Argument Paper - Bakalarski 1 Katie Bakalarski G...

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Bakalarski 1 Katie Bakalarski G. Christopher Williams English 150 – 8 24 March 2008 In Jerome Doolittle’s “Flag pins are for losers -- literally,” Doolittle discusses the adverse effects of the presidential hopefuls wearing a flag pin on their lapel. Somewhat similarly, Andrew Leonard discusses the consequence of the current price of gasoline on John McCain’s presidential dreams in “So long, John -- gas is $4 a gallon.” The essays are successful for their own reasons; Doolittle uses facetious tone and the political leanings of his audience to gain emotional appeal while Leonard focuses on the circumstantial evidence of his claim and knowledge of statistics to gain authority in his argument. Both focus on the ever popular presidential race and the arbitrary issues affecting it from the liberal point of view. Consequently, the essays are both aimed at readers with similar political beliefs, and therefore the reader is easily persuaded. In this situation, it is very simple to accidentally create a fallacy – which both of these essays encounter. Though they do have factual evidence, both essays fall into the trap of false causation. Doolittle claims a simple pin can pull a contender out of the race and Leonard asserts that McCain simply cannot win the presidency due to the price of gas. While they both make strong arguments, their main points could be disregarded as parallel coincidences rather than causes. Doolittle and Leonard both attribute false causations to the presidential race in their essays; however, they succeed in convincing their audience of an idea with which they are already in agreement. Leonard and Doolittle include actual facts to expand their argument, and they do so in chronological order. Leonard starts thirty years ago as he writes, “When Jimmy Carter was sworn in as president in January 1977, the average price of a gallon of regular leaded gasoline was 60 cents. By November 1980, the price had doubled to $1.19. So long, Jimmy!” (3-4) and finishing his examples writing, “In November 2000, the price shot all the way up to $1.55, and Bush the Second ‘beat’ Al Gore”
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Bakalarski 2 (9). Doolittle chronologically explains the occurrences of flags on lapels throughout the current presidential race. As for the very first Democratic debate in 2007, Doolittle writes that “The photo coverage of the debate shows that only Joe Biden decided to wear one” (9). At the Republican debate the next week, “Tommy Thompson, Tom Tancredo and Rudy Giuliani, nonveterans all, were careful to pin
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENGL 150 taught by Professor Williams during the Spring '08 term at Wisc Stevens Point.

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Argument Paper - Bakalarski 1 Katie Bakalarski G...

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