Peter Brimelow’s “Thank You for Smoking…?” is a well-written argument with a lot of evidence to support his claim. Other than the last two paragraphs, Brimelow provides rational support for the positive side of smoking. His article discusses the benefits that smoking can have to peoples’ health. Such evidence as that of D.M Warbutton, a British researcher who said that smoking stimulates alertness, dexterity, and cognitive capacity (141). Citing a number of scientific journals, Brimlow has also found that smoking can reduce the risk of developing such diseases as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Endometrial cancer, Prostate cancer, Osteoarthritis and Colon cancer. Brimelow states that smoking can reduce the risk of certain lung disorders (sarcoidosis and allergic alveolitis) and acne (142). Last, but not least, he states that smoking can indeed make you weigh less (142). This viewpoint is different from the non-smoking view that people are accustomed to hearing. Brimelow has both strengths and weaknesses to his argument.
Brimelow uses inductive reasoning in his article by providing examples of diseases to indicate that smoking can be beneficial (McFadden 5). He uses these examples to make his thesis clearer to the reader. This approach is successful because he provides several similar examples of diseases that are helped by smoking instead of just one (Clark 74). By doing this, he avoids overgeneralization or vague descriptions which can harm the credibility of the paper (Clark 82).
The major claim is stated in the second paragraph. The major claim, better known as the thesis statement, can be defined as the main point of the argument (McFadden 41). The majo...
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...verely weakens his argument. By insulting people he may lose a lot of respect and people will be less likely to accept his reasoning.
Overall, Brimelow presents a logical argument for the benefits of smoking but his last two paragraphs weaken his credibility. It could have been a stronger argument if he would have presented both sides more accurately. He presents strong evidence for his case but lacks proper comparisons to make his point even stronger.
Brimelow, Peter. “Thank You for Smoking…?” The Genre of Argument. Ed. Irene L. Clark. Boston Thomson-Heinle, 1998. 141-143.
Clark, Irene L. The Genre of Argument. Boston Thomson-Heinle, 1998.
McFadden, James. The Toulmin Method..:From Classical Logic to Modern Argumentation. [PowerPoint Slide]. 5 February, 2004. Buena Vista University. Storm Lake, IA.
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