Analyzing Annie Laurie Gaylor's The Case against School Prayer

Topics: Rhetoric, Greek loanwords, Pathos Pages: 1 (326 words) Published: March 6, 2014

February 6, 2014
Journal Response to “The Case against School Prayer”
For this first Essay, I will analyze “The Case against School Prayer” written by Annie Laurie Gaylor. I will analyze this essay based on The Toulmin model, which rely heavily on fact, value, and policy, as well as the Aristotelian Rhetoric, which draws upon logos, ethos and pathos. In the Toulmin model the main focus will include claims of fact, which are supported by data throughout the essay, and also claims of policy, which stress a change in allowing prayer to continue in public schools. The Aristotelian Rhetoric Focus will primarily be based upon logos, and ethos, because Gaylor’s essay relies heavily on her credibility. The use of logos is seen in that she quotes and takes data and information from previous court cases and lawsuits against the United States Government to prove her case.

The main focus of this essay is to prove that prayer is unacceptable in public schools and that the separation of church and state should also be required in school. Gaylor argues that prayer, while not required, is still singling out the minorities or individuals in the classroom that do not believe in any religion or that are not being represented by the prayer that is taking place. She also argues that because our public schools are for all children, they should be free from religious coercion or observances.

The hardest part of analysis in this essay will be addressing all of the data and claims of fact that Gaylor has included in the text, because it is not structurally organized in the essay and I feel like it is written rather poorly. She attacks each case in separate paragraphs, and the flow makes everything seem independent from the previous case that she is addressing. I feel like the analysis, while not overly complicated, will require extra effort piecing everything together because of the way that Gaylor has structured the essay....
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