Essay 3: Rhetorical Analysis
“Let rhetoric be defined as the faculty of observing in any case all of the available
means of persuasion.” Aristotle
In the last couple of weeks of class, we have spent a lot of time talking about the power
of rhetoric, or the power of language, and the ways that authors can use this power to
craft effective arguments and persuade their audiences. You have learned and practiced
multiple rhetorical strategies. Now, it is time to put your newly acquired skills to the test.
For this essay, you will develop
a rhetorical analysis
of the article “The Coddling of the
Your analysis must include the following:
An introductory paragraph (that includes a clear thesis making an argument about
the authors’ effectiveness in crafting their argument).
An academic summary of the article (as practiced in class).
of at least three rhetorical strategies
and how these are used by the
author to craft an effective argument (also, as practiced in class)
Remember to use direct quotes from the text to point out where these
strategies are used and explain how they make the authors’ argument
stronger (or not).
You may choose any of the strategies we have discussed in class from the
both my lectures and videos and your textbook (ethos, pathos, logos,
organization, tone, types and strength of evidence, etc.)
A short conclusion.
1000-1200 words long (not including the Works Cited page)
A works cited page that cited the article in correct MLA format.
An academic summary that follows the exact structure discussed in class.
Quotes as support in each body paragraph discussing the use of a rhetorical
for simple College Education for All
Doctors, lawyers, teachers, and nurses, these are all career labels we associate with those
who have a college education. These careers take more knowledge than what we gain from
everyday life and common sense. So, if you do not want to be a doctor or lawyer, why do you
need to pay the extreme amount of money it costs to attend college for an education? In her essay
on the subject titled “College Should be for Everyone,” Crystal Sanchez develops a somewhat
effective argument through her strong use of Pathos and Logos; however, she fails to support her
argument through a weak use of ethos and lacks in strong evidence and reliable sources to back
up her opinion and arguments.
Crystal Sanchez’s essay “College Should Be for Everyone” is about the benefits and
accessibility of a college education. She argues that a college education can benefit everyone not
only personally but also as a nation and that everyone should have easy access and opportunity to
go to college. She supports this argument by explaining that college needs to be accessible and
affordable for all, privileged or unprivileged. She provides examples of different students and
their success in the education system. She writes this article to persuade the readers that if the
people of America receive college education then ultimately our nation will benefit greatly.
Facts of the G.I. Bill and how it helped veterans attend college returning from war shows
the author uses the appeal to reason using Logos as the opening strategy of persuasion. The
author begins the writing with facts about how the G.I. Bill helped veterans return home from
World War II and attend college and she states that at the time, “almost 7.8 million people had,
had taken advantage of this benefit (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)” (Sanchez 1). Sanchez
then connects it with the fact that those with a college education today still make up the minority
and states that a college education benefits our nation with increased wages for the citizens and a
stronger democracy. This is a strong way to open the essay because it states clearly the authors’
point of view and reaches the interest of its readers while providing interesting facts. Though this
is a great way to open the writing and draw in the attention of the readers, it is not used
throughout the text which could have strengthened the author’s opinion, which we will discuss
Further, Logos is not the only method of persuasion that the author uses. In the opening
paragraph of the essay along with the facts she offers. Sanchez also attempts to reach the readers
emotions by using Pathos as a strategy of reasoning. This strategy was not greatly recognizable
but it is effective. The author brings up that college in the past has been largely for the rich and
later asks “Why should college be just for the privileged few?” (Sanchez 1). This toys with
readers emotions by feeling that those less fortunate should have the same opportunity as those
who are wealthy (which is not incorrect). Sanchez uses Pathos again in the concluding paragraph
by bringing up the veterans returning from World War II, “A college education gave the
returning veterans of World War II many opportunities and increased their value to the nation.
Today, a college education could do the same for all our citizens.” She also states “If we do not
adequately prepare students for the future, then we will all suffer the consequences” (Sanchez).
This strikes a slight fear in the reader’s mind of what consequences we would all face, therefore
persuading them that a college education for everyone is a positive thing. The author uses the
strategy Pathos very effectively and slyly at that. She does not say things that obviously tug at
someone’s heart strings, but things that just create a slight thought in your mind that helps create
an emotional persuasion.
Obviously, everyone has their own opinion towards the subject of college being more
affordable and if it should be for everyone, and that is something the author recognizes as well.
Sanchez states two opinions that are opposing college education for everyone and she refutes
them. This allows the author to effectively state her opinion on the subject while, hopefully,
proving the opposing arguments to be ineffective. She states two objections, that educational
resources are limited, therefore college should not be more affordable, and the other that the
impaction of students will take away the attention from those students who are doing the best in
college. Sanchez argues the first objection by stating that, just like any other product, when
demand rises so will supply. Meaning, that if our schools have more students attending, they will
offer more resources towards education. This argument is not entirely effective because there is
no real fact behind it or further direct explanation. The author is assuming that because other
products supply and demand fluctuate with each other that education supply and demand will do
the same. The second opposing argument stated, that allowing more students into colleges will
take away the attention of the better students, is not as strong as the first and definitely less
effective in helping the author make a strong point. However, Sanchez does make a clear
statement that most schools already offer a number of tutoring resources for those students who
need them. This will help students who are less prepared expand their knowledge in college and
not take all of the attention away from those more prepared. This paragraph is concluded with
the statement that though providing more tutoring services can be expensive, it is better than
leaving people without proper higher education and allowing them to be more prepared for future
careers. This again is a good point but does not seem very effective for the points the author was
trying to make against the opposing arguments. The opposing statements and the author’s
argument toward them could have definitely been stronger to be more effective in persuading the
readers towards her point of view.
In continuing, with the author not successfully refuting the opposing arguments, she also
fails to use the persuasion strategy Ethos, the appeal to use authority. If the author had used
Ethos in her text it would be much more persuasive because it would give reliable sources and
facts rather than facts based off of the author’s opinion. For example, when the author mentions
how college education can be very valuable for the nation she can give examples from a reliable
source to provide a stronger point. She also discusses in refute to an opposing argument that
college education supply will increase with the demand. Something she could do to provide
Ethos is provide facts and statistics from a reliable outside source showing that this has happened
in the past or how it works with other products in our nation. The author could even provide
statistics of how college education raises the employment rate in the nation or provide facts of
income and wages of those with versus those without higher education and college degrees. Any
of these things would help strengthen the authors’ argument and create a more reliable opinion to
strengthen the persuasion.
Overall, the author effectively states her opinion and uses different persuasion strategies
and explanations to convince her readers that college is good for everyone not only individually
but for the nation as a whole. However, she does not successfully address the opposing
arguments in a strong fashion. The opposing arguments used were weak and somewhat off topic
of the rest of the points written in the text. Sanchez also fails to use reliable sources (use of Ethos
persuasion strategy) which would have strengthened her persuasion by use of facts and statistics
rather than opinion from her own knowledge. In the end my opinion is that the author was
persuasive and connected to her readers successfully with the strategies of Pathos and Logos.
College education is a positive thing for everyone and should be more affordable and accessible
to those who want it, wealthy or not.
Sanchez, Crystal. “College Should Be for Everyone.” Journal.
Practical Argument: A Text and
2011. Text. 13 Jan. 2017.