SAT Math

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math Section

SAT Reading

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading Section

SAT Writing

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing Section

SAT Essay

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay Section

SAT General

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science Section

SAT Math

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math Section

SAT Reading

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading Section

SAT Writing

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing Section

SAT Essay

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay Section

SAT General

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science Section

SAT Math

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math Section

SAT Reading

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading Section

SAT Writing

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing Section

SAT Essay

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay Section

SAT General

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science Section

SAT Math

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math Section

SAT Reading

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading Section

SAT Writing

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing Section

SAT Essay

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay Section

SAT General

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science Section

SAT Math

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Math Section

SAT Reading

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Reading Section

SAT Writing

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Writing Section

SAT Essay

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced SAT tutors to help you with your SAT Essay Section

SAT General

Everything you need to know to get a perfect SAT Math score.

Detailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science SectionDetailed SAT and ACT Strategy guide written by experienced ACT tutors to help you with your ACT Science Section

Stylistic & Persuasive Elements

Stylistic and persuasive elements are in a way opposite to the evidence based elements discussed in the last chapter. They are NON-FACT based statements that the author uses to prove his thesis. They often appeal to your emotions.

The author uses stylistic and persuasive elements to connect the dots and prove his point. These opinions are not based on facts but the author still views them as valid.

As we did in the previous chapter, let’s go over some common stylistic and persuasive elements.

1. Word Choice

Word choice refers to using intense, lively, or thematically-similar words in a manner that leaves a certain impression.

By implementing word choice, authors can:

  • Uses emotionally charged words to evoke strong feelings.
  • Prompt readers to develop an emotional connection with or sense of pathos toward the author’s position.
  • Engage the reader by arousing feelings of alarm, guilt, enthusiasm, or patriotism.
  • Arouse a feeling of alarm to alert readers to the seriousness of a problem.
  • Characterize a subject or topic in a particular way
  • Associate positive or negative connotations with something

EXAMPLE:

Argument: Animals should be treated as if they were people.

Excerpt: There aren’t enough differences between humans and animals to condone the widespread practice of factory farming, which differs from concentration camp conditions only in that animals are overfed rather than underfed, and injected with growth hormones rather than gassed, all so we can butcher them for more meat.

Analysis: The author uses quite a few strong words to portray the deplorable way animals are treated. The italicized words evoke images of The Holocaust, effectively associating all the horror of Nazi Germany with factory farms.

2. Analogies/Comparisons

Analogies are comparisons between two things. In general, they

  • allow readers to understand more complex concepts by comparing them with simpler ones
  • associate new ideas with ones the reader is already familiar with
  • lead the reader into agreement by connecting something new with something the reader has agreed with or done

EXAMPLE:

Argument: There has to be alien life on other planets.

Excerpt: In 2010, analysis of data from the Mars Global Surveyor found that methane concentrations in the red planet’s atmosphere increase during the warm season. Why is this intriguing? Because methane is created by bacterial life here on Earth. And anyone who’s ever taken out stinky garbage during the summer will tell you that bacterial life grows much faster and produces much more stinky gas like methane when it’s warm.

Analysis: By comparing methane on mars to taking out the garbage, the author makes his point relatable and easier to understand. Readers must first understand something before they can be persuaded by it. Furthermore, this analogy strengthens the link between bacterial life on Earth and the possibility of bacterial life on Mars.

3. Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition is placing two things side by side for comparison or contrast. Unlike an analogy, it does not try to relate one concept to another. Instead, it merely positions them together in such a way that a significant distinction is highlighted or one option is made to seem better than the other.

EXAMPLE:

Argument: Save the environment, not to save the Earth but to save ourselves.

Excerpt: The idea of being “kind to the planet” assumes a couple of things. First, it assumes that we are capable of helping or harming Earth in some meaningful way. We’re not. Earth has weathered asteroid impacts and climate change that would have blown us off the map a dozen times over, and Earth’s ecosystems have always adapted. Human activity is nothing.

Earth will bounce right back from any havoc we may cause. It always does. Humans, however, will not.

Analysis: By juxtaposing Earth and humans, the author contrasts the fragility of humans with the durability of planet Earth. The intent is to make us feel small and insignificant, especially on a scale that includes “asteroid impacts” and “climate change.” By making us feel this way,the author compels us to identify with her argument that we are most at risk when we don’t save the environment, not Earth itself.

4. Anecdotes

Anecdotes are short stories, often personal, that are used to make a point. Uses include:

  • Demonstrate the author’s personal connection to the issue.
  • Enable readers to make a vicarious connection to the author’s central claim.

EXAMPLE:

Argument: Animals should be treated as if they were people.

Excerpt: A 2008 study found that crows are able to distinguish one human from another and react differently depending on how they are treated. In 2011, a four year old Seattle girl named Gabi Mann dropped a chicken nugget only to have a crow swoop in to eat it. She soon realized that the crows were watching her, looking for another bite. As time went on, she began feeding them on a regular basis. That’s when the gifts started appearing: a miniature silver ball, a blue paper clip, a black button, a yellow bead, and the list of shiny objects goes on. It’s a peculiar collection of objects for a little girl to treasure, but to Gabi these things are more valuable than gold.

Analysis: The author uses the anecdote of Gabi’s crows to form a strong emotional bond between humans and animals in the reader’s mind. By giving an illustration of how animals can act like humans, the author opens us up to accepting his main argument..

5. Retorical Questions

A rhetorical question is one that isn’t answered by the author. Either the question doesn’t need to be answered because the point being made is self-evident or it’s designed for readers to answer themselves.

Possible uses:

  • prods readers into agreeing or answering for themselves in a certain way
  • gets the reader to imagine a certain scenario
  • lays out common ground or assumptions that the author can then build upon
  • get the readers to step into the author’s world.
  • By reading and thinking about the author’s question, the reader engages with the topic on a deeper level than if the reader were just given a statement of what the author thinks.

EXAMPLE:

Argument: Save the environment, not to save the Earth but to save ourselves.

Excerpt: To understand just how much temperatures rose during the Permian Extinction, consider this: have you ever been outside on a really hot day? Like, really hot. We’re not talking about some wimpy 84 days. I mean like, 104 heat. Massive-epidemic-of-heatstroke heat. That’s how hot the ocean was.

Analysis: The author uses a rhetorical question to make the experience of a hot summer day more real and visceral. By reaching out to the reader’s senses, the author makes a deeper impression when she later states, “That’s how hot the ocean was.”

6. Appeal to Identity

An appeal to identity is one that takes advantage of the common values and beliefs of a group. It’s persuasive because human beings are social creatures that seek belonging, and we gravitate towards those ideas that enhance that sense of belonging.

Uses include:

  • Designed to provoke a response (often emotional) in the reader.
  • Cause readers to emotionally (rather than logically) agree with the author.

EXAMPLE:

Argument: The United States should have a direct democracy, instead of a system of representatives.

Excerpt: What is really stopping us from bringing direct democracy to America? I would argue that it’s simply fear of change. Fear of change didn’t stop our forefathers from crossing an ocean and settling a new continent. It didn’t stop the Freedom Riders from risking their own lives in pursuit of equality for all. It isn’t what invented the Internet or put smartphones in our pockets. As Americans, we as a people have always embraced change. And we deserve a change that will put the power of a truly democratic society in our own hands. If we want to see this dream become a reality, we must act. After all, the wealthy politicians of Washington are not going to be the ones to put themselves out of power. So let’s start our petitions. Let’s put it on our ballots. Let’s embrace direct democracy, together.

Analysis: Throughout this entire excerpt, the author makes a strong appeal to the American identity. She mentions our forefathers and the Freedom Riders to stir up our nationalistic pride. She also brings up key words and ideas that resonate with every true American—democracy, change, pursuit of equality. In doing so, she’s able to frame the idea of a direct democracy as one that upholds American values.

7. Strong Directives with the Collective Pronoun “We”

Directives are just another name for a strong suggestion or command, such as “Let’s grab pizza!”. Not only do they inform the reader of the next steps to take but they are also a call to action.

Typically, directives are used with the collective pronoun “we”. Why is “we” significant? Because it serves to connect the author and the reader as being part of a larger group with a common cause. By using “we,” an author portrays him or herself as being on the same side as the audience, one who will stand beside them in unison.

EXAMPLE:

Argument: The United States should have a direct democracy, instead of a system of representatives.

Excerpt: What is really stopping us from bringing direct democracy to America? I would argue that it’s simply fear of change. Fear of change didn’t stop our forefathers from crossing an ocean and settling a new continent. It didn’t stop the Freedom Riders from risking their own lives in pursuit of equality for all. It isn’t what invented the Internet or put smartphones in our pockets. As Americans, we as a people have always embraced change.

And we deserve a change that will put the power of a truly democratic society in our own hands. If we want to see this dream become a reality, we must act. After all, the wealthy politicians of Washington are not going to be the ones to put themselves out of power. So let’s start our petitions. Let’s put it on our ballots. Let’s embrace direct democracy, together.

Analysis: The bolded sentences serve to unify the audience and establish a common base of American values. The sentences toward the end are calls to action that incite impassioned readers to work towards a direct democracy.

Now it’s your turn to try it out!

We are going to work through the two essays from the previous chapters and find all the stylistic and persuasive elements in each. For each essay, please strike through the stylistic and persuasive elements in the essay itself and then compare it with what I have come up with.

ESSAY PASSAGE 1

Adapted from Paul Bogard, “Let There Be Dark.” 2012 by Los Angeles Times. Originally published December 21, 2012.

  1. At my family’s cabin on a Minnesota lake, I knew woods so dark that my hands disappeared before my eyes. I knew night skies in which meteors left smoky trails across sugary spreads of stars. But now, when 8 of 10 children born in the United States will never know a sky dark enough for the Milky Way, I worry we are rapidly losing night’s natural darkness before realizing its worth. This winter solstice, as we cheer the days’ gradual movement back toward light, let us also remember the irreplaceable value of darkness.
  2. All life evolved to the steady rhythm of bright days and dark nights. Today, though, when we feel the closeness of nightfall, we reach quickly for a light switch. And too little darkness, meaning too much artificial light at night, spells trouble for all.
  3. Already the World Health Organization classifies working the night shift as a probable human carcinogen, and the American Medical Association has voiced its unanimous support for “light pollution reduction efforts and glare reduction efforts at both the national and state levels.” Our bodies need darkness to produce the hormone melatonin, which keeps certain cancers from developing, and our bodies need darkness for sleep. Sleep disorders have been linked to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and depression, and recent research suggests one main cause of “short sleep” is “long light.” Whether we work at night or simply take our tablets, notebooks and smartphones to bed, there isn’t a place for this much artificial light in our lives.
  4. The rest of the world depends on darkness as well, including nocturnal and crepuscular species of birds, insects, mammals, fish and reptiles. Some examples are well known - the 400 species of birds that migrate at night in North America, the sea turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs - and some are not, such as the bats that save American farmers billions in pest control and the moths that pollinate 80% of the world’s flora. Ecological light pollution is like the bulldozer of the night, wrecking habitat and disrupting ecosystems several billion years in the making. Simply put, without darkness, Earth’s ecology would collapse....
  5. In today’s crowded, louder, more fast-paced world, night’s darkness can provide solitude, quiet and stillness, qualities increasingly in short supply. Every religious tradition has considered darkness invaluable for a soulful life, and the chance to witness the universe has inspired artists, philosophers and everyday stargazers since time began. In a world awash with electric light...how would Van Gogh have given the world his “Starry Night”? Who knows what this vision of the night sky might inspire in each of us, in our children or grandchildren?
  6. Yet all over the world, our nights are growing brighter. In the United States and Western Europe, the amount of light in the sky increases an average of about 6% every year. Computer images of the United States at night, based on NASA photographs, show that what was a very dark country as recently as the 1950s is now nearly covered with a blanket of light. Much of this light is wasted energy, which means wasted dollars. Those of us over 35 are perhaps among the last generation to have known truly dark nights. Even the northern lake where I was lucky to spend my summers has seen its darkness diminish.
  7. It doesn’t have to be this way. Light pollution is readily within our ability to solve, using new lighting technologies and shielding existing lights. Already, many cities and towns across North America and Europe are changing to LED streetlights, which offer dramatic possibilities for controlling wasted light. Other communities are finding success with simply turning off portions of their public lighting after midnight. Even Paris, the famed “city of light,” which already turns off its monument lighting after 1 a.m., will this summer start to require its shops, offices and public buildings to turn off lights after 2 a.m. Though primarily designed to save energy, such reductions in light will also go far in addressing light pollution. But we will never truly address the problem of light pollution until we become aware of the irreplaceable value and beauty of the darkness we are losing.

When you’re done, compare to what I’ve found:

Adapted from Paul Bogard, “Let There Be Dark.” 2012 by Los Angeles Times. Originally published December 21, 2012.

  1. At my family’s cabin on a Minnesota lake, I knew woods so dark that my hands disappeared before my eyes. I knew night skies in which meteors left smoky trails across sugary spreads of stars. But now, when 8 of 10 children born in the United States will never know a sky dark enough for the Milky Way, I worry we are rapidly losing night’s natural darkness before realizing its worth. This winter solstice, as we cheer the days’ gradual movement back toward light, let us also remember the irreplaceable value of darkness.
  2. All life evolved to the steady rhythm of bright days and dark nights. Today, though, when we feel the closeness of nightfall, we reach quickly for a light switch. And too little darkness, meaning too much artificial light at night, spells trouble for all.
  3. Already the World Health Organization classifies working the night shift as a probable human carcinogen, and the American Medical Association has voiced its unanimous support for “light pollution reduction efforts and glare reduction efforts at both the national and state levels.” Our bodies need darkness to produce the hormone melatonin, which keeps certain cancers from developing, and our bodies need darkness for sleep. Sleep disorders have been linked to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and depression, and recent research suggests one main cause of “short sleep” is “long light.” Whether we work at night or simply take our tablets, notebooks and smartphones to bed, there isn’t a place for this much artificial light in our lives.
  4. The rest of the world depends on darkness as well, including nocturnal and crepuscular species of birds, insects, mammals, fish and reptiles. Some examples are well known - the 400 species of birds that migrate at night in North America, the sea turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs - and some are not, such as the bats that save American farmers billions in pest control and the moths that pollinate 80% of the world’s flora. Ecological light pollution is like the bulldozer of the night, wrecking habitat and disrupting ecosystems several billion years in the making. Simply put, without darkness, Earth’s ecology would collapse....
  5. In today’s crowded, louder, more fast-paced world, night’s darkness can provide solitude, quiet and stillness, qualities increasingly in short supply. Every religious tradition has considered darkness invaluable for a soulful life, and the chance to witness the universe has inspired artists, philosophers and everyday stargazers since time began. In a world awash with electric light......how would Van Gogh have given the world his “Starry Night”? Who knows what this vision of the night sky might inspire in each of us, in our children or grandchildren?
  6. Yet all over the world, our nights are growing brighter. In the United States and Western Europe, the amount of light in the sky increases an average of about 6% every year. Computer images of the United States at night, based on NASA photographs, show that what was a very dark country as recently as the 1950s is now nearly covered with a blanket of light. Much of this light is wasted energy, which means wasted dollars. Those of us over 35 are perhaps among the last generation to have known truly dark nights. Even the northern lake where I was lucky to spend my summers has seen its darkness diminish.
  7. It doesn’t have to be this way. Light pollution is readily within our ability to solve, using new lighting technologies and shielding existing lights. Already, many cities and towns across North America and Europe are changing to LED streetlights, which offer dramatic possibilities for controlling wasted light. Other communities are finding success with simply turning off portions of their public lighting after midnight. Even Paris, the famed “city of light,” which already turns off its monument lighting after 1 a.m., will this summer start to require its shops, offices and
  8. public buildings to turn off lights after 2 a.m. Though primarily designed to save energy, such reductions in light will also go far in addressing light pollution. But we will never truly address the problem of light pollution until we become aware of the irreplaceable value and beauty of the darkness we are losing.

Thats it. Notice that I didn’t include any evidence here. You might notice that many of the stylistic and persuasive elements may seem like facts that support the argument the author is trying to make. But they are not fact-based evidence. Facts are facts - lets try the same drill with one more essay.

ESSAY PASSAGE 2

Adapted from Dana Gioia, “Why Literature Matters,” 2005 by The New York Times Company. Originally published April 10, 2005.

  1. [A] strange thing has happened in the American arts during the past quarter century. While income rose to unforeseen levels, college attendance ballooned, and access to information increased enormously, the interest young Americans showed in the arts - and especially literature - actually diminished.
  2. According to the 2002 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, a population study designed and commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts (and executed by the US Bureau of the Census), arts participation by Americans has declined for eight of the nine major forms that are measured....The declines have been most severe among younger adults (ages 18–24). The most worrisome finding in the 2002 study, however, is the declining percentage of Americans, especially young adults, reading literature.
  3. That individuals at a time of crucial intellectual and emotional development bypass the joys and challenges of literature is a troubling trend. If it were true that they substituted histories, biographies, or political works for literature, one might not worry. But book reading of any kind is falling as well.
  4. That such a longstanding and fundamental cultural activity should slip so swiftly, especially among young adults, signifies deep transformations in contemporary life. To call attention to the trend, the Arts Endowment issued the reading portion of the Survey as a separate report, “Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America.”
  5. The decline in reading has consequences that go beyond literature. The significance of reading has become a persistent theme in the business world. The February issue of Wired magazine, for example, sketches a new set of mental skills and habits proper to the 21st century, aptitudes decidedly literary in character: not “linear, logical, analytical talents,” author Daniel Pink states, but “the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative.” When asked what kind of talents they like to see in management positions, business leaders consistently set imagination, creativity, and higher-order thinking at the top.
  6. Ironically, the value of reading and the intellectual faculties that it inculcates appear most clearly as active and engaged literacy declines. There is now a growing awareness of the consequences of non-reading to the workplace. In 2001 the National Association of Manufacturers polled its members on skill deficiencies among employees. Among hourly workers,poor reading skills ranked second, and 38 percent of employers complained that local schools inadequately taught reading comprehension.
  7. The decline of reading is also taking its toll in the civic sphere....A 2003 study of 15- to 26-year-olds’ civic knowledge by the National Conference of State Legislatures concluded, “Young people do not understand the ideals of citizenship… and their appreciation and support of American democracy is limited.”
  8. It is probably no surprise that declining rates of literary reading coincide with declining levels of historical and political awareness among young people. One of the surprising findings of “Reading at Risk” was that literary readers are markedly more civically engaged than nonreaders, scoring two to four times more likely to perform charity work, visit a museum, or attend a sporting event. One reason for their higher social and cultural interactions may lie in the kind of civic and historical knowledge that comes with literary reading....
  9. The evidence of literature’s importance to civic, personal, and economic health is too strong to ignore. The decline of literary reading foreshadows serious long-term social and economic problems, and it is time to bring literature and the other arts into discussions of public policy. Libraries, schools, and public agencies do noble work, but addressing the reading issue will require the leadership of politicians and the business community as well....
  10. Reading is not a timeless, universal capability. Advanced literacy is a specific intellectual skill and social habit that depends on a great many educational, cultural, and economic factors. As more Americans lose this capability, our nation becomes less informed, active, and independent minded. These are not the qualities that a free, innovative, or productive society can afford to lose.

When you’re done, compare to what I’ve found:

Adapted from Dana Gioia, “Why Literature Matters,” 2005 by The New York Times Company. Originally published April 10, 2005.

  1. [A] strange thing has happened in the American arts during the past quarter century. While income rose to unforeseen levels, college attendance ballooned, and access to information increased enormously, the interest young Americans showed in the arts - and especially literature - actually diminished.
  2. According to the 2002 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, a population study designed and commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts (and executed by the US Bureau of the Census), arts participation by Americans has declined for eight of the nine major forms that are measured....The declines have been most severe among younger adults (ages 18 - 24). The most worrisome finding in the 2002 study, however, is the declining percentage of Americans, especially young adults, reading literature.
  3. That individuals at a time of crucial intellectual and emotional development bypass the joys and challenges of literature is a troubling trend. If it were true that they substituted histories, biographies, or political works for literature, one might not worry. But book reading of any kind is falling as well.
  4. That such a longstanding and fundamental cultural activity should slip so swiftly, especially among young adults, signifies deep transformations in contemporary life. To call attention to the trend, the Arts Endowment issued the reading portion of the Survey as a separate report, “Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America.”
  5. The decline in reading has consequences that go beyond literature. The significance of reading has become a persistent theme in the business world. The February issue of Wired magazine, for example, sketches a new set of mental skills and habits proper to the 21st century, aptitudes decidedly literary in character: not “linear, logical, analytical talents,” author Daniel Pink states, but “the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative.” When asked what kind of talents they like to see in management positions, business leaders consistently set imagination, creativity, and higher-order thinking at the top.
  6. Ironically, the value of reading and the intellectual faculties that it inculcates appear most clearly as active and engaged literacy declines. There is now a growing awareness of the consequences of non-reading to the workplace. In 2001 the National Association of Manufacturers polled its members on skill deficiencies among employees. Among hourly workers, poor reading skills ranked second, and 38 percent of employers complained that local schools inadequately taught reading comprehension.
  7. The decline of reading is also taking its toll in the civic sphere....A 2003 study of 15- to 26-year-olds’ civic knowledge by the National Conference of State Legislatures concluded, “Young people do not understand the ideals of citizenship… and their appreciation and support of American democracy is limited.”
  8. It is probably no surprise that declining rates of literary reading coincide with declining levels of historical and political awareness among young people. One of the surprising findings of “Reading at Risk” was that literary readers are markedly more civically engaged than nonreaders, scoring two to four times more likely to perform charity work, visit a museum, or attend a sporting event. One reason for their higher social and cultural interactions may lie in the kind of civic and historical knowledge that comes with literary reading....
  9. The evidence of literature’s importance to civic, personal, and economic health is too strong to ignore. The decline of literary reading foreshadows serious long-term social and economic problems, and it is time to bring literature and the other arts into discussions of public policy. Libraries, schools, and public agencies do noble work, but addressing the reading issue will require the leadership of politicians and the business community as well....
  10. Reading is not a timeless, universal capability. Advanced literacy is a specific intellectual skill and social habit that depends on a great many educational, cultural, and economic factors. As more Americans lose this capability, our nation becomes less informed, active, and independent minded. These are not the qualities that a free, innovative, or productive society can afford to lose.

Thats it.

See what’s going on here? None of what I listed above was factual, nor was it rational. I’m just listing all the things the author is saying and doing to show how right his thesis is based on beautiful language, opinion, and emotion.

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