America's Most Overrated Product: A Rhetorical Analysis

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Erica Hill Ranne Freese English 1302 November 19, 2014 The Role's of Appeal in America's Most Overated Product In the essay “America's Most Overrated Product: The Bachelor's Degree,” that originally appears in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Marty Nemko discusses his views on a four-year college education as a career counselor. “Among high-school students who graduated in the bottom 40 percent of their classes, and whose first institutions were four-year colleges, two-thirds had not earned diplomas eight and a half years later” (Nemko 523). This paper will focus on the analysis of Nemko's target audience as well as his use of logical, ethical, and emotional appeal used throughout the essay. The author wrote his essay for more than…show more content…
Nemko's use of the ethical appeal is what makes his essay fair and knowledgeable about the subject. Ethical appeal allowed the author to create a sense of trust and credibility between him and the reader. The author uses reliable data, statistics, and information from surveys to show that he is well-informed on the topic and confident in his position. When the author states he is a career counselor it not only helped with the logical appeal, but it helps with the ethical appeal by drawing a sense of relief to the reader to know it's not made up information. On page 526 the author gives a list of data that he believes colleges should put on their web sites or recruitment materials for students. This information is gathered from several sources that the author had to educate himself on so that he could take a confident position on his thought of a bachelor's degree being overrated. Nemko stated “Many college graduates are forced to take some very nonprofessional positions, such as driving a truck or tending bar” (524). With the author stating this it provides a clear and valid understanding to the readers's as to why the author feels obtaining such degree is overrated. The author feels that students are graduating from college with this 4 year degree, but aren't getting quality jobs that compensate for the education they've worked…show more content…
However, he used some emotional appeal to show pity as he stated “I have a hard time telling such people the killer statistic” (523). This line also created a mental image to the reader of a counselor having a conversation with a someone and being unable to tell the truth. “I wasn't a good student in high school” (Nemko 523) is a line a student has given the author during a counseling session. This line shows emotional appeal to the reader by having them feel sorry for the student not being great. Although there was little emotional appeal used by the author, he used it in a way to reinforce his logical argument by stating “It's crucial that they evenhandedly weigh the pros and cons of college versus the aforementioned alternatives. The quality of their lives may depend on that choice” (Nemko 527). The author wants to assure the reader looks at both sides when it comes to a college education because, it will affect their lives in the long run. The author did not use the emotional appeal well in his essay, he should of used more ways to target the readers emotion and create a better

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