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Persuasive Prose

In: English and Literature

Submitted By MFeuth
Words 685
Pages 3
“Think: The Teen Brain, Drugs & Psychosis” taken from Momentum Health Members, Jump Magazine (Issue 1, 2015), pg. 14-15.
This informative, conversational style article, which is focused on parents of teenagers, about the dangers of drug usage to the brains of adolescents provides insight into how easily psychosis can be triggered when teenagers use drugs.
The bold title and self-explanatory title picture immediately catch the eye: “THINK – THE TEEN BRAIN, DRUGS AND PSYCHOSIS” and is designed to make the reader pay attention, almost as if to say “Stop what you are doing and pay attention!” and is designed to provoke an interest with the reader with regards to the relationship between adolescent brains, drugs and psychosis – especially if that reader is a parent of a teenager/young adult.
The stereotype of “Young people love to experiment” that the writer used in the lead of the article is used to build up to the probability of “disastrous effects” (“can have disastrous effects”). The lead of this article also creates a degree of certainty with the reader by stating “With the help of Dr.Lize Weich, psychiatrist at Stellenbosch University” – here the reader receives a certain level of assurance that the information that follows in the main body of the article is verified/endorsed/checked by a professional psychiatrist who is based at a professional institution.
The easy to read and understand information contained in the main body is in a serious tone and makes the reader realize that this is a reality in everyday life. The main message of the article is well supported by the information tables provided on page two, which stand out because of the bold headings and the colours used. The information provided in the first table under the heading “Protect your child” provides advice to parents on how to minimise risk of experimental drug usage by teenagers, whilst the second heading of “What is psychosis” aims to identify the term and condition, both of which support the information contained in the main body.
Further support of the dangers of experimental drug usage is well provided by the usage of the three circles that contain significant statistical information about the topic. These “statistical circles” are well positioned to capture the attention of the reader.
The selection of the words “teen, young people, teenager, adolescent, child” is well used by the writer to construct the article and to ensure that the focus is on teenagers (lexicalization).
The factual information about alcohol, marijuana, tik and stimulants provided in the red coloured table on page two aims to persuade the reader about the dangers of these drugs to teenagers and assists in forming an opinion thereof.
This article could also be construed as a well worded advertisement/promotion for the services of Momentum Health. By posing the question of “How does Momentum Health help you?” at the end of the article (and by making it stand out), a reader who is also a member of the Momentum Health Medical Aid Scheme may be concerned about whether or not their medical scheme option includes any rehabilitation benefits, and after reading this article as well as all the persuasive information discussed above, might choose to change to a more costly medical scheme option to ensure that their option includes rehabilitation benefits. This is also aided by the degree of uncertainty created with the reader by using statements that “A single dagga joint may be all it takes to trigger schizophrenia” or “… it can happen to any youngster”.
The colloquial language used in this article (contained in phrases like “… smoking pot” and “A single dagga joint”) as well as the synonyms for marijuana (“pot, dagga”) also supports the conversational style of the article.
The writer has also indirectly assigned proprietary attributes to the relationship between teenagers and their brains. This was done by assigning the term “owners” to “adolescent brains” as if to say that teenagers can choose their brains or are in control of the functions of their brains.
The writer does however exaggerate a bit by stating that “All adolescents are at risk”.

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