Following a Journalist: Sandy Banks (analysis of style)

Essay by ChasMHigh School, 11th gradeA, November 2014

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Following a Journalist: Sandy Banks, L.A. Times Journalist

Sandy Bank's writing encompasses many social issues, bringing to light the subtle

involvement of racism and sexism in a simple yet effective style. While remaining

conversational throughout her articles, she uses her simple style to advocate ideas by layering her

topics as well as using many different techniques to appeal to her readers' empathy.

In writing about local events, she focuses on social issues affecting today's generation of

women. Written in series, her columns often voice the same underlying opinions and themes,

subtly persuading her readers by giving them an opportunity to view her argument from various

perspectives. This also allows her to engage her readers while avoiding pushing an argument too

far. This technique is especially visible in the series of articles she wrote following the

controversy about the shooting at Isla Vista, California. After drawing fire by bluntly pointing

out how sexism affects societal attitudes and plays a role in and the handling of major events, she

used her readers themselves to show how everyone is subconsciously affected by societal

attitudes and sexism. In her second article (Article 2, Shooting at Isla Vista), she mentioned that

in the letters she received from her readers, "women...took pains to be polite [while]

didn't," countering her readers' argument that sexism doesn't affect societal attitudes or

everyday life while further supporting her stance in her first article. This acknowledges the

readers, alerting them that they are part of a discussion with her and inviting them to reinterpret

and reconsider her stance. Writing in series also earns the readers' trust by displaying the fact

that she is knowledgeable enough on her subjects and arguments to be able to continually offer

up new perspectives in support of her stance.

Along with her clever...