rhetorical analysis

Topics: Education, Logic, University Pages: 4 (1412 words) Published: November 20, 2013

Rhetorical Analysis

A college education is valuable and its quality is of the highest importance to most Americans. In his essay, “On the Uses of a Liberal Education: As Lite Entertainment for Bored College Students,” Mark Edmundson utilizes ethos, pathos, and logos to effectively deliver his argument that the current educational system, especially in college, revolves around consumerism which in turn has negatively impacted students, teachers, and universities in general. However, although Edmundson presents an overall logically sound argument, there are few instances throughout the article that may hinder the reliability of his claims to the audience.

Throughout the essay, Edmundson establishes credibility for himself by providing various examples of his first- hand experience in the world of college education. Edmundson first establishes credibility for himself when he presents that he is a college professor himself. Edmundson asserts “I teach at the famously conservative University of Virginia” (327). Along with giving this statement, Edmundson assures the audience of his experience in teaching college students by providing various anecdotes of how his students are less and less excited to take English and Literature classes in the traditional college setting. For example, Edmundson describes a situation in which he asks his students for comments on a poem and no one is willing to share their opinion willingly (327). Edmundson uses these personal stories as evidence of the change in how students participate in the classroom, yet at the same time creates a credible atmosphere for himself in the eyes of the reader because these are events that have actually occurred in a classroom setting at a well-known university. In addition to making himself credible to his audience, Edmundson further demonstrates a connection with the audience through his use of emotion.

Edmundson utilizes pathos within his article through his use of diction in order...

Cited: Edmundson, Mark. "On the Uses of a Liberal Education." From Inquiry to Academic Writing: A Text and a Reader. Ed. Stuart Greene and April Lidindsky. Bedford/ St. Martin’s: New York, 2008. 322-337. Print
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