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Generation Y refer to people born between 1980 and 2000 (p477). Kit Yarrow, one of the writers of “Gen Y Is from Mercury,” “is a consumer psychologist, chair of the psychology department at Golden Gate University, and consultant for such companies as General Electric, Del Monte, and Nokia” (p479). The second writer of “Gen Y Is from Mercury,” is Jayne O’Donnell. Jayne O’Donnell is a well-known journalist for USA Today, who has done some significant work on product safety relating to air bags and teenaged drivers (p479). The passage “Gen Y Is from Mercury” is a piece from the book written in 2009 by Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell in which they coauthored together: Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail. This portion of the book was clearly written for buyers of retail or people in marketing aged somewhere between the ages of forty and sixty.
The claim in which Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell are trying to get across to their readers is stated in the sentence, “Generation Y is unquestionably unique, and some say potentially one of the most powerful and influential generations ever” (p479). This claim is not absolute and contains three qualifiers. The three qualifiers stated in the claim are “some say,” “potentially,” and “one of the most.” The qualifiers shows the audience that there is some uncertainty and some exceptions to the claim. By saying “some say,” it shows that not everyone agrees that generation Y is one of the most powerful and influential generations ever, but at the same time, it shows the audience that there are people in the world that believe so. By adding “potentially” as a qualifier to the claim, Yarrow and O’Donnell show the audience that it is possible that one day generation Y will be extremely powerful and influential, but as of right now, it is not quite there yet. The last qualifier to the claim is “one of the most.” “One of the most” tells the audience that generation Y is very powerful and influential, but it is not necessarily the number one powerful and influential generation ever, but it is in the top generations.
Every claim needs to have at least one reason to prove its point. One reason why generation Y is indisputably unique is because of their adoring parents. The only evidence presented to back this reasoning up is an anecdote stating that the adoring parents hover over their generation Y children like helicopters, being there for them at any time of need (p479-480). This evidence is considered not sound because of the lack of data presented. Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell could have added data showing how many parents with generation Y children are actually considered adorning parents and for what reasons. They also could have added data with specific examples of how parents hoover over their children like helicopters instead of stating a quick example about “moms who know who’s asking whom to the prom before their kids do” (p480). This example is not sound enough to present to the marketing industry. In order for the marketing industry to believe what is being said is true, there needs to be factual data presented.
“Generation Y is unquestionably unique, and some say potentially one of the most powerful and influential generations ever” because of their digital world. (p479-480). Yarrow and O’Donnell stay consistent using anecdotal evidence again to help prove generation Y’s digital world makes them unique and one of the most powerful and prominent generations ever. One example of the continual usage of anecdotal evidence throughout the passage is while Kit was giving a guest lecture at UC Berkeley, she stated “at least half of her students were typing” As she walked around the room, she found that about half of those typing were looking up her articles, one student was looking up a definition of a word, and the rest were on Facebook, multitasking (p481). This evidence is not sound because there is no real data. If Yarrow and O’Donnell would have added actual numeric data, then the evidence would have been sound. They could have added data that was from multiple places, rather than just UC Berkeley. Also, instead of Kit Yarrow walking around the room quickly and peeking on the computer screen, she could have done an actual toll of what the students were doing and presented actual numbers or percentages of what her findings were. Another way to make Kit Yarrow’s findings seem more sound to the audience would be to look into the internet history to double check how many students were actually looking at what websites because although it may have seemed like some of them were looking up her articles only, they could have just logged off of a social media account or closed out of a screen as she was walking around. Another type of evidence shown by Yarrow and O’Donnell is stated with the sentence, “Gen Yers between thirteen and twenty-four tell an average of eighteen people about a website or TV show that they enjoy, whereas older adults tell an average of only ten people” (p481-482). This evidence is not sound because there are no citations to show where the information was from. If Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell were to add citations to show where the data was from, then the evidence would be considered sound and then the marketing industry or buyers of retail might be able to see that generation Y is the way to go while trying to sell items or spread the word on new products.
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