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Argument Analysis – Rhetorical Strategies from Article please 1-This is what paper require to complete the assignment. 2- I uploaded the article on as well separately 3- uploaded the Rhetorical Strategies list separately b. Evaluate the author’s use of rhetorical strategies. Explain two rhetorical strategies that Wexler is using, and decide how well they serve their purpose.(You will write at least one well-developed paragraph for each.) Each time when you are discussing a strategy, you have to: first, identify that particular strategy and provide a quotation or some textual proof; second, describe how it works, and third, explain why it is used – what purpose it serves in that context. 4. Answer the following questions integrating all articles about reading: a. Why aren’t American high-school students good readers? (at least one paragraph) b. What are the benefits of reading? (at least one paragraph) c. What should be done to help the next generations become better readers? (at least one paragraph) Make sure that you have nice transitions and integrate these steps in a smooth-flowing essay.
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Why American Students Haven’t Gotten Better at Reading in
20 Years
By Natalie Wexler, April 13th, 2018, www.theatlantic.com
Every two years, education-policy wonks gear up for what has become a time-honored
ritual: the release of the Nation’s Report Card. Officially known as the National
Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, the data reflect the results of reading and
math tests administered to a sample of students across the country. Experts generally
consider the tests rigorous and highly reliable—and the scores basically stagnant.
Math scores have been flat since 2009 and reading scores since 1998, with just a third or
so of students performing at a level the NAEP defines as “proficient.” Performance gaps
between lower-income students and their more affluent peers, among other demographic
discrepancies, have remained stubbornly wide.
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Among the likely culprits for the stalled progress in math scores: a misalignment between
what the NAEP tests and what state standards require teachers to cover at specific grade
levels. But what’s the reason for the utter lack of progress in reading scores?
On Tuesday, a panel of experts in Washington, D.C., convened by the federally appointed
officials who oversee the NAEP concluded that the root of the problem is the way schools
teach reading. The current instructional approach, they agreed, is based on assumptions
about how children learn that have been disproven by research over the last several
decades—research that the education world has largely failed to heed.
The long-standing view has been that the first several years of elementary school should
be devoted to basic reading skills. History, science, and the arts can wait. After all, the
argument goes, if kids haven’t learned to read—a task that is theoretically accomplished
by third grade—how will they be able to gain knowledge about those subjects through
their own reading?
The federal No Child Left Behind legislation, enacted in 2001, only intensified the focus
on reading. The statute required states to administer annual reading and math tests to
students in grades three through eight and once in high school, and attached hefty
consequences if schools failed to boost scores. The law that replaced No Child Left
Behind—the Every Student Succeeds Act, enacted in 2015—has eased the consequences
but has hardly weakened the emphasis on testing.
What is tested, some educators say, gets taught—and what isn’t doesn’t. Since 2001, the
curriculum in many elementary schools has narrowed to little more than a steady diet of
reading and math. And when test scores fail to rise after third grade—as they often do,
especially in high-poverty schools—subjects like history and science may continue to be
relegated to the far back burner through middle school.
To some extent, it does make sense to focus on reading skills in the early years. One
component of reading is, like math, primarily a set of skills: the part that involves
decoding, or making connections between sounds and the letters that represent them.
But educators have also treated the other component of reading—comprehension—as a
set of skills, when in fact it depends primarily on what readers already know. In countries
that specify the content to be taught at each grade level, standardized tests can test
students on what they’ve learned in school. But in the United States, where schools are
all teaching different content, test designers give students passages on a variety of topics
that may have nothing to do with what they’ve learned in school—life in the Arctic, for
example, or the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. The tests then ask questions designed
to assess comprehension: What’s the main idea of the passage? What inferences can you
make?
On a daily basis, teachers have their students practice skills and strategies like “finding
the main idea” or “making inferences.” And teachers select books that match the given
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skill rather than because of the text’s content. Rarely do the topics connect: Students
might read a book about bridges one day, zebras the next, and clouds the day after that.
Cognitive scientists have known for decades that simply mastering comprehension skills
doesn’t ensure a young student will be able to apply them to whatever texts they’re
confronted with on standardized tests and in their studies later in life.
One of those cognitive scientists spoke on the Tuesday panel: Daniel Willingham, a
psychology professor at the University of Virginia who writes about the science behind
reading comprehension. Willingham explained that whether or not readers understand a
text depends far more on how much background knowledge and vocabulary they have
relating to the topic than on how much they’ve practiced comprehension skills. That’s
because writers leave out a lot of information that they assume readers will know. If they
put all the information in, their writing would be tedious.
But if readers can’t supply the missing information, they have a hard time making sense
of the text. If students arrive at high school without knowing who won the Civil War
they’ll have a hard time understanding a textbook passage about Reconstruction.
Students from less educated families are usually the ones who are most handicapped by
gaps in knowledge. Another panelist—Ian Rowe, who heads a network of charter schools
serving low-income students in New York—provided a real-life example during his
remarks. A sixth-grader at one of his schools was frustrated that a passage on a reading
test she’d taken kept repeating a word she didn’t understand: roog-bye. The unfamiliar
word made it hard for her to understand the passage. When Rowe asked her to spell the
word, it turned out to be rugby.
The implication is clear. The best way to boost students’ reading comprehension is to
expand their knowledge and vocabulary by teaching them history, science, literature, and
the arts, using curricula that that guide kids through a logical sequence from one year to
the next: for example, Native Americans and Columbus in kindergarten; the colonial era
and the American Revolution in first grade; the War of 1812 and the Civil War in second
grade, and so on. That approach enables children to make sense of what they’re learning,
and the repetition of concepts and vocabulary in different contexts makes it more likely
they’ll retain information. Not to mention that learning content like this can be a lot more
engaging for both students and teachers than the endless practice of illusory skills.
Another panelist—Timothy Shanahan, an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois
and the author or editor of over 200 publications on literacy—went on to debunk a
popular approach that goes hand in hand with teaching comprehension skills: To help
students practice their “skills,” teachers give them texts at their supposed individual
reading levels rather than the level of the grade they’re in.
According to Shanahan, no evidence backs up that practice. In fact, Shanahan said, recent
research indicates that students actually learn more from reading texts that are considered
too difficult for them—in other words, those with more than a handful of words and
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concepts a student doesn’t understand. What struggling students need is guidance from a
teacher in how to make sense of texts designed for kids at their respective grade levels—
the kinds of texts those kids may otherwise see only on standardized tests, when they
have to grapple with them on their own.
That view was endorsed by Marilyn Jager Adams, a cognitive and developmental
psychologist who is a visiting scholar at Brown University. “Giving children easier texts
when they’re weaker readers,” she said during the panel discussion, “serves to deny them
the very language and information they need to catch up and move on.”
The failure to build children’s knowledge in elementary school helps explain the gap
between the reading scores of students from wealthier families and those of their lowerincome peers—a gap that has been expanding. More affluent students may not learn
much in elementary school, but compared to their disadvantaged peers their parents tend
to be more educated and have the money to provide knowledge-boosting perks like
tutoring and trips to Europe. As a result, those wealthy children are far more likely to
acquire knowledge outside of school. Poorer kids with less-educated parents tend to rely
on school to acquire the kind of knowledge that is needed to succeed academically—and
because their schools often focus exclusively on reading and math, in an effort to raise
low test scores, they’re less likely to acquire it there.
The bottom line is that policymakers and advocates who have pushed for more testing in
part as a way to narrow the gap between rich and poor have undermined their own
efforts. They have created a system that incentivizes teachers to withhold the very thing
that could accomplish both objectives: knowledge. All students suffer under this system,
but the neediest suffer the most.
The NAEP is a valuable educational barometer, but it’s important to understand that
while standardized tests can identify a problem, they can’t provide the answer to it.
While some elementary teachers have embraced the approach advocated by the NAEP
panel, it’s clear that most have been trained to in methods that aren’t supported by
research, and that many are resistant to change. The University of Illinois’s Shanahan
noted that when he speaks to teachers around the country, they’re aghast at the idea of
giving struggling readers grade-level books—even when their state’s literacy standards
call for doing so.
Still, schools in some parts of the country are embracing the kinds of insights offered by
the panelists. Louisiana has not only created its own curriculum but has also asked the
federal government for permission to give tests based on that curriculum rather than
passages on a variety of randomly selected topics. If that movement spreads, the National
Assessment of Educational Progress may finally live up to its name and the American
education system may at last be able to unlock the untold potential of millions of
students.
Argument Analysis – Rhetorical Strategies
1-This is what paper require to complete the assignment.
2- I uploaded the article on as well with this in
b. Evaluate the author’s use of rhetorical strategies. Explain two rhetorical
strategies that Wexler is using, and decide how well they serve their
purpose. (You will write at least one well-developed paragraph for each.)
Each time when you are discussing a strategy, you have to: first, identify that particular
strategy and provide a quotation or some textual proof; second, describe how it works,
and third, explain why it is used – what purpose it serves in that context.
4. Answer the following questions integrating all articles about reading:
a. Why aren’t American high-school students good readers? (at least one
paragraph)
b. What are the benefits of reading? (at least one paragraph)
c. What should be done to help the next generations become better readers? (at
least one paragraph)
Make sure that you have nice transitions and integrate these steps in a smooth-flowing
essay.
Argument Analysis – Rhetorical Strategies
1-This is what paper require to complete the assignment.
2- I uploaded the article on as well separately
3- uploaded the Rhetorical Strategies list separately
b. Evaluate the author’s use of rhetorical strategies. Explain two rhetorical
strategies that Wexler is using, and decide how well they serve their
purpose. (You will write at least one well-developed paragraph for each.)
Each time when you are discussing a strategy, you have to: first, identify that particular
strategy and provide a quotation or some textual proof; second, describe how it works,
and third, explain why it is used – what purpose it serves in that context.
4. Answer the following questions integrating all articles about reading:
a. Why aren’t American high-school students good readers? (at least one
paragraph)
b. What are the benefits of reading? (at least one paragraph)
c. What should be done to help the next generations become better readers? (at
least one paragraph)
Make sure that you have nice transitions and integrate these steps in a smooth-flowing
essay.
A. Groza
Rhetorical strategy/device – a particular way in which writers craft
language so as to have an effect on readers. Strategies are means of
persuasion, ways of using language to get readers’ attention and agreement.
Some examples of strategies
Making an allusion – referring to something real or fictional;
Making an aside – interrupting a text to add a somewhat related
Structure – in several parts/sections; two contrasting sections – problem solution
model, past/present; one or multiple points of view;
Framing the issue – placing it in a historical/present context; integrating it in a
bigger debate, etc.;
Opening with a (touching) story and then reflecting upon it;
Defining or redefining terms;
Asking rhetorical questions;
Using dialogue; repetition;
Counterpoint – presenting contrasting ideas;
Inserting logos through explanations, example, expert opinions, etc. to invite
readers to draw logical conclusions, themselves;
Using a claim/data model;
Establishing credibility (ethos);
Appealing to emotions (pathos) to make readers/listeners feel for the issue;
Refuting a counter-argument;
Calling for an action;
Using language about language/metadiscourse to announce the overall project
or to guide the reader to what will come next;
Adding emphasis to certain aspects/sections/ideas/etc.;
Making specific language choices;
Using parallelism – identical or equivalent constructions in corresponding
clauses;
Clarifying misconceptions;
Making predictions about the future;
Expressing irony – a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning,
often humoristic;
Describing – using imagery to render a mood, preferably by involving all five
senses;
Using comparisons;
Making an analogy – comparing two pairs that have the same relationship;
Using chronological order;
Flashbacks – actions that interrupt to show an event that happened at an earlier
time;
Exaggerating or overstating (hyperbole);
Relying on symbolism – using an object or action that means something more
than its literal meaning;
Revealing a paradox – a kind of truth which at first seems contradictory;
Cost & benefit analysis;
Foreshadowing – using hints to suggest what will happen in literature.
Inserting a Hypothetical Scenario;
Using pictures, graphs, visuals…

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