Susan Keith and Michelle Martin’s essay, Cyber-Bullying: Creating a Culture of Respect in a Cyber World, describes the cyber-bullying in today’s youth and convinces people to address it as a significant form of child violence and harassment. The introduction describes modern concerns regarding youth violence and goes on to include cyber-bullying as a new form of social harassment that has risen with the popularity of the internet. Susan and Michelle then go on to define cyber-bullying and provide statistics related to its prevalence in modern youth and the affects it has on the victims.
While a majority of today’s youth is either recipient or aggressor of cyber-bullying, most parents are unaware of its occurrences. The examples provided in this essay describe the methods kids use to target their victims and the profound ways it has injured specific people. Expert testimony briefly explains why this form of bullying has a profound impact on the development of adolescents. They also explain how this behavior can become such a significant problem among students without parents’ realizing.
This is largely attributed to a social gap between adults and adolescence in their use of the internet. While adults use the internet as a tool, young people use it for social networking and communication. The internet provides younger people with the opportunity to create social pressure against other students without exposing themselves to the authority of parents and teachers. Finally, the essay gives warning signs and symptoms for adults to watch out for to identify cyber-bullying in kids.
It is clear that the writer is persuading the viewers that cyber-bullying is in fact a major problem in today’s youth and parents and adults need to address this issue. The authors’ use of supportive examples is presented as much like a persuasive argument using pathos of specific incidents to describe how people are victimized by cyber-bullying as it is an informative essay about the subject. The conclusion provides a call-to-action by urging adults to step in and play an active role in preventing cyber-bullying and helping victims that are being abused.
The paper bring final close with helpful tips for children, parents and schools to prevent this problem. I believe that this essay is well written, adequately supported, and ultimately misdirecting by presenting itself as an informative essay only to reveal its true motive as an elaborate self-help paper. A proper informative paper should reveal both sides of the argument in a neutral manor. The final decisions can only then be made by the reader depending on the paper’s overall argument and credibility.
However, a persuasive paper must state its position in the beginning and then proceed to make the strongest supportive argument possible before issuing a call to action. This essay attempts to merge the two in a way that leads the reader to believe that this is an informative paper about how modern technology has allowed cyber-bullying to thrive uninhibited by adults and authority, and then finishes with a call to action without ever clearly stating the authors’ objective.
Another important point that is absent in this paper is expert testimony from a leading child and adolescent psychologist examining this behavior. The motives for children to engage in cyber-bullying might be the most important part of this essay. And a specialist in the field could also provide a better understanding of the effects inflicted on the victims. Had Susan and Michelle used such a person to provide the call to action in their own professional opinion, rather than stating it in a nifty bullet point format, the credibility of this essay would be improved.