Article Review Paper

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Article Review


Motherly Advice
Did your mother read to you when you were six weeks old? Did she teach you how to do math
problems when you were two? Recently, I read the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel and found an
editorial on child development. Kathleen Parker's article, "First Three Years Aren't That
Critical" tells us that parents today are putting to much emphasis on what the media and
medical journals are saying, instead of using common sense. The article emphasizes that
parents are going overboard on these new studies using good argumentative techniques.
Although I found not all of what she said was accurate, I still felt she got her point
across. Parker uses evidence from scientists and medical books, to further persuade the
reader to side with her opinion. Parker uses good persuasive techniques by showing that
not everything you read in the media about child development is true or factual. Parker
also shows that she is not one-sided on the issue and gives a personal comment about the
opposing viewpoint. I feel the author proved her point that parents are being ridiculous
in how they are raising their child these days.

In the first few paragraphs, author attracts the attention of the reader and explains the
main point of the article. The author begins the article saying that she "Pity[s] today's
parents who want to do the right thing." The sentence attracts the audience to continue
reading the article because the sentence sparks curiosity in why the author pities today's
parents. The article continues, "They [parents] buy child-rearing books, explore over
psychology articles, play Mozart in nurseries festooned with alphabet cards and the
periodic table." Parker shows good persuasive technique by describing an exaggerated
scenario of what parents are doing these days to try to develop their child's mind.

Although the scenario is not believable, the exaggeration helps to prove that parents are
being excessive in the way they develop their children. Parker states her position clearly
when she comments that parenting should not be that challenging nor as ridiculous as
parents are making it. She states that by buying books and playing Mozart to children
would be going overboard. This argument could offend people who believe that reading and
teaching kids early is a better way to develop their minds or people that spend their time
following the latest trends. The author acknowledges the fact that parents are trying to
do the right thing. By acknowledging the other viewpoint, the author can still present her
argument and not offend the reader so much that they would quickly side against her. Using
these techniques, the author effectively attracts the readers' attention and explains the
main point of the rest of the article.

I noticed that in this article, Parker challenges the media's representation on the
effectiveness of early childhood development by stating that you should not change how you
raise your child based on trivial news articles. Parker lists sources: Newsweek, the
Clintons, and books about early development, as causes for parents to go overboard on
developing their young children. The point that Parker is trying to get across is that
these articles are not reasons for society to change their parental habits. The author is
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