Essay: Bottlemania

Elizabeth Royte is the author of the book ‘Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It’ published in 2008 by the Turner Broadcasting System. Royte argues that bottled water is not safer than tap water. Royte wrote this article to encourage people to be informed on whether to drink bottled water or tap water. This article may be divided into five sections. The author opens this article by stating that the EPA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, tells us that the United Sates has one of the safest water supplies in the world. In 2006, 89.3 percent of the nation’s fifty-three thousand community water systems were in compliance with more than ninety EPA standards. Being provided with that information, the author was still attempting to understand why American citizens preferred bottled water over tap water, until the statistics showed that 29.8 million people with tap water either did not meet the reporting standards or health standards. In the second section Royte discusses which groups of people does tap water affect. Statistics show the young, pregnant and very old are the selection of people who are usually at a higher risk of becoming ill from drinking tap water. Scientists broadens their research by stating that the population that is at risk the most are children and teens, women that are breast feeding and anyone that is over the age of fifty-five. At least seven million Americans experience sickness from waterborne microbes, which microbiologists worry about, each year. In the third section Royte presents the information that bottled water is not any safer than tap water but that it all depends on your comfort level. Using filters for tap water can and will save Americans money while also clearing suspicion. Also, not everyone can afford a water filter nor the maintenance it requires. Epidemiologist suggest that water companies not only install and maintain a filter but also pay for it. The EPA encourages you to read your water report but depending on a water report is not always helpful because the annual water report can be flawed and some can be used for propaganda. Bottled water does have an important role in society because of its use in emergencies and for the people who can and cannot drink filtered water. In the fourth section Royte discusses what a water report should consist of. Water reports must identify known sources of pollutants in city water. Royte encourages people to read your report and do your own research and test your water yourself. In the concluding section Royte discusses the positives and negatives of bottled water. Bottled water is almost a necessity when it comes to emergencies and people that have health risks. Although, the environmental and social price is high, it is also true that bottled water looks extremely small compared to other water uses. If anyone continues to buy bottled water do it as an informed consumer and not because it appears to be the best choice to make (Royte 721). After the careful examination of the careful examination of the author’s use of the rhetorical appeals, rhetorical fallacies, and comparison and contrast with other author’s, it will be proven that the article ‘Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It’ is deserving of the top prize of persuasiveness to be awarded by Pop Matters Magazine and the National Council of Teachers of English.
Royte utilizes several rhetorical appeals in the article. The dominant appeals is logos, which is defined as ‘reasons and evidence to the presentation of facts, statistics, credible testimony, cogent examples, or even a narrative or story that embodies a sound reason in support of an argument’ (Lunsford, Ruszckiewicz and Walters 27). The first use of logos is in the beginning of the article when the author utilizes quotes from Cynthia Daugherty who represents the EPA. The author utilizes logos in the second section by presenting statistics about which groups of people are likely to become ill from tap water. The author utilizes logos in the third section by presenting the facts that bottled water is not safer than tap water. The author utilizes logos in the fourth section by conducting her own research about what a water report should consist of. The author utilizes logos in the concluding section by presenting the negatives and positives of bottled water. Another type of appeal evident in the article is ethos which is defined as ”trustworthiness’ and ‘credibility” (Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz and Walters 27). The first usage of ethos is in the second section when the author receives the opinion of an epidemiologist. The second usage of ethos is in the third section when the author does her research about water filters and what they are utilized for. The least utilized appeal is pathos, defined as ’emotional appeals that generate emotions that the writer hopes will lead the audience to accept a claim’ (Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz and Walters 27). The author utilizes pathos once in the third section when she uses the word ‘suspicious’ to explain how she should feel about her water.
Furthermore, there are several fallacies evident in the article. One type evident is scare tactics which defines ‘scaring people and exaggerating possible dangers well beyond their statistical likelihood’ (Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz and Walters 75). Scare tactics was used in the third section when she explained why someone should use a water filter and the dangers of people not using them. Another type evident is bandwagon ‘urge people to follow the same path everyone else is taking’ (Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz and Walters 78) because using bottled water is something people do just because they see others doing it. The last type evident is hasty generalization ‘an inference drawn from insufficient evidence’ (Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz and Walters 82) which is shown when the article states that most people that use bottled water get sick.
Finally, it is important to compare and contrast Royte’s article with Mark Baumgartner’s article entitled ‘Study: Bottled Water No Safer Than Tap Water.’ There are several similarities between the two articles. Such as both articles having similar thesis statements about people using bottled water because it appears to be the safest option (Baumgartner). Also, both articles also use facts and evidence by quoting the EPA. Both articles also agree that bottled water is not safer than tap water. However, there are several differences between the authors. One difference between Royte and Baumgartner articles is they both use different sources and authorities when discussing facts. Another difference is Royte uses logos by providing statistics whereas Baumgartner uses logos to discuss facts. The last difference is that Roytes’s article gives a proposal while Baumgartner doesn’t state a proposal.
In conclusion, it will be proven that the article ‘Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It’ is deserving of the top prize of persuasiveness to be awarded by Pop Matters Magazine and the National Council of Teachers of English. The proposal that Royte gives in this article is valid that the American people shouldn’t buy bottled water because it seems like the safest solution but we should be informed consumers of bottled water. Drinking plenty of water is important for your health according to the article ‘Is bottled water safer'(Kelly). Being informed about the safety of tap water can save plenty of money.

Source: Essay UK - http://ntechno.pro/essays/english-literature/essay-bottlemania/


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