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Toulmin Analysis Essay

Two college freshmen were recently tasked with preparing an argumentative-type essay on video games violence and their influence on their younger audiences. The two easily accepted the assignment without hesitation; they bore deep-seated skepticism on the “nearly depleted positive influence” games have on kids today. They submitted their paper promptly and were stunned to learn of the essay’s failing grade. The students had invested so much into the paper emotionally; they thought not to deliver proper support to bolster their claim. Had they followed the Toulmin method, their paper wouldn’t have included so many (if none at all) generalizing and quite broad statements; nor would the students have included so many claims and so little backing and grounds.

The Toulmin approach is a method that states the claim, starting with the major claim that can include the facts, definitions, cause and effect, and the value of the claim; one or several claims can be used to establish the case of the essay. Also, the data can be used to support the claim, the warrant can be used to validity of the claim, and backing is to support the warrant (Lamm & Everett, 2 007). The Classical Approach was invented by the Greek philosopher Aristotle; it is used as an argument tool to influence the reader to view the author’s point of view, take the author’s side of an issue, or favors the author’s stands in the decision. The classical approach/Aristotelian relies heavy on the use of ethos, pathos, and logos appeals (Lamm & Everett, 2 007). In “What the Waters Reveal”, the author exposes Hurricane Katrina’s impact in New Orleans and how the storm brought light to poverty and the government’s inability to address this ongoing issue.

One of his claims – America’s ignorance to their own welfare – is made clear with civilian quotes such as “We have now seen what is under the rock in America” and “I didn’t realize how many Americans were poor”. According to Wilson, the media exposed the tragedy of who was affected by Hurricane Katrina and why. Because of the poverty situations African Americans were put into situation due to lack of finance to avoid and flee the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the Government urgency to come to their rescue. Hurricane Katrina exposed Americans to the reality of racial isolation and chronic economic subordination (Wilson, 2008).

Hurricane Katrina affected the lives of many different Americans. Katrina storm took over New Orleans, Louisiana affecting thousands of lives and destroying over 100,000 homes. This destruction caused people to relocate to other cities and start new lives. A few other states, such as Texas, were also affected by the storm and people were forced to move out of their homes because of the rains and floods. The Hurricane Katrina storm washed out all of the people living in poverty, and left a watermark across New Orleans that was a minimum of six feet tall from the storm flooding the city. Many people were left behind to suffer, many of which were poor black people who did not have enough money to leave town, let alone survive in such a tragedy. From the young black generation, to the old, these people were exposed and on their own without any help or support.

The results of this, was that they began acting out in rage, doing whatever they could to survive the storm. Bringing what was in the dark, to the light, Americans saw on live television how the poor population of New Orleans was struggling and how desperate the situation really was. Some of these people were so broke that many died because they could not get money or help to get out of New Orleans. Katrina only exposed what had already been going on in New Orleans. Seeing such a tragedy on tv caused many people to feel ashamed, but compassionate about the values that they have. In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, back in 1889, there was a flood that lulled and caged hundreds of people in their homes, most of who were poor. The blame fell on Pittsburgh millionaires who had a fishing pond that supposedly over flooded on to the destitute. This flood helped the future of the town out.

Clearly, the author took a strong, emotional tone with this article. He attacks the integrity of the political world and the government’s lack of oversight on the Hurricane Katrina incident and some other things. His use of phrases such as “washed away our national denial” and “it made Americans feel comparison and shame” laminated the intent to involve the readers emotionally. To strengthen the emotional high ground, the author brings out the big guns: statistics. The author then brings in earlier scenarios of grand-scales disasters (the great flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889) to further pull the audience to their side. By keeping the numbers consistent alongside emotional drawing phrases, Jim Wallis made his claim clear: America needs to reprioritize their concern on poverty.

Lamm, R., & Everett, J. (2007). Dynamic argument [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, ENG215 website WILSON, W. (2008). The Political and Economic Forces Shaping Concentrated Poverty. Political Science Quarterly, 123(4), 555-571.

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