In the intended target audience, people searching for

In these two articles
by Ginny Graves and Ruth Whippman, both authors attempt to persuade the
intended target audience, people searching for happiness, of the various ways
one can attain happiness from interaction with others as well as from oneself. Although
both articles speak of the same issue, they vary in writing styles and the
amount of research evidence provided to support their claims. While Whippman
utilizes a more personal style of persuasion filled with her own experiences to
support her claims as well as having a two sided argument, I believe that
Graves has presented a more persuasive case attributed from the extensive use
of quotations and opinions from prominent experts and researchers in their
various fields and intricate elaborations to support her claims.

Initially, one might
be drawn into Whippman’s article due to a very personal style of writing. She
speaks about her personal experiences in a new country, the methods she herself
utilizes to seek happiness and constantly uses the personal pronoun ‘I’ often to
emphasize the truism of her experiences. Comparatively, Graves has very scarce
use of anecdotes and personal pronouns. Furthermore, although the tittle of
Whippman’s article is ‘Happiness Is Other People’ and strongly suggest that she
takes the stand that one finds happiness from others, she gives a rather
holistic argument by also writing about finding happiness from oneself. This is
seen when she mentions the individualistic culture powered by
self-actualization and the isolationist philosophy (Whippman, 2017). The use of
anecdotes, personal pronouns and holistic arguments is persuasive and will be
able to convinces audiences of her claims. (The persuader’s toolkit). Lastly,
Whippman writes about phenomenons in America such as people spending less time
to connect with one another as well as spiritual and religious practices slowly
shifting from community-based endeavors to private ones (Whippman, 2017) and
how they suggest that people are unable to find happiness. Therefore, Whippman’s
more targeted and personal style of writing, coupled with the holistic
arguments presented and citing of occurring phenomenons can hold more appeal to
target audiences, making her article more persuasive than Graves.

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However, after further
analysis, I find Graves’ article more persuasive as she has better use of
evidence as well as quotations and opinions from qualified experts to support
her arguments. Providing factual evidence and giving opinions from experts
guarantees the credibility of an argument, making it more persuasive to
audiences (The persuader’s toolkit). Some examples of factual evidence provided
is the 2016 study at Michigan State University and how it helps people tame
their negative emotions after being showed troubling photos. (Graves, 2017) There
is a vast amount of quotations and opinions from experts throughout the entire
article with two from every paragraph except from paragraphs five and six which
still contain one each. Comparatively, Whippman’s article only has one factual
evidence from the Bureau of Labor Statistis’ Time Use Survey (Whippman, 2017).
Her article has no quotations or opinions from experts and fails to quote any
evidence to prove her argument, making her less credible and persuasive.

Moving on, Graves uses
evidence, quotes and opinions that are very applicable and relevant to her
arguments. They directly address the issue which the audience are facing,
finding happiness. One example would be Graves mentioning that taming negative
emotions can lead to making one happier (Graves, 2017). She substantiated her
claim with evidence from the 2016 study at Michigan State University as well as
the quote and opinion of Martha Beck, a life coach, sociologist and author of
‘Finding your own North Star”. Whippman on the other hand, already has very
little factual evidence and the few factual evidences that she provides is
inapplicable and irrelevant evidence to support her claims. An example would be
her mentioning how the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Times shows Americans spend less
than four minutes a day ‘hosting and attending social events’ (Whippman, 2017).
The issue is for readers to find happiness but mentioning Americans spending
little time on social occasions does not show why or explain how people are
unable to find happiness or teaching readers how to find happiness. Therefore,
Graves is more persuasive through the better use of evidence to support his

Furthermore, Graves asks
the readers many Rhetorical questions such as ‘What relationships do I want to
build?’ and ‘What do I want my life to be about’ (Graves, 2017). Rhetorical
questions will allow the reader to think about their own response to the
question and makes them interested, thereby making Graves more persuasive (The
persuader’s toolkit). Whippman on the other hand has absolutely no use of
rhetorical questions.

Even though Whippman
has made use of a personal writing style, personal pronouns and presenting a
slightly holistic argument to make her article be seemingly more persuasive,
Graves’ better use of factual evidence, quotations from experts, applicable evidence
to support her claims as well as rhetorical questions has led to the undisputed
conclusion that she is more convincing. Graves’ article presents a more
persuasive case through the use of both arguments and evidence.  


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