Rhetoric Workshop

Workshop Example DAY MON DATE

As you read the following paragraph, ask the important questions about Rhetoric.

  1. Does the paragraph use precise language to emphasize its ideas?
  2. Does it make clear claims?
  3. Does the paragraph ask readers to accept a specific premise?
  4. Does the paragraph reveal (or does it hide) its arguments?
  5. Does the paragraph present a complex thesis?
  6. Does the paragraph employ its Scholarship effectively?
  7. Does the paragraph give readers time to disagree?

Many people money launder because, well, it’s an efficient way to increase and keep your funds increased. There many effects and consequences, however. The biggest consequence would most likely be getting caught and potentially serving jail time. In an article by Julia Layton and Oisin Curran, they say “the global effects are staggering in social, economic, and security terms.” When money is successfully laundered, it does in fact mean that the criminal activity does pay off, according to a socio-cultural approach. The success encourages criminals to continue this illegal activity and spend profit without any consequence. There are many negative consequences to this however. These consequences, according to Layton and Curran include, “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes, law enforcement resources stretched beyond their means, and a general loss of morale on the part of legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do.” It is almost unfair. They are working illegally to get their money. Once they find success there is a high chance they keep going, and once again, continue their criminal activity.

Let’s Break it Down

Many people money launder because, well, it’s an efficient way to increase and keep your funds increased. 

We don’t use Second Person language in academic writing, so we’ll have to scrub the “your” from this sentence. It doesn’t indicate how money laundering works except to increase funds, but that’s not accurate. Money laundering hides the origin of illegally-obtained money before it’s used for legitimate purposes, so it doesn’t “increase funds”; it just makes them more useful.

There many effects and consequences, however.

Any sentence, however brief, that doesn’t advance the argument, should be eliminated. This one is completely contained in the one that follows, which identifies “the biggest consequence,” a claim that includes the idea that there are many consequences.

The biggest consequence would most likely be getting caught and potentially serving jail time.

We’re three sentences in, so this will probably be the focus of the paragraph: the threat of jail time for money laundering.

In an article by Julia Layton and Oisin Curran, they say “the global effects are staggering in social, economic, and security terms.”

But apparently, the scholarship cited will be used to prove something else: the global costs of laundering, not the threat to the individual launderer.

When money is successfully laundered, it does in fact mean that the criminal activity does pay off, according to a socio-cultural approach.

So instead of making a point about the costs to the launderer, we’re asked to consider that the launderer makes out well.

The success encourages criminals to continue this illegal activity and spend profit without any consequence.

Again, we’re offered the image of the arrogant money launderer who apparently cannot be caught and who scoffs at authority.

There are many negative consequences to this however.

We’re wasting another sentence.

These consequences, according to Layton and Curran include, “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes, law enforcement resources stretched beyond their means, and a general loss of morale on the part of legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do.”

Since we’re uncertain what money laundering is, how and why it works, it’s hard for us to see how laundering results in any of these consequences. The sentence appears to prove NOT THAT MONEY LAUNDERING results in more crime, but that the LACK OF PROSECUTION for crime in general results in smug disregard for the supposed risks of breaking the law.

It is almost unfair.

Almost?

They are working illegally to get their money.

Unclear here is whether the author means drug dealers, embezzlers, or money launderers. They’re all illegal, but this paragraph was about the consequences of money laundering, not all money crimes. 

Once they find success there is a high chance they keep going, and once again, continue their criminal activity.

Again, we’re not sure whether the laundering is the crime, or whether it facilitates the commission of other money crimes.

Let’s Build it Back

First, let’s establish the function and value of money laundering.

Criminals launder money because, well, they can’t spend huge wads of cash at legitimate businesses, or deposit them in banks, without raising a lot of suspicion. Flashing a big roll or spending lavishly without a legitimate source of income is a good way to land in jail.

Next, we make the claim that money laundering is an effective way to evade detection and prosecution.

By operating legitimate businesses that could reasonably receive large amounts of cash (laundromats, car washes, small retail stores, for example), criminals create the appearance of having legal access to the funds they deposit into bank accounts.

After readers know the game, the scholarship makes more sense.

According to Julia Layton and Oisin Curran,  the global effects of this shadow economy are “staggering in social, economic, and security terms.”

But, aren’t the criminals worried they’ll get caught? Apparently not. We need to make that clear to our readers.

As Layton and Curran make clear, law enforcement,”stretched beyond their means,” are unable to keep up with the illegal activities of criminals who successfully conceal the source of their profits. And the consequence of being able to avoid detection is “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes.” 

The “larger social aspect” of despair among legitimate businesses isn’t a direct result of money laundering. It’s a reaction to the sense among law-abiding business people that they’re being chumps who could profit more if they didn’t follow the rules.

It’s no surprise, say Layton and Curran, that “legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do,” are discouraged to see the criminals prosper, apparently without consequence.

Revised

Follow the causal claims in bold.

Criminals launder money because, well, they can’t spend huge wads of cash at legitimate businesses, or deposit them in banks, without raising a lot of suspicion. Flashing a big roll or spending lavishly without a legitimate source of income is a good way to land in jail. Instead, by operating legitimate businesses that could reasonably receive large amounts of cash (laundromats, car washes, small retail stores, for example), criminals create the appearance of having legal access to the funds they deposit into bank accounts. According to Julia Layton and Oisin Curran, the global effects of this shadow economy are “staggering in social, economic, and security terms.” As the authors make clear, law enforcement,”stretched beyond their means,” are unable to keep up with the illegal activities of criminals who successfully conceal the source of their profits. And the consequence of being able to avoid detection is “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes.”  It’s no surprise, say Layton and Curran, that “legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do,” are discouraged to see the criminals prosper, apparently without consequence.

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels. www.davidbdale.wordpress.com
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