Category Archives: readings

Analysis on Parker’s “Do Commas Still Matter?” (RA6)

In “Do commas still matter?”, Kathleen Parker states that proper grammar use has been dynamic over the years, and the change has been negative with more people not paying attention to the grammatical rules. Published in The Washington Post, Parker describes how grammatical errors have become more rampant in the modern community than it was years back. She goes on to state that blame for this negative change is on social media. She, however, agrees that it is fine sometimes intentionally to misuse grammar.  Parker employs her credibility, use of logic with minimal use of the appeal of pathos to trigger the reader’s thoughts in hopes of changing how they use grammar in their day to day interactions by suggesting that indeed, it does matter if they use proper and correct grammar as it conveys a great deal about the person.


Parker establishes her credibility by use of an intelligent tone. Reading throughout the article, her way of persuasion is unique in that it is not a derivative of what others use and this enables her to grab the audience attention. Another method she uses to build up on her appeal of ethos is by quoting various scholars throughout her article. For instance, she quotes Amanda Sturgill, an associate professor of communications at the University of Elon who states that “Grammar is credibility,” and “If you’re not taking care of the small things, people assume you’re not taking care of the big things.” Lastly, she builds on her credibility by stating she has over thirty years’ experience in column writing. Quoting other people boosts Parker validity by proving to the audience that she has done her research on the topic.

Concerning the logos appeal, Parker uses facts, evidence, and progression of ideas throughout her article. To begin with, she first starts with admitting that sometimes it is nearly impossible not to make grammatical errors and that some of these errors are acceptable; she provides evidence that even in her case she and her editors occasionally miss out on grammatical errors. Towards the end of the article, she also builds upon the appeal when she examines claims by a journalist by the name Mona Chalabi that grammar snobs are patronizing, pretentious, and censorious and probably racist simply because most of the people who correct others are older and white. She persuades her readers that this is not true by pointing out as much as the claims were interesting but it is impossible for people to go around correcting stranger’s grammar.

Concerning the humorous appeal, Parker uses it at a minimal compared to the other appeals. In the introductory part, she employs the use of humor when she states that she doesn’t think that her aging contributes in any way to her grammatical errors and then asks her audience to shut up if they believe so, which is in a way humorous. She employs this humor as a way to emotionally connect with her audience. She also uses the appeal when she examines claims by Mona Chalabi, whereby she employs the use of emotionally charged words such as racism, censorious and patronizing.

Overall, Parker has a convincing article. He describes how grammatical errors have become more rampant in the modern community than it was years back. She goes on to state that blame for this negative change is on social media and employs all the persuasive appeals.




Works Cited

Parker, K. Do commas still matter? The Washington Post. October 4, 2016. December 11, 2016. Print.

A Rhetorical Analysis of “Why We Should Stop Grading Students on a Curve” (RA5)

In “Why Should We Stop Grading Students on a Curve” Adam Grant depicts that the grading system in the American Education system has become one of the hot topics under scrutiny in the academic world. Some people claim that the utilization of the grading curve in grading students is inappropriate. Grant wrote “Why We Should Stop Grading Students on a Curve,” published in 2016 in the New York Times, and his main aim is to discourage the use of the grading curve in the education system. He argues that use of the grading curve causes grade deflation; it limits the student’s excellence, and lastly, creates a hypercompetitive culture among students. Grant begins by citing personal facts, research, and reputable sources so as to build his credibility, adequately applies logos but very scanty employs emotional appeals in some sections of the article.


Grant first sets the stage by describing a scenario in Harvard University where the most common grade is an A. He then moves on and compares grades across 200 colleges and universities. Grant then examines the primary goal of the grade curve and states the adverse effects of the curve. He then describes an experiment he conducted with his students on the effect of the grading curve on performance and togetherness of the students. Lastly, he finishes by examining how unhealthy competition among students causes increased peril for suicide and mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

In the article, Grant strengthens his appeals to ethos as well as builds her argument by citing many sources. The sources used to include  studies by economists Pradeep Dubey and John Geanakoplos who analyzed the grading system and concluded that Absolute is far much better than grading on the curve. He also uses a research by Podsakoff, Whiting, Steven, Podsakoff, Philip, Blume, and Brian named “Individual- and organizational-level consequences of organizational citizenship behaviors: A meta-analysis”. Citing these sources in his article boosts Grant’s trustworthiness and validity by showing his audience that he has done his research and has presented facts and professionals opinion. Grant also uses personal experiments with his students which show he has taken firsthand experience with the problem or issue.


Concerning the logos appeal, Grant uses facts, statistics, and progression of ideas throughout his article. He points out facts in his experiment with his students on the effects of not using the grading curve on the performance and teamwork among students. Through his experiments, he is able to prove that when the grading curve is not used, the performance and teamwork among students improves. These results are paramount in introducing and supporting his idea. Grant quotes statistics from his study indicating how the lack of utilization of the grading curve influences the students to score to improve year after year. These statistics are some of the very many he uses to support his claims in a logical way. The numbers are slowly built on logos with the aim of trying to impress the reader that it’s an issue worth critically discussing.

The article does not employ the use of pathos in the introduction and middle parts but applies it mainly towards its end. He uses emotionally charged phrases and statements at the end of the article mainly to create a sympathetic image to his audience. Grant, states that great challenge that colleges and universities have in trying to reduce the suicide peril among students and the growing risk for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. He also indicates that he wonders whether there would be an improvement in student’s mental health if the classes were devised in such a way that they encourage support of one another. His goal for using these statements is to evoke negative feelings towards the utilization of the grading curve among the readers by showing its effects on mental health.

Mostly, Adam Grant delivers a cogent argument through utilization of logos ethos and minimal pathos. Despite his efficient use of logos and ethos, his argument would have been more effective if his pathos was more developed in all the sections of the article. This would have made his more credible in the eyes of the audience.


Grant, A. (2016, September 10). Why We Should Stop Grading Students on a Curve, The New York Times. September 10, 2016. December 11, 2016. Web.

More Than Just Campuses and Exterior Spaces: Learning Environments

      In their article, “Recognizing Campus Landscapes and as Learning Spaces,” Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi argue that natural, exterior environments function as learning spaces, such as college campuses or parks, and should be used by students as an intellectual landscape to encounter a more productive learning experience, which differ from classrooms. There has been an immense increase in the number of students in higher learning in America. In 2009 it was documented that, that year alone approximately 20.4 million students were assimilated in either 2 or a 4-year college/university. This number is extremely high, and it was later on refreshed by predictions stating that in the year 2019, this number would increase quickly to 9% of the normal number. Therefore, these elaborate figures mean that, since the number of students to be enrolled is on the high; the learning infrastructures should also be expounded as well (Scholl & Gulwadi, 2015). This will require a big financial contribution to enable growth and development of learning spaces in order to provide quality and affordable education.

       The American perception has had a constant notion explaining to us how a learning space should be integrated and composed. A university campus should be able to provide a quality kind of education to its students because they are the reflection of what the future community will look like. In order to have an experienced and poised community with elaborate decision-making skills, a university campus should be properly equipped for such results.

        Moreover, in an attempt to understand what a learning space is composed of, we should appreciate the fact that it is not entirely what is indoors that defines a learning space, according to Scholl and Gulwadi. The technology updates, the laboratories, classrooms and academic buildings are not entirely what determines a learning space. Therefore, a learning space also includes the entire campus fraternity and more so not to forget the open spaces, in other words, the outdoors (Scholl & Gulwadi, 2015). Most importantly, the outdoors has been time and again overlooked but is very mandatory by providing serenity to a learning student. One experiences peace of mind and a clear aura in the open spaces/outdoors and thus becomes intrigued in the learning experience.

         Learning space can be both indoors and open spaces; these two aspects of learning spaces enables a student to gain experience that later make him/her attain a sense of belonging to the learning area. The open space can be used by students who are majoring in disciplines such as natural resources management, agriculture, forestry and other forms of environmental based courses such as sustainability or ecology. 

       In the 1970s, students joined forces in marking the first World Earth Day during these trying times of education. This was in an attempt to show the world that the environment should be properly looked after and conserved for the sake of mankind. Without the environment there is no life and no one can survive without the aspect of them being alive (Scholl & Gulwadi, 2015). Therefore, the open space should be protected because it offers excellent ideas to students who are all round in their train of thought.

          Furthermore, a major scientific and integral political issue known as the climate change has been posed by many learning institutions; trying to merge the aspects of built and open spaces in structures such as the renowned green infrastructure.  One of the great landscape designers by the name of Frederick Law Olmstead stated in his philosophy that, a great a physical landscape is directly proportional to shaping human behavior. His philosophy continues to relay that it enables students to achieve active and experiential education rather than take up the passive or the theoretical kind of learning (Scholl & Gulwadi, 2015).

        In conclusion, we can discern that this article is objective in that it gives us a definition of what a learning space should be composed of. It is also important to take note of the open space that surrounds the built indoors and refer to it as part of the learning space.









                                                                                   Work Cited

Kathleen, Scholl G., and Gulwadi B. Gowri. “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces.” The University of North Carolina Greensboro. N.p., 01 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.

The Accommodation in Bathrooms for All Genders

       In her article, “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating,” Emily Bazelon argues that bathrooms stopped being private and separate for genders, and now are opened to everyone in some places that have allowed the person to choose which bathroom they would like to enter in accordance to what they consider their gender is to accommodate their needs, but allowing anyone to enter to some public bathroom can evoke discomfort to people such as woman being uncomfortable using bathrooms with men inside even if they consider themselves a female. Now, transgenders have asked society  to rethink and change the rules that separate male from females.

         Bazelon states that many people refuse to share bathrooms with people of the opposite sex, and many people protested against the use of shared bathroom, as in Houston, Texas, where “voters rejected a broad equal rights ordinance that protected against discrimination in housing and employment, as well as public spaces, on the basis of several categories, including age and race along with sexual orientation and gender identity.” (Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’). Citizens were in disagreement of the mixture of genders in one bathroom because of the disturbances mixing men and women can cause.

         Similar to bathrooms, gender identity and sexual orientation are also present at schools and universities, since students state which pronouns they use, and are allowed to enter any team of the gender they which refer to. But the idea of picking which bathroom they should enter has become a much more profound topic and argument because the use of bathrooms has to do with privacy. Many people are starting to accommodate transgenders with no choice, in other words, even if they do not want to because now this action is being related to civil rights. Many people feel that mixing genders in a bathroom is uncomfortable, but many people argue that everybody has the right to “fit in”.

         In order for everybody to feel comfortable and fit in, people need to be accommodated regarding how they feel comfortable. Bazelon depicts that accommodation is practical for everybody, and it is not fair that transgenders are not being accommodated just to accommodate females. Transgenders should feel comfortable and be treated like they belong wherever they feel identified, but, “it’s about relatively small adjustments for the sake of coexistence.” (Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’). Although it is very hard for all people to come to an agreement since everybody has different opinions, many solutions can be enforced about the idea of “accommodation”, and not just the accommodation of transgenders, but of everybody, no matter their gender or their title.

         Society has entitled people and has created a cultural idea that men and women should be segregated, use different areas such as bathroom and locker rooms, and complete different tasks. The idea aforementioned has not benefited transgenders because people are going against their norms and they are not having the right to be accommodated. Now that many places are allowing the entrance to transgenders in the opposite-gender bathroom, many girls are feeling uncomfortable, but the purpose of allowing the entrance to anyone was to accommodate the needs of everyone, including transgenders. Transgenders feel that they fit in when they are in the bathroom or any room that goes along with the gender they identify themselves with. Therefore, transgenders have the civil right to be accommodated as they wish, just like everybody else.








                                                                          Works Cited

Bazelon, Emily. “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’. The New York Times.” The New   York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia, 17 Nov. 2015, Accessed 23 Oct. 2016.

Reading Analysis 2: Final

Carla Sofia Fuente

Professor Hoskins

College Writing

September 27, 2016

Schindler’s Argument on Architectural Exclusion

In his “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation through Physical Design and Built Environment”, Schindler’s main argument expresses that man has built an environment which has made discrimination evolve in towns. Schindler expresses how cities have been built in a certain way that separates the white people and the black, the rich and the poor by designing low bridges so that buses do not cross to the rich side and building fences or walls in order to separate communities. Poor communities have disadvantages such as a lack of sidewalks and street signs, since the government does not pay much attention to these Urban communities, therefore this represents discrimination. Many environments prioritize a group of people, in this case, white and rich individuals, even though all citizens have the same rights and should have the same privileges. Discriminatory environments are present in many big cities like New York and Atlanta, Georgia.

New York was intentionally built by Robert Moses, who was known as the “Master Builder”, in a way where poor people have disadvantages (Schindler 1937). Robert Moses designed the infrastructure of NY to exclude the poor/poorer people of the area. This was achieved by designing public works so that buses, transportation common to the poorer areas, could not get to certain areas but, cars and other “wealthier” modes of transport could. As well as Atlanta, Georgia where there is a lack of public transportation since rich people opposed to allow the Metro to access to suburban areas, and by this mean, color people would not enter. This is an example of what Schindler is trying to describe: built environments support, and is the main cause of discrimination. Sadly, this has made people such as the court get used to the idea and allow disappointing actions like this happen. Built Environments built in a discriminatory sort of manner exclude individuals that have the same rights as the others. It is very important to have individuals in mind when a space is built because, “decisions about infrastructure shape more than just the physical city; those decisions also influence the way the residents and visitors experience the city” (Schindler 1939). The city’s environment has the power to change perspectives, visions, behaviors, and even ideals. Therefore, cities should not be built in a way that a group of people has less value because of their ethnicity or state of poverty.

In Conclusion, Schindler analyzes the idea of cities having their infrastructure and architecture built in a way where poor or color people do not have equal rights than rich and white people. All individuals should be engaged in the same activities and should invited to participate in all means, no matter their color or their social wealth. Furthermore, laws should present equal rights to everyone and give the same opportunities, in order to prevent built environments from setting social standards regarding race and class, creating a trend in many places, and controlling human behavior. Although environments built in this manner are hard to modify, cities that are being developed should end discriminatory architectural decisions.




Work Cited

Schindler, Sarah B. “Architectural Exclusion: Theory.” Architectural          Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation through Physical Design of the Built    Environment, The Yale  Law Journal, 1934, pp. 1942–1954.



Reading Analysis 1: Final

Carla Sofia Fuente

Professor Hoskins

College Writing

September 22, 2016

         Analyzing Fleming’s political point of view

In his “City of Rhetoric”, Fleming’s main argument expresses that there is a big diversity of people in the United States, and many of them have different customs, beliefs, and ideals amongst each other, but, despite their differences, they all share a common environment where they can integrate, and be a whole community together in agreement. Although people need space for themselves, and time to spend alone, they also need a common space, where they can interact with one another and share their common interests. This common space will allow them to forget their individual problems and try to figure out their common predicaments, and realize that individuals work better as a group. Also, the common space will allow people to feel useful, and at the same time feel “free and unique as individuals” (Fleming 34). The topics and problems citizens discuss as a common interest can be referred as politics, and this is how Fleming intertwines an individual with politics. He argues how the government declares to be a specific political party, but does not act in accordance with the party’s theory (Fleming 19). They do not follow exactly what the party believes in, or what they are expected to accomplish.


        Fleming articulates that every opinion of a person is heard and valued in a democratic government. A man and woman both detail their rights as a particular citizen and at the same time, as a group. Although their opinions are different, they are weighed the same because they are equal citizens. Democracy is more “being” than “saying”; it allows people to use space as “the medium with which [individuals] positively organize [their] social lives, the material which [they] give form to [their] communities (Fleming 24). In its core, democracy is a medium that governs for the same, common purpose, yet everybody maintains their own beliefs. On the other hand, Republicanism, Liberalism, and Postmodernism do not work according to Fleming.


        Republicanism is a political theory that has failed because they strive to be a “self-governing, and self-sufficient human communities, founded and maintained by selfless citizens zealously guarding their own and their fellows’ freedom through physical combat and public displays of verbal eloquence, practical wisdom, and communal spirit” (Fleming 25). Republicans tend to only worry about themselves like a typical selfish person. In a community full of republicans, there is no “community-building”. As well as Liberalism, which focuses on everyone’s own good. Everyone’s own right is above anything. People are too busy worrying about themselves, and others are worthless to one another. The only feature they have in common is that they all make sure that their own right is secure. Additionally, post-modernism led society to a change in the world and has all been about instability and decentralization (Fleming 30). Postmodernism has been unsuccessful to set a ground and does not provide a place where people can settle properly. Republicanism, Liberalism, and Postmodernism have failed to offer stability in a pleasurable environment.

In conclusion, Fleming’s argument states that people need a shared space for interaction and to forget personal interests, so that citizens can collaborate for a common goal, but also a private place to have the time to think and elaborate their personal plans. Democratic problems are solved by a consensus of everybody’s opinion and not in a private manner.




            Work Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan            America. SUNY P, 2008.