Charles Murray's Are Too Many People Going To College

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A college education was once deemed as the finest ticket to a better life. However, the rising costs of higher education, the burden of student debt, and an insecure job market have left many wondering: Are too many people going to college? Political scientist, Charles Murray, wrote “Are Too Many People Going to College?” published in 2012 in They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings, and he argues that there are, in fact, too many people going to college. While this seems like an easily disputable claim, it is important to realize that America’s graduation rate sits at an appalling fifty-three percent, including community colleges. This brings up an urgent issue, one not discussed often enough - that a large portion of those lured to college should have never attended. There are three reasons Murray believes that less people should go to college. The first point Murray brings up is …show more content…
Several times throughout the article, Murray uses emotionally-charged words and phrases that create a sympathetic image; he notes that “We will lure large numbers of people...to try to achieve the goal and then fail. We will then stigmatize everyone who fails” (253). The image he evokes of the challenges and loss of self-confidence of not being able to succeed in college effectively establishes his argument that college is not for everyone. His goal is to make the reader feel sympathy for students who lack the skill to succeed and consider the possibility that perhaps too many people are going to college. Adding to this idea are words and phrases such as, “less fun” (239), “dispassionately” (240), “masochism” (240), “brutal” (245), “unlikely to have a job” (249), and “fail to achieve” (253). All of these words evoke negative emotions about more students going to college. They are an appeal to pathos, or the reader’s feelings of fear and

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