Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: Rhetoric, Education, Teacher Pages: 6 (2324 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Rhetorical Analysis
This essay argues that the Globe and Mail (G&M) article, ‘Don’t Teach Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes’ (18 August 2012), is persuasive with its primary target audience of G&M readers. Clifford Orwin, the author of this article, is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Furthermore, the main focus of this article deals with the fact that: “Real education requires real teachers and students, not disembodied electronic wraiths.” Through the rhetorical analysis of this editorial, this paper will demonstrate that its persuasiveness can be attributed to four key aspects: through an emphasis on the use of deliberative stasis; its use of ethos and logos; and through its effective use of rhetorical imagery. Before the case can be made for understanding how and why this article is persuasive, we need to begin with setting the context of the issue or exigence to which the article was responding and whether that response was timely and appropriate. To understand the exigence of this article, the interpretation of Orwin’s implied audience is necessary to grasp how the two concepts within exigence, kairos and phronesis, both link text, context and audience together. Through an extensive analysis of the assumptions made by Orwin, the implied audience consists predominantly of instructors. Moreover, Orwin’s motto: “Don’t teach until you see the whites of their eyes.” Also used as the title, directly implies that the audience consists of instructors because they have the responsibility to teach within their profession. Specifically, the motto indicates that Orwin is commanding instructors to refrain from teaching until they look at their students in “their eyes.” Furthermore, since jazz music is a genre of music typically preferred by mature individuals, the citation of a jazz metaphor from an external source indicates that Orwin assumes his audience consists of mature individuals, such as instructors. Consequently, the data from the G&M media kit indicates that the bulk of readership consists of individuals with a university degree and up in terms of education, and approximately 51 in terms of age. “Newspaper National Media Kit 2012.” GlobeLink. The Globe and Mail, September 2012. Web. 07 November 2012. Therefore, the media kit data confirms the fact that the implied audience consists of instructors because it is certain that instructors are mature individuals who posses a university degree and up. Furthermore, Orwin uses direct implications to position the readers in a certain way. Specifically, Orwin assumes that the implied audience holds the belief that teaching online will dominate education. According to Orwin: “You hear a lot of talk about […] how the future of teaching lies online.” Therefore, in accordance with the fact that Orwin bluntly points to the audience as “you,” proves that he assumes the audience hold’s the belief that teaching online will dominate education. On the whole, the context of the issue or exigence consists of saving education by influencing the audience to overlook the common belief that the future of teaching is destined online. In other words, Orwin rhetorically positions the audience as potential advocates towards live education. Hence, keeping the exigence of this article in mind, we can assess the kairos and phronesis to analyze whether this article is timely and appropriate. The analysis of the kairos and phronesis is executed to further contextualize the rhetoric of this article. Since the article is published in August, it’s rational in terms of kairos because it precedes September – the typical commencement of the school year. Furthermore, the timeliness of this article can be attributed to the significance of the time frame between August and September. Specifically, because school commences on September, the audience will typically be interested in school related topics due to the nature of their profession. Likewise, the...
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