In “Hidden Intellectualism” by Gerald Graff, the author speaks about how schools should use students’ interests to develop their rhetorical and analytical skills. He spends a majority of his essay on telling his own experience of being sport loving and relating it to his anti-intellectual youth. He explains that through his love for sports, he developed rhetoric and began to analyze like an intellectual. Once he finishes his own story, he calls the schools to action advising them to not only allow students to use their interest as writing topics, but instead to teach the students on how to implement those compelling interests and present them in a scholarly way. In perspective, Graff’s argument becomes weak with his poor use of ethos, in which he solely focuses on his own anecdote but, through the same means he is able to build his pathos and in the last few paragraphs, with his use of logic he prevents his argument from becoming dismissible.
Graff’s argument relies heavily on his own personal experience as he in his early academic life lacked “book smarts” but had plenty of “street smarts”. Graff attempts to build his ethos by including his personal anecdote to make the reader believe that he has credibility on the subject, especially since he himself was a student just like the one he was speaking of in the introduction. This proves ineffective because Graff’s inability to use other interests than his own to prove his argument hurts his ethos. By only using one example, his credibility takes a hit as it results in a reader questioning why his own story is a representation of all students. It also hurts his overall argument because it reveals that seemingly his fi...
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...s ethos, but strengthens his pathos and in the last paragraphs with his use of logic, his argument is saved from becoming easily dismissible. The author begins his argument by retelling the story of his youth to build his ethos but the results are poor as it presents more questions on how he is a credible source on this argument as his only evidence is his own story. However, through the same means his pathos is built as his anecdote conveys feelings in the audience, making them more willing to listen. Graff finally, gives a call to action to schools to use students’ interests to develop their skills in rhetoric and analysis, which reveals the logic behind his argument. The topic about how students are taught rhetoric and analysis brings interest but with an average argument only built on pathos, a low amount of logos, and questionable ethos it can fall on deaf ears.
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