The John Christensen article has an interesting thesis that comes very quickly when reading the article. Christensen writes, “The numbers are staggering, but they do not begin to encompass the suffering and the dramas that put faces on the epidemic.” (Christensen). The author seeks to make the point that, although the statistics alone are staggering, they fail to tell the whole story about AIDS. If a person wants to truly understand AIDS, they have to know and see the faces that AIDS has an effect on.
The author’s strategy for formulating this thesis was simple. He took a look at the overwhelming and staggering statistics and put them in perfect context for individuals to understand. Once people understand how overwhelming the statistics are, they can appropriately measure the broad number of people that are personally impacted by such an epidemic. The arguments are extremely compelling because they are absolutely mind blowing. When one takes a moment to think about the absolute destruction that AIDS is causing all over the world, it is nearly impossible to ignore the problem. When a person is forced to think about the faces, the names, and the lives destroyed by AIDS, they have to recognize the problem.
- The article is extremely information-driven. Without the mass of numbers that he presents, his entire thesis and argument would be nearly worthless. With that in mind, it was extremely important that he organized this information in a way that people could understand clearly. In the early part of the article, he organizes the data in a bullet point list. This is important because the information is so much to digest. By giving it in short, organized bullet points, the author is putting it in a very easy to understand format for all of the readers.
The author does not include any counter-arguments to his primary argument. The reason for this is because, simply put, there is no way to argue that AIDS is not a huge global epidemic. This would not have been an effective strategy for his argument.
The author does not use any graphs or illustrations, but he does use statistics. He uses them in the early going in order to show that almost all groups of people are impacted by AIDS and to show the reader the level of absolute devastation that AIDS causes. This strengthens the author’s argument by giving the reader something to grab hold to. They can go back and look at these statistics in order to fully grasp the scope of what the author is talking about.
The article can be seen as a two-phased piece. In the early going, the organization of the information is the primary focus. He allows those visuals to do their job and to establish his point from the beginning. After that, he has many quotes that he uses and he goes on to explain the levity of the situation in the best way possible. This mass of information provides a strong background for the author to build upon.