Elena Choy is a paraprofessional at NYC Board of Education. In her argument “Laptops in the Classroom? No Problem” published in the book “Forming a Critical Perspective”, she believes the arguments that people use in favor of banning laptops in the classroom are not valid arguments to be using to make an assumption.
Choy states her side of the argument against banning laptops and proceeds to give four main reasons on why people want to ban laptops: upraised lids of laptops distract the teacher, laptops distract other students, students take overly excessive notes on laptops, users are so busy on the laptop, they don’t participate in group discussion. Choy goes into detail talking about why each of these arguments will not work.
Choy uses many different tactics to give evidence for her side of the argument. First of all, Choy uses a stern and matter of fact tone to try and convince the reader that the argument is not valid. This stern tone makes Choy sound confident, which makes it easier for the reader to accept her side of the argument. Choy also uses the point that students pay for tuition.
Once a student pays his or her tuition, it is completely up to them as far as making decision on how to spend their time studying and doing homework. This means that if students want to mess around in class and play different games while the teacher is discussing the material from the class, it is not the job of the teacher to be their baby sitter and make sure they are paying attention.
She also gives the reason that every student has their own way of taking notes and understanding information to shoot down the argument that people using laptops take too extensive notes. Choy uses these multiple strategies to help shoot down each argument that is for banning laptops.
Through the use of many different techniques, Choy analyses the question as to should laptops be banned in classrooms and gives many examples as to why she believes banning laptops would not be helpful. Her confidence is what really makes her argument valid and believable to its readers. Choy achieves this confidence by going from one reason to the other as though she has a list. This “list” way of writing, makes her sound more credible because she has so many different reasons.
For example, she uses phrases such as, “Let’s look at each of these arguments (Choy)” and “Which gets to the second argument (Choy).” She does not show any doubt in her writing. This type of diction makes her seem extremely confident in her statements, and the more confident she seems, the more believable her argument becomes.
Another reason Choy effectively analyzes the argument in this essay is the fact that she fully acknowledges the other side of the argument and spends a good bit of time discussing it. Throughout most of the essay, she spends time on giving reasons argument for banning laptops are wrong. If Choy would have only given the reasons as to why laptops should be allowed in the classrooms, then the audience would not listen to what she has to say because everything would be extremely biased.
In her analysis, Choy admits the main points to the argument for laptops being banned in the class. However, she gives specific examples each argument against laptops and knocks out each one by giving a specific example as to why it wouldn’t work. For example, she says, “we go too far when we prohibit students from taking notes in the way they find most useful (Choy).”The strategy of admitting a few points and then shooting all of these points down really enhances the argument to make it more believable.
Choy used multiple strategies to help make her argument credible. Her argument is well organized and believable for readers, however, I feel that Choy spends too much time talking about the arguments for banning laptops in the rooms. This is one area where Choy could improve to make her argument stronger. She spends most of the time on proving the reasons for banning laptops and never gets deep into talking about why laptops should be allowed.
If Choy were to add reasons and examples as to why laptops should be allowed, it would add the finishing touches to an already successful argument. Overall, Choy does a fantastic job of getting her point across and trying to convince her readers as to why banning laptops in the classroom would not make much of a difference and could possibly be harmful to students ability to learn in class.
Courtney from Study Moose
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