Dunlap’s essay is addressing a very sensitive issue in the history of the United States. The thesis for this essay is located in the second paragraph, the last sentence. It is, “The victims of the opioid crisis are being treated better than past victims of the war on drugs because of the demographic that it affects” (Dunlap 384). I think Dunlap put the thesis there because he was hesitant to state the main point so soon in the essay. For this reason, he spent the first paragraph explaining the central idea of the essay and the background of the issue dating back to the 1970s and 1980s and placed it later on, in the second paragraph.
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A counterargument is the position of the author that is included to oppose the argument that was elaborated earlier. Dunlap has a counterargument in this essay, which is the second paragraph on page 385. It is addressing the United States and how the war against drugs led to the overall negative impact. This general influence not only affected the people of color but also the whole country. Some of the effects include authorizing the “stop and frisk” order and increased police brutality. Nevertheless, Dunlap argues that the war’s stated goals were never met, even with these authorizations. Street-level drug activities never reduced, drugs were still widely available on the streets, and their prices remained low.
Furthermore, when introducing the words of the interviewee in the essay, Dunlap has indented the words of Richardson, while giving her firsthand experience and opinion on the double standard. He has also cited the name of the interviewee in parentheses to indicate that those were the words of Diana Richardson (Dunlap). On the Works Cited page, Dunlap has referenced the title of the interview. Besides, the author has included the date the interview was conducted and a link to where it can be found, on Youtube. Using an interview can sometimes be useful in some essays, especially those that require people to give their firsthand experience of a problem. When such sensitive issues are reported by other people who may not be interested in helping the victim, there is a possibility of distorting the message, thereby underscoring the usefulness of an interview in some essays.
Besides, Dunlap has used one block quote in his essay, which he has formatted differently from a regular quotation. Since it is more than four lines long, the author has omitted quotation marks and instead put it as a free-standing block of text. The entire quote has begun on a new line and has been indented half an inch from the left margin. Besides, the uniform double spacing has been maintained even in the blockquote. It is the typical way of including a block quote in an essay that is in the MLA format.
I think the conclusion is effective because of some reasons. The first one is that Dunlap has dedicated his essay’s conclusion to restating and emphasizing the main points of the essay. He has maintained his stance on the double standards regarding the treatment of the Black and Hispanic communities during the war on drugs, and the whites during the opioid crisis. The author has remained skeptical of the government’s efforts in either case. I also feel that the author has effectively concluded because he has restated his thesis and included appropriate information to support it. Dunlap has stamped his criticism of the way the media, government, and the court system treat drug users and addicts differently on the basis of their race. Therefore, this conclusion is convincing, as the writer has restated the thesis and stressed the essay’s central ideas.
Dunlap, Quintrione. “The War on Drugs vs the Opioid Crisis: Sharon Sellers First-Year Writing Award for 1102.” Connections: Guide to First-Year Writing @ Clayton State University, Fountainhead Press, 2018, 383–389.