While the paragraph focuses on the social reaction towards the development and evolution of computers through the years, the reader can immediately notice in the introductory sentence that the author of the paragraph does not provide scholarly research to support the presumptive claim that there is the “widespread availability of the personal computer. ” Had the author indicated a recognized research or study on the widespread availability of the personal computer, the claim that such a widespread phenomenon has been “one of the greatest breakthroughs in the past 50 years” could have easily been upheld.
Further, substantiating the claim that such a widespread phenomenon has been a breakthrough would have also played a contributing role to the latter arguments stated in the paragraph. The second sentence in the paragraph indicates that the personal computer is a “powerful learning tool” because of two primary stated reasons: one is its revolutionizing influence on commerce and education, and; two is its effect on “the very way everyone conducts his or her daily lives. While it is good to indicate the reasons behind qualifying the personal computer as a powerful learning tool, the author failed to take note of the other influencing ‘side’ of the personal computer, which is that the use of it has also already turned into an addiction to some people that it has altered their ways of dealing with other people. The exposition of the other ‘side’ of personal computers is important so as to avoid bias in writing an essay with a scholarly voice.
Inasmuch as it balances the pros and the cons pertaining to personal computers, providing a view of both negative and positive influences of these tools is equally significant as it gives the reader a broader understanding of the issue at hand. Moreover, the third sentence of the paragraph shows the hasty generalization of the author by denying the fact that there still remain significant debates surrounding the “digital divide between those who could afford computers and those who could not. By neglecting that fact, the author then proceeds to assert the claim that “poor people can now save enough to buy their families a computer for home and school use. ” In writing scholarly papers, one should avoid using opinion as a premise or evidence for further arguments as it weakens the very arguments of the author. The opinion that there is almost no more “digital divide” is not enough to stand as a factual evidence and to support the claim that less fortunate individuals can now actually “save enough” money for them to be able to purchase personal computers.
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If the target audience of the author is a group of people who experts or who have sufficient knowledge on the effects and history of personal computers, it is highly probable that the audience will be unable to connect with the statements of the author precisely because there is little evidence used to back-up his arguments. Worse, the audience might simply disagree with the author, with the latter failing to convince the audience or failing to send his message across effectively.
If, on the other hand, the audience of the author is a group of individuals who have little to no background knowledge about personal computers and are expecting an objective presentation of ideas from the author, it is most certain that the tendency is for the audience to believe in the claims of the author and, eventually, hold these beliefs as close to being treated as facts.
Both of these two instances are not commendable as far as scholarly writing and scholarly voice are concerned because both fail to consider the fact that the author’s writing should be fair and objective, or should render no bias and should make use of accepted facts. In essence, the substance of the paragraph can be improved by citing facts and removing opinion. Doing both things can give the paper and the author more credibility and will not be suspect of unsound arguments and invalid points.
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