“Clive Thompson on the New Literacy”

Clive Thompson provided an impeccable debate on Professor Andrea Lunsford’s research findings in his article, “Clive Thompson on the New Literacy.” Thompson begins his discussion by rendering a brief on the Pundit’s beliefs that digitalism has affected many children’s writing skills (Thompson 17). However, he attempts to convince them that technology has not in any way affected the writing skills of children but has instead advanced them to a much more technical level. The arguments presented by Clive Thompson tend to utilize numerous rhetorical strategies that convince many critiques that technology has not in any way spoilt the writing abilities of children, but has instead helped revive these abilities by evolving children to a much more technical level.

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In his article, Thompson attempts to argue out his ideas using crucial rhetorical means. To make sure that his target audience became convinced, the author used the ethos technique by letting readers know of his position as a well-qualified, adept journalist, and author (Thompson 17). Clive Thompson’s job appealed the audience, making them enthusiastic enough to process the information that was being given to them, and with this, his objectives and the mission had been attained. On the other hand, the author used the ethos technique by using Professor Andrea Lunsford, an expert in rhetoric and literary work, to provide his arguments. Because Professor Andrea was an expert in the subject matter that was being discussed, it was quite easy for the message provided in Thompson’s argument to be perceived as believable, particularly in the audience’s eyes.

The strategy that made Clive Thompson succeed in his debate is the use of the pathos rhetoric strategy when he tells the audience that Professor Lunsford planned a mammoth project known as the Stanford Study of Writing to examine the college student’s prose. This altercation brought a lot of weight to Thompson’s argument because the audience felt the logic of his case and debate. Moreover, due to the logic evidence and examples presented to them, Thompson’s audiences took the messages that were being rendered to them as properly researched information emanating from a reliable source (Thompson 8). On the other hand, in his argument, the author thoroughly explains that the writing skills that modern children use in class are often obtained from social media sources, such as Twitter and Facebook. During his argument, Thompson further indicated that each time the modern children chat in the numerous social media platforms, they get to gather many skills that they would have never gained before the use of technology. This argument convinces the audience to change the notion that they initially had on the technology is a factor that was affecting their children’s writing skills.

Lastly, Thompson uses the logos rhetoric strategy to convince his target audience. The use of the logos rhetoric strategy is depicted when he compares the current children to those before the Greek Civilization, claiming that today’s children are better writers. He further uses the logo rhetoric strategy to show the audience that before technology revolution and the advent of the internet, the majority of Americans including children rarely wrote down something unless it was an assignment (Thompson 9). The logic entailed in these two examples helped convince the audience that technology has assisted the majority of Americans to know how to write and influenced them to write without having to be pushed to, and as a result of this, Thompson’s goals and targets were attained.

In conclusion, the arguments presented by Clive Thompson has helped signify that technology did not come to kill the children’s writing abilities as the Pundits claimed but has instead revolutionized writing and taken the children’s writing abilities to another level. It is because of the practices that children make when formulating, and writing texts during their chats on social media. Therefore, as indicated by Thompson, individuals ought not to be misled by the negative believes they have about technology since technology came to enhance both our social and academic lives.


Work Cited

Thompson, Clive. “Clive Thompson on the new literacy.” Wired Magazine, vol. 17, no. 9, 2009, pp. 17-29.

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