A Rhetorical Analysis Of 'Best In Class' By Margaret Talbot

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In many high schools across the nation, valedictorians are appointed to represent the senior class at graduation. Many people see the valedictorian as the best student in the entire class or maybe just the most popular. Either way, stakes are high when appointing a single student to this position, and much controversy has been discovered as to what qualifies a student to become the one. Academics are generally the aspect that principals consider most when deciding. In “Best in Class,” author Margaret Talbot uses rhetoric devices such as effective quotes and expressive personal anecdote, two assets tied to ethos, to support her claim that appointing a single valedictorian is an unfair custom among U.S. high schools. Ethos is highlighted within …show more content…

Talbot refers back to when she went to high school, and she outlines one of the key differences from that time to present time. Talbot explains to her audiences that her own high school had “three or four A.P. classes” when she was a senior, and now the school “has twenty-two” to offer (Talbot 225-226). As earlier explained, valedictorians are a lot of times appointed by their academics, and whether their schedule include such courses plays a major role in their GPA. The academic contest proves more competitive nowadays since more advanced placement classes are offered on campuses, and they can tremendously raise your GPA. Seemingly, the stakes are higher for striving students who want to be titled valedictorian in which many of their peers are just as qualified as they are. Talbot aims to lead her readers’ understanding in the direction of how much easier it was for students during her time to be chosen as valedictorian since not many people took these AP courses. Many students can raise their GPA with these classes, yet only one valedictorian is named, making all the other ambitious students’ work go unrecognized. Talbot emphasizes all of this friction within high school communities by adding testimony to her writing. Additionally, by proving to her readers that she has experience in a high

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