The Scope charity letter is an emotional, personal and heart felt letter intended to inform people about Cerebral Palsy and to persuade them donate to their worthy cause. The intended audience was the recipient of this letter, who may possibly be a parent perhaps whose child unfortunately has this terrible condition. The writer of this letter has used a range of grammatical techniques to create an impact on the reader.
One of the main , striking features of this text, is the Anecdote that runs throughout the letter. The short story about Abigail is told by her father which makes it very personal and informal, ‘ I’m Abigail’s dada, Ric.’ The fact that he introduces himself and gives his name adds more personality into the letter and is inviting the reader to read on. The effect this has upon the audience is that the reality of the letter is portrayed clearly and it makes the reader realise it isn’t just a problem for somebody else, it could happen to anyone. ‘Like any parents.’
Something else used, that makes the letter a lot more personal, is the use of personal pronouns. The use of the first person, personal pronouns ‘my’ and ‘I’, in the first paragraph, not only make the letter more real to the reader but also gives a sense of pride that Abigail’s father is feeling. ‘I see that my Abigail has come on in leaps and bounds at school this year.’ The possessive determiner ‘my’ strongly emphasises that Ric is very proud of his daughter.
Furthermore, the second person, personal pronouns toward the end of the text are also very effective, the use of the pronoun ‘you’ includes the reader into Abigail’s incredible story. This particularly impacts on the reader as they feel like they have been with Abigail on her difficult journey through learning and coping with Cerebral Palsy. This making them feel they want to help more people like Abigail, as Scope have clearly made a huge difference. This is a rhetorical device- emotive language. It brings the emotions of the writer, and some readers, to the text and audience.
Additionally, ‘As soon as we walked through the doors, we knew it was right for our daughter’ is somewhat of a hyperbole-another rhetorical device. It can be seen as a hyperbole as Abigail’s parents could not have known the school was right for their daughter until they had learned more about it. However, this is emphasising how much Scope has helped them and also sets up how much more helpful Scope became to them, later in the letter. Another hyperbole, is the bold caption ‘If it wasn’t for Scopes Ingfield Manor School, Abigail wouldn’t be… Abigail!’ Obviously she still would be Abigail but this is used to highlight how much of a lifeline Scope had been, not just for Abigail, but to her parents also. They helped Abigail develop her own personality, even though she has a disability which can hold her back.
Another rhetorical technique, used by the writer is the Tricolon. Ric describes how the school not only give the children a ‘national curriculum education’ as all schools do, but also how they ‘develop speech, movement and mobility.’ The use of the Tricolon here shows how much work Scope put in and
how much they help people with Cerebral Palsy to learn. To add more emotion and make it even more personal, Ric uses a Tricolon to depict how Scope has personally helped his daughter to ‘develop her education, her self-esteem and her sparkling personality.’ The use of the adjective ‘sparkling’ within the tricolon highlights that not only has Scope helped Abigail develop a personality, they have helped her create a strong one that shines through her disability.
Another powerful adjective used in the letter is ‘dedicated’. This adjective shows that Scope are trying really hard to make a difference and will stop at nothing to help people like Abigail, people with this terrible disability. Together with the common noun ‘family’, the two word classes strongly emphasise that they all work together and make everyone; the family, the ‘pupil’ and even the reader feel included in their achievements as a team.
The verbs used in this text guide the reader to feel that Scope is a very friendly and caring charity. The modal auxiliary verbs ‘can’ and ‘will’ express that there is hope for people with Cerebral Palsy, and Scope is it. The modal auxiliary verb ‘will’ indicates that Scope will definitely continue helping people for as long as they receive support. The dynamic verbs ‘meeting’ and ‘providing’ are in the progressive tense, showing that Scope’s work is ongoing, meaning that they have to rely on peoples donations for their work to continue.
Furthermore, the verbs ‘develop’, ‘provide’, ‘share’ and ‘support’ greatly emphasise that Scope are not forceful and are there to ‘support’ people like Abigail. They do not push her but guide her and help her to become the best she can be, while making life for her and her family easier. Taking away the pressure and worry for her education and how it might be affected by Cerebral Palsy. The verb ‘support’ is particularly important as it makes the reader realise that Abigail is not an invalid, nor should she be treated as inferior to anybody else, she just needs a little help and guidance due to her disability. That is where Scope comes in. These verbs persuade the reader to help as they can empathise with Abigail.
Finally the verbs ‘joking’ and ‘giggling’ lighten up the mood of the text as the reader becomes aware that Scope help bring light and happiness into these peoples lives. Although Ric himself didn’t write this letter, it would have been carefully crafted to make it sound as if he did, to make it more personal and more effective. The writer uses the grammatical techniques to make the audience aware of what it would be like in Ric’s shoes, persuading them to help, while informing them about Cerebral Palsy and how Scope enable people to overcome difficulties in learning.