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16 October 2018
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Rhetorical Analysis
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Lisa Delpit uses different writing techniques, such as the incorporation of anecdotes, to

emphasize the lack of communication the teacher has with the students. Delpit strongly suggests

that the educational system should integrate meaningful ideas to the students in order to improve

their educational growth. Throughout her writing, Delpit constantly brings up the fact that people

should embrace their culture and also suggests that people should not change their ways just to

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fit in society. Delpit is able to get her argument across by using specific details about her

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daughter’s experiences at a school where she personally felt like she did not belong to emphasize
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how even her own daughter was forced to act differently in order to not feel excluded from her
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Throughout Delpit’s writing, she seems to focus primarily on her daughter. She begins
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her composition by clearly stating that he daughter did not have the greatest experiences at a

school that was predominantly white. She examines the situation and quickly decides to take

action when Maya, her daughter, asks her if she can have plastic surgery to make her lips

smaller. Delpit immediately transferred Maya to a school that is ninety-eight percent African

American in hopes of putting her daughter in a safe and welcoming environment. Delpit’s use of

this anecdote connects with one of her points that the educational system should incorporate

different dialects so each student can strive in their own way. As soon as Delpit’s daughter

started over in this new school, Delpit started to notice how she was picking up this different
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type of English known as Ebonics. She also noticed how this change of environment benefited
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Maya in various ways. To begin with, Delpit states, “When she left her previous school, Maya’s Good

self-esteem was low… When she arrived at her new school, she was embraced by the children

there. She was invited into the group, appreciated for what she brought and she found that her
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interest were a vital part of these children's culture” (pg. 40). This implies that Maya was not

academically successful in her old school because of the fact that she was not received like she

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was received at her new school. This exemplifies that this type of learning environment is better

for students because it helps them learn, capture and embrace their own culture while also

prospering educationally. Delpit also quotes another author, Stephen Krashen, about his research
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topic. Krashen’s research states, that when the student is not motivated and does not identify

with the speaker then it will ultimately be harder for the student to learn the material. However,

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popping to the point where in a way it became second nature because they all embodied their culture,

their dialect and did not judge like Maya’s old school.

size By using this anecdote, Delpit is also able to use pathos and connect these situations to
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www.s the reader’s emotions. When Delpit brings up the fact that her daughter was being bullied at
D school for the way she looked and for standing out in front of her classrooms most likely ignited
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a sense of anger for the reader. Considering the fact that the students were being racist towards

Maya, the reader most likely felt like the teachers should do something about this and how it’s

affecting Maya’s ability to learn. Similarly, Delpit’s point of integrating culture to better the

student is quite evident here by the use of pathos. She makes the reader want to change this

curriculum to involve all the students regardless of their background. In some cases, the reader
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could also feel attacked by the educational system and by seeing how it mostly benefits the
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caucasian population. Having this change that Delpit is striving for would assure include Yofan
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everyone without having students go through situations of bullying like Maya. Additionally, this
Delpit might also be trying to relate to the minorities in this country. Other people, for example rp
with a Hispanic background, might also be persuaded to believe that a learning curriculum that

includes their heritage would benefit them the most. By using her daughter as the intro, the

reader is able to connect with Maya’s emotions and essentially be in her shoes. In doing so,

Delpit makes the reader want to advocate for change in the educational system since they most

likely do not want other minorities facing this criticism and judgement over their culture.

Fire Delpit also organizes her writing in a way that first presents a story, elaborates on it by

bringing up different studies that connect with her daughter and eventually comes to a point

where she talks about ways teachers can improve the learning environment for the students. The

fact that she decided to begin with an anecdote about her daughter and later on reveal ways that

educational institutions can improve their curriculum based off of that one story. Delpit presents

the idea that “If we are to invite children into the language of school, we must make school

inviting to them” (pg. 42). In other words, Delpit is saying that schools that listen to their

students and base their curriculum off their interests are more likely to have their students

succeed rather than have one specific learning style for the entire population of student. When

teachers involve the student’s interests, it builds a connection between the two. For example,

incorporating this different dialect like Maya’s, meant that students like her get to feel

comfortable with themselves which ultimately make the environment more positive. The fact

that Maya grew educationally meant that this form of teaching prevailed over the standard
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curriculum. Delpit also suggests that the objective is no longer to teach what the students are

interested in but rather build an academic curriculum around those interests. When the students

are addressed at school, they feel connected to the school, with the teacher, and with the

academic knowledge. With this being said, students are influenced to get involved in discussions

and be motivated to learn about things they can associate with.

The use of the rhetorical appeals as well as the anecdotal stories about her daughter

greatly enhanced her writing. This served to showcase the cultural differences her daughter

experienced and by analyzing these anecdotes, it can empower a new educational curriculum. By

using these techniques, Delpit is able to connect not only her daughter’s experience at school but

was also able to connect with those readers who can relate to the situation. Due to this, Delpit is

able to persuade the educational system to reform in order to better suit every student without

exclusion to further develop the student’s ability to learn.

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