Rhetoric and Word Choice Essay

Submitted By okayytiff
Words: 639
Pages: 3

Read the following article so that you can best understand the following sample thesis.

Follow the steps I have set forth for your sample thesis statement.

Allie Grasgreen
“So, Students Don’t Learn—Now What?”
Inside Higher Ed January 20, 2011

What Is Effective about This Article:

1) Title – grabs your attention right away. As a college professor, I want to know why students aren’t learning. 2) Audience awareness — it is absolutely relevant to a college audience, to students and professors alike. 3) Cultural context — at a university, the culture is geared toward students and faculty. Further, there is a lot of talk in the media right now about the cost and benefit of a college education. 4) Rhetorical strategies used – logos (reference to the book and its authors), ethos (Grasgreen’s personal experience)

What Is Ineffective about This Article:

1) Logos – lack of evidence about the subject. She really only used the book and interviews so that it reads more like an opinionated book review than an argument. 2) Writing style – She uses particularly long sentences, which is often considered to be ineffective for a larger audience. 3) Word choice – It is clear that she is almost too aware of her particular audience and her word choice reflects that. She is not considering the larger ramifications of her work.


Consider the question you should ask all the articles for a rhetorical analysis:

How is this article an effective or ineffective argument?


Now come up with potential answers:

A: Effective: 1) Title – why are we not learning? 2) Audience awareness—relevant to students 3) Cultural context—students overall 4) Rhetorical strategies – logos (reference to the book and its authors), ethos (Grasgreen’s experience)
1) Logos – evidence about the subject (only really used the book and interviews) 2) Writing style – long sentences 3) Word choice – was only for a particular audience


(that is, consider your potentially hostile reader asking, “So what? Why should I care?”)

Why should your reader care?

Well, what if your reader is not in the collegiate environment?

Had Grasgreen researched her topic more completely and considered a broader audience, her article would appeal to readers outside of academia, as well.

Put it all together into an argumentative thesis statement, emphasis on
Change the question into not-a-question!

In Allie Grasgreen’s article, “So,