WA 1 - Rhetorical Analysis
Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are generally used to raise awareness about certain public issues. These issues include drug/alcohol abuse, texting while driving, global warming, obesity, and bullying. In order for a PSA to be effective, the creator must utilize rhetorical strategies in order to persuade the reader/viewer. There’s a specific PSA called “Do Something” which attempts to raise awareness about drug usage by appealing to the viewer’s emotion.
During this PSA, a girl stands in the way of an oncoming train while a friend stands by and wonders if they should help her. A girl, Nancy, a current drug user, stands in the way of an oncoming train. The train represents the consequences, such as death, that are caused by taking drugs. The friend, who acts as a bystander, contemplates whether or not they should do something to help before it’s too late. While the friend questions herself, the train gets closer. The train gets closer and closer and suddenly the video becomes more intense. The bystander begins to look nervous as the train gets closer and closer to Nancy. At the end of the video, the train is just about to hit Nancy when the friend finally looks over. The video ends, frozen on the bystander’s face. The video is meant to get viewers to take action if they sense someone they know has a drug addiction.
The creator of this video considered the intended audience, teenagers, in order to make the message effective. In order to appeal to the audience, the main characters of the video dress and speak like teenagers. The writer altered the language to make it relatable for a younger audience. For example, the friend says “If I like, say anything, she’ll think I’m not cool. I don’t wanna lose a friend”. Words like “cool” and “like” are often used by adolescents. This is an example of an appeal to pathos. The intended audience is pulled in because they can relate emotionally to the message.
Teens are more likely to watch television as opposed to reading a newspaper or magazine. Therefore, the PSA was made into a commercial so it could be more accessible to the audience. The creator’s choice of medium has a huge impact on the effectiveness of the message. The video portrays sounds and images that create a sense of urgency for the viewer that can’t be as easily recreated in printed media. The sound of the train getting closer and the growing anxiety in the friend’s voice are both examples of what cannot be portrayed as easily through pictures. Both appeals to pathos add to the urgency of the viewer to make a call to action.
The author of this PSA considered all things necessary to formulate an effective message. Before making the video, the writer considered who would be viewing the video, the medium, and the appropriate content to successfully relay the message. No matter what situation you’re in, you should never stand by while someone is clearly suffering from drug abuse. It’s better to “do something” before it’s too late.
During my revision process, I addressed more Low Order Concerns in comparison to Higher Order Concerns. Regarding concerns of higher order, I worked on the credibility of my statements by connecting them to ethos, logos, and pathos. Most of the revisions made in my paper were related to sentence structure and word choice. For example, a lot of my sentences were either too wordy or too choppy so I combined some sentences and shortened others.
I worked on this revision with two of my peers. One of my peers is in this LINC class and the other was my roommate. My classmate read through my paper, made notes, and gave really effective feedback. I made revisions using their criticism and once I was done, I asked my roommate to read my essay. As she read, she indicated what I should change and what she really liked about the paper. I also checked Canvas to see the feedback you provided and took that into account during my revision process. I continued to revise my paper as necessary until I was completely satisfied with the final result.
For future writing assignments, I will continue to ask peers, tutors, or teachers to do revisions. I never realized how helpful it was to get constructive criticism from others until we did peer revisions in class. I found it really beneficial while revising my essay. I normally don’t ask others to revise my work, but I’m definitely making it a habit! I didn’t realize how many mistakes I had made in my rough draft until someone else pointed them out for me.
My biggest regret with this assignment was neglecting to create an outline beforehand. I think it would’ve been a lot easier for me to write this paper if I had a planned approach. I’ve always been more of a heavy reviser, however I think it might be beneficial to try a new method of writing. For the “Response to Heritage Day” essay, I developed an outline before writing and found it extremely helpful! Writing with a plan was much quicker, as opposed to writing without one. My goal is to utilize this method for all upcoming writing assignments.
WA 2 - Research Paper
Parental Drug Abuse and the Effect It Has on Child Development
Drug addiction is major problem in families. In fact, more than 8 million children in the U.S. and 4.5 million in Europe live with at least one parent who misuses alcohol and/or illegal drugs (Parolin et al., 2016). Addiction not only affects the individual, but also the people they care for. Parental drug abuse has major effects on a child’s development (Nygaard et al., 2016). These problems are caused by prenatal exposure to substances or growing up in a troubled environment caused by addiction. Adolescents exposed to drugs at such an early age experience negative emotional and behavioral issues throughout the rest of their lives (Velleman & Templeton, 2007). Parents who abuse drugs pose major risks upon the health and well-being of their offspring.
The effects of prenatal exposure to drugs are long-lasting and detrimental to child development. Babies exposed to illegal substances in the womb are more likely to experience behavior and attention problems throughout their lives (Nygaard et al., 2016). There is a study that compares behavioral and attention problems in children at the age of eight and a half who were prenatally exposed to drugs as opposed to children who were not exposed (Nygaard et al., 2016). The study showed that exposed children have more problems with behavior from birth to the age of eight than the non-exposed group. These problems include aggression, attention deficits, ADHD symptoms, anxiety, and depression (Nygaard et al., 2016). The author even points out that children prenatally exposed to drugs, which are opioids in this example, experience slightly more negative psychological effects than children who were not prenatally exposed, but lived with the drug user. Another study found that both prenatal and postnatal drug exposure can interrupt the growth of the nervous and endocrine system. In more severe cases prenatal exposure can cause injury to the unborn baby or even death (Parolin et al., 2016). Besides a baby’s vulnerability to illegal substances in the womb, they can experience trauma outside of the womb after birth.
Living with a parent who has a drug addiction is far from beneficial to a child’s behavioral outcome. The parents’ behavior has a direct effect on their offspring (Velleman & Templeton, 2007). Adolescents from families with drug addiction do not have the opportunity to grow up in a safe environment, as most do. Children who are raised by substance misusing parents are likely to experience domestic violence, sexual or emotional abuse, criminal activity, and death of a loved one (Velleman & Templeton, 2007). Dealing with these unpredictable traumatic events can cause chronic stress, depression, anxiety, and behavioural and emotional issues (Velleman & Templeton, 2007). A experimental study discusses the need for early intervention in families that suffer the effects of drug addiction. Families who need intervention are less likely to be helped by social services (Barnard & Bain, 2015). The authors’ main focus in this article are the parents and their behavior. When social services tries reaching out to families suffering the issues of substance abuse, the parents resist help. Parents try to hide their addiction from social services, so they can continue the addiction, despite the negative effects it has on their health and family. Resistance to help lessens the possibility of intervention (Barnard & Bain, 2015). When a parent resists help, the child is left to deal with the negative repercussions of their addiction. However, hope is not completely lost for these children.
The issues that parental substance abuse inflicts upon children are long-lasting, but there are programs that exist to help them later on. An article reviews the results of an experiment in which adolescents with drug addicted parents attend a program that focuses on emotional and behavioral health of the youth (Lewis et al., 2015). The research was done to see if programs such as these actually improve emotional issues in children affected by family issues. The results showed a reduction in aggressive behavior, however rule-breaking behavior was less affected by the program (Lewis et al., 2015). This “rule-breaking behavior” could lead to the child’s future drug use. Outside sources such as health practitioners can help reduce this risk in children through holistic approaches (Velleman & Templeton, 2007). A study identies how the negative effect of parents’ drug abuse on offspring can be increased and reduced. The authors speak mainly to health care providers, such as nurses or doctors. The article discusses positive and negative ways for practitioners to approach children suffering from the effects of family addiction. According to the text, these professionals should act as beneficial figures by reducing risk factors in adolescents living with drug-addicted parents. Practitioners should focus on the needs of the children rather than the parents' issues (Velleman & Templeton, 2007). In other words, intervention for the parents are not always the best option, since they usually do not want help. It is important to help children cope with their behavioral issues before they develop into something more serious, such as an addiction of their own or co-dependency issues (Velleman & Templeton, 2007).
Prenatal and postnatal exposure to illegal substances disrupts youth development. Not only does it alter a child’s behavior, but it can also cause long-term psychological defects (Parolin et al., 2016). There is nothing more detrimental to development than a violent upbringing. Parents might not want intervention, but that does not mean children should be left to suffer (Barnard & Bain, 2015). Programs and outside resources are available to young people suffering this kind of trauma (Lewis et al., 2015). Overall, the adverse effects of parental substance abuse on children are clear and unavoidable, yet treatable.
The formation of this essay required a lot of drafting, but it was necessary to achieve the final product. It is the first official research paper I’ve ever done, so it was an incredibly helpful learning experience. I plan on using drafting methods, such as the research portfolio, for future writing assignments. The research portfolio was the most helpful tool as I began writing the paper. Not only did it help me understand what each article was about, but it also helped me start the paper. Without the research portfolio, I wouldn’t have known where to start. The peer reviews were also really beneficial to the writing process. Even after our in-class peer reviews, I asked friends to proofread my paper. Each friend and peer pointed out something that could be changed in my paper, even when I felt that it was perfect. I’ve made continuous revisions to this paper. Learning how to properly cite and find credible research is a necessary skill that this paper helped me acquire.
WA 3 - Public Service Announcement
The purpose of this video is to inform citizens about the importance of abstinence from drugs. This PSA serves to educate viewers about the various dangers of addiction, which should persuade them not to do drugs. It also encourages viewers to educate others and spread awareness of this knowledge in order to prevent future addictions. The video explains how drug addiction is a dangerous habit, but can be treated and even prevented.
Thesis: Drug addiction is a dangerous habit, but it can be treated and even prevented.
I planned this video by taking key topics and facts from WA 2 and turning it into a PSA. I also used tips from WA 1 to learn how to create an effective PSA. During my revision process I made changes to my video to make it shorter, since it was originally too long. I summarized some lengthy points in the voiceovers and shortened the video from six minutes to four minutes. I also added a lot of visuals, transitions, and even background music to grab the attention of the viewer. After making revisions, I believe my video is much more visually pleasing.
PARENTAL BEHAVIOR AND THE EFFECT ON CHILDREN
Children from families with drug addiction do not have the opportunity to grow up in a safe environment, as most children do (Barnard & Bain, 2015). This article discusses the need for early intervention in families that suffer the effects of drug addiction. Families who need intervention are less available to be reached out to by social services (Barnard & Bain, 2015). The authors’ main focus in this article are the parents and their behavior. When social services tries reaching out to families suffering the issues of substance abuse, the parents resist help. Parents try to hide their addiction from social services, so they can continue the addiction, despite the negative effects it has on their health and family. Resistance to help lessens the possibility of intervention (Barnard & Bain, 2015). This research could help determine the parent's resistant behavior and the effect it may have on their children.
Barnard, M., & Bain, C. (2015). Resisting your good intentions: substance-misusing parents and early intervention to support and monitor children in need. Child & Family Social Work, 20(2), 171-180. doi:10.1111/cfs.12064
FAMILY ISSUES AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH OF CHILDREN
This article reviews the results of an experiment in which children with drug addicted parents attend a program that focuses on the emotional and behavioral health of the child. The research was done to see if programs such as these actually improve emotional issues in children affected by family issues. The results concluded that children from families with drug addiction are affected emotionally, however they may benefit from programs like the Supporting Kids And Their Environment (SKATE) program (Lewis et al., 2015). These findings support the idea that children are heavily affected by parental substance abuse.
Lewis, A., Holmes, N., Watkins, B., & Mathers, D. (2015). Children Impacted by Parental Substance Abuse: An Evaluation of the Supporting Kids and Their Environment Program. Journal Of Child & Family Studies,24(8), 2398-2406. doi:10.1007/s10826-014-0043-0
LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF PRENATAL EXPOSURE
This text compares behavioral and attention problems in children at the age of 8 1/2 who were prenatally exposed to drugs as opposed to children who were not exposed (Nygaard et al., 2016). According to the author, the study showed that exposed children have more problems with behavior from birth to the age of eight than the non-exposed group. These problems include aggression, attention deficits, ADHD symptoms, anxiety, and depression. The author even points out that children prenatally exposed to drugs, which are opioids in this example, experience slightly more negative psychological effects than children who were not prenatally exposed, but lived with the drug user. The text focuses mostly on prenatal exposure. Results support the idea that these effects are long-lasting and detrimental to child development.
Nygaard E, Slinning K, Moe V, Walhovd KB (2016) Behavior and Attention Problems in Eight Year-Old Children with Prenatal Opiate and PolySubstance Exposure: A Longitudinal Study. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0158054. D
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT OF EARLY EXPOSURE TO DRUGS
Parental substance abuse is a traumatic event causing negative effects on children’s psychological state (Parolin et al., 2016). The author states that teens are more likely to use drugs if their parents did. Prenatal exposure to drugs also has effect on the behavioral functions of the brain (Parolin et al., 2016). Results found that children exposed to drugs in early development have psychological damage in the brain and even personality disorders (Parolin et al., 2016). The article clearly states details about the effect that early exposure to drugs has on the child’s development. This is really easy to incorporate into research about child development. The author provides psychological findings to support research.
Parolin, M., Simonelli, A., Mapelli, D., Sacco, M., & Cristofalo, P. (2016). Parental Substance Abuse As an Early Traumatic Event. Preliminary Findings on Neuropsychological and Personality Functioning in Young Drug Addicts Exposed to Drugs Early. Frontiers In Psychology, 1-15. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00887
REDUCING NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR IN CHILDREN
In this text, the authors identify how the negative effect of parents’ drug abuse on children can be increased and reduced. The authors speak mainly to health care providers, such as nurses or doctors. The article discusses good and bad ways for practitioners to approach children suffering from the effects of family addiction. According to the text, these professionals should act as beneficial figures by reducing risk factors in children living with drug-addicted parents. Practitioners should focus on the needs of the children rather than the parents' issues (Velleman & Templeton, 2007). The author clearly states negative effects in children, adolescents, and even adults, to further research. Based on research, there are problems in the behavior of teens and adults, however most of the problems are evident during a child’s developmental stage (Velleman & Templeton, 2007). These findings are slightly older than others, however it will be very beneficial in supporting the main focus of the research.
Velleman, R., Templeton, L. (2007). Understanding and modifying the impact of parents’ substance misuse on children. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 79-89. Retrieved from: http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/13/2/79.full