Claim/Data/Warrant Practice: The Onion

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Claim/Data/Warrant Practice: The Onion

The selection presented was a mock advertisement for a company marketing Magna-Soles, the next generation of shoe inserts. The advertisement attempted to persuade consumers to buy Magna-Soles; however, the product is clearly a sham. The Onion’s writers mock how companies market products to consumers, exposing their ridiculous methods.

Read the article and find at least THREE varying objects of satire.




Then write an essay in which you analyze the strategies in the article to satirize how products are marketed to consumers. Your paragraph should include the following:

______/10 Claim: Identify an object of satire and briefly indicate its purpose

______/10 Data (Evidence): Cite direct evidence, preferably using quotes, from the article. Use multiple pieces of evidence if available. Quote only what is necessary (words, phrases, etc.). Only quote entire sentences if the full sentence is needed.

______/10 Warrant (Explanation): Explain HOW the evidence is satirical. Explain WHY The Onion is satirizing this marketing strategy; in other words, what is so ridiculous about it? Warrant shows your understanding. In this case, you must show that you recognize the satire and its purpose.

Before writing: Read the example paragraph below, then underline the claim, put brackets around the data, and highlight the warrant.

In the passage, The Onion satirizes people’s willingness to believe in well-marketed products even if they are ineffectively supported by reliable data. For example, a woman, Helen Kuhn, states that she had twisted her ankle, but after seven short weeks with MagnaSoles she was cured. The irony, of course, is that a twisted ankle would normally heal after seven weeks anyway, yet Kuhn insists that it was MagnaSoles that healed her. She cites the fact that there was no evidence against the idea that the power of MagnaSoles wouldn’t have headed her, “Just try to prove that MagnaSoles didn’t heal me!” (Line 61-62). This is indicative of an unintelligent consumer who will believe anything they are told, no matter how ridiculous, if it cannot be proven false—after all, there is no proof that unicorns do not exist, is there? Also mocked is consumers’ willingness to believe advertiser’s testimonials. A man, Geoff DeAngelis, states that he believes in MagnaSoles because they are “clearly endorsed by an intelligent-looking man in a white lab coat” (Line 67-68). Though there is no further reason to believe this man, based on the information DeAngelis gives, than to believe a man wearing a tinfoil hat raving about aliens. In other words, because the man appears to be intelligent DeAngelis automatically assumes MagnaSoles’ credibility to be trustworthy and factual. This reflects a willingness to believe the authority of an advertiser and disinclination to look deeper into stated facts which are rampant in the consumer base.

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