Part I: Four Universal Intellectual Standard Errors and Corrections
In the essay “Sweatshirts from Sweatshops” pertaining Cromwell College sweatshirts, the information gathered was from Cromwell Clarion, the school paper. An “investigation” report was made by the WorldWeave Foundation (a nonprofit organization funded by American garment workers’ union). The first violation of the Universal Intellectual Standards is the accuracy. The statistics of how many minors and females for the company’s total workers is not validated through a non-biased party. UNICEF is a good source to get demographic data in industrial settings and they are more reliable than a union’s statistics. Also, when the author was stating “children who appeared to be as young as eleven or twelve working with dangerous fabric-cutting machines,” that is purely subjective. Nothing was done to verify their ages, they could have been underdeveloped teenaged young people.
The second violation is the breadth. The essay did not mention any interviews of the workers, nor opposing/alternate viewpoints of the supervisors. The problem is that Honduras is a third world country. They are “forced” to work ten hours a day, when the regular sweatshops force their workers to work at least twelve hours; workers might be willing and eagerly working for this company. We will never truly understand how they feel or what they think because no communication was made with the workers.
Another problem is the depth. No research was done on Honduras’s political aspects, and no information was given on industrial-wide statistics, nor the workforce. We don’t know the individual cases of each worker that led them to work for this company. The essay was highly biased with no other information given. In the future, to write an exemplary essay, the author needs to include all aspects of their research.
The last violation of standards is fairness. Because of the essay’s assumptions and lack of breadth, it lacks fairness. It is unfair to the audience to come to a educated conclusion to boycott Cromwell sweatshirt purchases and if sweatshops are the issue, then the author’s main thesis should be to boycott all merchandise that could originate from sweatshops nationwide. Part II: Two Logical Fallacies Used
The first logical fallacy that is used is emotive language. When the author spoke of the little girl who is of fifth-grade age, working without breaks or water and in amidst of “deafening roar of machinery trying to keep up… without getting her fingers sliced off, trying not to collapse…” This is obviously compelling an emotional response, and brings pity to the issue.
The second fallacy used is straw man, the author exaggerates the working conditions as a ten-hour work day in the same text as “physically exhausting and mentally deadening” work. Most Americans work a ten hour workday and most conditions are scrutinized under government regulations but would not be categorized in the same context.