Berkeley Drinks Less Soda

With her article “Faced With a New Tax, Berkeley Drinks Less Soda,” published in The Upshot of the New York Times on August 25, 2016, health care reporter Margot Sanger enters a fierce debate about the impact of the soda tax on the consumption of sugary drink. Since 2014 when the tax first went into effect in Berkeley, California; attempts to impose the tax have been a matter of public controversy, and this is what motivated Sanger to produce this piece. The story’s “Kairotic moment,” as referred to in Chapter Eight of Writing Arguments (WA), is the new study of the tax in California, which “adds to the evidence” that taxing sugar-sweetened beverages is not the main reason for the reduction of it’s consumption (A3). Throughout the article, …show more content…
She is also careful with her word choices by replacing “soda” with its synonyms such as sugary drink, sweetened beverages, etc. to avoid repetitions. Unfortunately, despite her good writing skill, the original genre of the argument is identified as “newspaper editorial,” since it “has a journalistic style without detailed evidence” (WA 26). Although this type of genre suits the main purpose of The Upshot, the article’s place of publication, it inadvertently weakens the pathos aspect of the argument. It seems like Sanger does not have enough space for in-depth coverage of the issue and enhance on what Chapter Eight of WA refers to as the “audience-based reasons.” Since newspapers articles only contains short paragraphs, Sanger fail to incorporate some examples and analogies to “tap readers’ emotions and values” and serve as the pathos appeals to her message (WA 157). In order to improve the situation, Sanger could consider generating her argument in the form of “article in public affairs,” which is said to “reflects a wide range of perspectives and “provides well-researched coverage of various perspectives on public issue” in WA, Chapter Two. This longer trend of original genre will gives Sanger an opportunity includes more emotional attractions in her work and helps establish a common ground between her and the …show more content…
Although the argument is multi-sided and it seems as though Sanger is arguing for both sides of the issue, it appears that Sanger is, in fact, in favor of the tax. While the author tries to stay neutral throughout the article, the audience can easily identify some places where Sanger’s personal belief affects the consistent stream of her argument. For example, the author explains, that “the search was conducted using in-person surveys,” which creates some flaws “because people are not always accurate in describing their diet.” Here, it seems she has a strong evidence of why the tax is not so effective as it appears in reducing people’s consumption of sugary drinks. Nevertheless, instead of stopping there, Sanger continues by comparing the results of the study with the study that was released in Mexico on the same issue, and claims that the result of the research in Mexico is consistent. The comparison is vague and irrelevant since the studies in the two countries have different setting and context. With this short statement, Sanger has implicitly states that there is a high possibility that the tax will work just as well in California in the future. She has unintentionally backed down her original claim as well as filled the audience with doubts. At this point, the audience

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