Robert F. Kennedy Jr. vs. Francis Broadhurst
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Dissecting an Argument Authors demonstrate their arguments in many ways. Writers differ in their organization, mode of discourse, and style in making their arguments. An example is of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Francis Broadhurst's essays on the Cape Wind project. The respective essays are of the same topics but with opposing views. Both opinions are neither right nor wrong, it depends on how well the writer supports his case. Kennedy uses descriptions and examples to draw in the reader, while Broadhurst uses statistical evidence and studies to illustrate his point. Facts and research are powerful when speaking to scientists and politicians. But to the average reader and tourists that visit or live in the Nantucket Sound area, the pathos reasoning is far more relatable and hits close to home thus, it is more appealing. Ultimately, Kennedy's "An Ill Wind off Cape Cod" makes a stronger and more effective argument because he can manipulate his readers' prospective and outlook on the topic of the Cape Wind project through the organization of the essay, the mode of discourse, and the style in which the essay is written in. Kennedy first begins to create an image of the effects of turbines in Nantucket sound by organizing his essay in a cause and effect style. Kennedy explains the Cape Wind project to his audience, "Cape Wind's proposal involves construction of 130 giant turbines whose windmill arms will reach 417 feet above the water and be visible for up to 26 miles."
They are the reasons and the descriptions are the details that support the examples. The descriptions only strengthen the reasons by adding a sense of reality to the reader because now he or she can visualize it. Kennedy rationalizes that Nantucket Sound is among the most densely traveled boating corridors in the Atlantic. The detail that he supports the reasoning is that the towers will be close to the main navigation channels for cargo ships, ferries, and fishing boats. And because the area is infamous for their fogs and storms, collisions are inevitable. In this way, it is very difficult to not agree with Kennedy, especially because there are consecutive paragraphs that supply the audience with so many examples. Each one is more intense than the last; it starts out with Kennedy pointing out the monetary irresponsibility of Cape Wind and ends with arguments that the turbines impact the local economy and the environment of the Cape region. Kennedy then has concession paragraphs that give points about what his uncle did to help preserve Nantucket Sound and why it needs to be preserved. He agrees that there should be something done to reap the same benefits as the Cape Wind project and suggests alternatives, such as the Scottish deep-water wind project that is also mentioned in Broadhurst's essay. The argumentative mode of discourse is makes the essay a powerful case because Kennedy provides reasons for rejecting the wind turbines.
This topic is something that he obviously really cares about, and that helps Kennedy establish his credibility with the reader. He passionately describes the area, "I urge them to come diving on some of the hundreds of historic wrecks in this "graveyard of the Atlantic," and to visit the endless dune-covered beaches of Cape Cod, our fishing villages immersed in history and beauty, or to spend an afternoon netting blue crabs or mucking clams, quahogs and scallops by the bushel on tidal mud flats..." He uses words and phrases like "beauty" and "endless dune-covered beaches" to draw in the reader and lets them know that he, himself, is very fond of Nantucket Sound. However, there is always a hint of antagonism in his tone; it especially shows when he addresses his critics. He uses words like "I invite" and "I urge" to refer to them. The use of the hortative expresses that Kennedy truly wants to prove to the critics that they are wrong. Kennedy's tone throughout his piece further permit him to emotionally inspire the audience and consequently, he pulls the reader to his side of the dispute. Kennedy's strategy in this essay is clear. He targets the audience's emotions and sympathy in order to win over their vote in opposing wind turbines and he is able to do this through his cause and effect organization, his argumentative mode of discourse, and in his tone and use of imagery. Kennedy's essay is well written and successfully defends the argument against wind turbines.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe section.
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