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Assignment 2

Andy Yao

Professor Ding

ENG 2150

April 2024

The pandemic played a huge part in many people’s lives, but more importantly in students as they are the nation’s future. A major impact that the lockdown and isolation had was on mental health. Mental health is a group of things such as our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Since mental health issues can vary from person to person, it can be difficult for people to understand them and the effects they have on a person. The article, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Students’ Mental Health” by Krista M. Soria, an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Counseling at the University of Idaho, details all the problems that arose from the pandemic and gives recommendations for policies to benefit students’ well-being. Another article, “Mental Health Conditions Among E-Learning Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Anna Rutkowska who is a Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy. The article studies the effects that switching to online learning had on students. In both articles, there are elements of ethos, the use of credibility, logos, which is the use of logic and facts, and pathos, the use of emotional appeal.

In comparison, both articles are studies done to determine the effects of COVID and the lockdown on students. They employ the use of ethos throughout their articles. For example, in Krista’s article, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Students’ Mental Health” she states, “By March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic…” This quotation shows her use of ethos as she refers to the World Health Organization, which is a known credible source that is used by multiple different articles. Her credentials as an assistant Professor in counseling are another example of ethos because they show that she has knowledge of mental health and has enough expertise to teach in that field. It may give her a deeper understanding of what students are experiencing because she knows what students are going through. In Anna’s article, “Mental Health Conditions Among E-Learning Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic” it states, “The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Physical Education…” This shows that the research was peer-reviewed by committee members and allowed to be conducted. There are several references used in the article that confirm all the facts she used in the study. By using information that is from credible sources to support their claims, it helps the author gain the reader’s trust in what they are saying.

The author’s use of logos is the use of logical explanation and facts to persuade the audience or reader to take on their side. As Krista’s article states, “Given that increased time spent on screens is associated with poorer psychological impacts on students during the pandemic (Browning et al., 2021), faculty should consider reducing the length of time they require students to spend on video platforms…” In this quote, she provides a logical explanation because she understands that there is a correlation between screen time and psychological impacts. Thus, reducing screen time may help reduce the negative effects that it has. In the article, Anna states, “According to the authors’ analysis in reviews of literature, the prevalence of stress and depression in the general population as a result of the pandemic is 29 % and 33 % respectively.” In this instance, she is using statistics to enforce her claim that mental health issues have arisen due to the pandemic. Using statistics helps sway the audience’s opinions because when they see numerical evidence they are more inclined to accept it.

Similarly, both articles utilize pathos by appealing to the emotions of the readers, however they do it in different ways. The article by Krista brings a sense of empathy and concern by highlighting the challenges faced by students during the pandemic, such as increased loneliness, stress, and depressive symptoms resulting from extended periods of remote learning and social isolation from other people. By sharing personal stories and experiences of students grappling with mental health issues, the article seeks to draw compassion and understanding from the audience. This is shown when Krista states, “Students experienced sudden disruptions to educational structures, the loss of loved ones due to COVID-19, and isolation associated with social distancing.” This quote highlights the challenging changes that students face, including the emotional impact of losing loved ones and the loneliness of social distancing. In contrast, the article by Anna uses pathos by emphasizing the alarming statistics and consequences of the mental health crisis among university students. It wants to bring feelings of sympathy and urgency by presenting data on the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, which shows the emotional toll the pandemic had on young people. This is shown when she states, “Students’ mental health should be carefully monitored even after the pandemic is over, as the psychological consequences can linger much longer and affect many areas of life.” This statement appeals to pathos by highlighting the lasting impact of the pandemic on students’ mental health. Both articles leverage pathos effectively to engage readers emotionally and show the importance of addressing mental health challenges in the context of education.

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