Public Rhetoric

Peer Review: Asian American and Affirmative Action

  1. Has the writer chosen to 1) write an argument for an audience that agrees with them; 2) write an argument for an audience that disagrees with them; or 3) critique the argument and rhetorical strategies of someone else’s argument? How can you tell that this is what the writer has set out to do?
  2. What issue has the writer chosen to address? How has the writer shown that this issue affects them directly? Who else is affected by this issue? Describe the rhetorical strategies being used to connect to the audience on this issue?
  3. What position does the writer hold on this issue? What reasons do they have for holding this position? Assess the quality of their reasoning (strengths and weaknesses).
  4. What evidence does the writer use to support their reasoning? Evaluate the quality of sources based on what you learned in our library research workshop. Do they have a sufficient amount of evidence to convince their audience?
  5. How has the writer addressed alternate views and perspectives on this issue? Describe the rhetorical strategies being used to connect with people who disagree.


Alex He:

  1. In this particular essay, the writer has chosen to express her concerns that disagrees with practices we currently have, in this case affirmative action. To disagree with the author, one critique maybe that Affirmative Action is a useful policy to help get people who are in a low socio-economical status get into college bringing them out of poverty, therefore reducing the poverty rate, and to stop the perpetual cycle of poverty. The author has set out to confront these social issues by laying out her argument specific to Asian Americans being targeted by Affirmative Action.
  2. Affirmative action is shown to influence not only the author directly, but also countless other Asian Americans who she feels are being discriminated against during college acceptances due to their race. By using deductive reasoning, she presents the facts (average SAT scores) in a generalized way and then works her way down to a specific personal example from her life.
  3. Having experienced first hand, this racial discrimination towards Asian Americans is very personal to the author, therefore she plays the role of the persuader to inform others about this inequitable social relation that is enforced in everyday life. The author presents us with both factual evidence and personal experience which ties it up all together. This personal experience gives the audience something to relate to, therefore making her claim even strong. However, the author lacks a real transition between the opposition paragragraph. This obscures her main claim, blurring the line of whether she is for or against Affirmative Action. An example would be starting off with, “You might question whether Asian Americans would benefit from affirmative action bans. The answer is yes.”, which lacks a conjunctive verb that modifies the main clauses, while also joining them together.
  4. The dichotomy of using both real data and personal experiences help to further back up her claim and show her passion in the essay. This gives the readers a personal connection with the author through what she is trying to convey. They do have a sufficient amount of evidence used within this essay, but I would personally like to see more cited or footnoted. Some sources are less known, and might consider using more reputable publications.
  5. The author does clearly point out that not all Asian American are affected by Affirmative Action. She mentions that some Asian Americans actually benefit from the Affirmative Action. Through the use of both logos and pathos, or logic and emotion, she connects with others that have an opposed view. The opinions of people opposed to her claim are expressed in this paper, giving an emotional appeal to the opposing party. Lastly, facts of higher acceptances are shown which further closes the gap between the author and the opposing view.

Daphne Tan:

  1. The writer has chosen to write an argument for an audience that disagrees with them because she provided a lot of evidences to support her argument.
  2. The writer has chosen to write affirmative action and how it relates to Asian Americans. The writer lists a lot of examples about Asian American. As an Asian American, the writer also comments on these examples. Asian American and high school senior are affected by this issue. The writer lists many examples and uses ethical appeals to connect to the audience on this issue.
  3. The writer disagrees affirmative actions. She thinks college admission should not depend on race. Everyone should have equal chance to get into his dream school. The quality of her reasoning is strong.
  4. The writer uses the two girls in her high school and also statistic from universities to support her argument. There is a sufficient amount of evidence to convince their audience.
  5. The writer comes up with an opposite view after she lists many supportive examples. This will make audience who disagree with her think her essay is fair and logical.

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