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“Form follows function” is a phrase we have all probably heard at least once during the span of our lifetimes. The phrase is a principle associated with industrial design and modernist architecture in the 20th century. The principle basically provides that, in the context of architecture and industrial design, the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose. Under a different lens though, structure often plays an integral role in portraying purpose throughout so many aspects of our day to day lives.
When looking at the making and deliverance of arguments on specific issues and topics, many times the mere content of an argument can be rendered completely useless if the structure in which it is made is not analyzed as well. I chose two different types of argumentative materials to compare in terms of structure; “When in doubt Zoloft will help you out”, an essay by Blair Sabol from the Arak Journal and “Papantonio: Pill Pushing Doctors Put Patients in Peril”, a YouTube video by “The Ring of Fire” YouTube channel.
Both of these materials covered topics on the adverse effects of pill pushing both in modern society and in recent history. While both the essay and the YouTube video did an adequate job of portraying their purpose to their audience,overall it was the essay that was constructed more effectively with its clear-cut objective and expansive yet specific audience. “While Sabol’s essay effectively opens with a bold, clear argument, the Youtube video is constructed more loosely and does not make a clear argument.
” The essay, “When in doubt zoloft will help you out”, concisely made the argument that the advertising world continues to harm women through its’ “targeting of women for psychotropic medication”.
The advertising industry does this by “falsely convincing women that they need these mind-altering drugs to live a normal life or implying that they need these drugs in order to not be bitchy or crazy” (Sabol). By finishing the first paragraph with a bold and clearly distinguishable thesis, the essay effectively sets the tone for an in depth delve into how advertisements and pill pushing have targeted women in the past and how it continues to this day. The YouTube video on the other hand, is constructed as more of an interview. It never makes a clear argumentative point or thesis that encompasses the main purpose, so the viewer is left slightly confused. Although the video provides a lot of important and useful insight on pill pushing in regards to all kinds of people, it is ineffective in clearly portraying this information as a concise argument due to it’s lack of a clear and all encompassing thesis. While both the essay and the YouTube video gear towards different audiences, the YouTube is substandard compared to the essay at appealing to a wider range of individuals because the essay’s content is much more easily understood than that of the video solely because of it’s structure.
The essay primarily focuses on the detrimental and sexist effects of pill pushing by advertisements and doctors on women while the YouTube video regards the issue of pill pushing all across the board, the elderly, the young, adolescents, etc. The essay was easy to follow, with paragraphs out lining specific sub-arguments in regards to pill pushing and rather colloquial language that would easily be understood by multiple age groups old and young alike. For example, Sabol incorporated short sentences into her syntax and avoided complex or unpopular scholarly words. The YouTube video on the other hand is set up more as a conversation between two intellectuals, it is difficult to follow because it does not go by a specific outline. The language used in this news conference is also very professional and a lot of the terminology is terminology that would really only be understood by people who are already well informed or educated on these drugs and pill pushing as a whole. Examples of these words used include somnolence, dyspepsia, contraindications, etc.
When it comes to source use, the YouTube video fell short, while Sabol’s essay used a variety of acceptable sources, which she also cited at the end of her article. Sabol cited sources such as mass media outlets, live shows, journals, university studies, print, real advertisements, and news articles. This variety of reputable sources used (such as the American Journal of Psychiatry and Saint Mary’s College), provides for a more convincing and solid argument. The essay also included many sample old school advertisements that push pills on women. Along with being extremely interesting and captivating, these advertisements served to effectively highlight and portray the true essence of these sexist advertisements, which further supported and helped to deliver the author’s purpose in writing the essay. Since the YouTube video was set up as a discussion, not many reputable sources were noticeably cited or referenced.
This led to a disparity in reputability of the points made in the video, which detracted from the video’s overall purpose, which is to warn against pill pushing and educate its audience on the dangerous epidemic. In conclusion, both Blair Sabol’s essay and the YouTube video are both about pill pushing in general. Sabol’s essay delves into the implications of sexist advertisements pushing pills onto woman unessesarily, while the YouTube video discusses pill pushing as a national epidemic among people of all ages and genders and seeks to gain support from people against the issue.
Even though the YouTube video cited certain sources, Sabol used a larger variety of sources more effectively than the video; however, she could have touched on how pill pushing affected a wider range of people. While the YouTube video’s audience is broader in terms of who the content appealed to, the essay is more easily comprehended by a larger audience, making its message more effective to a wider range of people.Overall, Sabol’s essay, despite its narrow focus on women and pill pushing, was more efficient and successful in portraying its purpose to its audience.
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