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The Mental and Physical Effects of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

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On September 11th, 2001, the world had changed forever. It was on this day that mankind would see the vilest act of evil in human history play out for everyone to see. As a result of this hatred, almost 3000 innocent Americans had lost their lives that day. This disaster is a unique one though because there is still a mental and physical impact that all stems from this singular act of terrorism that occurred almost 20 years ago. There are still families that are grieving over the loss of their loved ones and unfortunately, there are people still dying due to what happened that day as well. To further research the aftereffects of 9/11, “The New York Times” and “Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source” have separately gathered information about the aftermath of the attack. Even though both articles have obtained similar data about the Mental and Physical aftermath of the attacks, both have a completely different approach as to how they showcase this research to the viewing public. The following essay will compare the two articles to show how much difference two sources of information can cover the same topic.

The intent between the two articles is very clear going into the very beginning of both articles. The New York Times article tries to make the reader feel like they were there on that day with its starting paragraph describing a survivor’s experience of them looking out a window to see paper flying. ”Running naked from her bath, she saw pigeons and paper flying through the air” (Par 2). The Environmental Health article, however, tries to not entice the reader with emotion but instead is immediately informative. Describing in precise detail on what happened that day and what the article will discuss. “On September 11, 2001, terrorists launched two hijacked commercial jet planes into the World Trade Center (WTC) complex in Manhattan. In addition to immediately claiming over 2700 lives, the destruction of the WTC towers and nearby structures exposed hundreds of thousands of survivors to massive quantities of dust and fumes from collapsing buildings, the combustion of jet fuel, and lingering fires, and to extreme psychological trauma” (Par 1). It is apparent based on reading these two paragraphs that the tone between each individual article is substantially different.

As both articles continue the tone remains the same throughout. The New York Times throughout its paper is very emotional and it stays true to its goal of trying to ignite an emotion from its reader. 'They cannot sleep. They replay the disaster in their minds or their nightmares. They have trouble concentrating. They are jittery and overreact to alarms or loud noises. They feel helpless, hopeless, guilty and cut off from the people who are close to them. They avoid anything that reminds them of that terrible day” (Par 5). This quote from the article is a clever way for the article to get emotion from its readers because they want the reader to feel sad or angry about the article. The Environmental Health article, however, stays completely robotic and stays on topic with what information they are trying to bring forth. “These experiences have had an enduring effect on the health of many 9/11 survivors. Respiratory symptoms were first described among heavily exposed firefighters and subsequently documented among other rescue/recovery workers and lower Manhattan area community members. Several other chronic aerodigestive disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), have since been linked to 9/11-related exposures. Respiratory conditions and GERD have persisted for many of those affected, necessitating long-term follow-up and, often, chronic medication use” (Par 2). In this quote, the scholarly article mentions that the violent attack affected many people, However, it still tries to say on task with trying to deliver the data both efficiently and professionally. It is an important thing to be emotive when discussing such an upsetting topic, but when there is too much emotion it takes away from what the article is about in the first place.

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Another difference between the two articles is the language that both articles use. Language is the singular piece of the puzzle that can really make or break an article and the distinction between both articles is very apparent. With a topic that is informative, it is important to be as professional with the way that content is written, and The New York Times article uses very descriptive language when it comes to its approach in showcasing the data it found. ”Extrapolating from a registry of people exposed to the attack, the city’s health department has estimated that 61,000 of the 409,000 in the disaster area experienced “probable” PTSD within six years of 9/11” (Par 30). The language shown here tells the reader that the information provided to the writer was probable and not exact data from a reliable source. This kind of writing is expected to exist in a popular article and when it comes to the main topic of gathering analytics, the article fails to do so in a professional way. The Environmental Health article is very statistical and straight to the point with the data that it has obtained. ”The lifetime prevalence of asthma was 25.4%. Among participants without pre-9/11 asthma (n = 31,951), 15.4% were diagnosed with asthma after 9/11. The prevalence of post-9/11 asthma was higher among participants who were self-identified than among participants who were identified from building or employer lists (17.1% vs. 10.4%); among rescue/recovery participants (18.1%) than among other groups of enrollees; and among participants who were exposed to the 9/11 dust cloud than among those who were not (17.6% vs. 13.1%)” (Par 15). The language displayed in this article is analytical and is mainly focused on trying to deliver the data and statistics to its audience. The article also comes off as more professional and it sounds like someone who has researched the analytics of this topic went into detail to be informative while showcasing the data in a scholarly way.

Lastly, the imagery that comes with both articles is important in distinguishing whether the article is a popular article or a scholarly article. Once again, both articles have completely different ways of showcasing images and charts. The New York Times article has images of a woman standing in front of where the towers once stood and a man who survived the attacks to connect the reader as to whom the article is talking about. There are virtually no charts that showcase the information that they provide in their article and its use of imagery is a way to really focus on the reader's emotions. The Environmental Health article has no images whatsoever but has multiple charts and tables that showcase and verifies the data that they collected. The article's intent with using these charts is to not entertain or bring the reader in but to only inform the reader about what data they have gathered to write their article. The use of imagery is a key factor in distinguishing both types of articles and even though one is more interesting to look at, the other is more insightful and will give you more of what you need when it comes to gathering information.

In conclusion, these two articles are writing about the same topic, but the intent is completely different. Even though the New York Times' intentions may be good with its article, it feels like more of an article that brings readers in to keep them interested instead of informing them. The Environmental Health article may be a bit more difficult to read because of how scholarly it is with its language, However, If a medical student wanted to do a research paper on 9/11 and the Mental and Physical aftermath because of it, it would be best for the student to use the Environmental Health article to obtain their information instead of the New York Times article. The difference between both articles is a reflection on how society receives information, and sometimes the articles that people usually consider to be reliable in its use of relating information, may not always be the most credible way of receiving information. Sometimes it may be more beneficial to research an article that has less appeal but more information instead of an article with colorful language and plenty of pictures.

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The Mental and Physical Effects of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 3, 2024, from
“The Mental and Physical Effects of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
The Mental and Physical Effects of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Mar. 2024].
The Mental and Physical Effects of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2024 Mar 3]. Available from:
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