Fresh Voices: Composition at Cal Poly

Article Title

Plan B for America


In her persuasive essay, “Plan B for America,” Amelia Wing offers a carefully researched, formal argument. Notice how the essay’s thesis is revealed gradually, in three steps. What rhetorical purpose does this technique serve? Is it effective? Wing’s discussion offers explicit connections to the essay’s thesis in every body paragraph—without restating the thesis. Her argument is primarily logos based in the body: the essay’s approach to the topic is clinical and objective. She leaves herself out of the discussion by not developing her ethos and maintains an impersonal tone throughout. What sort of audience would respond positively to this approach? Do you find evidence of pathos or ethos elsewhere in the essay? The conclusion invokes historical context: is the analogy fair and appropriate? What audience is targeted via this technique?