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“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”-Og Mandino When you live in a brightly lit place, even at night, you tend to lose sight of what the night sky actually looks like. In “Let There be Dark”, by Paul Bogard, the author uses statistical evidence, reasoning, and persuasive elements to build a valid argument towards the reduction of light pollution so that the next generation might actually know what that sky looks like.
He offers a viable stance which, as is explained, is evident for a few reasons. Speaking of evidence, Mr. Bogard utilizes statistics and data to build his argument. He uses names such as the American Medical Association and World Health Organization as well as referencing research and data obtained from NASA. One example is a reference towards the World Health Organization’s statements regarding the night shift of businesses.
Another references research done that links disrupted sleep cycles to an excess of artificial light.
He also uses examples stating facts revolving around the flora and fauna of the world and the effects that light pollution has on their daily, or rather nightly, processes. The process of reasoning is a tricky one to convey through written word, but Bogard shows his reasoning through logical statements such as the one regarding melatonin in the third paragraph. He lists out cause and effect statements that link light pollution to sleep disorders caused by a lack of melatonin production in the brain.
He also reasons with the reader in the beginning of his argument by explaining the main reason he is advocating the reduction of light pollution, while simultaneously appealing to the emotional responses of the reader.
The author concisely conveys his emotional stance in his argument through the use of an anecdote about his childhood that he recalls throughout the article. By using a personal story from his childhood for the anecdote, he appeals to the audience’s emotional response, creating a sense of sympathy towards his cause, as well as utilizing a persuasive element in his argument. He also uses a set of statistics pertaining to children that could possibly pull at an adult reader: eight in ten children will grow up without seeing the Milky Way. By using persuasive elements, reasoning, and evidence, Paul Bogard builds a valid argument in the article “Let there be Dark.” He offers a viable stance on light pollution that he explains and backs throughout the article with examples of statistics, logical statements, and an empathy-grabbing back-story from his childhood. All of this piles together to create a very compelling argument.
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