Rhetorical Analysis of "The Shadow Scholar"

Topics: Rhetoric, Education, Student Pages: 6 (2055 words) Published: May 28, 2014
Bessette

Laura Bessette

ENG W131

Spring 2014

Rhetorical Analysis of "The Shadow Scholar"

The prefix 'pseudo' seems to perfectly describe the character of Dave Tomar, known by all as Ed Dante (Dave Tomar is Dante's pseudonym). His article "The Shadow Scholar," which appeared in the chronicle review section of _The Chronicle of Higher Education_ on November 12, 2010, stirred controversy and a scare throughout the entire professional world. Doctors, educators, administrators, law officials, and all other professions of importance consequently came under the microscope. Dante has spent the course of a decade as a full-time ghostwriter who is paid to help students cheat as they achieve 'competency' in their chosen fields of study. This illegal, unethical behavior occurs rampantly and abundantly in and throughout the schools of those who are aiming to achieve their bachelor's degree, those who are aiming to achieve their master's degree, and those who are aiming to achieve their doctorate's degree in any and all fields of study. Dante claims to have written thesis papers for psychology, medical, and administrative post-graduate students, among countless others. The money is good for Dante, as it supports him with $66,000 per year. While Dante did agree to speak on behalf of his involvement in this ghostwriting industry, he did so with carefully planned strategies to conceal his true character until blowing his own cover at a specified time, which came in January 2011. In 2011, _ABC World News with Diane Sawyer_ and _Nightline_ both interviewed Dante. Dante used voice covers and did not show his face in any of the many confessions he has subsequently partaken in. After the resulting widespread quake of debate and disturbance, students, educators, and parents were left among those who felt the chief responsibility to respond and investigate this matter of cheating. "The Shadow Scholar" became the top commented-on article in the history of _The Chronicle of Higher Education_, obviously without questions or doubts on its relevance. Dante has since announced that he has been signed by _Bloomsbury USA_ to write a novel detailing his experiences and practices as a ghostwriter. The finished product, _The Shadow Scholar: How I Made A Living Helping College Kids Cheat_, received obligatory attention as well. Dante effectively uses his witty and dry humor and personal credibility to clearly draw upon the rhetoric appeals of logos, pathos, and ethos, as well as he calls for recognition of practices in reaches of a large audience of students, parents, and educators in the college business.

Dante uses an informal and casual tone as he engages the audience in his article. "The Shadow Scholar" is primarily formatted and presented as a condensed version of the actual experience of writing a paper for one of the lost and deficient students who approach Dante. The article begins with the story of being asked for help by one of these students: "The request came in by e-mail around 2 in the afternoon. It was from a previous customer, and she had urgent business." Sarcasm, wit, and dry humor accompany the many strong points he states. Dante's speech is full of euphemisms, which are humorous simply because of the understatement and reality behind the said statements. Dante's honesty and portrayal of a confessor are supplemented by a defense of his own role in the madness. He captures the attention of the reader at the beginning of the article by stating that he "live[s] on the desperation, misery, and incompetence that your educational system has created." Yet, with careful reading, one will realize that Dante shifts blame from himself to the educational system itself. Dante continues this scary discussion when he sarcastically states that "Our lives are in capable hands - just hands that can't write a lick... I've even written pharmaceutical-treatment courses, for patients who I hope were hypothetical." Dante also uses a more...

Cited: "Special Reports." _The Chronicle of Higher Education_. TheChronicle.com, 28 Feb. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Cohen, Patricia. "Writer-for-Hire Gets a Book Deal to Write About Helping Students Cheat." _ArtsBeat WriterforHire Gets a Book Deal to Write About Helping Students Cheat Comments_. TheNewYorkTimes.com, 26 Jan. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Netter, Sarah. "Confessions of a Ghostwriter: Man 's Career Thrives Helping Students Cheat." _ABC News_. ABC News Network, 13 Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
"The College Cheating Culture." _ABC News_. ABC News Network, 13 Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Dante, Ed. "The Chronicle Review." _The Chronicle of Higher Education_. N.p., 12 Nov. 2010. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Berrett, Dan. "Faculty." _The Chronicle of Higher Education_. TheChronicle.com, 12 Aug. 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Dyess-Nugent, Phil. "Dave Tomar:Â The Shadow Scholar: How I Made A Living Helping College Kids Cheat · Book Review · The A.V. Club." _Dave Tomar:Â The Shadow Scholar: How I Made A Living Helping College Kids Cheat · Book Review · The A.V. Club_. AVClub.com, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
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