Malcolm Gladwell Rhetorical Strategies

Malcolm Gladwell Rhetorical Strategies

  • Submitted By: jpinera
  • Date Submitted: 04/29/2013 7:09 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 814
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 273

In his essay, “Something Borrowed” Malcolm Gladwell touches on the subject of plagiarism and whether or not the definition of plagiarism in academics and in the world of composition is much too narrow. Gladwell thinks that the idea of plagiarism is an extremist idea and that a single charge of plagiarism should not ruin one’s life. Because Gladwell was a victim of plagiarism, he has a much more open-minded view about the act and even forgives the person who plagiarized his work. Gladwell believes that when work is put into the public, it becomes free to be used, as long as it is being used for transformative means, not derivative.

I believe that the audience in which Gladwell is trying to appeal to is people with an interest in the arts and humanities. I think he is trying to appeal to people within this audience because they are likely to be composers, whether it is of words, music, or art and plagiarism is a key component of their everyday lives. I know this because Gladwell pulls examples from all these aspects of composition including literature, music, and art so these would appeal to people with an interest in these areas.

Gladwell wants his readers to know that plagiarism, as it stands today, is an extremist idea and that we shouldn’t be focused on the fact that something was plagiarized but why it was plagiarized and what these ideas are being used for. Gladwell wants his audience to know that once an idea goes public, anyone is able to copy it without restriction and that people need to look at their work not as being copied but as being “part of a grander cause.” Gladwell believes that it is acceptable to use “old words in the service of new ideas” because this is what keeps information fresh, which also further supports his notion that it is alright to copy work if it is being used for transformative means, not derivative. Plagiarism has become disconnected from the question or idea of what does or does not inhibit creativity and Gladwell states...

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