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Rhetorical Analysis on Poverty in the Usa

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Rhetorical Analysis on Poverty in the U.S.

In the U.S. "13.5 million children still live in poverty- the highest rate in any industrialized country" (Koch). In the selection "Children in Poverty" Kathy Koch writes about child poverty in the U.S. and the effects that welfare reform has on low-income families. The audience Koch is reaching out to is Americans of all ages, not just low class citizens, who are looking to be informed about the challenges that people of poverty face and to make a difference in the country. Koch has been a motivational speaker on human potential and she reaches out to children, parents, and teachers on a daily basis (Celebrate Kids). Koch wants to educate her audience about the challenges that the new reform has anchored on the citizens, both children and adults, of America and to get them to want to make changes. Throughout Koch's selection, she effectively shows her argument that welfare reform has kept children and families remain in poverty by using exignece, enthymemes, identification, and extrinsic and intrinsic proofs to inform and persuade her audience.

The Strategies that Kathy Koch used are vital to understand to be able to fully comprehend the writer's intent and voice. Exigence, defined in the Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing, is the event or occurrence that prompts rhetorical discourse. This is usually the main argument in the rhetor's work. Identification is a rhetorical situation where the audience feels close to the rhetor (Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing). It is important for the rhetor to "identify" and connect with their audience to draw them into their argument. Enthymeme is the logical proof of an argument that a rhetor uses that allows the audience to "fill in the gaps" to come to a conclusion in favor of the rhetor (Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing). The use of extrinsic and intrinsic proofs, proof that is not controlled and is controlled by a rhetor, are used to give information on the argument and persuade the audience towards the anticipated view of the rhetor (Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing). Together, with the use of these strategies, Koch constructs this rhetorical discourse.

In "Children In Poverty" Koch starts with the uses of intrinsic and extrinsic proofs along with exigence to bring out the main point in her article. Koch gain's her audience's attention that welfare reform has not been effective in helping poor American families, especially children, to rise out of poverty and lower classes. According to Koch " While the rich are getting richer, the poorest Americans are getting poorer", which prompts the main point of the article through intrinsic proof (Koch 283). Koch uses extrinsic proof to convey that the U.S has a child poverty rate of nearly 20 percent and when compared to Western European countries is quadrupled (Koch 283). Overall, Koch is writing for her audience to see the exigence of the United States' poverty rate.

Koch brings into the piece the practices of enthymemes, exigence, and extrinsic proof when comparing welfare reform's progress on low-income families and children of those families to that of the pre-reform era. Koch has an effective use of enthymemes because she doesn't state that welfare reform is not as effective as the government says it is but through the use of extrinsic proof she persuades the audience that the reform has many flaws within. Koch uses this statistic, "During the two years before welfare reform was initiated, the number of poor children in America fell by 2.4 million. But during the two years immediately following reform, only 360,000 children - about one-sixth as many- were lifted from poverty..." to display the direct damage that was done by the reform and how it has hurt children of the United States (Koch 285). Koch informs her audience of the negative impact that the reform is having on children to show the exigence in welfare reform.

Not only has the welfare reform kept children and families in poverty but also the government is lacking in informing families about eligible services. The government, both federal and state, has cut the amount of families that receive welfare and didn't inform families about eligible services like food stamps and Medicare for example. Koch effectively uses enthymemes to get the reader to see the flaws that the government has and wants them to feel the need to act on it. Koch also uses extrinsic proof when she writes that the government has had a surplus of welfare funds and is using them to give tax breaks to the upper classes (Koch 287). Koch effectively identifies with her audience when she explains that the left over money should go back to the families in need, particularly the children who struggle to stay fed regularly (Koch 284). She relates with the millions of people who struggle financially



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