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The article “Pill testing won’t save people.
Common sense will,” was written by Louise Roberts. It was published on January 5, 2017, in the “The Daily Telegraphy”. This article talks about the illegal drugs that most teenagers tend to consume which have not been tested, and where there were few casualties. Louise Robert uses very common language features that should be avoided such as rhetorical questions, biases, and subjective that makes the article non-academic writing. In the text “Pill testing won’t save people. Common sense will,” the author uses various rhetorical questions. Examples used in the article are: “Do you want your kids to take illegal drugs?” and “does the kit manufacturer take responsibility?”.
According to Bowell and Kemp (2009, pp. 34-35), the rhetorical question refers to a sentence that does not need an answer but is instead used as an effect to express. This feature of language appears in opinion texts — as Bowell and Kemp (2009, pp.34-35) explain “rhetorical questions are common in polemical newspaper articles and in contributions to internet discussion forums”.
This feature is not in academic writing because the reader might misunderstand the meaning behind the writers’ question and the writer may be expressing too much of their own personal perspective. If the text was to be rewritten in a more academic form, it should be a straight forward sentence. To take the first sentence in this article as an example, the author could instead write “Your kids should not take illegal drugs”. This sentence is directed and specifies that children are not allowed to take illegal drugs.
Louise Roberts uses another feature known as subjective, examples include: “While I admire …” and “Illegal drugs cost the Australian economy…”. Based on Brick, Herke, and Wong (2016, pp.12-16), subjective features are sentences that are personal, and with no evidence detected. This feature is present in an opinion-based text — as Brick, Herke, and Wong (2016, p.8) explain “The writer does not attempt to build a logical, rational argument. Instead, he tells us directly and indirectly how he feels…”.
In academic writing, we do not come across with this feature because there is no evidential provided and it points out the writer’s emotion/feelings or perspective. If the text was to be rewritten, it would be essential if the writing would use “rational, impersonal, logical” Brick, Herke, and Wong (2016, p. 7) sentences in the article with supporting evidence. Also, while writing an article it should be in the third person. Another very common feature that was used bias. Examples that include: “Two others also overdosed on party drugs …” and “death”. According to Brick, Herke, and Wong (2016, pp. 16-17), bias is a sentence that was not back-up with evidence, more emotional than logical and it can be persuasive with word choice. This feature is an opinion-based text as Brick, Herke, and Wong (2016, p. 16) explain “You cherrypick the evidence if you refer only to the evidence that supports you and ignores the majority of evidence …”.
In academic writing, bias is not found because it lacks supporting evidence and it only specifies on particle group of people rather than including everyone. If the article is to be altered, it is important to make sure that the article is cited with “statistics, quotations from books, articles, and interviews” Iain Hay, Dianne Bochner, and Gill Blacket (2012, pp.75-77) rather than just giving an opinion statement. In academic writing, an article should not encounter biases, subjectivity, and rhetorical questions. When these features are present, then the whole idea of the article will not be accepted or approved. From the analysis that was gathered, an article should provide evidence for every claim that has been made, it needs to be impersonal, logical, rational, and should not have any questionable statement.
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