Minh Tran 3the determination to change in the target audience. Overall, the highly impressive dictionin this article helps Edmundson builds a strong appeal to pathos.Style and tone also have a strong impact on the effectiveness of the article.Edmundson maintains a friendly and humorous tone throughout his writing, making itmore interesting. There is a sense of humor (and maybe sarcasm) when the authorintroduces the hypothesis of schools with no credentials: “half of the clients would begone by tomorrow morning, with the remainder following fast behind.” There is a senseof humor (and maybe self-mocking) when the author tells the story of his beloved student“threatened … to mince his dear and esteemed professor [Edmundson] … for the crimeof having taught a boring class”. The whole message appears like a friendly chat withinformal language and metaphors: “big players with big bucks”, “buttering their toast”,“small potatoes”, “the kid-samurai episode”, etc. Besides humor and informal language,the author also closes the distance with his audience by adding unimportant informationand extra explanations here and there, putting them in parentheses. (“That was notuncommon. My father detonated a lot”, for example.) Edmundson seems like followinghis own stream of thoughts rather than having a formal organized speaking. An appeal toethos has been developed as students feel like they’re listening from a friend who knowand understand them, not a lecturing professor.Despite the success in pathos and ethos, Edmundson doesn’t do a good job inappealing to logos. His argument is pretty unorganized and hard to follow. He has thetendency of leaving claims unexplained and goes straight to seemingly-unrelated matters.
Minh Tran 4For example, after suggesting fighting to “get a real education”, he doesn’t explain whybut continues by telling the story of how his father helped him choose the right path incollege. It’s an interesting story, but readers cannot see how it is related to “fight[ing]against the institution”. The suggestion is only explained near the end of the article, aftera bunch of stories and metaphors and descriptions. It’s until then do readers know that“fighting” means being proactive and critical in learning. Besides not enoughexplanation, Edmundson sometimes goes too far from the topic. For instance, he spares anoticeable long part of the article telling his feelings after reading Sigmund Freud andRalph Waldo Emerson. Some paragraphs discuss cheating in college, which truly is aproblem, but I cannot see much relevance between it and the author’s purpose. Last butnot least, Edmundson bases most of his claims on vague personal experience, overgeneralization and exaggeration. His picture of college life, for example, is just his ownbelief but he talks about it like national-wide facts. There are no academic researches toback up Edmundson’s reasoning. This poor appeal to logos also has a bad effect on theappeal to ethos, as the author seems unreliable and fails to handle potential oppositions.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 7 pages?