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Writing Guide with Handbook

10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson

Writing Guide with Handbook10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson

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Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. The Things We Carry: Experience, Culture, and Language
    1. 1 Unit Introduction
    2. 1 The Digital World: Building on What You Already Know to Respond Critically
      1. Introduction
      2. 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
      3. 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
      4. 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
      5. 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
      6. 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
      7. 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
      8. 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
      9. 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
    3. 2 Language, Identity, and Culture: Exploring, Employing, Embracing
      1. Introduction
      2. 2.1 Seeds of Self
      3. 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
      4. 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
      5. 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
      6. 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
      7. 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
      8. 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
      9. 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
    4. 3 Literacy Narrative: Building Bridges, Bridging Gaps
      1. Introduction
      2. 3.1 Identity and Expression
      3. 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
      4. 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
      5. 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
      6. 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
      7. 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
      8. 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
      9. 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
      10. 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
      13. Works Consulted
  3. Bridging the Divide Between Personal Identity and Academia
    1. 2 Unit Introduction
    2. 4 Memoir or Personal Narrative: Learning Lessons from the Personal
      1. Introduction
      2. 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
      3. 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
      4. 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
      5. 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
      6. 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
      7. 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
      8. 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
      9. 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
      10. 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    3. 5 Profile: Telling a Rich and Compelling Story
      1. Introduction
      2. 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
      3. 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
      4. 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
      5. 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
      6. 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
      7. 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
      8. 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
      9. 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
      10. 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
      11. Works Cited
    4. 6 Proposal: Writing About Problems and Solutions
      1. Introduction
      2. 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
      3. 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
      4. 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
      5. 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
      6. 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
      7. 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
      8. 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
      9. 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
      10. 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    5. 7 Evaluation or Review: Would You Recommend It?
      1. Introduction
      2. 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
      3. 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
      4. 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
      5. 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
      6. 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
      7. 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
      8. 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
      9. 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
      10. 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    6. 8 Analytical Report: Writing from Facts
      1. Introduction
      2. 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
      3. 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
      4. 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
      5. 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
      6. 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
      7. 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
      8. 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
      9. 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
      10. 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    7. 9 Rhetorical Analysis: Interpreting the Art of Rhetoric
      1. Introduction
      2. 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
      3. 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
      4. 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
      5. 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
      6. 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
      7. 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
      8. 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
      9. 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
      10. 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    8. 10 Position Argument: Practicing the Art of Rhetoric
      1. Introduction
      2. 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
      3. 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
      4. 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
      5. 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
      6. 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
      7. 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
      8. 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
      9. 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
      10. 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    9. 11 Reasoning Strategies: Improving Critical Thinking
      1. Introduction
      2. 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
      3. 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
      4. 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
      5. 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
      6. 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
      7. Further Reading
      8. Works Cited
    10. 12 Argumentative Research: Enhancing the Art of Rhetoric with Evidence
      1. Introduction
      2. 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
      3. 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
      4. 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
      5. 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
      6. 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
      7. 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
      8. 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
      9. 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
      10. 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    11. 13 Research Process: Accessing and Recording Information
      1. Introduction
      2. 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
      3. 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
      4. 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
      5. 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
      6. 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
      7. 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
      8. Further Reading
      9. Works Cited
    12. 14 Annotated Bibliography: Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Sources
      1. Introduction
      2. 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
      3. 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
      4. 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
      5. 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
      6. Further Reading
      7. Works Cited
    13. 15 Case Study Profile: What One Person Says About All
      1. Introduction
      2. 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
      3. 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
      4. 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
      5. 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
      6. 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
      7. 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
      8. 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
      9. 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
      10. 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
  4. Navigating Rhetoric in Real Life
    1. 3 Unit Introduction
    2. 16 Print or Textual Analysis: What You Read
      1. Introduction
      2. 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
      3. 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
      4. 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
      5. 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
      6. 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
      7. 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
      8. 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
      9. 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
      10. 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    3. 17 Image Analysis: What You See
      1. Introduction
      2. 17.1 “Reading” Images
      3. 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
      4. 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
      5. 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
      6. 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
      7. 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
      8. 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
      9. 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
      10. 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    4. 18 Multimodal and Online Writing: Creative Interaction between Text and Image
      1. Introduction
      2. 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
      3. 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
      4. 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
      5. 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
      6. 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
      7. 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
      8. 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
      9. 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
    5. 19 Scripting for the Public Forum: Writing to Speak
      1. Introduction
      2. 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
      3. 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
      4. 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
      5. 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
      6. 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
      7. 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
      8. 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
      9. 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
    6. 20 Portfolio Reflection: Your Growth as a Writer
      1. Introduction
      2. 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
      3. 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
      4. 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
      5. 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
      6. 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
      7. 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
      8. 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
      9. 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
  5. Handbook
  6. Index

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking about a reading passage related to position and argument writing.
  • Explain and evaluate how conventions are shaped by purpose, language, culture, and expectation.
  • Assess material for inquiry, learning, critical thinking, and communicating in various rhetorical and cultural contexts.

Introduction

Former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson is pictured.
Figure 10.3 President Lyndon B. Johnson (credit: “Lyndon Johnson” by Arnold Newman, White House Press Office (WHPO)/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

In a commencement speech at the University of Michigan on May 22, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson proposed a set of domestic programs that would become one of the foundations of his administration. He called these programs the Great Society. Today, many of the same problems that Johnson addressed continue, and programs that seek to remedy them are referred to as initiatives of social justice, such as those directed toward human rights, health care, alleviating poverty, and guaranteeing democratic practices. To persuade his audience to agree that the programs needed to be adopted, Johnson presented his argument about why they were needed and what they would achieve.

President Johnson, surrounded by onlookers, signs the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 . Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stands behind the president.
Figure 10.4 On July 2, barely two months after the University of Michigan graduation speech, President Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is among the onlookers. The Act forbids discrimination on the basis race, religion, gender, or national origin. Prohibiting the practice of “Jim Crow” laws, the Act also strengthened the enforcement of school desegregation and voting rights. (credit: “Lyndon Johnson signing Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964” by Cecil Stoughton, White House Press Office/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

Living by Their Own Words

Testing Our Success as a Nation

public domain text President Hatcher, Governor Romney, Senators McNamara and Hart, Congressmen Meader and Staebler and other members of the fine Michigan delegation, members of the graduating class, my fellow Americans:end public domain text

annotated textAudience. This speech, although given at the University of Michigan commencement, is addressed to the nation. Johnson first mentions the people in attendance but ends his introduction by including in his wider audience: “my fellow Americans.”end annotated text

public domain textIt is a great pleasure to be here today. This university has been coeducational since 1870, but I do not believe it was on the basis of your accomplishments that a Detroit high school girl said, “In choosing a college, you first have to decide whether you want a coeducational school or an educational school.” Well, we can find both here at Michigan, although perhaps at different hours. I came out here today very anxious to meet the Michigan student whose father told a friend of mine that his son’s education had been a real value. It stopped his mother from bragging about him.end public domain text

public domain textI have come today from the turmoil of your Capital to the tranquility of your campus to speak about the future of your country. The purpose of protecting the life of our Nation and preserving the liberty of our citizens is to pursue the happiness of our people. Our success in that pursuit is the test of our success as a Nation. For a century we labored to settle and to subdue a continent. For half a century we called upon unbounded invention and untiring industry to create an order of plenty for all of our people. The challenge of the next half century is whether we have the wisdom to use that wealth to enrich and elevate our national life and to advance the quality of our American civilization.end public domain text

annotated textKairos. Johnson notes the mood of the nation and of the campus, a timely reference for those attending the graduation ceremony.end annotated text

annotated textContext. Johnson contextualizes the current challenges of the country within the history of the nation. This strategy calls upon the patriotism of his audience to take their rightful place in history.end annotated text

public domain textYour imagination, your initiative, and your indignation will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth. For in your time we have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society.end public domain text

annotated textPurpose. Johnson’s purpose is to introduce the concept of the Great Society to the American public.end annotated text

public domain textThe Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning. The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents.end public domain text

public domain textIt is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community. It is a place where man can renew contact with nature. It is a place which honors creation for its own sake and for what it adds to the understanding of the race. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.end public domain text

annotated textRepetition. Johnson repeats the clause “It is a place” to add emphasis to the various facets of the Great Society.end annotated text

annotated textDefinition. Johnson also defines for the audience what he means by the term Great Society.end annotated text

annotated textAllusion. Johnson mentions “the city of man,” a reference—or allusion—to St. Augustine’s book The City of God, which gives ethical and religious significance to his Great Society.end annotated text

public domain textBut most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.end public domain text

public domain textSo I want to talk to you today about three places where we begin to build the Great Society—in our cities, in our countryside, and in our classrooms.end public domain text

annotated textClear Viewpoint. Johnson states that America needs reform and points out the three areas where the Great Society will focus: “in our cities, in our countryside, and in our classrooms.” His choice of these places emphasizes where people live and where they learn.end annotated text

public domain textMany of you will live to see the day, perhaps 50 years from now, when there will be 400 million Americans, four-fifths of them in urban areas. In the remainder of this century urban population will double, city land will double, and we will have to build homes, highways, and facilities equal to all those built since this country was first settled. So in the next 40 years we must rebuild the entire urban United States.end public domain text

annotated textKairos. Johnson addresses the timeliness of the concerns these college graduates have about their lives after graduation.end annotated text

annotated textLogos. Johnson will go on to provide a logical solution to the problems that Americans will face over the next 40 years.end annotated text

public domain textAristotle said: “Men come together in cities in order to live, but they remain together in order to live the good life.” It is harder and harder to live the good life in American cities today.end public domain text

annotated textQuotation from an Expert. This quotation from a revered classical philosopher (Aristotle) echoes Johnson’s idea, giving it more strength and credibility.end annotated text

public domain textThe catalog of ills is long: there is the decay of the centers and the despoiling of the suburbs. There is not enough housing for our people or transportation for our traffic. Open land is vanishing, and old landmarks are violated. Worst of all, expansion is eroding the precious and time-honored values of community with neighbors and communion with nature. The loss of these values breeds loneliness and boredom and indifference.end public domain text

annotated textKairos. Johnson addresses the many concerns on Americans’ minds.end annotated text

annotated textPathos. Using strong words like decay, despoiling, vanishing, and violated, Johnson connects his argument to emotions—mostly fear—the audience would feel about such destruction of nature and values.end annotated text

annotated textCulture. Johnson addresses the need for a change in culture to improve the future of the country.end annotated text

public domain textOur society will never be great until our cities are great. Today the frontier of imagination and innovation is inside those cities and not beyond their borders.end public domain text

annotated textSupporting Evidence. Johnson states that he will begin to build the Great Society in three places—cities, countryside, classrooms. Then he gives supporting evidence for each place.end annotated text

annotated textTo support the need for change the Great Society will bring to cities, Johnson offers thatend annotated text

  • annotated textmany people in the audience will see a time when four-fifths of the American population will live in cities;end annotated text

  • annotated textsince urban population and city land will double in the coming years, America needs homes, highways, and facilities;end annotated text

  • annotated textcities suffer from decay, and suburbs are being despoiled;end annotated text

  • annotated textthe country must fulfill housing and transportation needs;end annotated text

  • annotated textopen land is vanishing;end annotated text

  • annotated textold landmarks are violated; andend annotated text

  • annotated textvalues of community and communion with nature are eroding.end annotated text

public domain textNew experiments are already going on. It will be the task of your generation to make the American city a place where future generations will come, not only to live but to live the good life. I understand that if I stayed here tonight, I would see that Michigan students are really doing their best to live the good life. This is the place where the Peace Corps was started. It is inspiring to see how all of you, while you are in this country, are trying so hard to live at the level of the people.end public domain text

public domain textA second place where we begin to build the Great Society is in our countryside. We have always prided ourselves on being not only America the strong and America the free, but America the beautiful. Today that beauty is in danger. The water we drink, the food we eat, the very air that we breathe, are threatened with pollution. Our parks are overcrowded, our seashores overburdened. Green fields and dense forests are disappearing.end public domain text

annotated textTransition between Paragraphs. By using the phrase “second place,” Johnson alerts his audience that he is shifting to another facet of the Great Society.end annotated text

annotated textPathos. Johnson appeals to the fears of his audience with examples of the tragedies that could result if the Great Society were not adopted.end annotated text

annotated textSupporting Evidence. To support the need for change the Great Society will bring to the countryside, Johnson offers thatend annotated text

  • annotated textthe beauty of America is in danger;end annotated text

  • annotated textpollution threatens water, food, and air;end annotated text

  • annotated textparks are overcrowded and seashores are overburdened;end annotated text

  • annotated textgreen fields and dense forests are disappearing; andend annotated text

  • annotated textif destroyed, natural splendor cannot be recaptured.end annotated text

public domain textA few years ago, we were greatly concerned about the “Ugly American.” Today we must act to prevent an ugly America. For once the battle is lost, once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured. And once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted.end public domain text

annotated textAllusion and Play on Words. Johnson alludes to a phrase in popular use that describes U.S. citizens as “ugly Americans”: brash, conceited, and ignorant about cultures of other societies and matters of the world. He connects the phrase Ugly American with the phrase “ugly America,” a play on how Americans are perceived with his desire that America not be perceived as “ugly America.”end annotated text

public domain textA third place to build the Great Society is in the classrooms of America. There your children’s lives will be shaped. Our society will not be great until every young mind is set free to scan the farthest reaches of thought and imagination. We are still far from that goal.end public domain text

annotated textTransition between Paragraphs. With the phrase “third place,” Johnson alerts his audience that he is shifting to the third facet of the Great Society.end annotated text

public domain textToday, eight million adult Americans, more than the entire population of Michigan, have not finished five years of school. Nearly 20 million have not finished eight years of school. Nearly 54 million—more than one-quarter of all America—have not even finished high school.end public domain text

public domain textEach year more than 100,000 high school graduates, with proved ability, do not enter college because they cannot afford it. And if we cannot educate today’s youth, what will we do in 1970 when elementary school enrollment will be five million greater than 1960? And high school enrollment will rise by five million. College enrollment will increase by more than three million.end public domain text

public domain textIn many places, classrooms are overcrowded and curricula are outdated.end public domain text

annotated textStatistics as Supporting Evidence. To support the need for change the Great Society will bring to classrooms, Johnson uses statistics as evidence. He offers thatend annotated text

  • annotated texteight million adult Americans have not finished five years of school;end annotated text

  • annotated textalmost 20 million Americans have not finished eight years of school;end annotated text

  • annotated textmore than one-quarter of Americans have not finished high school;end annotated text

  • annotated textyearly, more than 100,000 high school graduates do not enter college because they cannot afford it; andend annotated text

  • annotated textmany classrooms are overcrowded.end annotated text

public domain textMost of our qualified teachers are underpaid, and many of our paid teachers are unqualified. So we must give every child a place to sit and a teacher to learn from. Poverty must not be a bar to learning, and learning must offer an escape from poverty.end public domain text

public domain textBut more classrooms and more teachers are not enough. We must seek an educational system which grows in excellence as it grows in size. This means better training for our teachers. It means preparing youth to enjoy their hours of leisure as well as their hours of labor. It means exploring new techniques of teaching, to find new ways to stimulate the love of learning and the capacity for creation.end public domain text

public domain textThese are three of the central issues of the Great Society. While our Government has many programs directed at those issues, I do not pretend that we have the full answer to those problems.end public domain text

annotated textThesis Restated. Johnson briefly summarizes his thesis: three issues of the Great Society.end annotated text

public domain textBut I do promise this: We are going to assemble the best thought and the broadest knowledge from all over the world to find those answers for America. I intend to establish working groups to prepare a series of White House conferences and meetings—on the cities, on natural beauty, on the quality of education, and on other emerging challenges. And from these meetings and from this inspiration and from these studies we will begin to set our course toward the Great Society. The solution to these problems does not rest on a massive program in Washington, nor can it rely solely on the strained resources of local authority. They require us to create new concepts of cooperation, a creative federalism, between the National Capital and the leaders of local communities.end public domain text

annotated textProblem/Solution. Johnson has pointed out the problems that America faces and now presents solutions to them.end annotated text

public domain textWoodrow Wilson once wrote: “Every man sent out from his university should be a man of his Nation as well as a man of his time.” Within your lifetime powerful forces, already loosed, will take us toward a way of life beyond the realm of our experience, almost beyond the bounds of our imagination.end public domain text

annotated textQuotation from an Authority. This quotation from a political expert leads into Johnson’s idea and acts as a transition, linking Wilson’s and Johnson’s audiences across time.end annotated text

public domain textFor better or for worse, your generation has been appointed by history to deal with those problems and to lead America toward a new age. You have the chance never before afforded to any people in any age. You can help build a society where the demands of morality, and the needs of the spirit, can be realized in the life of the Nation.end public domain text

annotated textEthos. Johnson uses ethos to appeal to the patriotic ideals his audience possesses for dealing with and finding a solution to America’s problems.end annotated text

public domain textSo, will you join in the battle to give every citizen the full equality which God enjoins and the law requires, whatever his belief, or race, or the color of his skin?end public domain text

public domain textWill you join in the battle to give every citizen an escape from the crushing weight of poverty?end public domain text

public domain textWill you join in the battle to make it possible for all nations to live in enduring peace—as neighbors and not as mortal enemies?end public domain text

public domain textWill you join in the battle to build the Great Society, to prove that our material progress is only the foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit?end public domain text

annotated textRhetorical Questions. Johnson uses rhetorical questions (questions intended to make a point rather than to get an answer) to encourage the audience to get involved in the Great Society.end annotated text

public domain textThere are those timid souls who say this battle cannot be won, that we are condemned to a soulless wealth. I do not agree. We have the power to shape the civilization that we want. But we need your will, your labor, your hearts, if we are to build that kind of society.end public domain text

annotated textAddressing a Counterclaim. Johnson identifies a counterclaim to the Great Society and then refutes it.end annotated text

public domain textThose who came to this land sought to build more than just a new country. They sought a new world. So I have come here today to your campus to say that you can make their vision our reality. So let us from this moment begin our work so that in the future men will look back and say: It was then, after a long and weary way, that man turned the exploits of his genius to the full enrichment of his life.end public domain text

public domain textThank you. Goodby.end public domain text

Discussion Questions

1.
For what purpose might Johnson have chosen to address the American people under the guise of a graduation address?
2.
What parts of Johnson’s speech show that he is trying to connect with the students in the audience?
3.
For what reasons has Johnson singled out the cities, countrysides, and schools as the locations of his Great Society?
4.
Johnson acknowledges one main counterclaim to the ideas proposed in the Great Society. How does Johnson address that counterclaim?
5.
In today’s political climate, Johnson’s Great Society might be labeled by some as socialism, an economic system in which production, distribution, and exchange of goods are owned or governed by the community as a whole rather than by individuals. In what way might Johnson have responded to this counterclaim?
6.
Johnson ends with a reference to the founders of the country and says, “You can make their vision our reality.” In your opinion, does he adequately explain what he means by “our reality”? Why or why not?
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