English 100 12:45 MW
15 October 2014
Unit 1 Final Draft
Don’t Trust the Dropout
Is America really a nation of idiots? Michael Moore believes so. In his article, “Idiot Nation”, Moore claims the education level of American citizens is terrible. Moore explains how the American education system’s standards are much lower than other countries. Many factors go into the decay in education such as: over populated classrooms, low-income environments, poor curriculum, and lack of much needed resources. He blames the American government for the lack of funding toward our educational system. In Moore’s article there are an abundance of fallacies, mistaken beliefs, and not enough rhetorical strategies, words or language that are true to persuade the reader. Though it seems Moore makes a good argument in his article, his use of fallacies, lack of evidence and credibility makes his argument ineffective. Throughout Moore’s article, he inserts an abundance of fallacies to make his own argument ineffective toward the audience. Using fallacies to persuade readers will not make an argument effective. Moore uses fallacies throughout the entire article. One example of a fallacy he uses is a straw man, which is a misrepresentation, when he claims that the president of America is, “An idiot leader of an idiot nation” (133). This is an exaggeration because it claims everyone in America is an idiot. It generalizes the country as a whole based on one person’s actions. Also, Moore is the one who is judging these actions, and is being biased toward his view of the president of America. Moore also uses a fallacy known as a red herring, a new topic randomly inserted to distract the reader’s attention away from the original issue. Moore randomly discusses the connection between schools and corporations when he states, “If turning the students into billboards isn’t enough, schools and corporations sometimes turn the school into one giant neon sign for corporate America” (145). This has nothing to do with the educational level of Americans. It is used to divert the reader’s anger toward corporations. Moore is making the reader angry at corporations for attempting to make profit at school campuses. If anything this helps the sponsored schools gain money with the help of the funding from the same corporations. The use of fallacies hurts his argument making it ineffective to the audience. The absence of evidence in the article is everywhere throughout Moore’s article, thus making his argument ineffective. Stating where you get information is very critical especially when it is statistical data or some sort of fact. Without a citation readers are unaware if the fact stated is real or not real. Moore states that he has “…read that only 11 percent of the American public bothers to read a daily newspaper, beyond the funny pages or used car ads” (133). He does not state where he found this information. Knowing where this statistic came from would help support his claim. Moore also claims. “There are forty-four million Americans who cannot read and write above a fourth-grade level – in other words, who are functional illiterates” (133). Again he states another statistic without any source. Without a source readers are unable to determine if the statistic came from a biased, or some sort of unreliable source. Readers cannot prove or disprove this data without further investigation, which puts some doubt in the readers mind about how true the fact really is. Providing where the statistical data came from is quite important because it shows where the information came from, and from that the reader can determine whether to trust the fact.
The lack of credibility of Moore…