Rhetorical Analysis On Our Graduates Are Rubes

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Rhetorical Analysis on “Our Graduates Are Rubes” “Our Graduates Are Rubes,” written by Tom Nichols, introduces the idea that colleges are failing in their responsibility to teach critical reasoning and civic responsibilities (Nichols B3). As a result, instead of Americans putting an end to the rumors, they help them spread. Nichols believes this comes as a result of four specific problems with the college system today: “the pampering of students as customers, the proliferation of faux “universities,” grade inflation, and the power reversal” (Nichols B3). The author argues that because schools try too hard to make their campus feel like home and a place full of “experiences,” education is no longer a top priority for either the student or the…show more content…
Naval War College and Harvard Extension School, as well as an author of several books. In writing “Our Graduates Are Rubes,” Nichols argues that the issues being experienced in America have to do with the failures of colleges. He wants to bring awareness to four specific areas in universities today, so that others too may help bring about necessary changes. The audience of this piece is primarily faculty of higher education. While the audience is fairly specific, there are vast differences among them. The variety of backgrounds, lifestyles, and experiences all play a part in the way faculty members respond to Nichols’ message. In addition, his audience will be composed of a wide range of ages and interests. This will likely affect their opinion of the piece. While it is hard to determine exactly what the exigence of this piece is, the 2016 election could be considered the “last straw.” The election of President Trump was what demonstrated the lack of critical reasoning in the American voters, forcing Nichols to sit down and write this piece. His constraints could be the small audience to which it was written and the fact that as individuals, his audience has very little authority to do anything about some of the issues mentioned. Through the rhetorical strategies of pathos, kairos, and ethos, the author hopes to persuade his audience to take action so that improvements can be made. While his kairos and…show more content…
While his situated ethos is relatively strong due to his thirty plus years as a professor and position at a prestigious school, his invented ethos is very weak. Nichols attempts to compare his former position as a college student to the lives of college students today. However, his perspectives are based on experiences from many years ago. While Nichols may have reason to state the number of “As” given has increased, the workloads have lightened, and some students lack self-control, he does not have authority to declare colleges are no longer uncomfortable experiences, students do not give a thought to their future, and left on their own, they will always make the wrong decision (Nichols B3). It is impossible to know how each student feels when sitting in a college classroom for the first time or how much they debated and stressed over which school to choose. Because Nichols audience knows the importance of ethos and credibility, they will be searching for more facts than opinion. Thus, the fact that behind his bold statements and persuading phrases no credible sources are to be found, his argument cannot be more than an opinion piece. For even if Nichols has sound reason to proclaim his daring comments, he fails to back up his arguments. Hence, his message falls terribly

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