Malcolm Gladwell's "Small Change": A Rhetorical Analysis College

Piercing screams, angry chants, and heartfelt tears: that is the climate of change. Compare this to the placid clicking of keyboards, the casual transmission of emoticons; it is evident which situation will go down in history. This is Malcolm Gladwell’s central argument in his essay “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.” In order to convince readers that progress cannot be made through social media, Gladwell uses logos and ethos, an intellectual persona, and his unique writing style. He draws his audience in and convinces his readers that “social media cannot provide what social change has always required” (315).

Gladwell’s abundant use of real world examples and facts allows him to validate his argument. The best example of this tactic is the anecdote at the beginning of his piece: the two page-long summary of the well-known Greensboro sit-in during 1960. By the end of the spiel, Gladwell has caught his reader’s attention and has put his audience right into the situation, making his statement, “…it all happened without e-mail, texting, Facebook, or twitter” (314) potent and sufficient without any kind of explanation. Similarly, he does not express any opinion without giving a valid real-world example of why he...

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