We’ve all heard the saying “one size fits all,” but when it comes to our education should one size really fit all (Allitt 3612)? Patrick Allitt, a professor of history at Emory University in Atlanta wrote the essay “Should Undergraduates Specialize?” published in 2006 in the Chronicle of Higher Education, he argues that American colleges should give students the chance to choose between a liberal arts education or one that is more specialized to those who want it. Allitt provides an effective argument by building his credibility with personal experiences and feelings, different viewpoints of the argument, and explaining the advantages and disadvantages between the two different types of education systems, however, he doesn’t provide any facts or studies that prove some of his points, which in return weakens his argument.
In the essay, Allitt begins his argument by describing the differences between his college experience and the experience his daughter is going to have, he first tells us how their appearance and what they each brought to class differs. He then continues by discussing in detail the different aspects of both the British and American education system including the cost, the type of classes required for each system, and why each has their own pros and cons. Even though it seems as if Allitt prefers the British education system over the American one he suggests that the problem is not that one is better than the other, but that one type of education is not for everyone. While the British system may be better for “students who already have a clear vocational objective” the American liberal arts system might be a better option “for those who prefer it a...
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...nge or what that would be worth in today’s money, which would likely be a big difference. By not including this information in his argument he loses strength and credibility.
In conclusion, Allitt presents an effective argument by persuading the audience that one education simply shouldn’t fit all, students should have the opportunity to decide what system best fits them, however by not presenting readers with a strong appeal to logos he loses some of his credibility. Readers are aware of his personal experiences and can clearly see the advantages and disadvantages of both the British and American education systems, but without factual evidence, we can’t assume that everything he presents in his argument is true. Allitt could have persuaded his audience more effectively by doing some research and adding factual evidence to the essay to strengthen his credibility.
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