Why School Should Start Later Persuasive Essay Example

There are many disputes happening all the time. Some have been going on for years while others only a couple of minutes. One of the biggest disputes occurring in America is school starting times for middle and high school. This debate has been happening for decades with many supporters on both sides. Parents tend to believe that the time school starts are at a good time and that their children are just being lazy. Doctors have been trying to persuade schools to start later for years and with scientific fact to back them up, yet many schools still start early.

Two articles, “Teens and Sleep: The Cost of Sleep Deprivation” by Juliann Garey and “Among Teens, Sleep Deprivation an Epidemic” by Ruthann Richter, use many rhetorical devices as an attempt to sway schools across the nation to start later. These two articles are organized and are styled in a very similar way and have similar data as well. Only a few differences are shown.

To make their articles credible and trustworthy, both have statistics and facts to back them up. While the two obtained the majority of their information from different sites and studies, there was two that they had in common. The first one is Dr. Mary Carskadon, who works as a psychiatry instructor at Brown University. Both Richter and Garey have cited her many times throughout their articles. The other one is the Nation Sleep Foundation. The National Sleep Foundation has data from the whole nation which is why they have used the statistics from some of their polls. With an overabundance of information, this is one of the ways they try to convince their audience.

Another way they established credibility, and to persuade by emotion, is by using examples and stories provided by students themselves. This produced an accurate illustration of what it is like to be a sleep deprived student academically and emotionally. The authors also appealed to pathos by talking about one of the side effects of sleep deprivation; depression. Depression is terrible and is highly concerning. In addition to this, depression may make it more difficult to fall asleep, which will make students more depressed leading them to have even more difficulty sleeping. As Garey simply put it, “it’s a vicious cycle.” On top of that, as well as a bigger appeal to emotion, both articles state that this cycle may lead to suicidal thoughts, and perhaps suicide attempts. In Richter’s article, she cites a South Korean study on sleep and suicide. On average, South Korean students sleep 4.9 hours per night, only two hours less than most American students, and have one of the highest suicide rates in the whole world. This reinforced the correlation between sleep deprivation and suicide, as well as showing the dangers and consequences of sleep deprivation.

As if this is not more than enough reasoning, both authors appeal to logos. The explain in detail how the lack of enough sleep affects teens, and the results of it. One thing Garey and Richter had in common was how it affects the behavior of students. They analyzed what happens to the students who do not sleep enough, and the outcome showed that it made students grumpier and more anxious, more impulsive, and made poor decisions. Accompanying this, their lack of sleep makes them slower at thinking things out, as well as slowing their reactions to their surroundings. Many students who are in high school drive themselves around and this put them and the people around them in danger as they can not drive properly, which results in car accidents. This is one of the reasons why it is more logical to start school later in the day.

One of the biggest arguments many people make as to why school should start later is academics. Piles of studies have shown that starting later improves students’ grades. In addition, data provided from schools that have switched to starting at a later time reported that not only have students’ grades improved, but attendance as well. When students are sleep deprived, they are not preforming at their best. Of course, this is bad, but what most people fail to realize is that this deeply affects their future. They are less likely to be accepted into a good college or university, which adds stress and leads many to stay up at night to study. Richter and Garey have also established in their writing that it is nearly impossible for teens to sleep early. This is due to the fact that they are going puberty and their hormones are changing as well as their inner biological clock. Their brains do not supply melatonin until late at night, making it practically impossible for most teens to sleep before 11 p.m. Logically, this should be enough reasoning to make schools start later.

In their articles, Richter and Garey indirectly used the art of persuasion to prove to the audience that starting middle and high school later in the day is far superior than the times they start now. Their way of persuading was by informing the audience on the effects of sleep deprivation in students and why students are not sleeping enough. They both had tons of data and information to support them and that should be enough to persuade the audience. Not only that, but these students are the future. They should be taken care of and should be given every chance of success that they have. Anybody who cares about the future should care about them, too.


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