Articles and pieces of writing can be used to not only analyze but also to persuade the reader. The authors may use different claims and use supporting evidence in order to persuade the reader to support the claim that they are writing about. While the author may be doing this the reader is not only reading the text but is also analyzing the text looking for both rhetorical strategies and evidence as they read, and if they support the claim that the author is writing then the claim is effective. Victor Villaneuva, a professor of English at Washington State University, wrote the novel “An American of Color”. Villaneuva’s novel is an autobiography of his life beginning with his life as a child and moving up into his life as a professor. The novel uses many forms of rhetorical strategies and evidence in order to persuade the reader such as; the use of examples, the rhetorical strategy of pathos, and Ethos. Jonathan Kozol, an educational critic, wrote the novel “Savage Inequalities”. Kozol’s novel is dealing with the inequalities faced by students within schools and how they are internally colonized. Kozol uses rhetorical strategies and evidence in order to further his argument. He uses facts, examples, and the rhetorical strategy of ethos in order to persuade the reader. By looking at the claims that authors use in their writings readers can analyze the evidence and strategies in order to make a claim of whether they support or reject the claim of the author. When comparing both claims, Jonathan Kozol’s claim is more effective to its target audience because of the rhetorical strategies he uses and his evidence throughout his novel.
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Victor Villaneuva’s novel “An American of Color” uses examples from his own life. To further persuade his reader into believing his claim. He begins his novel by telling the reader some of the stories he remembers as a child and by describing some of the characters he remembers from early in his life. Villaneuva then brings them up again at a later time in order to explain his claim again to the reader but this time instead of giving the reader facts and statistics that would be hard to understand Villaneuva uses examples from earlier in his text which allow for the reader to better understand his claim. Villaneuva also uses the rhetorical strategies of both pathos and ethos. He uses the strategy of pathos by invoking the feelings of emotions into the reader. He begins his essay with an example regarding the skin of children and the willingness of individuals to help them, “The same week, the same store, a little three-or four-year-old American Indian child is wandering, bawling loudly. People stop and stare. No one asks”. (Villaneuva) The author uses this example to begin his essay by beginning to develop his claim. Villaneuva also uses the rhetorical strategy of ethos in his essay. By giving personal examples from his life he establishes himself as a self-credible author over his claim. The evidence Villaneuva uses is effective in persuading the reader of his claim. It not only establishes himself as a credible author in the subject but also refers back at later times in order to explain his claim further and to dial in his claim of inequality. While, Villaneuva uses the rhetorical strategy of pathos throughout his essay it is not critical in furthering his claim. The emotion used in the essay was minimal and while it brings the reader further into the text it was not critical in explaining Villaneuva’s main claim. The rhetorical strategy of ethos however was useful in furthering his claim because it allowed for his personal experiences and stories to be seen as evidence to his main claim.
Jonathan Kozol in his essay “Savage Inequalities” uses a high level of rhetorical evidence in order to persuade his audience of his main claim. Kozol uses facts in order to seem more credible to the reader and to show his main claim. Kozol uses facts to show the inequality in amount of funding that schools receive throughout the region of New York, “Average expenditures per pupil in the city of New York in 1987 were $5,500. In the highest spending suburbs of New York (Great Neck or Manhasset, for example on Long Island) funding rose above $11,000…” (Kozol). Another form of rhetorical evidence that Kozol uses is the use of examples. Kozol uses many examples ranging from different schools he has visited to stories of individual classrooms he saw within the schools. By adding these examples, he furthers his claim by showing the readers what simple facts and statistics cannot show. Kozol also uses the rhetorical strategy of ethos within his claim. The use of ethos is because Kozol shows himself as self-credible throughout the essay. While anyone can view the inequalities in schools simply by going to them and writing down what they see Kozol elevates himself by the further use of evidence and analysis of the schools. The facts that Kozol uses strengthen his argument because it proves the inequality thus providing major key points for his claim. Kozol’s use of examples are important to his claim because the reader can picture the schools and students in their head and understand what the facts and statistics truly mean when they are put in to effect. The rhetorical strategy of ethos was a vital role in Kozol’s use of his main claim because it allowed for Kozol to add his opinions over his main claim into his text and uses them to explain both the facts and the statistics. By doing this the reader will believe his opinions that he writes about and it can be used to further the rhetorical evidence.
Villaneuva and Kozol both wrote on the inequalities that many face from day to day. The rhetorical strategy of ethos was used in both authors claims and articles. Villaneuva uses ethos because of his stories that he uses from when he was a child which present him as credible while Kozol uses ethos by establishing facts and statistics throughout his essay which allow for the reader to look at him as a credible author. Villaneuva’s use of ethos was more useful to him due to his organization of his essay and the way he was able to accredited himself by the use of both facts and examples throughout the novel. Both authors also used examples throughout their essay. Johnathan Kozol uses examples, by showing the reader the inequalities within the schools and how the factual number amounts can be seen as high differences. Kozol’s use of evidence was the most effective because it was derived from facts and furthered his claim by enforcing the facts and by adding creativity into his essay which the reader can analyze further. Villaneuva uses the rhetorical strategy of pathos while Jonathan Kozol uses the evidence of facts within their respective essays. The use of facts in Kozol’s essay was more persuasive than the use of Villaneuva’s strategy of pathos. The use of facts is effective in pushing a main claim because the facts show the audience that the claim is being studied and has outside forces other than just the authors opinion over the issue that they are discussing.Kozol’s audience includes those in an academic setting in which the facts he uses cannot be disputed and furthers his main claim. Jonathan Kozol’s article is more effective not only because of the strategies and evidences that he implores but also because of the nature of the audience that he is writing to and also the organization of his claim and sub-claims.
Kozol and Villaneuva’s main claims are both effective of targeting their respective audiences and using rhetorical strategies and evidences to express their claims. Villaneuva uses more of emotion and self-credidation to express his main claim due to the nature of his essay and the way that he had organized it. This is useful for an audience in a non-academic setting because opinions and stories can not only be used to express claims but to also act as close to fact as possible. The strategies used by Kozol are more effective for his target audience because of the facts and examples he uses both of which add onto each other to cement each other. His claim of inequality is broadcasted through these forms of evidence as it is shown that not all schools are equal not only with their budgeting but also within many other factors.
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