Review Of Jon Meacham And The Failure Of American Higher Education By Robert Atkinson

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It is not what a person says that is important, but instead how they say it. By changing the tone or audience of a work, the purpose can be completely altered. Two articles can have identical information, yet when a different tone is formed between the two, their purposes drastically change. The article “ What Colleges Will Teach in 2025” by Jon Meacham and “ The Failure of American Higher Education” by Robert Atkinson both contain a topic that is similar on many levels. That being said, each article has an entirely different tone and audience, effectively skewing the similarity between their purposes. While Atkinson created a sound argument, his choice of tone and use of audience were far less effective than Meacham’s. To better understand the writing of an author, it is important to see where they are coming from. Both Meacham and Atkinson are professionals who have a lot of knowledge on their topic. Atkinson is the founder of a well known think tank, along with having an extensive background in economics. Being an employer, Atkinson has personal experience with the hiring process. On the other side of the spectrum, Meacham has a prodigious knowledge of American history. He is both a best selling author and a fellow of the Society of American Historians. This, along with being a former trustee of the University of the South give Meacham an air of expertise on the topic of his article. Meacham’s audience is specific, aiming to pinpoint the problem and resolve it.

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