Should Everyone Go to College?

Whether an individual is to opt for an academic route or not has been a common topic of debate. On the one hand, the argument is that people can access multiple opportunities without spending a fortune on a college degree, which has been the case for certain successful business owners and entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the idea that having a diploma is a more promising start in a professional life still exists, which is why multiple students enroll in schools every year. Pros and cons correlate with both viewpoints, yet the essay discussed in this paper exemplifies the concept that going to school is often the best choice. Namely, the report Should Everyone Go to Collage will be rhetorically analyzed and the arguments for academic involvement will be identified and examined.

The authors have based the article on data and evidence of pro-education. The essay is constructed around three main arguments. The first point that authors tie to the idea that a college education is more necessary than not is the education return. The data that is being presented highlights that individuals with a high school diploma tend to earn less compared to people with a college degree. Specifically, people tend to earn approximately $50,000 more if they have a bachelor’s degree by the age of 50 (Owen and Sawhill 2). By including exact stats and a graph with average earnings comparing the two demographics, the authors have persuaded the reader to trust the numbers and data illustrated in the essay. The inclusion of such details establishes the logos of the paper. It gives it an academic perspective that impacts the reader in regard to believing in the validity of the argument.

The authors, while supporting the claim that college education is effective, have not avoided showing statistics that highlight the differences in earnings based on the degree itself. Thus, individuals who choose engineering and computer science have higher earnings than individuals who pursue art. Furthermore, art majors earn lower wages than people with high school diplomas, as stated by the authors. The point is, in fact, partially against college education as it shows that it is only effective depending on the field that a person chooses to advance in. However, from an ethical perspective, the authors have managed to show that they are unbiased and are willing to present both sides of the story. While the circumstances appear to be against the overall thesis of the essay, presenting data that highlights an opposite opinion gives the readers the impression that factual information is primordial regardless of the conclusion.

After highlighting the data that education is effective depending on the degree itself, the authors proceed to the topic of graduation rate. Basically, the argument is that schools differ, and students are more likely to be successful if they choose high-quality education. As an example, the authors highlight that while Harvard’s graduation rate is more than 90%, a non-competitive school has a rate of 30% (Owen and Sawhill 6). By approaching this particular subtopic, the authors are not only arguing for college education but also providing information on how to maximize academic success and, as a result, one’s professional life. The informal approach intends to highlight the importance of choosing competitive schools over non-competitive ones as employers tend to appreciate potential workers who have a diploma from a top-notch university.

While the authors’ purpose appears to be highlighting the importance of education, a secondary purpose is identifying the elements that ultimately facilitate the degree to correlate with professional advancements. As a result, it can be stated that the intended audience is high school students who are indecisive in regard to academic advances as well as future college students willing to choose a field that will guarantee professional success. Moreover, the audience will most likely be convinced due to two factors. Namely, the authors have shared the information in a formal and academic manner, which adds validity to the text. Moreover, the presence of arguments that may be interpreted as against the initial premise facilitates reliability and a lack of bias.

The article is constructed in a way that the arguments formally presented by the writers allow the readers to have a complex perspective on the subject of education. Due to the use of data and statistics, it is certain that the tone of the paper, while not fully academic, is rather educational and informative. As a result, the analysis highlights the essay to be supported by evidence and mainly centering around the notion of logos while avoiding a straightforward ethos and pathos since it would diminish the formality of the writing. The thesis, which is that education is required for a better career opportunity, is well-established and backed up with statistics and data. Moreover, the authors have structured the paper in several different subthemes, which has allowed for a more comprehensive illustration of academic performance in relation to effectiveness. The presence of the counterarguments creates the understanding that the formal essay is intended to persuade readers into agreeing with the authors while leaving room for additional thoughts. Overall, the rhetorical analysis shows the article to be effective in supporting the concept of education through several arguments broken down into elements highlighting each pro.

Works Cited

Owen, Stephanie, and Isabel Sawhill. “Should Everyone Go to College?” Center on Children and Families at Brookings, Brookings, 2013.

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