Working at McDonald’s is an article that emphasizes how irrelevant working in high school is on the scale of importance in life. Amitai Etzioni points out that teenagers are distracted by repetitive jobs when they should be focusing on their education. Etzioni makes his argument about teenage jobs undermining school attendance and involvement, imparting few skills that will be useful later on in life, and skewing the values of teenagers especially their ideas about the worth of a dollar. McDonald’s, in this case, provides “no room for initiative, creativity, or even elementary rearrangements” says Etzioni.
Etzioni introduces logos into the story right from the very beginning in paragraph two. “As many as two-thirds of America’s high school juniors and seniors now hold down part-time jobs”. This refers to the vast majority of teenagers who maintain a job while still going to school. In paragraph thirteen, logos is also relevant. The author states that “24 percent of the seniors at one high school in 1985 worked as much as five to seven days a week; 27 percent, three to five.” Although these percentages aren’t relatively high, the author claims that there is no way a teenager’s work won’t interfere with schoolwork. In addition to this factual information, the author is simply stating that there is no room for personal development if teenagers are only doing repetitive tasks.
As well as logos, ethos can be applied to Working at McDonald’s. Ethos is the strongest appeal in this story because Etzioni backs up all his claims with credible sources. In paragraph ten, the author states that “A 1980 study by A. V. Harrell and P. W. Wirtz found that, among those students who worked at least 25 hours per week while in school, their unemployment rate four years later was half of that of seniors who did not work”. Despite the work experience, Etzioni makes a point that these part time jobs “provide no career ladders, few marketable skills, and undermine school attendance and involvement.”
The argument in Working at McDonald’s was clear, and for a minute, the author persuaded me to take his side because of the logical reason and facts that are brought up throughout the text. Even though the story focuses more on logos and Ethos as opposed to pathos, I felt a sense of emotion because I know what it’s like to work a part time job (even two for that matter) while still in high school. The author brings up the point that no one really knows where all this hard-earned money goes to (in paragraph 18); “Some use it to support themselves, especially among the poor. More middle-class kids set some money aside to help pay for college, or save it for a major purchase-often a car.”
I can relate to that statement because my reasons for working during school were to save money to put myself through college, gain a sense of independency, as well as save up for big purchases (such as a car). Ultimately, after initially being persuaded by the author, I realize that I completely disagree with him because working two jobs and maintaining good grades in school taught me a lot of valuable skills. I learned great time management skills, how to be more responsible, communication skills, and problem solving. I would’ve never learned any of those skills had I not worked in high school no matter how mundane the job may have been. Despite my disagreements, the story was filled with great representations of ethos, and logos through logical and credible statements.
Courtney from Study Moose
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