Rhetorical Analysis of Varying writing styles in regards to The Trend of Increasing Tropical Storm Destructiveness

Throughout history, natural disasters have always been a cause for concern among all nations. Currently, the world has been experiencing more typhoons and hurricanes than ever before. Greg Laden of the popular website scienceblogs.com uses the research from Kelly Emanuel’s “Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years” to demonstrate how the severity and destructiveness of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines had been significantly increased by the changes in sea surface temperatures and increase temperatures at lower depths. Both Emanuel and Laden state that global warming accounts for the increase in frequency and magnitude of tropical storms. Laden uses this as evidence to support his theory that global warming is playing a vital factor in both the deadliness of storms and that global warming is also a key factor in past storms such as Hurricane Katrina and may be the cause of soon to come “megastorms” (Laden). Both authors have vastly different exigencies and purposes and in order to address their appropriate audience and illicit vastly different responses, they write very differently.  Laden and Emanuel both write with different goals in mind while still being on the subject of natural disaster intensity and frequency

.Hurricane Haiyland

The article on scienceblogs.com serves two main purposes: inform the general public to a trend that seems to explain how global warming in in fact a very real factor in the deadliness of storms and the second is a call to action for the acknowledgment of this factor and to have people take a stand against it. In order to do this, Laden utilizes a various set of approaches from statistics, visual representations, to taking a persuasive tone in convincing people that “changes to our climate can kill thousands of people at a time.”

Laden’s article begins by briefly mentioning the different factors that are taken into account when determining the intensity of a tropical storm but emphasizes the significance of one factor in particular- sea surface temperatures.  All the graphs from Emanuel’s work support the theory that the temperatures in the Pacific index are proportional to the destructive capabilities of tropical storms. Laden goes on to say that “sea surface temperatures that was almost certainly caused by global warming, as part of a general warming of the ocean.” Kerry Emanuel’s research does accredit this upturn to “to global warming, suggesting that the upward turned in tropical cyclone PDI values is at least partially anthropogenic.”  To make the topic more understandable to the younger or less scientifically informed audience, Laden uses the analogy of a “working downtown population” growing hungrier. In order to further make the research understandable, the piece also incorporates a set of maps showing the temperatures of waters in the Pacific area. Laden also continues to highlight how global warming is the source of the increase in storms. The focus of the work eventually sees a shift from “one of the most powerful tropical cyclones” to “it is time for action.”  Thus, Laden’s main exegiance for the piece is the need to take action and refute “climate science denialists” by taking action.

Kerry Emanuel’s Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years goes in depth on the fundamentals mentioned in Laden’s piece and further extrapolates from a scientific standpoint as to how these storms can be mathematically derived and the functionality of these formulas. In addition, to address Emanuel’s audience, Emanuel explains in great detail each of her graphs and relays them back to her initial thesis that “Theory and modellin2 predict that hurricane intensity should increase with increasing global mean temperature… results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential, and—taking into account an increasing coastal population—a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty- first century.”

Although similar in topic, Emanuel’s work focuses on the mathematical and statistical component of how SST or sea surface temperature has been a factor in the increase of the occurrence of storms as well as the intensity of these occurrences in the past thirty years. In order to do this, Emanuel centers the work on the data taken and derives the following formula to show the “PD” or “power dissipated by a storm over its life

Hurricane Equation

Using similar equations and graphs, the work demonstrates precautions taken to limit the variability of said presented equations. Essentially, this work documents and records the trend of how global warming increases the storms, their yearly frequency, and overall damage done. However, contrary to Laden’s title about a possible trend, Emanuel’s work states that “Global climate model predictions of the influence of global warming on storm frequency are highly inconsistent, and there is no detectable trend in the global annual frequency of tropical cyclones in historical tropical cyclone data.” Thus, it is hard to say if Laden’s article really does a suitable job in explaining to the public of how these disasters function.

Both the article and the paper focus on the destructiveness and the frequency of storms, but both works offer very different information. Laden’s post suggests that there is a possible trend but makes no real correlation between the two besides the fact that global warming is a major factor in the issue. In contrast, Emanuel’s paper does as the title is stated and elaborates on how data supports the theory that storm destructiveness has increased over the last thirty years and is bound to increase- just not in any “trend” or predictable fashion. In addition, Laden tries to state that the main source of for changes in hurricane/typhoon intensity is the sea surface temperature whereas Emanuel states that “Tropical cyclones do not respond directly to SST, however, and the appropriate measure of their thermodynamic environment is the potential intensity, which depends not only on surface temperature but on the whole temperature profile of the troposphere.” Both pieces do agree on one key issue though: this matter does require attention. Laden feels it is time to “take action” against global warming while Emanuel takes a much more well-rounded approach and concludes that “Whatever the cause, the near doubling of power dissipation over the period of record should be a matter of some concern, as it is a measure of the destructive potential of tropical cyclones.”

Laden and Emanuel are writing for two vastly different audiences and this is evident through many different facets of their writing. The diction being utilized, their credibility as writers, and their methods of grabbing attention are vastly different. For example, Laden’s use of phrases such as “kill thousands of people at a time” addresses the readers’ pathos and creates a sense of urgency around the issue. Similarly, he also addresses the ethos of the work by using various maps and graphs from other scientific writings. In contrast, Emanuel uses simple raw facts that appeal to both logos and ethos; however, as far as addressing immediate concern, Laden’s work wins out, but, Emanuel’s research better informs the reader of the semantics and key underlying points of the issue. Thus, each work serves it’s vastly different purpose, but if you wanted straight facts, then the research paper would be a more suitable choice.

Both Emanuel and Laden’s work serve to inform the world to the destructiveness of storms, but only one actively provides evidence to the destructive forces and supports the theory that storms will become more frequent and even more disastrous. However, Landen simply gives a brief synopsis of the topic and simply assigns most of the blame to global warming, which is not an accurate claim in comparison to Emanuel’s research. Academic works and popular pieces vary significantly in diction, limitations, and factual information relayed. Although popular works are generally released to a very large audience, they merely capture the reader’s attention to the subject, such is the case with Laden’s piece. It explains briefly the very complex nature of natural disasters as it relates to the recent events of Typhoon Haiyan but doesn’t full extrapolate upon how the scientific aspect functions. Emanuel’s piece on the other hand, is an academic work that attracts a smaller audience but is much more factual and is a much more valuable resource to those who show a keen interest in the subject. With research from Emanuel and the driving desire for immediate action, it is conceivable that people will be better equipped when it comes to tropical storms. It is necessary for people to understand the importance of storms and how learning their capabilities and even be able to some extent predict storm behavior is key to saving lives from such natural disasters.

Works Cited:

Emanuel, Kerry Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years, ftp://texmex.mit.edu/pub/emanuel/PAPERS/NATURE03906.pdf, August 4th, 2005

Laden, Greg “Why Was Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda So Powerful, and is this a trend?” http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/11/11/why-was-typhoon-haiyanyolanda-so-powerful-and-is-this-a-trend/, November 11th, 2013

(All images are taken from google. No copyright infringement intended.)

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Underage Drinking: Rethinking the Solution

Underage drinking

Throughout history, alcohol consumption has played a major role in society and with it a myriad of negative side effects; underage drinking has been a recurring issue throughout the centuries. As the issue continues to worsen, in the United States especially, parents and teachers alike try to ameliorate the predicament by educating the youth to the horrors of drinking alcohol, more specifically teens drinking. However, this method of trying to educate teenagers by simply showing the end result of underage drinking is not nearly enough to dissuade teenagers to imbibe the toxin or become inebriated. Thus, people have tried new methods to prevent underage drinking such as the case with the persecution of adults who buy alcohol for teens; unfortunately, it would appear the end result seems the same as a plethora of teens still choose to drink and have easy access to the substance. As a result, one may draw the conclusion that these methods are ineffective. However, lowering the age limit for drinking would reduce the number of underage drinking cases. Several nations have a lower drinking age than the U.S. and still manage to do well. Parents should continue to educate their children about alcohol, but they should also advocate lowering the drinking age.

Many are already aware of the growing problem, and in fact, many are also victims or know someone who was involved with an accident or death caused by underage drinking. There has been some decline in fatalities in reference to underage drunk driving; however, it is still one of the major concerns of both parents and teachers. Often, adults feel that by simply showing the end result of such things will resolve the matter. Speaking from experience, health teachers often show videos of stories of underage drinking with the result often either being some kind of serious accident or death. However, even with these explicit warnings, people have continued to drink before the appropriate age on countless occasions. Often, kids brush it off with the “that will never happen to me” mentality.

There are many reasons for people to not try alcohol and there are also many questions teens have that lead them to be curious about alcohol. Nearly 83% of teens who say they don’t want to try drinking till they’re twenty-one say their parents played a crucial role (http://www.centurycouncil.org/underage-drinking/statistics,10/26/13). Parents play a crucial part in children’s lives even past high school and into college. Thus, it is important that parents and other parent figures stress the importance of staying away from alcohol. Teachers, who are also major role models in teens’ life also play a role in children’s lives. Teens feel that a good teacher is someone that they can turn to for help in any situation, including the pressures of underage drinking. However, their true influence is not always enough to dissuade underage drinking. Underage drinking is still a major issue plaguing our society due to the that fact that kids are more curious than worried when it comes to the matter.

Humans are curious by nature, and when people are told they can’t have something, they try and get it- reverse psychology in a sense. Same thing applies to underage drinking. Kids are often curious as to the exact effects of alcohol and a mere description is not enough to quench this. In addition, teens are peer pressured into drinking by other teens who have had alcohol before. This is a common occurrence all throughout high school, some parts of middle school, and all the way up into college.

The statistics around this situation show that there is a decrease in the amount of alcohol consumption in teens. However, a recent survey has shown that over the period of approximately a month, roughly 40% of all twelfth graders have had some form of alcohol and nearly 30% of all twelfth graders have been “drunk”; this percentage of people who have had alcohol jumps by almost 20-30% for people in college (   http://www.centurycouncil.org/underage-drinking/statistics, 10/26/13) This number is striking for many and often people would like to see this number be a lot smaller.

Several countries, mainly throughout Europe, have a drinking age below the age of 21. For example, and in Germany, minors are allowed to consume alcohol if they are with a parent or adult. In addition, the legal drinking age in Puerto Rico 16. This leads many to wonder if introducing such an item at a younger age will encourage teens to be more patient or perhaps allow them to experience it for themselves and determine the risks involved with consumption. However, this does have its own share have negatives. With this plan implemented, the risk for your diagnosis of alcoholism/ being alcoholic greatly increases. With that being said, this will allow people to sooner diagnose such issue and be treated sooner. Even with all of the negatives involved, lowering the drinking age is still the best solution.

Many different countries, including the United States, permit other dangerous activities for people who are younger than the age of twenty one. For example, one of the biggest things is the purchase and use of cigarettes is permitted in the United States at the age of eighteen. Both alcohol and nicotine are two very dangerous substances, but by comparison, nicotine is far worse. Not only is it much more readily available and easier to purchase, it also has far worse side effects, both on people and the environment. Packaging for cigarettes even states that the product could “cause lung cancer.” In addition, things such as joining the army or being able to vote aren’t prohibited at the same age as drinking alcohol. If people are allowed to be politically active at the age of eighteen, why shouldn’t people be allowed to drink? As both times and people change, it is important to consider what role people should be allowed to participate in important things, whether they be political or recreational.

There are many ways to dissuade teens from being involved with underage drinking; however, the current methods being implemented haven’t quite been satisfactory. Thus, it has become a priority to develop a new way for people to stay away from underage drinking or finding a way to cope with the matter by lowering the drinking age. Although the percentage of reported of underage drinking has gone down, it can be even lower. Lowering the drinking age may be the solution to this still prevalent problem.

Works Cited:

Century Council. http://www.centurycouncil.org/underage-drinking/statistics.2011.  Web. October 26. 2011.

(All Images are taken from google, no copyright infringement intended)

Portfolio

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my portfolio, but before you go on to grade my paper, allow me to provide some background information in relation to my experience with the UWP class.

Coming into the UWP course, I really didn’t know what to expect from a first year college writing course. Before coming into the class, I thought I was a fairly strong writer with the ability to both organize and write a coherent piece. I wasn’t really aware of any glaring weaknesses in my writing, but I did know that I did make mistakes that ranged from simple grammar errors to going off on major tangents. The only real goal I had was to do well in the class and hopefully learn a few techniques that I could potentially be utilized in future writing endeavors.

At the beginning of the quarter, I defined good writing as a piece that was straightforward, precise, coherent, and varied its sentence structure. For the most part, my definition of “good writing” remains nearly the same; however, now I’m also taking into consideration for who the piece is being written and why it is written a certain way as part of the criteria for “good writing,” both of which were things taught during the quarter.  The knowledge gained from this course will be beneficial in writing pieces that are not only easy to understand, but also relevant in subject matter and take into consideration the limitations and word choice that comes with writing for a specific audience.

For this portfolio, I selected the rhetorical problem essay because I felt more confident in how I wrote that piece as opposed to the digital literacy narrative even though both works required heavy revisions and peer review. I really wasn’t sure how to write the digital literacy narrative, and I knew my topic for the problem essay right away and had at least some idea of how I wanted to write it. In addition, by the time I got to working on the assignment, I had already had some experience with the idea of audience, limitations, exignece, and explicitly stating purpose. In addition, this piece was much more formal in comparison to the narrative piece. This was probably, to some extent, the first experience in UWP of “professional writing.”

                In general, professional writing is vastly different from leisure writing in that it demands a certain level of both writing ability but also knowledge of the given subject as well as the audience for whom the piece is being written. In addition, it is important to write in a matter that is not only understandable in that it relays the topic effectively, but also is “understandable” in the more general sense that it is easy to follow and can be read by both an academic audience as well as a more broader, general audience. The essays in this portfolio employ a wider use of vocabulary as well as extensive knowledge of both the topic being discussed and also the rhetorical devices being employed.

The design, essay, and cover letter all give an idea for how I, as a writer, perform and also how I have improved through over the course of this class. I did enjoy the many things this class taught me and I hope the many techniques I learned and improvements I made in my writing are evident in this portfolio. Enjoy, and thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Gabriel Seitaro Golub

Assignment #2 Rhetorical Problem Essay: https://gsgolubblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/underage-drinking-rethinking-the-solution/

Assignment #4 Rhetorical Analysis Essay: https://gsgolubblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/rhetorical-analysis-of-varying-writing-styles-in-regards-to-the-trend-of-increasing-tropical-storm-destructiveness/

Portfolio Cover Letter Rough Draft

Dear reader,

Welcome to my portfolio, but before you go on to grade my paper, allow me to provide some background information in relation to my experience with the UWP class.

Coming into the UWP course, I really didn’t know what to expect from a first year college writing course. Before coming into the class, I thought I was a fairly strong writer with the ability to both organize and write a coherent piece. I wasn’t really aware of any glaring weaknesses in my writing, but I did know that I did make mistakes that ranged from simple grammar errors to going off on major tangents. The only real goal I had was to do well in the class and hopefully learn a few techniques that I could use in the future that could help improve my writing.

At the beginning of the quarter, I defined good writing as a piece that was straightforward, precise, coherent, and varied its sentence structure. For the most part, my definition of “good writing” remains nearly the same; however, now I’m also taking into consideration for who the piece is being written and why it is written a certain way as part of the criteria for “good writing,” both of which were things taught during the quarter.  The knowledge gained from this course will be beneficial in writing pieces that are not only coherent, but also relevant in subject matter and take into consideration the limitations and word choice in relation to the audience.

                For this portfolio, I selected the literacy narrative because I felt more confident in how I wrote that piece as opposed to the digital literacy narrative. I really wasn’t sure how to write the digital literacy narrative, and I knew my topic for the problem essay right away and had at least some idea of how I wanted to write it. In addition, by the time I got to working on assignment number two, I had already had some experience with the idea of audience, limitations, exignece, and explicitly stating purpose. In addition, this piece was much more formal in comparison to the narrative piece. This was probably the first experience in UWP of “professional writing.”

                In general, professional writing is vastly different from leisure writing in that it demands a certain level of both ability but also knowledge of the given subject as well as the audience for whom the piece is being written. In addition, it is important to write in a matter that is not only understandable in that it relays the topic effectively, but also is “understandable” in the more general sense that it is easy to follow and can be read by both an academic audience as well as a more broader, general audience. The essays in this portfolio employ a wider use of vocabulary as well as extensive knowledge of both the topic being discussed and also the rhetorical devices being employed.

 The portfolio is designed to allow the reader to have access to both the actual written work on that page and also links to the files for the pieces so that it is easier to grade and takes notes on. In addition, there will also be links to any online works cited in the pieces so that the grader may choose to look at those first if he or she so chooses so.

                The design, essay, and cover letter all give an idea for how I, as a writer, perform and also how I have improved through over the course of this class. I did enjoy the many things this class taught me and I hope the many techniques and improvements I made in my writing technique are evident in this portfolio.

                Sincerely,

Gabriel Seitaro Golub