Category: Analysis

Author’s Objectives

In the essay “How can I help you?” author challenges the effectiveness of the international help that America provides to developing countries. The essay addresses both military and financial aid, with an emphasis on the noble motives that lay behind such actions. Apparently, author disagrees with the ongoing help programs, considering them pointless. One cannot detect a clearly defined thesis statement in this essay, as the author has chosen to develop the point gradually. As close as it gets to the thesis statement, the following rhetorical questions indicate author’s objectives for the essay: “Since this program [Peace Corps] isn’t working, does that mean all government assisted programs that help other countries out don’t work? Should we even be trying to help other nations when we have so many people living in poverty in our own country?”

Format

The essay is written in clearly shaped Classical format. At the beginning, there is an introduction that outlines the Peace Corps activities abroad. Readers who consider helping the other people in developing countries would be most interested to learn more about such an opportunity. The author succeeds in attracting the attention and providing enough background information to the audience, as required by the classical argument type. Despite the fact that the essay’s point could be rather discouraging for potential volunteers, it is clearly stated and substantiated. The author believes that the international financial aid is a waste too, as it does not work in a way it should. Each of the three essay’s sources is quoted at least twice, providing solid evidence of the main idea. Potential counterarguments are mentioned, but they shatter under the weight of author’s reasoning. The use of the classical argument style is well justified for the purpose of this essay. There are no opponents whom it might be necessary to convince using the Rogerian argument. All that matters is the issue itself, the logic behind the evidence base, and the eventual conclusion. The essay is reasonably well constructed with regard to all three of these.

Problematic Aspect

However, there is a problematic aspect to this essay. The main body content is at odds with the thesis rhetorical questions, and the contrast is just too obvious. The first paragraph, which is supposed to define the whole essay’s subject and direction, does not contain a single mentioning of the financial aid. However, the rest of the essay revolves explicitly around the money donations, both inside and outside the U.S. The introduction paragraph would have been more effective if it had addressed all possible implications of the international help programs instead of concentrating on the Peace Corps. The references at the very beginning of the essay would have worked better if they had been placed deeper inside. Nevertheless, the author’s arguments are perfectly convincing in relation to the essay’s thesis.

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Arguments

With regard to the arguments use, there is an area that definitely needs an improvement. The magnitude of the author’s claim that the international help is not really working implies the thorough and comprehensive substantiation. Critically disposed reader would not take one reference to Peace Corps veteran and the fact of early retirement as a solid proof of the international help ineffectiveness. Nevertheless, these two feeble arguments lay in the basis of the conclusion that “the program isn’t working”. In order to improve the essay, the opening paragraph should be generalized. It must give indications as to which aspects of the international help will be addressed and the author’s principal position on the subject. The main essay’s body will provide enough space for all supporting references, once the initial thesis is framed and the direction is set.

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