Both authors discuss the topic on searching forhappiness. Ginny Graves believes that one should reflect and focus on oneselfin order to achieve happiness while Ruth Whippman thinks that we shouldconcentrate our energy on others in order to be happy. After considering thearguments presented by both authors, I believe that the article written by RuthWhippman is more persuasive due to her expertise on the subject matter and thebalanced argument she provides.First of all, Ruth Whippman is an author.
Her booktitled “America the Anxious” is related to the current article that she haswritten which means that she has done extensive research in this field of study.She is able to better present her ideas as she has first-hand experience on theissue at hand and she draws on these experiences when writing the article whereshe talks about how self-reflection does not necessarily lead to happiness eventhough studies may prove it (Whippman, 2017). Granted her personal experiencemay not speak for everyone, but the use of such examples tells readers that shehas tried self-reflection and she must have had strong reasons to believe thatit does not lead to happiness, building a more persuasive case. Furthermore, Ruth’sarticle was published on the New York Times, compared to Ginny’s article whichwas published on health .com.
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No doubt the New York Times is a much morecredible website which helps to increase the reliability of Ruth’s argument,which aids in delivering a more persuasive argument.Secondly, Ruth includes her own personal research inthe article, which allows her to portray her argument in a more persuasive toneas she believes that what she is writing to be true. Ruth’s argument is furtherstrengthened when she acknowledges the fact that self-reflection is importantto one’s happiness. By considering the opposing viewpoint, she writes abalanced argument which gives readers a better understanding on why shebelieves that focusing on others leads to happiness. Whereas forGinny, the sources she provided to support her argument were opinions of otherpeople. She did not conduct her own research to support her claims, hence herargument is formed on the opinions of other individuals. She did not considerother viewpoints, which makes her argument very one-sided.
This makes it looklike she is trying very hard to sell her idea because she has no hard evidence,unlike Ruth who has included various statistics in her article. The only hardevidence Ginny has is a study conducted at Michigan State University in 2016and even that does not directly link self-reflection to happiness. According toGinny, “While you might link happiness to a future goal (losing 10 pounds,getting married, landing a big job), you don’t have to wait for other factorsto fall into place to call a friend who is going through a rough patch, write apostcard to your senator urging her not to cut funding for an importantprogram, tutor an ESL student, or volunteer at a dog shelter.” (Graves,2017, paragraph 3).
This point iscontradictory to her view that one should focus on oneself to achieve happinessas the examples she provided involve interacting with other people. This contradictionreduces the persuasiveness of her argument.However, we should not ignore Ginny’s article andtotally neglect the point she is trying to bring across.
Ginny does well inempathising with the readers as she uses everyday examples such as “the purr ofyour cat” (Graves, 2017, paragraph 6) which helps her connect with her readersto make her argument more persuasive. Her argument has a good structure withclear headings that makes it easy for readers to understand. By tapping on the opinions of others, such asSusan David, Mallika Chopra and Robert Lustig, she proves that she has a strongbacking to support her claim and that her stand is not hers alone. However, itmust be noted that the above-mentioned individuals are authors and she citedthem together with the title and price of the book they wrote.
This looks likea marketing tactic to promote their book and does not make for strong evidenceto support her claim.In conclusion, both authors present two opposingviewpoints to achieve happiness and they go about their own unique way insupporting their claims. Although I believe that Ruth Whippman has made a morepersuasive argument, I cannot totally ignore Ginny’s argument as she has madesome interesting points. Ultimately, the evidence that Ruth provided coupledwith the fact that she provided a balanced argument and her strong background allowsher to be more persuasive than Ginny.