rushing through it and take note of the title, as it is a good indicator for what you are going to read. 

Tip #2: Plan Your Response

Argument analysis essays are very structural, and so there are certain aspects that you should be including in every single one of your responses.

By taking advantage of this ‘ticking the boxes’ approach, you can assure that you will receive marks by including certain things in your response. This includes the contention of the writer, target audience and the tone of the writer.

Tip: To make sure you include all of these points in your final essay, you should use the VCE Argument Analysis template for each response until it becomes intuitive. 

Tip #3: Vary Your Sentence Structure 

Whilst having a structure is necessary, you should also consider the flow of your piece.

It is easy to fall into using repetitive sentence structures, with a pattern of bringing out the evidence from the article, followed by the persuasive technique that the writer is using, and then the impact it has on the reader.

Whilst it is important to include these in your essay, it should not be written in a choppy and disjointed manner.

Tip: In some parts of your essay, you could start by highlighting how the readers are positioned and then expand on how the writer has done this, in order to provide some variation.

This requires a bit of practice, so be patient and keep trying!

Tip #4: Don’t Quote Everything in Your Essay 

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the amount of text that you are presented with in an article, as well the short amount of time you have to analyse it. As surprising as it may sound, to write a good VCE argument analysis you do not need to analyse everything.

Instead, it is about how you pick out good pieces of evidence and show quality analysis.

A good way to choose the best evidence is to imagine you’re presenting a speech. Check out our guide to Acing Your VCE English Oral Presentation!

When you find a piece of evidence that you’re planning to use in your essay, don’t quote the entire thing. Instead, you should pick the few words that really make an impact and show deep analysis of those. For example:

‘From the outset, Gill criticises the long-standing “intransigence of political leaders” towards pill testing. Through utilising the term “intransigence,” the health officials are led to feel attacked having been labelled unyielding and stubborn, reflecting Gill’s earlier claim that they are incapable of looking beyond their own limited experience.’

Tip #5: Use Specific Vocabulary for Tones and Persuasive Words 

Of the details that sets apart an excellent analysis from an average one, the use of specific and varied vocabulary is a major distinguisher.

But, vice versa, don’t use extravagant and lengthy words if you are unsure of their exact meanings and relevance — most likely, the examiner can sense when you don’t know the actual meaning of a certain word. 

Tip: You should memorise a list of persuasive words and tones as well as their definitions, so that you have an ingrained bank of terms to choose from as you are actively writing your analysis.

Check out our list of persuasive words and tones that we’ve compiled for you!

Persuasive Words




Might need some help crafting a VCE Argument Analysis? Work with a tutor from our English tutoring Melbourne team!

Consider the Following Before Writing Your Argument Analysis

When you are handed an article and once you’ve read through it, it’s not the best idea to begin writing your VCE argument analysis straight away. Instead, try and identify the following points:

  • What issue has the article come as a response to?
  • What is the name of the writer (if applicable), article type, and the title of the article?
  • What are the credentials of the writer? where applicable.
  • Find the main contention of the writer and write it out in your own words 
  • Identify the tone and the target audience of the writer 
  • Summarise the main arguments that are used to support the contention 
  • Consider the impact of headlines, captions and visuals and decide which argument they belong to 
  • Locate and identify words that illustrate the persuasive techniques that are used to support an argument
  • Decide on how these words have an intended effect on the reader 
  • Do not explain what the article says, instead show;
  • What language is used in the article 
  • Why the writer uses it 
  • What intended effect do these words have on the reader? 
  • Remember not to judge the quality of the argument, nor give your opinion of it – you are only assessing what intended effect the language is meant to have on the reader. 

Did you know that you can swap Year 11 English out for English Language in Year 12, or any subject in that case? Check out our guide to selecting VCE subjects!

How to Write Your VCE Argument Analysis 


Write a general statement about the issue to which the article has come as a response, this could be as large as a global issue such as the COVID-19 pandemic, or as small as implementing local infrastructure.. 

Body Paragraphs

  • Each paragraph addresses only one argument. The arguments should begin with a topic sentence — this can be related to something the writer agrees or disagrees with or is proposing as a solution.
  • Analyse how the writer uses the piece of evidence by identifying the underlying persuasive technique. However, there is no need to write out the actual technique that is being used such as simile or hyperbole, instead you should talk about how it is being used.
  • Ensure you comment on what effect the language has on the reader and how it positions them to feel. 


  • Make a general statement on the main approach and strategy that the writer uses to position their audience.
  • Reference the main arguments that the writer uses once more 

Ready to smash your VCE Argument Analysis? Check out our master list of VCE English Past Papers!

And that’s all!

Don’t forget to read and use our other VCE resources and guides!

Are you looking for some extra help with preparing for your VCE Argument Analysis for English?

We have an incredible team of VCE tutors and mentors!

We can help you master the VCE Argument Analysis and ace your upcoming VCE assessments with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or online! For Melbourne locals, we’ve got a Melbourne tutoring team that can support you with your English assessments.

We’ve supported over 8,000 students over the last 11 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 20%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational VCE tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!

Abhisha Vaheesan completed her VCE in 2021 and is currently an undergraduate student studying Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging (Honours) at Monash University. As much as she is invested in Biology and putting together the building blocks of life, she is equally immersed in debating the conflicts of modern literature. Aside from this, she loves listening to music, is an avid writer and K-drama fanatic.

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