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Minimum Legal Drinking Age

Luis Meza
University of Texas at El Paso
Melanie Salome
RWS 1302: Rhetoric & Composition

Minimum Legal Drinking Age

The Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) has always been a topic of conversation and
mostly of the debates are happening between the academic communities which involves mostly
college students against the government and the question is still out there, Should the
government need to lower the minimum legal drinking age of 21 to 18? This topic is being
addressed by two different genres, in the YouTube video Should We Lower the Drinking Age
by DNews analyzes and give the people more detailed information concerning the topic of
possibilities of lowering the MLDA, cause and effect of doing it providing evidence and statistics
where the audience can rely on. However, Brandon Griggs CNN website article, Should the U.S
lower its drinking age? takes a step on 3 different stances regarding the main topic giving the
audience three different perspectives concerning the issue. This genre analysis will serve as an
informative paper that will show how the genres transmit the information, how the media
involves the community to the audience and how they spread this issue to make it viral.
Audience and Purposes
This genre analysis is directed to two different types of genres, the written and the visual
genre, the visual genre Should We Lower the Drinking Age by DNews is aimed to an audience
who need more information about the topic such as young adults (high school students, college
students), professors and people interested in general, the audience has to be familiarized with
the topic or they must know the basic laws regarding the issue. The videos purpose is to inform
the audience providing them with a background of the topic, a variety of information with
evidence and statistics to support their claims so the audience can trust in their credibility. The
language provided by this genre is formal but it is not as strict regarding language, it is easy to
understand and all audiences can have access to it. This visual genre provide the audience with

many images to entertain and grab their attention to give them a better experience when they
watch the video. In this genre the audience will spend about 4 to 5 minutes watching this video
because of the length of it but also they will cover everything related to the topic very easily
because is arranged in a simple way and easy to understand.
On the other hand, the written genre website article Should the U.S lower its drinking
age? by Brandon Griggs is targeted to an audience who is very well informed about the topic
members of an organization such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), groups of college
students from Brown University and the president of Middlebury College, John McCardell Jr.
As well as people more experience who wants to know different perspectives of the topic. The
purpose of this written genre is to inform and give the audience three different perspectives of
the issue with three different stances with the goal of getting the people to know the various faces
this issue contains and finally choosing a stance. This genre provide plenty of evidence and
statistics to demonstrate its audience their credibility. As evidence of this the author Brandon
Griggs said, Many studies have since attempted to gauge the law's impact on public health. One
found that among young drivers (ages 16-20) killed in car wrecks, the percentage with positive
blood-alcohol levels declined from 61% in 1982 to 31% in 1995 (2014). For instance the
language in this genre is formal but it is meant to be for all the public but of course they must
have some knowledge to fully understand the topic. For this written genre the audience is going
to spend about 6 to 8 minutes reading and understanding the three different perspectives in the
article and should have access to an internet connection in order to see it.

Rhetorical Issues
Both genres display the three rhetorical appeals ethos, pathos, and logos but each genre
exhibit them in a unique way that makes each genre a well information transmitter to the
In the visual genre the video handle with credibility by providing a variety of facts and
statistics that the audience can check out by themselves and rely on, it also provide in the
description of the video a list of a variety of sources this video used to present the information
about the topic with direct links that will send the audience to the source by this process the
audience is aware that this genre is credible and they can use it as a credible source for any
investigation. For instance, the written genre handles with credibility by providing various
perspectives of different organizations such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and
different studies from Brown University. This genre provide a huge variety of statistics where
people can see actual facts of the related topic.
The visual genre even though, it does not have a strong pathos, it tries to implement this
rhetorical appeal by showing images and statistics of the consequences of lowering the minimum
legal drinking age so it will have an impact in the perception of the audience that can contribute
to which side the audience is going for. The written genre also does not provide a strong pathos
but it play with emotions by providing many statistics of how this issue can affect the community
whether it affects it in a good or bad way.

The visual genre have a strong and effective logos because this video adopts a large
quantity of facts coming from researches and articles, quotes approaching from organizations and
institutions and statistics to prove their stances on the issue. For example, Trace, perhaps
organizer and one of the authors of the YouTube video Should We Lower the Drinking Age?
from DNews said, a compiling research from 1988 to 2011, their paper shows a drop in
heavy drinking among college students by seven percent and dropping drunk driving crashes
resulting in 900 fewer deaths each year (2014). However, the written genre also possess a strong
logos because it provide a huge quantity of statistics and facts with several links to support its
claims and for making it stronger it has 3 different stances coming from an organization, and two
different universities.
Structure and delivery
Both genres present the information of the topic in different ways, for the visual genre the
video starts with an attention grabber in purpose of waking up the interest of the audience by
saying a phrase with a tone of relaxation so the audience can feel in comfort and relaxed. As
evidence of this in the YouTube video Should We Lower the Drinking Age by DNews the host
Trace said, so like cracking open a bottle of wine with your family having a meal you know
even if you are underage thats okay, right? (2014).The attention getter make people more
confident and more in a relaxed environment.
The written genre its more elaborated, since it is a website article on a prestigious news chain
(CNN) the language has to be formal, for the attention grabber the author Brandon Griggs in the
website article Should the U.S lower its drinking age? started with a very unusual commentary

made by Brown University anthropology professor Dwight B. Heath the author said, when
asked what the minimum legal drinking age should be in the U.S., Heath says 8, or maybe even
6. (2014).The attention grabber instantly catches the attention of the public because this
commentary is very unusual to hear in the community. For instance, the author also provide a
video as background information of the topic so the audience can inform and have extra
information to add to their knowledge before starting the article.
Overall, both genres communicated their information to the audience successfully, the
visual genre was more informative and entertaining than persuasive but the written genre was
more informative and persuasive because it provided three different stances on the minimum
legal drinking age topic. Each genre established the two sides of the regarding issue and raised
awareness to the community. The Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) is a topic with so
much controversy that demand to be treated carefully and these genres are going in the right

DNews (2014, March 3). Should we lower the drinking age? [Video File] Retrieved from
Brandon Griggs (2015, January, 04). Should the U.S lower its drinking age? CNN news
Retrieved September 23, 2015 from http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/16/us/legal-drinking