Media Violence and Risky Behaviors by Craig A. Anderson and Soledad Liliana Escobar-Chaves Rhetorical Analysis

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A Rhetorical Analysis of an Article

This analysis is based on "Media Violence and Risky Behaviors" by Craig A. Anderson and Soledad Liliana Escobar-Chaves. The paper discusses the risk associated with youths playing a video game, such as the article showing that kids are likely to develop violent behaviors. Before the authors begin writing their essays, they present their credentials to provide that they have any authority to write a professional paper. The article is also structured to make the reader understand how they conclude that video games cause violence among youths. Moreover, the authors have included their influences to convince the reader why video games should be linked with violence and risk behaviors, claiming that many findings "generally" come to the same conclusion. In addition to personal judgment, the article sounds like the authors used an assertive tone to justify their claims. Moreover, evidence from outside sources is included in the report to support the authors’ arguments. The essay will show how the authors use these techniques to make their point. The report will demonstrate that the authors’ rhetorical strategies in the article help prove the claim that violent video games are linked with increased physical aggressiveness in young people.

           Anderson and Escobar-Chaves use personal context influences to make the reader conclude that violent games are responsible for causing violence and risky behaviors among youths. For example, the use of words such as "generally" in the first paragraph suggests a common problem from the past. The government has not tried to solve it. For instance, they claim that government advisories have "generally" ignored many reports that have been published since 1954 on media violence. This generalization creates the impression that it is a habit by the government to ignore solving a problem. It may not be entirely true that the government overlooked all evidence presented before it by panels of experts on video violence. However, insisting that the government generalizes the problem helps convince the reader that this is a problem of the past and ignored many times, requiring an immediate solution. In the second paragraph under the subheading, "Violent Video Games and Violent Behaviors," a personal, contextual influence is used. The authors claim that "even though more research has been done on TV to show that it causes violence; the same results apply to video games" (Anderson and Escobar-Chaves). They use words such as "essentially" to make the reader think that TV evidence can analyze violence associated with video games. This personal judgment helps convince the reader that video games cause violence, and an immediate solution is needed.

           Another technique employed by the authors is to use an assertive tone where they claim that if the likelihood of an incident happening has been declared before, it can happen again. For example, they argue that since violent video games are contained in computers, game consoles, and cell phones growing fast in numbers, it is likely that youths will become more violent (Anderson and Escobar-Chaves). When the authors construct their argument this way, it leaves the reader to accept that nothing can stop young people from developing risky behaviors because of the increasing number of gadgets that contain violent video games. Moreover, in many arguments they present, they try to convince the reader that video games are connected to damaging behaviors. For instance, they argue in the third paragraph that since there are findings proving television causes violence, it is likely similar that the same results could be obtained in a video game research (Anderson and Escobar-Chaves). This kind of assertion helps to convince the reader that video games cause violence among young people even though no investigation is conducted to prove that the claim is correct.

The use of evidence in the article helps to show the claim that video games cause violence is right. The report contains various types of evidence, including empirical studies from laboratory settings, government studies, scientific organizations’ studies, and reviews from relevant sources. For example, the experimental studies on Finnish kids allowed to watch video games showed increased physical aggressiveness compared to participants who watched television games (Anderson and Escobar-Chaves). This evidence helps to prove that video games are linked with violence. Longitudinal studies on six-year-olds who watched video games for some time confirmed that physical aggressiveness does not affect children more than it affects adults (Anderson and Escobar-Chaves). Lastly, cross-sectional studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between exposure to violent video games and violent crimes (Anderson and Escobar-Chaves). Evidence is used to prove a claim an author is making by acknowledging that even other researchers have done similar investigations and observed the same findings. Therefore, the evidence used in this article helps to prove the claim that violent video games are responsible for the increased risk of violent behaviors among young people.  

           Another style used by the authors is a structure whereby the start with, rising action reaches the climax of the issue and concludes. For their rising action, they create allegations that the government has ignored much of the evidence. So, people are unaware of the violence that video games have been causing to young people since the 1950s. They create this claim to tell the reader many studies can prove the relationship between media and violence; this is the second part of the article structure. In the second part, the article includes many other sources that include experimental studies from laboratory settings to prove that media games are associated with increased physical aggression (Anderson and Escobar-Chaves). In the falling action or conclusion, they claim that evidence has demonstrated that video games are a causal factor for increased aggressive behaviors among young people. The article’s structure allows the researchers to spread the message that video games can increase crime rates faster than television.

           From the beginning of the article, the authors reveal their credentials to prove to have the authority to write a professional paper. The report has many examples of personal, contextual influences and assertive tone that influences the reader’s mind to agree with them regarding video games, causing violence to adults and young people. Also, the structure used to help organize ideas from a claim, which is followed by backing evidence as part of the rising action, and a conclusion in which the authors assert that it is undeniable that violent video games cause increased physical aggression in adults. Lastly, evidence helps create concrete and reliable arguments that show the reader that every claim regarding violent video games is valid.

Works Cited

Anderson, Craig A., and Soledad Liliana Escobar-Chaves. "Media Violence and Risky

Behaviors." The Future of Children, 18.1, (Spring 2008): 147.