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Rhetorical Analysis

1239 words - 5 pages

The obvious use of plagiarism in college students’ assignments has become a major problem in today’s education system. In response to this issue, Scott Jaschik wrote “Winning Hearts and Minds in War on Plagiarism” to persuade college writing instructors to try new ways to teach their students about plagiarism, urging professors to consider teaching the ethics involved in writing as a way to stop plagiarism. However, in order to do this, instructors must first understand how students view plagiarism and understand the most effective ways to put an end to student plagiarism. In “Winning Hearts and Minds in War on Plagiarism,” Scott Jaschik effectively persuades his audience of college level ...view middle of the document...

Instructors can use this insight and enlightenment to come up with new ideas that relate to their students and help them not plagiarize. More importantly, Jaschik gives this knowledge to the college level instructors with the hopes that they will be persuaded, as well as inspired, to find new ways to show their students how to write ethically and stop their students from plagiarizing, which is Jaschik’s ultimate goal.
In order to seem credible to his audience, Jaschik uses the rhetorical choice of appeal to authority. One reason this type of rhetorical choice is used is due to the numerous accounts of English instructors that often experience plagiarism firsthand. In addition, these college level instructors often have strong opinions about students plagiarizing. One example of this is when Jaschik explains, “R. Gerald Nelms, an associate professor of composition and rhetoric at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, spoke of how plagiarism must be seen as ‘an educational problem that requires an educational response’” (264). By Jaschik referencing R. Gerald Nelms, he gives his audience an expert’s opinion that they can easily relate to and makes them realize he understands the recurring problems they encounter with plagiarism. This shared understanding and expert opinion on plagiarism being an education problem requiring a response ultimately makes college level English instructors more interested in the article and therefore, they are more likely to be persuaded by Jaschik. Another example of appeal to authority occurs when Jaschik acknowledges, "Many cite the work of Rebecca Moore Howard (co-editor of one of the new books on plagiarism and a contributor to another), who is an associate professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University" (264). The fact that Jaschik refers to someone who is not only a writing professor, but an editor and contributor to books on plagiarism as well makes this appeal to authority even stronger. Out of all of the authorities referenced in the article, Rebecca Moore Howard seems to have the most experience with plagiarism, which makes her role in the article tremendously significant in showing the audience that Jaschik is credible. By using these authorities on plagiarism, Jaschik was able to efficiently appeal to his audience. In other words, he captures the attention of college level English instructors by using testaments from people who they think highly of. He also uses this rhetorical choice to convince them that he is well versed on the subject and should be taken seriously. By doing this, he is making it easier for the audience to be persuaded to listen to the authorities and come up with new techniques to prevent plagiarism.
Jaschik uses diction pertaining to education in order to persuade his audience to find innovative ways to prevent student plagiarism. Most of the word choices the author uses throughout...

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