Why We Build The Tower

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Stanley Fish's essay “Why We Built the Ivory Tower?” was published in the New York Times in 2004. Stanley Fish was a Professor with nearly five decades in academia and five and a half years as a Dean at a public university. The particular audience Professor Fish aimed at is academics as well as those who work in higher education. His thesis is that academics should focus on their job and he clearly defines the boundary between academic work and outside matters, especially partisan politics. Although Professor Fish has long-term teaching experience, the evidence he uses is too weak to support his argument because he uses only his personal experiences. The sources that he uses are very few and there seems to be a lack of evidence to support his thesis. Fish fails to convince his readers. The strength of this essay is the well and effective text organization. Professor Fish sets two rhetorical questions as his title: “A College Education: What Is Its Purpose?” and “Why We Built the Ivory Tower?” These two rhetorical questions make the audiences re-think the purpose of college education and attract them to read his essay. As an old saying goes:" A well beginning is half done." The title did catch the audiences’ eyes. At the opening paragraphs, Fish gives a three-part piece of wisdom for those who work in higher education according to his long-term teaching experiences:“Do your job; don’t try to do someone else’s job, as you are unlikely to be qualified; and don’t let anyone else do your job"(Fish,2004, p.547). Stanley Fish is one of the most influential literary critics in the United States, so the advice he gives is powerful, while the concluding paragraph is not as effective as the opening paragraph. Fish just showed his personal expectation in the concluding paragraph. However, the main weakness of this essay is the weak sources. It seems that the counter
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