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Analysis of Mark Edmundson’s “Who Are We and What Are We Doing Here”

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Rhetoric and Composition A1: Summary and Analysis Final Draft In Mark Edmundson’s article Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here, published in the Oxford American on August 22, 2011, he talks about his college experience and what others need to do in college to be successful. Getting an education is hard because there are too many distractions, but find something you enjoy doing or else you’ll be bored and work hard to become that. There are a lot of paths to choose from in life and going to college is one of the best to choose.

Edmundson must also agree with this since he is pushing kids to try harder in school.

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However, Edmundson points out some very key points as to what students need to do. There are not strict rules in most colleges. Most of them just demand the bare minimum and don’t hold students to a higher standard. Edmundson states, many colleges will just try to keep the peace and aren’t strict enough to force kids to do well.

There are too many students to deal with so the fewer problems there are the less the university has to do. Teachers are lazy and make a pact with the students that if neither one works hard then things will work out (Edmundson).

There are many teachers that see their job as just that. They put the time in and don’t care. “To get an education, you’re probably going to have to fight against the institution that you find yourself in” (Edmundson), there are many distractions and not many people there to help you out so it is mainly up to the student to push themselves to better their education. Teachers need to care about their students and about educating them the best they can. College isn’t what it should be. Students nowadays are focused on having fun.

They think college is a place of freedom where they can just do as they please and not care about their schooling, “Life is at parties, at clubs, in music, with friends, in sports” (Edmundson). Students have gained independence and feel like they must do crazy things. Or perhaps have been controlled so much that they feel the need to rebel against society. People are focusing on having fun rather than getting good grades and getting an education. The whole point of college is to get a degree and then go into the job market and be successful.

How are kids supposed to get good grades when they don’t even care and just want to have fun? That’s why Edmundson stresses the fact that college really isn’t what it should be. There should be stricter regulations on getting good teachers forcing kids to learn. Students can still have fun and enjoy themselves but they also need to focus on school. After all where go to college to pay thousands of dollars and waste it away by doing bad academically. Student need to do what they love. Find something that they will want to study or risk never being successful because they’ll be bored with their job.

College has a huge variety of programs that can be studied so chances are there is one out there for everyone. If students find something they love to do then college really won’t be too difficult and they will like their job afterwards. “Education is about finding out what form of work for you is closest to being play” (Edmundson), jobs should be something enjoyable, almost like having fun doing a hobby. People need to do what they love so they won’t be bored or held back by their lack of enthusiasm and excel to and move up in the workplace being more and more successful.

Obviously success is usually defined by how much money you have. In this day in age if you don’t have money you’re a failure; so go get an education doing something enjoyable. Have fun, enjoy college life but focus on academics and doing something you enjoy, because in the long run that will determine your success rate. Edmundson talks about his college experience and what others need to do in college to be successful. The author’s purpose was to inform college students that they need to work harder and do what they love.

The text wants to influence the reader to focus on school. It wants them to do what they love and their primary goal should be getting good grades, not partying and hanging out with friends. There could be a lot of purposes as the article is very long but the overall purpose if clear. The author assumes that the reader has been educated and is looking forward to getting a college degree. The author is writing from the point of view of someone that has been through college and knows what to do. They know what is needed to be successful.

The author doesn’t misjudge the readers knowledge but does talk down to them a little assuming that they are messing up in college and need to change things. Or that their assumption of what college will be like needs to change and they should prepare for having a job afterwards while in college. The key problem the author addresses is that college isn’t what it should be. Its focus for most people is hanging with friends, partying, and just having fun. Edmundson inquires, that college needs to be about being academic to prepare you for job opportunities afterwards.

He states in his article that colleges aren’t strict enough and let kids slack off. He says people need to focus on what’s after college, the real world and jobs. He also says that you need to do what you love for your job or else you will get bored not have any passion and not be successful. The main ideas are related to the thesis and he uses good logic. Edmundson doesn’t really organize it. He just jumps right into things. He splits it up into paragraphs and a new one usually signals a new section. Predicting the organization was hard as it jumped back in forth between things he was saying.

The evidence that was least effective was things not directly related to the thesis like when he went off on tangents of stories. The best personal experience he used was when he was having dinner with his father and his father explained to him that to be happy in life you must do what you love. The authors tone is informative, preachy, and a little demeaning. The vocabulary isn’t difficult but is that of someone who has experience writing. The key words that occur are students in college need to focus on academics and do what they love.

His tone supported the article, it kind of scolding telling that people needed to make a switch. He uses personal experience and describes scenes from his life to help support his thesis. His father “had never been to college, in fact he barely graduated high school” (Edmundson). He is motivated by his father to work hard in school and get a better education. He knows working hard will pay off in the long run. Works Cited Edmundson, Mark. “Who Are We and What Are We Doing Here. ” Oxford American 22 Aug. 2011: 1-9. Oxford American. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Cite this Analysis of Mark Edmundson’s “Who Are We and What Are We Doing Here”

Analysis of Mark Edmundson’s “Who Are We and What Are We Doing Here”. (2016, Oct 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/analysis-of-mark-edmundsons-who-are-we-and-what-are-we-doing-here/

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