Rhetorical Analysis of "The Shadow Scholar"

2063 Words Jun 5th, 2014 9 Pages
Bessette

Laura Bessette

ENG W131

Spring 2014

Rhetorical Analysis of "The Shadow Scholar"

The prefix 'pseudo' seems to perfectly describe the character of Dave Tomar, known by all as Ed Dante (Dave Tomar is Dante's pseudonym). His article "The Shadow Scholar," which appeared in the chronicle review section of _The Chronicle of Higher Education_ on November 12, 2010, stirred controversy and a scare throughout the entire professional world. Doctors, educators, administrators, law officials, and all other professions of importance consequently came under the microscope. Dante has spent the course of a decade as a full-time ghostwriter who is paid to help students cheat as they achieve 'competency' in their chosen fields of study. This
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Despite the overwhelming and shocking nature of his work, Dante represents himself as a relatable, practical, and down-to-earth sort of individual. All ethical scrutiny aside, he comes across as any other co-worker in your office who works hard, long hours to pay the bills. In defense, he continues that "there's the money, the sense that I must capitalize on opportunity." Yet despite this relatable personalization, the superhuman qualities that Dante possesses are no light joke.

Dante builds both trust, awe, and anger in his audience - all important aspects which build the foundation of a successful controversy. Within this structure, Dante proceeded to include background information on his previous occurrences as a ghostwriter. These are the points that draw personal credibility to Dante. Shocking accounts of his experiences capture the attention of the reader. Dante quotes that he "will cease all human functions but typing, Google until the term has lost all meaning, and drink enough coffee to fuel a revolution in a small Central American country." This is not surprising, as it turns out that Dante occasionally churns out "20 to 40 pages a day." The trust that Dante builds with his experience is built as he progressively describes his daily life, his role in the company, and the company's role in society. Dante showers the reader in unbelievable statistics on

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