13 September 2014
Opinionated Articles, Presidential Speeches, and Gun Control: Comparing Two Different Genres of Writing In the United States, the media tends to only highlight violence that is occurring overseas when in reality gun violence has escalated to new heights in our own country. During recent years, gun-related homicides have plagued the United States, and many innocent citizens have been killed due to this accumulation of gun violence. Because gun control is a very controversial topic, writers who choose to address this emotional topic must use the appropriate tone when forming their arguments in order to better persuade their audience. Recently, Nicholas Kristof and President Obama have both published statements about gun control. Although both Kristof and Obama address gun control in their statements, Kristof addresses gun control through the genre of an opinionated article in the New York Times, and Obama addresses gun control through the genre of a presidential speech. Kristof voices his opinion about gun control by metaphorically comparing gun regulation to car regulation in order to show that republicans are hypocrites who support certain types or regulations such as car regulation, but not the regulation of guns. Kristof uses a condescending tone as he criticizes republicans in an attempt to persuade the readers that tighter gun regulations can prevent many deaths. Obama, on the other hand, expresses his views on gun control by tapping into his viewer’s emotions and by persuading his audience, with his depressing tone and statistics, that implementing tighter gun laws should be common sense. The contrasting techniques and writing strategies used by Kristof and Obama, when addressing the topic of gun control, are a clear example of two different genres of writing and their respective conventions. Genre influences a writer’s tone because every genre of writing has a different purpose and addresses a
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