“The Formula for a Richer World?” by McCloskey

Quotation: In order to show the magnitude of changes, McCloskey (2016) writes that “People moved from tents and mud huts to split-levels and city condominiums, from waterborne diseases to 80-year life spans, from ignorance to literacy” (p. 499).

The technique that appealed to me: After giving the statistics numbers regarding the described issue, the author uses comparison in order to reflect the magnitude of changes linked to these statistics. This technique provides the reader with an exact image of an otherwise abstract characteristic. By visualizing the data, it is possible to invoke the feelings of an empathetic connection to the issue from the reader, increasing the likelihood of their agreeing.

How I will use this technique: I believe that by implementing this technique into my essay, I will be able to convey an argument in a more concrete fashion and make a transition between two points more clear. I will use this technique in my essay as a tool for emphasizing the argument via statistics. For example, if I was to write a paper about the necessity of increasing the budget for medical research, I will provide statistics about the positive effects of medical breakthroughs on mortality rates. While the statistics themselves will show a strong correlation, I can use this technique to amplify my argument by explaining how revolutionary medical discoveries, such as penicillin, greatly affected the human population. This fact, combined with the description of mortality rates prior to its emergence, will put an emphasis on the statement. It also gives a good point for further discussion, as I can expand on the topic by bringing more recent research that will show the necessity of less developed areas of medicine.


McCloskey, D. N. (2016). The formula for a richer world? Equality, liberty, justice, and wealth. In S.U. Seyler, & A. Brizzee (Eds.), Read, reason, write: An argument text and reader (12th ed.). (pp. 497-502). McGraw-Hill.

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