Analysis of Charles Murray’s “What’s Wrong with Vocational School?”

921 words 4 pages
Hannah Dickinson
Mr. Thomason
ENGL 1020-116
15 September 2014
Analysis of Charles Murray’s “What’s Wrong With Vocational School?” Charles Murray is writing to The Wall Street Journal, which is a huge and very diverse audience to whom to present such a controversial argument. The point Murray is trying to make is that vocational schools are more effective and logical courses of action for young people entering the job market than is the conventional 4-year-university track. In championing the cause of vocational schools over college, Murray uses logos, appeals to authority, though his tone makes him come across as a little condescending. This may almost damage his argument overall. Murray’s argument is persuasive through his use of
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Beyond this pathos, Charles Murray does use logos with evidence of these IQs to back up this claim. Logos makes an argument stronger by providing the reader or listener with evidentiary support for the arguer’s claim. Through facts or statistics presented as logos, the writer can attempt to convince his audience of the strength of the argument. Though again and again Murray’s condescension is highlighted, it can make him look noble. Murray is apparently not in the same situation as the subject matter discussed, writing for The Wall Street Journal—definitely the elitists’ and financial kings’ publication—but still cares enough for his countrymen who have not yet “made it,” and offers a solution for how they can. The reluctant, patriotic hero role lends ethos to the argument, strengthening it by presenting himself as a good guy who is only concerned for the less fortunate and has no personal agenda. Though he does not approve of college as the ideal course of action for young people entering the work world, he does give a nod to opposition when he says that being able to commit to the time and work that is college is impressive. This could potentially lend credit to one’s ability to spend adequate time and attention to whatever job to which he or she is hired. The ability to acknowledge the strength of the other point of view strengthens an argument by letting the reader see that Murray has already anticipated