Rhetorical Analysis Of The Secret To Raising Smart Kids

613 Words3 Pages

After examining Dr. Carol S. Dweck’s article, “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids,” we can see that she makes a compelling argument for her Scientific American audience through the use of key rhetorical strategies. The first technique she employs involves strong organizational structure. To start her piece Dweck begins with an anecdotal story of a student picturing the changes of his mind-set throughout his school years. In Describing jonathan story, she explains, “A brilliant student, Jonathan sailed through grade school [...] In the seventh grade, Jonathan suddenly lost interest in school, refusing to do homework or study for tests. As a consequence, his grades plummeted” (Dweck 1), she expertly grabs her Scientific American readers’ attention, …show more content…

With an audience deeply interested in science, psychology, and behavior, this pattern is especially appealing since all these topics include scientific researches and studies. Moreover, the kind of evidence Dweck includes would be quite persuasive to her readers. Specifically, when addressing the growth mind-set versus the fixed mind-set, she illustrates, “Presumably, managers with a growth mind-set see themselves as work-in-progress and understand that they need feedback to improve, whereas bosses with a fixed mindset are more likely to see criticism as reflecting their underlying level of competence” (Dweck 4). By proving some clear information about how people with growth mind-set focus on improving whereas others with a fixed mind-set focus on looking smart, Dweck states her main point. Another device she utilizes would be a more formal yet personal tone created through her word choice. For example, she states, “People can learn to be helpless, too, but not everyone reacts to setbacks this …show more content…

This would work well for her Scientific American magazine readers due to the fact that it is clear she is posing questions in a formal way, but at the same time she is trying to talk to the readers in an informal way to grab their attention. The strongest component of Dweck’s piece is her use of a respected psychologist, Heidi Grant Halvorson, to prove her point. When she describes, “ Along with psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson, now at Columbia, I found a similar relation between mind-set and achievement in a 2003 study of 128 Columbia freshman premed students who were enrolled in a challenging chemistry course. Although all the students cared about their grades, the ones who earned the best grade were those who placed a high premium on learning rather than showing that they were smart in chemistry. The focus on learning strategies, effort and persistence paid off for these student” (Dweck 3), her readers would respond by feeling as though it is the growth mind-set that leads people to success. One thing that would have made Dweck’s argument even more convincing would be if she had supported her argument with data that show the differences between the growth mind-set and the fixed

Open Document