English 11 AP
September 20, 2013
Too Much Pressure Rhetorical Analysis Draft 1
In her essay Too Much Pressure, Colleen Wenke, A psychology major at Boston College, analyzes the morals of America’s school system and how they are affecting the integrity of education. Wenke’s purpose is to explore why students are compelled to cheat and how this will translate into the future. She adopts a passionate tone to appeal to her audience of both high school students and adults.
Colleen Wenke begins her essay by giving her audience a hypothetical but common cheating scenario. She writes, “The thought of getting a big fat F and a “see me” on the top of your midterm scares you. You remember the small piece of paper you have hidden in your pocket just in case” (Wenke 1). This introduction effectively conveys Wenke’s opening message that “we have all been there”. This resonates with her audience, making her hook engaging and relatable to the audience.
Wenke's argument shifts to a logical route of persuasion as the story progresses. She utilizes quotes from multiple authoritative sources on the issue of cheating. Before every one of these, Wenke is sure to state these sources' credibility. For example, prior to her second quote, Wenke writes, “In an article written by Robert L. Maginnis, a policy analyst in the Cultural Studies Project at the Family Research Council" (Wenke 1). This effectively introduces Wenke's chosen quotations and helps to enhance the overall credibility of her essay.
Colleen Wenke then shifts her purpose to defining the modern day definition of cheating and exploring causes for this behavior. She writes, “There is a new “class” of cheaters today. Today the majority of the students who admit to cheating are college-bound overachievers” (Wenke 3). Here, Wenke is trying to disprove anyone who may believe that the modern cheater is simply a “lazy student” (Wenke 3). She then goes on to talk...