Rhetorical Analysis of 'America Skips School"

2316 Words Apr 1st, 2012 10 Pages
Kristofas Barsauskas
Professor Horbey
WRT 102.62
20 February 2011 Rhetoric: What We SHOULD Really Learn We use rhetoric every day without even realizing it. Correctly using rhetoric on a specific group of people can drastically increase an arguments’ strength. Benjamin R. Barber wrote an article conveying his research on the failing school systems in the U.S titled America Skips School published in Harper’s Magazine. Barber uses rhetorical elements like ethos, pathos, and logos to build his argument. He establishes his credibility and then emotionally connects with his audience and explains who and what is to blame for the lack of quality education in America. Once he establishes a solid connection using these
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The audience understands that these astonishing facts reveal that, at this rate, the average American child is destined for poverty and will attain no successful future. This allows the audience to “take it all in” and get a true understanding of the education system. Barber goes on to suggest that the government regulates its spending barely keeping education in mind. He states “...their government spending up to $35,000 a year to keep a young black behind bars but a fraction of that to keep him in school, they will write off school” (Barber 461). This captivates the audience because they determine that the government that is supposedly ran by the people, is doing everything but help its people. This particular portion helps appeal considerably to the liberal readers because of their strong attitudes on more government spending for public works, such as schools. It may also intrigue those who are strongly patriotic. This may elude them to blame themselves for allowing the government to regulate spending in this way when we, the people, should be deciding as a country; what is important to spend government funding on. They may argue that the only reason that there are so many criminals in the first place is because of dropouts and lowlifes who lacked an education. This would lead the activists to band together in order to demand the government to attack the problem at its source and raise educational funding. Barber continues to demonstrate logos
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