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Analysis on the argumentative essay: Zoos are Internment Camps for Animals and

should be Shut Down

The writer has used the classical argument structure approach, in presenting the essay: it

has five major part parts. These sections include the introduction, narration, confirmation,

refutation and concession as well as the conclusion. The introduction in the essay captures the

audience’s interest in that the reader gets to know the subject matter of the argument (Ramage, et

al 1998). For instance, in the introduction the writer lets the audience to understand that, despite

the fact that zoos are profitable to the society, they are on the other hand a disadvantage to the

animals themselves. This alone leaves the audience with urge of wanting to know more about the

matter. In the introduction the writer has clearly established his/her perception about the matter

and has set his/her point of view for the argument as well.

As far as the narration part is considered, the writer establishes the context of the

argument by explaining the situation to which his/her argument is responding; the essay broadly

brings out the problems associated with keeping the animals in the zoos as well as the

background information and statistics that evidence this argument. From the narration the

audience is able to understand what is at stake in the argument as well as evaluate the writer’s

claims fairly.

The confirmation part in the essay gives the writer the opportunity to explain why he/she

believes that zoos should be closed down since they are like prison camps to animals. The essay

for instance gives evidences and reasons for the support of the thesis. A good example is when

the writer compares the elephant’s lifespan in the zoo to its lifespan while in its natural habitat.

The writer does this through giving out statistics which supports the argument. The narration

builds a chain of reasoning in the essay that supports the writer’s argument.
The refutation and concession part in the essay is showing that the writer is aware of

potential opposition and objections to his/her thesis and through this part he pinpoints any

potential opposition through giving an answer to the objections that may arise. A good example

is when the writer says that opponents of his idea claim that zoos are a great way of helping the

conservation of endangered species, but diffuses this claim by arguing that many animals found

in the zoos are not endangered at all; the writer suggest that the natural habitats should be

conserved instead. The refutation and concession part diffuses the audience’s ability to oppose

the thesis and therefore persuaded by to accept the writer’s point of view. Through this also the

writer respects his/her opposition without weakening the thesis.

The conclusion in the essay tries to back the narration and the issues that remind the

audience what is at stake here, it tries to show why the thesis provides the best solution to the

problem the zoo animals are facing. The conclusion in the essay gives an impression of the

rightness and essentialness the thesis.

In the essay, the writer targets the general public since the issue he/she addresses touches

the general public as a whole. This includes the institutions which administers zoos as well as its

stake holders. The writer further targets students and intellectuals in trying to enlighten or

educate them on the facts that revolve around keeping zoos.

The essay generally depicts the disadvantages of keeping animals in zoos; therefore the

zoos should be closed or done away with. The writer tries to persuade the audience that keeping

the wild animals in the zoo endangers them more than when they are in their natural habitats.

The writer further insists that animals trapped in zoos cannot behave like they would have while

in their natural habitats; this causes terrific negative consequences to their psychology which in

the end shortens their lifespan because of stress. The writer argues that animals which are meant
to swim freely as they wish are now stuck in tanks where they are “imprisoned”. He says no

matter how big and pretty their housing are, they will never compensate for their natural habitat

since the animals are depressed and bored in those enclosures.

Several kinds of appeals have been used by writer in coming up with the argument: these

are ethos, logos and pathos. The writer has used ethos in trying to show his/credibility. This kind

of appeal helps the reader or the audience to have respect for the author and so believing in what

he says. The writer appreciates the source from which he gets his facts for example.

“Researchers concluded that bringing elephants into zoo profoundly impairs their viability

(Zoos: Pitiful Prisons, 2011)”.

The writer also uses Pathos in appealing to the reader’s emotions and so persuading them.

The writer for instance says that animals are living creatures and they feel pain and suffer as

human beings do; being human does not give us the right to manipulate animals, does not give us

the right to treat animals unjustly.

Another kind of appeal that the writer has used is logos. The writer uses logos to show

the logic in his argument by putting up facts and statistics that support his argument. He for

instance cites that, "in a survey at Sea World Australia in 2001, researchers found that 64 per

cent of visitors listed the number one reason for their visit was to have fun and be entertained"

(Marine mammals - The Educational Message, 2011). This helps to back up his argument and so

appealing to the reader or the audience since his thesis has a basis and is logically set.

In the essay the writer has used unpublished or unconfirmed reports and data from

articles which makes the reader to doubt some facts in the argument since the data seem to be

exaggerated. This unreliable evidence used makes the reader not to be persuaded on some facts.
In the essay, a direct mode of persuasion has been used in that the writer directly

persuades and appeals to the emotions of the reader. The reader does this by personally talking to

the reader’s mind putting all the facts behind his argument clear and conscience. He makes the

reader to visualize the whole picture for himself. The writer does not leave the audience to figure

out the way forward or get to find where the problem is; instead he does it openly for reader.

The writer uses an emotional or logical kind of tone in persuading the reader. The writer

sort of creates a conversational environment in the essay which leaves the reader to feel as if the

essay is talking to him/her directly. For instance the writer has used rhetorical questions to bring

up a friendly tone in order to persuading the audience.

The writer comes up with different rhetorical devices in organizing his/her argument the

major one being the use of rhetorical questions. The writer leaves the reader to answer for

themselves some obvious logical questions, which he asks without expecting an answer from the

audience. This device however helps the audience to see for themselves the seriousness in the

matter drawn by the writer and therefore they are swayed. There is also the use of pathos

(appeals to the readers emotions), logos (which shows logic) and ethos (which shows the writer’s


The essay is persuading since it outlines the facts that had been long time forgotten. The

animals in the zoos as a matter of fact face difficulties since they are not naturally habited. The

reasons posed by the writer are logic and factual. This is evidenced by the statistics and

evidences the writer has backed up his thesis with. The writer would have used further factual

materials to support his argument. Additionally, the writer could have used more cases as

evidence to his argument. This would have shown the more seriousness in the matter.

Ramage, John D. and John C. Bean. Writing Arguments. 4th Edition. Needham Heights, MA:
Allyn & Bacon, 1998, 81-82.]