Since the first GI Bill was passed after World War II, the number of universities in the United States has been steadily increasing. Currently there are more than 4000 college-like institutions in the United States. Public policy has made higher education more reachable than it was in the past. For example, by creating federal student loan programs have been created so everyone has an equal opportunity to attend college, if they so choose. But recently we have seen the cost of a four-year degree drastically increase because Americans now see college as an obligation.
The debate on college attendance has many sides to it. On one side, some say that there are too many college students who aren’t fit to be there which leaves no room for the people who fully deserve a spot in a university. Trade or vocational schools might be better for the unfit students. On the other hand, some say that there are not enough students enrolled in higher education, and everyone should attend college in order to further move our society forward. One person who favors the side with the belief that everyone should attend college is Robert T.
Perry. Robert T. Perry is an author and teacher. Mainly, he teaches from the writings of A Course in Miracles, which is a self-study curriculum that aims to assist its readers in achieving spiritual transformation. Perry has been a prolific author of books and articles about A Course in Miracles. In 1982, he graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a B. A. in psychology. He is the Executive Director of the South Dakota Board of Regents, which aids to his credibility as an author because of his involvement in education.
Because his job is to head the system of higher education is South Dakota, one can assume Perry knows what he is talking about and has credible opinion on this topic. The primary essay titled On “Real Education” by Robert T. Perry is a direct response to author Charles Murray’s new book Real Education. Instead of using an expected approach in arguing his opinion, Perry analyzes another writer’s opinion, corrects it, and then proves why his ideas are more effective, reasonable, and logical. Throughout his essay, Perry effectively argues that, “We need more, not fewer university and community college graduates.
As previously stated, Perry is attempting to illustrate his belief that higher education is necessary in today’s United States society. To bring up a flaw in his argument, Robert T. Perry could be heavily persuaded to be a proponent for higher education because he is a teacher, and this creates bias toward the topic. On the other hand, Perry uses evidence in an attempt to convince his audience (his audience being the youth in the hands of whom the United States future lies) that higher education is essential.
Extending off of that point, he encourages the enrollment in any type of college so that one can find a job after attaining a college degree with more ease than one who does achieve a degree in higher education. While using multiple rhetorical devices in his piece, Robert T. Perry is able to create an effective argument that is dictated by the claim that Americans need more, instead of fewer graduates from the university or community levels of which formulate higher education. Using these appeals of ethos and logos, the impact of higher education is displayed for the duration of Perry’s essay.
The appeal to authority, or ethos, is exemplified in this point, “The U. S. Department of Labor reports that the country needs more graduates if we are to keep up with, let alone lead, other nations in the global economy. ”[P. 670] The audience is in no position to question the authority that is the U. S. Department of Labor, and so the appeal to authority is righteously achieved. Perry includes the Department of Labor so that his audience wont be in question of the sources credibility.
The appeal to reason, or logos, is illustrated when the author explains the fact that, “90 percent of the fastest growing job categories, including software engineers, physical therapists, and preschool teachers, 60 percent of all new jobs, and 40 percent of manufacturing jobs, will all require some form of postsecondary education. ” [P. 671] The fact that the majority of hirings in the most prosperous job fields and all new jobs that may enter the market depend upon whether or not one has a college education can convince the audience that some type of higher education is essential in the occupational success in a person’s life.
Perry realizes everybody wants to be successful and wealthy, and he also realizes that higher education is a necessity in chasing those types of aspirations. Another rhetorical device practiced by the author is refutation. Perry acknowledges the opposing side of the argument; more specifically, he refers back to Charles Murray’s view by stating, “To Murray’s point, people do vary in academic ability, and not everyone can handle the rigors of a postsecondary degree program.
” [P 672] Perry still stands strongly aside his opinion that more people should strive to enroll in college, but he is able to address and respect the opposite opinion, at least that of Charles Murray. In refuting the opposing argument, Perry’s audience will feel as though there is no bias in his argument; he shows he is knowledgeable and recognizes the opposing argument, but he still stand by his viewpoint.
In What’s Wrong With Vocational School by Charles Murray, Murray takes the side that not every American should attend college. Murray, like Perry, uses the appeal to logic in stating, “ …more than 40% of all persons in their late teens are trying to go to a four-year college… ” [P 677] The implementation of statistics is a persuasive technique that can convince people to think a certain way because one can’t argue with the factual numbers. However, Charles Murray’s argument is less effective than Robert T.
Perry’s because he is very vague in some claims, such as, “No data that I have been able to find tells us what proportion of those students really want four years of college-level courses, but it is safe to say that few people who are intellectually unqualified yearn for the experience. ” [P 677] Nothing is “safe to say”, unless the claim is backed up. Also, Murray’s essay is not effective because he doesn’t recognize the opposing argument. The fact that refutation is absent shows that the author encompasses bias toward only one side of the argument.
Unlike Charles Murray’s piece, Pharinet’s essay titled Is College For Everyone is effective. Pharinet has a different view of the topic and realizes that although everyone has a right to education, and it is important, there are still many students who could use their brains and talents in other venues, or in the workforce doing jobs of which do not require a college degree. Pharinet notices both sides of the argument, and addresses those who are capable of attending college, and those who simply just don’t belong at a university or community college.
The author uses multiple stylistic techniques to display their claim. Parallelism- the use of similar grammatical structures to emphasize related ideas- is used in the second paragraph to stress the recognition of both sides of the argument, “There is no doubt that education is important. There is also no doubt that every person has the right to education,” and then later in the paragraph, “ There exist students who are not yet ready for the academic and financial challenges of college.
There exist students who do not have the desire for college or learning. ” [P 680] The repetition of the same beginning of sentence makes it easier for the audience to pick up on whatever point the author is trying to get across. Another rhetorical device Pharinet uses in this essay is rhetorical questions. A rhetorical question is meant for reflection, but is not meant to be answered directly. At the end of paragraph five Pharinet exhibits multiple rhetorical questions in a row, “What happens when this type of student enters the workforce?
Do they exhibit the same lack of motivation in their careers? If so, what type of value is actually attached to that degree? ” [P 681] Rhetorical questions force the audience to think about and reflect upon the information stated previous to the questions. Roberts’s essay “On “Real Education”” is more effectively persuasive than the other two essays because, not only did his writing appear on InsideHigherEd. com making him a more credible author, but also because he argues his claim that college is for everyone using the persuasive appeals.
He does, however, have some bias in his credentials, which may lead one to believe that he is more inclined to direct student toward taking the college path, above other things, just to keep his job. Regardless of bias, though, Perry has true knowledge in the field of education, and the audience will take regard to that. His use of the appeals create an analytic argument that pulls in the audience, making them feel like he is aiming his argument towards the audience, and implying upon a change that should be made.