Analysis of Charles Murray’s “What’s Wrong with Vocational School?”

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Hannah Dickinson Mr. Thomason ENGL 1020-116 15 September 2014 Analysis of Charles Murray’s “What’s Wrong With Vocational School?” Charles Murray is writing to The Wall Street Journal, which is a huge and very diverse audience to whom to present such a controversial argument. The point Murray is trying to make is that vocational schools are more effective and logical courses of action for young people entering the job market than is the conventional 4-year-university track. In championing the cause of vocational schools over college, Murray uses logos, appeals to authority, though his tone makes him come across as a little condescending. This may almost damage his argument overall. Murray’s argument is persuasive through his use of logos, nod to the opposition, and solution for the problem he introduces, among other methods to make his argument appear valid to his audience. The first thing to consider about this argument is the audience. Murray is writing to The Wall Street Journal. This is a huge, international publication held in high esteem. His argument has a lot of people from different backgrounds and perspectives reading it. To start, the title, “What’s Wrong With Vocational School?” offers a different perspective in and of itself; for many traditional American middle-class families, vocational school is simply never considered. In some way, this makes his bold writing style more impressive because of the potential risk he is taking. The supposed risk, however, is in the perspective of each reader. If one views it as Murray’s support of the less talented, or less affluent, then he seems very democratic and generous. If a traditional, conservative personality were to read the article, he or she might be offended by it. While it may be a risk, it almost comes from necessity for one of Murray’s bold argument style, and he attempts to harness this

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