Rhetorical Analysis of "Dear Students"

Topics: University, Professor, College Pages: 4 (1598 words) Published: November 12, 2011
Does College Help or Hurt Our Chances for Success?
Stop. Please. Stop. You have changed. I am at a loss for words. I thought that you – you wonderful university – would forever be the all-important, unchanging, institution of learning that would make me amount to something. Wait, what was that? You have not changed? Oh, that’s right. You haven’t changed, and therein lies the problem – according to Gideon Burton. “Dear Students: Don’t Let College Unplug Your Future” talks about how the Internet is becoming an essential tool for our lives, and that colleges and universities are not adapting in sync with the web. Using repetitive and colloquial diction, real-life examples, and a sarcastic voice, Burton effectively convinces college students that the internet is essential for a successful life, and to not be afraid – if anything, to be motivated – to use the internet to help them progress in life. Burton makes great use of repetitive diction to persuade his audience. Through his article, Burton makes the reader feel as though the reader is being spoken to directly by using the word “you”. Though a seemingly ordinary word, its use emits a great deal of emotional power at the reader. The article begins with Burton stating that he cares about students and that he is willing to go against code for them – implying that college professors normally try to keep students ignorant (Burton 88). With this introduction, “you” and “your” becomes a personal and meaningful word in the rest of the article, in both positive and negative ways. In the first four pages, “you” is used 101 times. This makes the reader feel that Burton is talking to them individually and that they are gaining more knowledge than their peers. This is manipulating students to think that Burton actually cares for them and believes that they are

capable of achieving their goals and becoming their true selves. “You can shape and share your identity in a thousand different ways, testing what you like,...

Cited: Burton, Gideon. “Dear Students: Don’t Let College Unplug Your Future.” Perspectives On New Media. Utah: BYUAP, 2011. Print.
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