Rethorical Essay

1466 words - 6 pages

Rhetorical analysis is the ability to read an article and determine whether it was written to persuade, inform or entertain an audience and sometimes they were written to do all three. Sometimes essays and articles are written in response to another article. Usually a popular text is written based off of an academic text and sometimes the transition from academic to popular text can cause the information that is in the academic text to be miscommunicated. However, this is not the case in Alan Schwarz’s article that was published in the New York Times titled, “Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries” which reports on a study done by Susanna N. Visser ...view middle of the document...

Schwarz’s New York Times article appeals to the audience’s ethos because of the way it was published as well as the external sources that it uses. The fact that Schwarz’s article was published by the New York Times it automatically gives it credibility seeing as it is the nation’s third largest newspaper and it has won over one hundred Pulitzer Prizes. In the text of the article itself Schwarz refers to Visser’s academic article that she wrote for the CDC which is a government run organization. For example in Schwarz’s article he states that, “More than 100,000 American tolddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented on Friday by an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” (Schwarz) The official that Schwarz is referring to is Susanna Visser who was one of the academic journal regarding the treatment of ADHD in young children. Without stating where he received his statistics and information from, it would have made Schwarz’s statement less reliable because the audience knows that he, himself, did not do the research to find out that more than 100,000 American toddlers were being medicated for ADHD. In addition to Visser’s CDC article, Schwarz also refers to other reliable sources such as information from The Food and Drug Administation and direct quotes from doctors who specialize in ADHD.

Logos is another rhetorical analysis feature that is portrayed in this essay and it is a way of persuading the audience through logical reasoning. Articles that are published by CDC are aimed towards people who are looking for specifics when it comes to research and new health findings. Whereas articles that are published by the New York Times are for the “everyday American” who are more interested in research findings rather than the process that it took to find those results. Visser’s CDC article was written much like other academic articles which includes a background, methods, results, and discussion section which is much more complex that a popular media article. The fact that the article is divided into these different sections makes it easy to follow but sometimes hard for a broad audience to comprehend due to its vocabulary and formal tone. In Schwarz’s article he is able to take the information that is found in Visser’s article and make it easier for a broader audience to understand, thus making his arguments more logical because the audience is able to comprehend his arguments easily. In the results section of the CDC article you can find statistics such as, “ADHD diagnosis (ever and current) was significally associated (p < .05 based on x statistics) with every demographic indicator studied. Ever-diagnosed ADHD was higher among boys (15.1%) than girls (6.7%) and increased with age (Table 1). The highest point estimates were among boys, children 11 and older (11-14 years: 14.3%, 15-17 years: 14.0%), and children...

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