Last Updated 03 Nov 2022

Argumentative analysis

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In 'Hidden Intellectualism', Gerald Graff discusses how educators are approaching the wrong path in getting along their job/activity. They are so focused around academic intelligence that they totally disregard the benefits of being street smart. He trusts that academic intelligence can be critical, however understudies have things called interests too, regardless of whether it is sports, fashion, dating or video games. If there is a Chance that instructors figure out how to join these interests into scholastics, at that point understudies would really have the capacity to relate and transform it into something of instructive esteem. Graff immediately begins by directing the blame for street smarts not being utilized academically towards the education system. Then he goes on to further explain their reason for doing so. Although, majority of the beginning of his essay is in regard to the assumption of schools and colleges that street smarts are only involved in anti-intellectual concerns, He eventually makes it clear what his central argument is about. His thesis establishes his position in relation to the topic, his main topic, his central argument and even draws in the intended audience. Graff claims students “would be more prone to take on intellectual identities if we encouraged them to do so…on subjects that interests them rather than subjects that interest us”. His thesis shows that he stands opposed to the fact that students are only taught academically related material in school. His thesis also addresses the main topics, which is, students and the subjects they are taught. Additionally, the thesis declares his argument that anyone can be or become “intellectual” if they are given subjects that interest them. Lastly, the thesis aims directly at his intended audience, educators and students.

He takes us back us back to his adolescence, where he invested a considerable measure of energy attempting to adjust himself between being book-smart and inspiring the 'hoods'. On one hand, he utilized right language structure and accentuation, however on the other, he needed to demonstrate he was a fighter. He was truly into sports, and he discovered his usual range of familiarity in pursuing sports books and magazines, a blend of the two things that initially had him torn. It goes to demonstrate you needn't bother with scholarly magnificence to do ' educational ' things like debate, in the event that it comes down to the subjects that he really appreciates. All things considered, I concur on Graff's conclusion that street smarts could easily compare to book smarts.

'Hidden Intellectualism,' by Gerald Graff is a highly persuasive argument because He clarifies that besides the traditional academic intellectualism there can be a few types of hidden intellectualism that does not originate from 'book smarts,' or academics, but rather originate from 'street smarts”, for example, things gained from fashion, sports, or current culture. He communicates that each 'street smart' student has the same amount of potential as a 'book smart' student. He believes that knowledge does not just come through the classroom, but through everyday experiences. Graff utilizes his own encounters as a youngster to back up his thinking. With a self-reflective and learned tone, Graff takes the reader back to his adolescent years. He enacts his youthful self as a “typical teenage anti-intellectual” who “hated books and cared only for sports”. Not only did he create tone but he used ethos. Offering his adolescent experience increases the effectiveness of his argument in three ways. First, toward his audience. He develops a sense of understanding and comfort with the student, which engages and boosts the students grasp of graffs reasoning. Secondly, experience develops credibility and reliability. By showing that he understands and relates to student’s needs, he gains trust from whomever the reader may be; a student, a parent, a professor, etc. Furthermore, he’s building his argument properly by providing evidence for his argument, which he provides even more of later into the reading.

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Further into his writing, he recalls growing up in Chicago, post World-War II. A block away from him lived the “hoods” who were mostly street smart, While he was book smart. The book smarts and the street smarts didn’t get along too well. The book smarts feared being beat by the hoods if they showed they were too smart. However, Graff later realized that the hoods weren’t less intellectual or mean. They “were not simply hostile toward intellectualism, but divided and ambivalent”. In saying this, Graff again, gradually increases the potential of his argument by using pathos. It doesn’t quite release much feeling, but it definitely appeals to the audiences values. By referring to them as divided, he implies a sort of segregation between the two and sets the street smart teenagers as outcasts and left out. Graff previously used pathos in his first paragraph also. He refers to their intelligence as “wasted” (Graff 249) because the traditional education system pushes away the things they are most intelligent about when it could be used to develop their overall intellectualism. Once again, due to most of our values, it is not exciting to read or hear that society isn’t allowing students to “apply their intelligence” to their academic work.

Graff, just like any other author also displayed a few weaknesses in his writing and argument. He failed in trying to relate to his audience through some of his examples. For example, his mention of “George Orwell’s writing on the cultural meanings of penny postcards.” Graff is lucky if half of the readers even know who George Orwell is, not to mention his book “The art of Donald McGill” (a book George Orwell wrote about penny postcards). Another example is when He says “schoolwork isolated you from others” while “Ted Williams .400 batting average was something you could talk about with people you never met before” . Unless you were born before 1960 or a you are a guy that is fascinated with sports history, this is not relatable. He uses plenty more unrelatable topics throughout his argument. However, even though these examples may lose the student audience a little, it draws in the older audience of educators. Another flaw in his writing, probably the most notable one of all, is his lack of topics. He addresses one piece of anti-intellectual material throughout the entire essay, beginning to end. Sports, as mentioned before, is not something that is relatable to all. Each time his argument is developing, his mention of sports becomes somewhat aggravating. However, if he were to expand on cars, fashion, or video games, etc., as he did sports, he would captivate an even broader audience.

Instead he limited himself and the reader to sports which doesn’t help much in justifying his argument. He also made a claim that “street smarts…satisfy an intellectual thirst more thoroughly than school culture”. This can be true, but it is not true enough to state it as a fact. Everyone is different. In fact, there are students who may be more in tune with academics, intellectual topics, and reading books, etc. Lastly, he used circular argument more than once to get some points across. For example, when he says “school competition has became more invidious…”, then says, “school competition reproduces the less attractive features of sports competition”. It is a distraction and in turn causes the reader to lose concentration of the argument. This is a highly brilliant paper centered and focused around the lack of effort from the education system to use the given knowledge and intelligence of students for higher intellectual success instead of narrowing education with subjects and texts that we consider inherently weighty and academic”. Through his use of technical writing, testimonials, and knowledge, he makes an eye-opening argument that encourages change for academic and intellectual success.

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