People have a preconception that poverty is only getting worse by the minute. However, this is not true according to the author of the New York Times article, “The Best News You Didn’t Know.” Nicholas Kristof engages the reader to agree with his statement by using various literary devices such as gaining credibility, appealing to emotion and sharing personal anecdotes to strongly support his position.

        One of the most important tools in persuading the reader is gaining credibility. Kristof does this by using numerous statistical evidences throughout the article. He presents his beliefs by showing various statistics of not only what people believe about global poverty but also statistical facts that highlight the decline of poverty over the years. In paragraph 2, Kristof shows the statistical evidence of the preconception people have on poverty. By stating this evidence, Kristof builds his article into a good position to continue to develop and support his argument. “As recently as 1981…because of gains by the poor in places like China and India.” Towards the middle of the article, Kristof lists several data points that counters the common belief about poverty worldwide. He mentions, the percentage decrease of people living in extreme poverty, the increase in the literacy rate of adults and the decrease in inequality, which all are positive signs of poverty.

        Another important tool Kristof uses in persuading his argument would be appealing to the audience’s emotions by developing and sharing similar feelings. In the third paragraph, Kristof utilizes specific words such as “Americans” to show what the majority of of the people believe. Kristof purposely made this one sentence paragraph in a short but strong way to highlight the mass consensus. Kristof appropriates these techniques in another one sentence paragraph of “The scenes of blind beggars… forever.” He presents strong and affectionate word choices such as “forever” in order to emphasize the decreasing in poverty. Also, in the last paragraph, Kristof engages the reader by talking directly to the audience. He uses this effect to ultimately create an interaction between the author and the audience to further strengthen his message. Therefore, by appealing to the audience’s emotions, the author can not only help engage the reader but also draw out a sympathetic response.

        Throughout the article, Kristof shares various personal anecdotes in order to better emphasize his point of view. He shares his journey of the developing world to introduce the numerous encounters of beggars. By sharing this anecdote, Kristof is able to first present this severe subject in a less serious tone which ultimately helps the reader to be able to picture the severity of poverty with ease. Then he continues to explain his message that poverty is now diminishing due to the benefits of humanitarian aid.

        Kristof believes that poverty will soon come to an end. He attempts to correct the misconception that poverty is getting worse by effectively making use of a wide range of literary devices such as gaining credibility, appealing to emotion and sharing personal anecdotes, in this article. Through the use of these literary devices, Kristof is able to create a stable position about his views on poverty.


I felt like this was one of the most difficult pieces I have written so far this year because the prompt was difficult and I was under pressure from time. If this assignment was homework, instead of an in class essay, I am sure I would’ve done a better job.