Free Essay

Journal Summary "Dope Head"

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jothfer
Words 979
Pages 4

Leigh Dayton argues about the risk of using cannabis in her article “Dope Head” which was published in The Weekend Australia on November 5-6, 2005. She states that cannabis leads to an increased risk of mental health problems and provides some research and evidence to proof her points of view.

First, the author supports her argument by referring two academic experts’ opinions to blame cannabis.

Second, the author outlines some research findings which support more evidence and concludes that regular cannabis use may increase risks of psychosis. Moreover, she states out another finding that cannabis can be used to relieve distress.

Third, the author notes that young brains have higher potential being damaged from cannabis and the age at which people start to use cannabis is decreasing. According to a professional journal provides by the author, the cannabis is stronger than before.

Next, the author demonstrates the reason why young brains are particularly at risk. She states that is because adolescent brains are still growing and they are subject to extensive internal change. Also, she refers an expert’s research to support that reason. At the end, she outlines more findings that drug and alcohol use affects growing brains, especially parts of the brain at the front of the skull are particularly affected.

Further, the author states some possible reasons that why dope smoking may impair the formation of healthy wiring in brain.

Last, the author gives other possible reasons for psychosis other than drug use and states that lots of things we still do not know. There is more research needed.

In conclusion, Dayton believes that the mental and brain harms caused by using cannabis is developing especially risky for young people. Though the causes of those damages are not certainly identified and further researches are required, cannabis is a threat to the young users of today’s generation.

(308 words)


Overall effectiveness
The author’s main point is that use of cannabis leads to an increased risk of mental health problems. She intends to reveal the fact that cannabis could cause mental disorders like depression and psychosis and it is more dangerous to young users as their brains are immature and plastic. These are clearly stated in her article.

According to her article, her purpose is that want to inform publics of her findings and suggest people take more concerns on the issue.

To support the main point and findings, she uses some academic experts’ arguments and some related research and evidence. These facts make her article more effective.

Overall the author’s argument is unbiased as she also provides some findings that use of cannabis can release distress other than the bad effects. These objected statements make the text more effective.

The text is clear and the argument is organized well but some uses of professional words make the text more difficult to readers and make it less effective. Those words should be defined in the text. Such like schizophrenia, hallucinations and etc.

Referring to the structure of the text, the introduction states the issue clearly and put it in context. In the body, the author first states two exerts’ arguments, then outlines some research and evidence to support her main point. But there is no conclusion in the text. This makes the text incomplete and less effective overall.

Intended Audience
Because the article is published in The Weekend Australian, the intended audience will be all Australians.

According to the text, it contains lots of professional words which are not defined in the text. This may make a group of people finding difficult to understand the article. Overall the article is more professional, so it may limit its audience.

Authority of author and publication
Leigh Dayton is specialised in science communication. She has worked as a newspaper and magazine writer, a radio producer and an on-air personality for radio and television. She has won two Daley Prizes for Science Journalism and a Eureka Prize for Environmental Journalism. Based on her background, she is an authoritative person to make the argument. Her argument will be accepted by most of readers.

The Weekend Australian is a national broadsheet newspaper. The editorial values focus on leading and shaping public opinion on the issues that affect Australia. It is a very credible and authoritative newspaper in Australia. The arguments of articles published in this newspaper are more accepted by readers than other small newspaper publishers.

Overall, the text is objected and there is no emotion in it. The author adopts appropriate tone for the audience and topic that is being discussed. In the text, the author keeps using third person logic, and she refers to both academic and professional experts’ arguments and research to support her main point.

First and last paragraphs
In the first paragraph, the author clearly outlines her main point that the use of cannabis leads to an increased risk to mental and health problems. It makes audience more easily to understand the purpures of the article.

In the final paragraph, the author does not summarize the argument but it only talks about that the danger of smoking cannabis requires further research as the relationship between cannabis use and mental disorders is not clearly verified yet. This weakens the purpose of the article. It may make audience confused about the main idea of the text. The author may need to summarize her main point and make reference to why the topic is important, or may be important in the future.

In conclusion, the overall article is understandable for educated people. Lots of research and evidence make the article more effective. But the author needs to define some professional words in the article to make more audience to understand her main point. The conclusion part of the article also needs to be justified in order to make whole text more effective.…...

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