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When We Can No Longer Put the Issue behind Closed Doors When looking at the contents of Elizabeth M. Whelan s Perils of Prohibition, we see that Whelan has very carefully structured this article into getting the readers attention. She does this by using facts, statistics, and several examples within her article. Whelan manages to incorporate this in a manner that readers never lose their interest in the article and they have a desire to read until her very last sentence. Whelan discusses of how parents can no longer ignore the issue of teenage drinking and that a way of teaching children to drink responsible must be found. She points out how the laws of today are creating an atmosphere that encourages binge drinking and alcohol abuse amongst teens. Whelan asserts that in order to teach our children to drink moderately and safely, we should consider incorporating alcohol into our culture. She proves this with several examples and cites how European countries have successfully accomplished this. The last part of the article describes accidents that have occurred because of teenage drinking and how they could have been avoided had the children been properly educated. Whelan ends the article describing how she teaches her own daughter to drink safely by exposing her to alcohol and educating her on the effects alcohol has on her body so that she may learn to drink safely and moderately.The facts and statistics that are used in this article are very supporting of the thesis and help to inform the reader about how much of a problem teenage drinking is. Whelan cites many statistics within in her article, such as how the United States has one of the highest per capita alcohol abuse while countries in Europe have the highest per capita teenage drinking. Another statistic she uses are the studies done by the Harvard School of Public Health and Whelan cites how their survey found college students were getting drunk early and often almost to the point where they got ill. It is facts like these that keep a reader interested in the article because it proves to them that, yes the author does have a point here and obviously it can be backed up with research.

Whelan knows the best way to convince a reader of her viewpoint is to show she is one of them. In particular she uses her own daughter s life. She points out the struggles her own daughter and friends are facing when they go out every night to clubs and are denied access just because they are not the magical age of twenty-one. Whelan notes how this kind of put down actually can cause children to abuse alcohol and disregard their own safety. It is this type of appeal that Whelan uses in order to have a greater effect on the reader.As for examples used, Whelan leaves nothing to chance. She describes every situation in such a way as to surely evoke an emotional response. For example, when she is talking about how her family recently visited an Ivy League school, they read in an article how a student was nearly killed because he was in such a drunken state, he climbed on top of a moving train at a railroad station near campus. The student survived, but had to have three limbs amputated. It is details such as these which shock the reader and at the same time makes them realize that this indeed is a serious issue and that if they have teens they need to be sure and talk with them. The assumption Whelan makes when giving details such as these, is that the reader is either a teen or a parent reading this article and that hopefully by giving such details it will scare them enough into thinking twice about taking the subject of alcohol so lightly.Overall, Whelan does an effective job of informing the reader of the problem and citing several examples that back her claim up. She does an excellent job of grabbing the reader s attention by using facts, statistics, personal experiences, and examples. All of this adds up to an effectively argued thesis, which many readers will consider seriously


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