This essay compares and contrasts two articles as creative works, analyzing the techniques and evidence both writers utilizing, and examining any potential problems or bias in each text. The two chosen articles are the North Korea CIA Plot Allegation, released by the government of the DPRK, and an excerpt from the book Tax Haven in the Snow by Linda McQuaig.

Techniques & Evidence

The two articles took different writing techniques to express their views. The DPRK has a decidedly populist and nationalistic character and constructs the appeal of the article with a smooth circular reasoning, which could be deceptive to an uninformed or DPRK-leaning audience. The most striking skill of the author is to show strong arguments and emotional appeals. The structure of the article relies on section headings dividing the missive into different paragraphs, which are easily to read and help to express the themes. By contrast, McQuaig’s writing skills are obvious, and the two keywords for describing her work are vision and metaphor. She is using hyperbolic metaphors to explain a complex topic and help visualize economic inequality, and make it seem extremely unnatural through the comparison of tiny and mile-high individuals, making abstract economic issues into a visual problem that is both easily understandable and needs to be fixed. The article compares the gap between rich and poor to a parade, which is very easy to describe and easily internalized, as well as being an effective visual link to conventional economic graphs. This method of writing allows the reader to quickly receive information and trigger their thinking on the issue. Moreover, the author’s position is very clear and firm, and the arguments made are very convincing.

In the selection of supporting arguments, the DPRK tried to use their proposed facts to convince the reader that the specific dates and the items involved could move the reader to a certain extent, and cited the actual examples of the respondents. McQuaig chose more objective data as evidence for the article, which enhanced the credibility of the article. On the one hand, the topic of the gap between rich and poor is more likely to rely on data, and McQuaig’s metaphors make this more intuitive and impactful. On the other hand, as Lewis has noted, argumentation is a social process. Subjective claims must be argued in objective terms. Obviously, McQuaig’s argument is more rigorous, and subsequent sections may pursue this argument in more concrete terms, and while the initial argument succeeds in attracting the attention of the reader, it is somewhat fragmented and relies on the reader already being concerned about this issue or accepting of the basic thesis.

In short, the DPRK article impresses readers with strong emotions and even excessive wordiness and repetitive focus on strong, defensive language, while McQuaig is more rationally trying to convince readers of a more nuanced and complex point. Both have certain positive aspects in terms of writing skills. 

Problems & Bias

Both articles suffer from certain limitations or problems. From the perspective of structure and basic theoretical approach, the DPRK statement looks very long-winded and becomes very repetitive towards the end. In addition, an uncomfortable point in this article is its choice of vocabulary. Simply looking at its sub-headers, we see frequent use of extremely strong and very subjective words such as “human scum,” “brainwashing”, and “bloodthirsty felons”, representing the very strong position of the North Korean government. However, this reduces the degree of objectivity of the article, and thus the appeal or trustworthiness to someone who does not already accept the North Korean position, to almost zero. As a result, the whole article looks like a completely subjective speculation or conspiracy theory spun up out of whole cloth by the North Korean government. Although the DPRK tried to cite practical examples to make a point, such as quoting the exact events on a certain time, the sources lack independent research, verification, and credibility. The direct quote of their interviewee of “a guy surnamed [name omitted]” did add emotional power but it cannot be deeply trusted. It is also difficult for a person to persuade the reader to accept the views of the entire article as a whole. In contrast, McQuaig’s argument is obviously more cogent, but is still somewhat disjointed. The extended metaphor of the parade is constantly interrupted with analysis and statistics, and sort of weakens the emotional appeal and makes it a little bit confusing overall, where additional focus or discrete sections might have improved the article.

Another issue facing any argument is their degree of social influence and the effect of their delivery. DPRK seems to take a single position with incredibly biased content, which would likely cause psychological rejection and aversion in a non-DPRK reader simply by reading the sub-headings. Moreover, the supporting material in this article appears to be insufficient and rather weak, to the point of sometimes being absurd. This article seems likely to mislead any readers who do not have a rich knowledge of this topic. By comparison, McQuaig did an excellent job on opening the readers’ mind and probably changing some understanding of the wealth distribution in the society. A minor issue is that the article was published in 1988, and the underlying issues and specific situations may have changed, and the exact details and social phenomena described may not be in line with the current reality. An additional point is that the article essentially requires the reader to accept McQuaig’s ideological viewpoint, which some would argue is somewhat biased against the wealthy or detrimental to social wealth creation.


From a comparative perspective, each the two articles have their own advantages and disadvantages. In fact, organizing an argument and defending it is often more difficult than it appears. Although there are various types of writing techniques and styles, the primary considerations in judging articles such as these are reasons, evidence, and logic, and emotional appeals might be able to move a wider audience, but they lose on basic logical tenets and are not a long-term solution for developing arguments or winning support.