Rhetorical Analysis Of Dr. Gerald Graff's Hidden Intellectualism
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Why don’t schools take advantage of a student’s so-called “street smarts”? Why weigh down students with heavy textbooks when they could be learning from resources that they enjoy? This is exactly the argument Dr. Gerald Graff makes in his article Hidden Intellectualism, where Graff attempts to convince teachers to broaden the scope of school curriculum to accommodate street smarts and more popular topics. To persuade teachers that this method of teaching is effective, Graff uses personal anecdotes, diction, ethical strategies, and reasoning in his article.
The majority of the essay consists of Graff speaking about his own experience of struggling with learning formally in school and fitting in with his “anti-intellectual” social group. He…show more content… Graff also uses humor to cause readers to sympathize with his text. “‘Who you lookin’ at, smart ass?’...[a boy] once said to me as he relieved me of my pocket change along with my self-respect.” (246) The humor in this paragraph works effectively alongside the serious tone of the article to gain readers’ trust and attention.
Besides convincing readers through word choice and diction, Graff also gains readers’ trust by using ethical strategies. More than once does Graff acknowledge potential flaws in his argument of incorporating street smarts into school curriculum. By doing so, Graff is more likely to convince readers who are on-the-fence about Graff’s proposition. For example, Graff admits that street smarts alone provide an insufficient education, but are an excellent introduction to academic concepts and scholarly pursuits. This statement is likely to cause more readers to agree with Graff’s viewpoint--especially those who were initially skeptical of his argument.
Graff also uses reasoning and logic to convince teachers that his proposed solution is effective. On the fifth page of the article, Graff uses reasoning through example when explaining that sports “was full of challenging arguments, debates, problems for analysis, and intricate statistics that you could care about…” (248) Graff continues to explain that because of those reasons, “street smarts beat out book