The vicissitude of history never fails to amaze us with all the changes it has brought to human life. If we trace back to see what has been changed since human civilization, seldom can we see anything that remains intact, with only one exception- the importance of reading. Despite the fact that reading has never dropped from our top priorities, few people keep the habit of it. As a reaction to such pathetic phenomenon, writer Frank Bruni draws people’s attention back to reading and encourages people to value it. Strategies he employs include contrast, credible reference and tactic reasoning that appeal to people’s emotion and agreement.
One impressive feature of this article is Bruni’s contrast at the very beginning to introduce his topic, with the next paragraphs addressing its benefits. He compares things that he always ignores such as nephew’s birthday and niece’s school production with things he never fails to overlook -reading. For the majority of people, especially teenagers, birthday party and school performance are events that family members should remember. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the author. Reading at this point, readers are left a bit disappointed at the author and tend to pay more attention to what he wants to convey next. At the cusp of people’s attention, author Bruni brings about something that deserves greater emphasis- reading: “I’m incessantly asking my nephews and nieces what they’re reading and why they’re not reading more.” Thus the readers start to realize how justifiable the author is-as nothing like a birthday party or a performance in school is comparable with the importance of reading. With the utilization of this contrast, the author successfully draws the attention from the readers and lays a solid foundation for his later argument.
Aside from this, the author’s careful choice of evidence adds credibility to the article. He cites properly a report by Common Sense Media, claiming that three is a sharp decline in the percentage of teenagers read for fun “fewer than 20 percent of 17-year-olds now read for pleasure”. At the same time, however, the number of the young who hardly ever read or never read for pleasure elevates from “only 8 percent of 13-year-olds and 9 percent of 17-year-olds” 30 years ago to “22 percent of 13-year-olds and 27 percent of 17-year-olds “ today. This worrisome report indicates that the young no longer read as much as they used to. Linked with the previous paragraphs, the author urges the reader to weight the disadvantage of such trend and possibly spurs some kind of response. Besides, the inclusion of an authoritative agency backs up Bruni’s point, makes the work of Bruni believable and credible.
The most exquisite technique of the passage, however, is its elaborate reasoning. From paragraph 8 to 15, the author lists all the possible benefits of reading to add weight to the persuasiveness of the article. He starts from how reading benefit the brain in paragraph 8, that interviews indicate a symbiotic relationship between reading and intelligence. Paragraph 9 follows with a benefit to the qualities required to success, because those people who read are more adept at “ reading people” and “sizing up the social whirl around them”. If these benefits are not enough, in paragraph 10, 11, 12 and 13, the author compares reading with exposure to technological devices to indicate how reading would benefit the spirit. One obvious benefit reading offers to the spirit is that reading smoothens people “with thoughts less jumbled, moods less jangled”. The other benefit to spirit is that reading grants people “the ability to focus and concentrate”, which becomes a social corrective to “metabolism and sensory overload of digital technology”, because those who indulge themselves in technology requires something to force them to be focused and have delayed gratification. Finally, in paragraph 14 and 15, Bruni talks about the joy of reading: as the connection reading can provide to people is not anything like watching a movie is able to offer. In order to prove the zealous love people possess for reading, he sites the line from the protagonist in a famous love story that “You read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” People love reading want to share the zeal for it, because only those who read can feel the same addiction. All these are connected well to elaborate the value of reading to not only people’s brain and success, but also spirit and gratification. The combination of all these paragraphs provides the readers with a chance to see the well-rounded and multi-layer benefits of reading, surely help the reader to deliver his idea.
All in all, the evidence and source make the reader’s idea worthy of recognition, and the tactical reasoning appeals to people’s emotion and trust. These writing techniques contribute to a well-structured and compelling argument that reading deserves more attention and emphasis.
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