Best In Class, By Margaret Talbot

874 Words4 Pages

To be presented as valedictorian, to have the opportunity to speak at graduation, to walk across the stage knowing you’ve worked extremely hard over the past 4 years - that is an honor. The title valedictorian began as an innocent award to reward the top student in each class; however, students have turned it into an enormous competition. These competitions have resulted in lawsuits, sour attitudes, and negativity towards one another. In “Best In Class,” Margaret Talbot clearly displays her message that the honor of valedictorian rewards those who work hard, but the award, over time, has become corrupt, thus, needing modification through her strong use of the appeals and her informative persona. Margaret Talbot uses each of the appeals to …show more content…

She creates a strong informative persona. She does so through her equitable and knowledgeable voice. Throughout the entirety of the essay, Talbot never directly states her own opinions, just facts and others’ opinions. Student Kimberly Belcher was interviewed by the author, and she believes that “it was unfair of Denny to use… a loophole to take a class that was too easy for him,” but in her eyes, what made it worse is he did “it secretly” (224). Through the opinion of Belcher, Talbot was able to enforce her opinion toward was Denny did. She includes the corruptness nature of the students trying to achieve valedictorian status, and states the unfairness within it without directly stating her opinion. By staying unbiased but informative, the author is easily able to state her opinion indirectly. Brent Bailey, a former student at Plano West Senior High School, shares his story of fighting for valedictorian, but in the long run no one really truly cared about it after high school. In fact, his “‘roommate had no idea [he] was valedictorian. It doesn’t come up, and [Bailey] doesn’t think about it’” (227). This informs the audience that corrupting the valedictorian honor doesn’t help one. It just creates problems that will soon be forgotten. This relays Talbot’s opinion on the matter by showing the audience the unnecessary actions put forth toward the honorary name. She uses all of these students’ quotes to show the reader that the system has been corrupted so much that need to modify it before it becomes a far more dangerous game. Furthermore, Talbot states her opinions indirectly by quoting other students to remain unbiased to create an informative

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