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Effective Communication Assignment 1

By chengtroy Oct 27, 2012 1042 Words
In the out-[Need a title?]of-class assignment “The Appeal of the Real: Why Reality Television is so Popular”, the author, an undergraduate in an academic writing class seeks to argue that reality television benefits both its participants and viewers more than it harms them. However, the academic writing is ineffective in conveying the arguments the author wishes to present. The essay presented by the author lacks characteristics of an Aristotelian[Truly Aristotle?] academic writing, The main source of noise comes from the fallacies and weak or irrelevant arguments presented as well as the linguistic expressions of the author. As the author defers from the norm of academic writing, the essay is hindered in its effectiveness to persuade its readers. The author poorly demonstrates his thesis by using arguments that are weak. In the essay, the author presents three popular reality television programs as arguments to support his thesis. The arguments, however, are undeveloped as the author over concentrates on describing the reality television programs. As a result, the arguments are hastily added and become weak or contains fallacies.[Since the whole paragraph is about fallacies, just say it contains fallacies or it becomes weak since it contains fallacies- -] In the second paragraph, the author states that “viewers enjoy sharing and celebrating the triumph of an unknown performer on his way to becoming a star.” This claim is a hasty generalisation of reality television viewers as a whole, and is weak in proving the benefits reaped by viewers from watching reality television programs. The author adds “To the losers, the truth hurts but only for a while; soon enough it heals. The show builds character.” As this argument is an opinion of the author that is neither substantiated nor explained, it is weak in supporting the author’s thesis. The noise in the arguments prevents it from convincing and persuading readers in favour of the author’s thesis. This lack of strong arguments is prevalent in the essay, resulting in a limitation in the essay’s effectiveness.     In support of his argument, many ideas raised by the author proved to be irrelevant to the thesis of the essay. The author uses popular reality television programs to illustrate its benefits on participants and viewers. By doing so, the author generalises the chosen reality television programs to be reflective of the entire reality television industry. However, certain benefits the author argues are program-specific. For The Amazing Race, the author raises one of the possible benefits for viewers as discovering various cultures in obscure vacation destinations. This benefit is specific to The Amazing Race, as viewers do not make the same discovery on other reality television programs such as American Idol, or Joe Millionaire. Similarly, participants in The Amazing Race do not “have their fifteen minutes of fame” and “spend some vacation time- all expenses paid- at a cool chateau in France”, as argued by the author as benefits attained by participants in the reality television program, Joe Millionaire. This generalisation is a source of noise to the author’s thesis, diminishing the strength of the persuasiveness of the essay.     The author shows an inability in expressing himself concisely in the context of academic writing. In the essay, the author uses numerous informal personal expressions, including the use of contracted forms. In paragraph one, the author uses the expression “The sky is not falling. This is television, not Carnegie Hall”. Such use of analogy makes the essay informal, against the norm of academic writing. It is also a poor analogy, considering the fact that the author is submitting the assignment in Singapore, thus the relation of television to Carnegie Hall in New York is not realised easily by local readers. [Let me know if you want to keep this point. If not we can remove it as well.][Ok, adopted.]The author uses expressions such as “self-proclaimed guardians” and “How different is finding someone to date and maybe developing a relationship with by appearing on a television show from answering an ad in the personal column of the newspaper?” By doing so, the author shows an inability to be objective about his arguments. As a result of the author’s personal opinions and strong emotions, the essay lacks distinction between fact and thought. With no distinction between personal opinion and the information the author wishes to convey, the argument for the thesis becomes less concise. Conversely, the use of contracted forms throughout the essay such as “don’t” and “it’s” also adds to the informal tone of the essay. Thus it is less effective in persuading the readers.     In an attempt to provide a balanced view of reality television, the author intentionally[I don’t like this word, though it may emphasis the ‘good’. Is it neutral? Is it personal?] raises alternative views by “literati” in paragraph five. However, such refutations do not convince readers that the author has taken opposing views into account when presenting his arguments. The author does not cite sources from which these statements by “literati” are from. In addition, the author does not inform why the view can be considered authoritative sources. The author goes on to cite Oliver James and Salman Rushdie, with the assumption that readers know who they are. Furthermore, the author states these opinions of individuals, but does not explain why their view can be overlooked in favour of the thesis of the essay. Therefore, the author draws the attention of readers to weak opinionated views of “literati”, then dismisses it by stating they “fail to understand or remember” that television is just entertainment for the masses. With weak refutations, the essay becomes a single-sided argument, ineffective in persuading the readers.     In conclusion, due to the noises arising from fallacies, weak or irrelevant arguments and informal linguistic expressions present in the arguments raised by the author, the information to be conveyed is hindered. In addition, contrary to the Aristotelian style of writing, the author fails to provide the logos, and lacks logical coherence is his arguments. As a result the author is unable to make a strong stand for his thesis, and the persuasiveness of the academic writing is marred. The academic writing of the author does not establish or prove his thesis, thus the essay is ineffective.

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