Do Grades Matter? | Essay

The article “Grading Time: I Give Up! You’re all Exceptional” is written by Rebecca Schuman in 2012. Nowadays almost every student gets the highest and the exceptional grade, they struggle with the fact that they are not good enough if they don’t get straight A’s, and if not, they are disappointed with themselves.

But why do students question the fact that they are not good enough at all, just because they are not as interested in school as others?

They could be good at so many other things. Besides that, can it really be good for your mental health to be that focused about something for such a long time? Isn’t stressful and tough to try and be the best of the best all the time?

In this essay I will analyze the article “Grading Time: I Give Up! You’re all Exceptional” and discuss the significance of grading. I will also be including references to the video “Why Perfect Grades Don’t Matter”.

In this text the language and choice of words is normal and standard English level, but with some more formal words than others, you might also say it is somewhere in between formal and unformal. We see those formal features when Schumann chooses to use words such as “ludicrousness” and “adequately”, but she has also some long and more formal sentences in the text.

When she uses a standard and normal English, she creates a greater audience, because she can appeal to both the lower and upper society and both will be able to understand what she has to say.

She also uses a lot of unformal features in the text, for example, when she makes the interposed sentences, which she does with the dash.

For example: “If a course is adequately challenging — and, lest I be even more redundant, most courses today are not — no more than one-third of any given class should receive A’s.” . When she uses this dash, she creates a pause to what she is talking about, and then telling her opinion to the things and what’s actually the real deal.

Schumann has a very firm opinion on this topic. It’s shown in her rhetoric and condescending questions towards the students, which also is another unformal feature. An example of a rhetoric
5 question in the text is: “Oh, you need it? Why didn’t you just tell me that on the first day?” , when she uses those rhetoric questions, she establishes a kind of sarcasm in the text, and we can also figure out more about her opinion towards the subject and the issues, that are explored in the text.

She uses among other things the rhetoric questions to seem condescending towards the students, because the way she is asking the question using rhetoric, you get the idea that she is actually saying: “are you stupid? I am the teacher and it is me who determine what will happen and what grade you will get.”.

By using sarcasm and irony, she establishes the form of appeal, pathos, because she tries to be provocative and wants to excite some feelings at the reader, so that they might agree with her and her opinion.

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