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An Analysis Of Gordon Adams' Letter

719 words - 3 pages

This analysis is set to discuss a letter written by Gordon Adams. He is a student at Arizona State University and wants to become a lawyer. However, he finds he must take mathematics courses, specifically college algebra, to graduate and move on into law school. He claims that he does not need to take college algebra because he does not need it in his profession and because if he takes the course, it will delay him into law school. We follow him through his endeavor with ASU's mathematics committee to try to waive his requirement for college algebra. However, he fails at this task and, with every argument, you can't always get what you want in return. Rhetorically, I think his argument to the committee is a good way to write an argument, at least in my opinion.
He asks the question “Why do I need college algebra?”(Adams 19). I can relate to this as many of us in today's society are in college and we look at our degree requirements and think “Why do I have to take this class” to ourselves. In Adams case he only has “the benefit of a ninth grade education.”(Adams 18). It is clear that he needs algebra, but he tries to exempt himself from this requirement. He contacts friends that are attorneys and they say that there are no courses in his profession that even require algebra or more specifically, college algebra (20).
Adams writes “I consulted Mr. Jim of the Justice College and presented this question to him. He referred to the current ASU catalog and delineated the following answer: I need college algebra (1) for a minimum level of math competency in my chosen field, and (2) to satisfy the university math requirement to graduate.”(Adams 19). First, there is something wrong with this argument, and that is the fact that Adams never tells us what disciplines he took on his way to becoming a lawyer. We know that Adams needs math, but what other classes did he take while at ASU? He could have explained this in detail more. I feel that this is what was missing from his...

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