Shadow Scholar Essay

In this Essay I will be discussing a piece written by an anonymous writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The text is called The Shadow Scholar, it is a commentary on the Higher education system from a writer who is paid to write college essays for other students around the world. His targeted audience is higher education professors, as he is discrediting their work as many students still pay money because they either don't understand their course or don't want to. In this commentary I will be analysing how the writer creates a critical and condescending tone, and I will also be analysing how the structure of the text strengthens the argument of the author.

P1: Tone- Main interest
The writer of this text wants to make it clear that his job shows the incompetence of the teaching in higher education, which he does by listing the amount of different bachelor degrees he has worked on, to show the variety of higher education he has worked on, without taking the course he has been able to fool professors into thinking he is a student of theirs. In line 25, he says:" you would be amazed by the incompetence of your students writing."
The use of language in this particular sentence is striking as he calls the students incompetent, which is very harsh, seeing as these same students are his customers, but then he shifts the blame from the students to the teachers in line 29, when he says: "I live well on the desperation, misery, and incompetence that your educational system has created". Specifically, "your educational system", he points a clear finger and explains that this is the creation of these teachers. He does not suggest, he states that this is because of the education system built by the intended audience of this text.

P2: Language (structure, syntax, genre conventions, etc.)
The writer of this text uses short, simple sentences to emphasise the message to his audience. For example, in line 19 he simply states: " I've attended three dozen online universities". He does not use any complex sentence structure to


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