Analysis Of Best In Class By Margaret Talbot

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The title for valedictorian is heavily competition-based and a highly controversial topic in today’s modern society. In fact, many people argue for the continuation of the valedictorian title; however, others also contest for the cancellation of the title. Published by The New Yorker, in 2005, Margaret Talbot argues her stand on the debate of keeping the title for valedictorian in schools. Using research and evidence gained by her examination of the Sarasota High School in Florida, she effectively gives a complete overview of the subject, but she also imposes her side of the argument onto the reader. In Margaret Talbot’s article, “Best in Class”, she conveys the message that the competition for valedictorian has unfavorable consequences as …show more content…

First, Talbot uses diction to connect with the audience emotionally as well as to create imagery to draw in the reader into her argument. To connect with her reader emotionally, Talbot says it is “obvious” who the best students in class are and “ambitious” ones are “numerous and determined” (225). Talbot uses diction to set the tone that her argument is not serious since the title for valedictorian may actually be just a title. Using word choice that suggests students are amazing and ‘ambitious’, Talbot flatters her audience of students and indicates that the American education system is creating many profound students. Targeting her educational audience, Talbot infers the unimportance of the valedictorian title with flattery, and, in return, she connects with the students, teachers, and Board members to defuse the argument between each other. She does this to manipulate their feelings in order to have belief in her own. Another use of her …show more content…

Through her use of testimonies, Talbot frequently appeals to her audience logically to reveal how stressful the competition for valedictorian is. When talking about the Sarasota High School graduation, Kennedy states that the, “tension was so thick” that she was, “sweating buckets the whole time” (Talbot 224). From the viewpoint of the principal, Talbot introduces the challenge of being the valedictorian; the stress, anger, and hate are generated from this title. This develops the audience’s common sense. Logically, the title for valedictorian links the students with the danger of not developing good qualities. Beneficial characteristics, like integrity and humility, are not prevalent within the graduation ceremony. Instead, Talbot, uses Kennedy’s observation to discreetly give the impression that the competition for valedictorian has unfavorable consequences. Lastly, Talbot takes advantage of her first hand testimonies of all viewpoints of the competition in order to create an impartial tone. In addition to the statements by the principal and the valedictorian, Talbot addresses the point of view from the students who had their title stolen from them. According to Stephanie Klotz, a home-schooled student, she had her title taken away and it was “seriously uncool” (227). Even though Klotz was home-schooled and had never

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