Rhetorical Analysis of Brent Staples' 'Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A's'

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In the exposition 'Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A's', Brent Staples argues that an unrivaled measure of undergrads has been getting decent evaluations and higher averages they don't deserve. Staples states, “As a consequence, diplomas will become weaker and more ornamental as the years go by”. Staples additionally contends that consumerism has influenced the advanced education system because of rivalry and student interest in A's. In his reading, Staples addressed his request for an adjustment in the assessing course of action of cutting-edge training associations because of consumerism. Staples manufactures his credibility with individual realities and respectable sources, referring to persuading certainties and insights, and effectively using passionate interests; in any case, close to the part of the bargain, his endeavors to engage readers' feelings debilitate his validity and his contention. Staples argues against the idea of grade inflation and devaluing degrees using rhetorical devices such as tone, ethos, logos, metaphors, similes, etc.

Throughout his reading, Staples uses many sources that fortify his validity and appeal to ethos, as well as manufactures his argument. These sources include ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education’ written by Professor Paul Korshin of the University of Pennsylvania and the last issue of the journal ‘Academe’ by two part-timers. Citing these sources in the article expands Staples’ credibility by showing that he’s done his research and has supplied facts and statistics, as well as experts’ opinions to support his claim. For example, Staples uses the proposal of Valen Johnson, a Duke University statistics professor, to present his ethical appeal to the audience. According to Brent Staples’ exposition ‘Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s’, Johnson “proposed recalculating the grade point average to give rigorously graded courses greater weight”. Another example may include Staples’ using an excerpt from ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education’ by Professor Paul Korshin of the University of Pennsylvania, which references professors as an argument from authority to support his claim. According to Staples, Korshin “described his grievance panel as the rhinoplasty committee”.

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Adding to his ethos appeals, Staples uses solid interests in logos, with many realities also, insights, and intelligent movements of thoughts. He points out facts and statistics about how more students are being accepted into private colleges: “Two hundred colleges have closed since a businessman dreamed up Phoenix 20 years ago. Meanwhile, the university has expanded to 60 sites spread around the country, and more than 40,000 students, making it the country’s largest private university”. Staples also uses other statistics/facts as well: “In some cases, campus-wide averages have crept up from a C just 10 years ago to B-plus today”. These statistics are a couple of many that consistently bolster Staples' claim that it is a generous and genuine issue that universities are energetically giving undergraduate students A's that they don't deserve. The details and numbers assemble an intrigue to logos and convince the reader that this is an issue worth deliberating about.

Along with strong logos appeals, Staples effectively uses tone at the beginning and the ending of his article. Tone usually expresses the writer's attitude toward or feelings about the subject matter and the audience. In this case, the tone that Staples uses in his article is critical. For example, Staples states that “a curriculum so superficial that critics compare it to a drive-through restaurant”. At the beginning of Staples’ reading, he uses a critical tone to shape his readers' experiences, as well as uses certain connotations to create tension and perspective in the reading. For example, Staples states: “Individual professors inflate grades after consumer-conscious administrators hound them into it. Professors at every level inflate to escape negative evaluations by students, whose opinions now figure in tenure and promotion decisions”. Considering the tone that is created in Staples' reading, his choice of words also evoked a critical tone, words such as ‘stanch’ and ‘rigorously’. Staples says: “One way to stanch inflation is to change the way the grade point average is calculated”.

Staples not only uses ethos, logos, and tone throughout his writing, but he also uses metaphors and similes. While similes and analogies are used to have correlations, the distinction between analogies and similes is that similes use the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ to compare things, and metaphors straightforwardly express a comparison. For example, “The University of Phoenix, a profit-making school that shuns traditional scholarship and offers a curriculum so superficial that critics compare it to a drive-through restaurant”. In this quote, Staples is comparing the University of Phoenix curriculum to a fast food/drive-thru restaurant. Staples' article also says that “Korshin described his grievance panel as the ‘rhinoplasty committee’ because it does ‘cosmetic surgery’ on up to 500 transcripts a year. In this quote, Korshin is comparing a panel of people he describes as a rhinoplasty committee to plastic surgery.

In conclusion, the author was very effective in his writing. He made his central claim aware to his audience and provided relevant sub-claims with evidence to support those claims. Staples uses mostly statistical evidence and uses many quotes from professors and deans to present his logical argument. His argument was effective due to the use of logos. The writer also uses an eloquent type of speech. Staples uses a tone that is sympathetic to teachers. His argument begins to address the issue of why colleges are allowing students to get free A’s. In his argument, he also addresses the fact that students and parents are demanding and getting what they think of as their money’s worth.

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Rhetorical Analysis of Brent Staples’ ‘Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s’. (2023, October 11). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-brent-staples-why-colleges-shower-their-students-with-as/
“Rhetorical Analysis of Brent Staples’ ‘Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s’.” Edubirdie, 11 Oct. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-brent-staples-why-colleges-shower-their-students-with-as/
Rhetorical Analysis of Brent Staples’ ‘Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s’. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-brent-staples-why-colleges-shower-their-students-with-as/> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Rhetorical Analysis of Brent Staples’ ‘Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Oct 11 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-brent-staples-why-colleges-shower-their-students-with-as/
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