Education is the chord of success that everyone seeks for. It is also the source that gives people the opportunity to live. Education is the wheel of development that gave an opportunity to reach what we have now.. Enlightenment enhanced people in their scholarship levels. It generates in communities a lot of intellectual people who can raise their nation’s sovereignty. The word “education” has a lot of senses that makes the person who even heard it for the first time think that this word has a serious meaning. Education is an enormous word that has a lot of meanings to embody; moreover, it represents civilization, renaissance and revolution.
There is a blog entry that appeared in the Washington Post, on April 29 2014 entitled, “How Well Educated Is Your Home County?” The blog is written by Reid Wilson who is the editor of the Washington Post section called “Read in”. He is a man who is confident, full of energy and enthusiasm and, above all, of a great mind. The writer is communicating to the American population, in a bid to show them the importance of education by displaying the relationship between it and economic development per county. To make the presentation appealing and easy to understand, the writer has included a map showing the counties and the percentage of the citizens who hold a bachelor’s degree. The author’s tone is didactic throughout the blog and his choice of words is plain, with no jargon that is characteristic of many writers. This choice of words is very appropriate for the general audience for whom the piece is intended. There has been no use of stylistic devices in this entry. The main argument of the writer is that economic prosperity is in a way dependent on the level of education of the populace; this fact has been well explained. In my opinion, the writer tries to encourage people to get higher education and do away with the notion that one does not need to hold a degree for him to be successful. The writer may succeed in his motive, but there are those who will give the examples of great people who never graduated from any college.
An article by Jim Newton on April 25 2011 in Los Angeles Times website explores the magic of hard work in education. The article is about Elyse Colgan, a teacher who has displayed a devoted work and thwarted reforms in the failing schools of Southern California. This article is presented to the audience in the form of a narration, with the writer’s tone being contemplative on the issue at hand. The writer’s voice is heard in the text as one who has great interest in the improvement of the education standards in the state. The writer’s choice of words is scholarly. This is displayed when he describes Colgan as bright, articulate and effervescent. The writer has used the style of fragmentation especially in the introductory part of his article. The writer also uses the style of introducing direct speech in his narration. For example, Colgan is quoted as saying, “I will show up every day”. This helps to avoid the monotony of indirect speech (Colgan n.p.). The major argument presented in the article is that hard work in education always bears fruit. This claim is very clear, based on a story given of a woman who exhibited resilience in her work as a teacher and in the end the results dramatically improved. The credibility of the writer is not in doubt. As it is evidenced in the article, the writer has great experience in writing about the same topic. He talks of having discussed about a school district board the previous week. The appeal to the audience is that there is the need to embrace hard work in education in order to bring in reforms. The story is geared towards showing a real person who can be said to be the embodiment of hard work. This genre responds well to the rhetorical situation of the importance of the devoted work by showing that without it nothing can be achieved. In comparison with the blog entry discussed above, the article in the Los Angeles Times has expressed its argument by the illustration of a story, giving more weight to the writer’s argument. This genre is organized in the form of paragraphs with a mixture of both short and long sentences (Colgan n.p.).
A video accessed from YouTube talks about why the protagonist hates school, but loves education. It is a poem though expressed in the form of a video. The video is set in what appears to be the entry of a lecture hall, probably in a world class university. The man reciting the poem is dressed casually. There are alternating episodes of coloured theme and black and white. In the background, students can be seen walking up and down the staircase. Some are headed for the lecture halls while some are leaving. They are carrying huge books and umbrellas. Some lyrics appear on the screen in bold letters when the writer wants to emphasize a particular point. The video was published on the 2nd of December 2012 with the writer being an educated young man who believes that he understands that there is a difference between schooling and education (Breaks n.p.). He says that knows that the latter is more important and that they do not always have to go hand in hand. The participants are the writer who is the presenter and the viewer at the same time.
This genre is presented to the audience in the form of a poetic video, whose tone is as condescending as it is patronizing. This tone is directed towards the society which has failed to encourage the importance of education and has instead focussed more on schooling. It is the view of the author that while the latter gives people information that they are likely to forget the moment they leave school, the former equips people with the skills they need to be successful individuals. In the presentation, repetition has been employed greatly to give weight to particular ideas. For example, the words “education is the key” have been repeated twice. Allusions have also been made to great people, such as Malcolm X, who became famous for what he learnt in prison and not for what he was taught at school.
The main argument in the video is that the people need to value education more than schooling. The message has remained clear throughout the six-minute video. One cannot question the credibility of the author since he explains he is a young man who has gone through the education system and, therefore, understands the core of the problem. However, one could argue that this is just a young man who hates school and tries to use the examples of great men to justify his claim. It is, therefore, left upon the reader, to decide which of the two sides appears true and appeals to their innermost self. However, the types of facial expressions and gestures used in the video are more likely to convince that what the young man is talking about is indeed true (Breaks n.p.). It is, therefore, my opinion that the visual genres have an edge over other genres due to the appeal they have on their viewers.
The final genre considered in this essay is a peer-reviewed article that serves to explain higher education and knowledge sharing. The article is authored by Sheryl Buckley and was published in the University of South Africa, School of Computing, in August 2012. It is written in the form of a report about research that was conducted. The voice that is heard is that of the author and other writers who have contributed to the same topic before. The tone of the author is condescending towards those who believe that universities have a monopoly of knowledge. The choice of words in the text is scholarly. An example is the use of academic referencing style and words such as intellectual development, skepticism, and autonomy.
The aspects of style used in this text include repetition and metaphors. The expression Community of Practice is repeated many times to give them more emphasis. “Ivory tower” is used as a metaphor to mean the entity of rationality and reason. The main argument is that universities should not be treated as a monopoly of knowledge, but rather as a participant in knowledge sharing. The credibility of the sources is indisputable since it mainly comes from scholarly articles. It is noteworthy to say that the clarity of the main idea has been maintained throughout the text. The writer is trying to encourage universities to participate in the sharing of information with the community. The writer has even provided statistical data to support his view. Compared to other genres, the peer-reviewed article carries more important information since it is conducted in a very professional manner, and has also provided academic sources. The sentence structure is a mixture of both long and short sentences.
In conclusion, the topic of education has been well featured in the four genres discussed above. Each of the above genres has its own share of appeals and shortcomings. None can claim authority over the other. They have all succeeded in the effort of bringing to the attention of readers and viewers the importance of education.