Gerald Graff Hidden Intellectualism Essay Outline

Kyle Cooke


September 5, 2103


In Hidden Intellectualism, Gerald Graff begins with the age-old argument of the difference between “book smarts” (intellectualism) and “street smarts.”  Graff explains that in many cases, these book smarts can take various forms and hide in what people call street smarts, hence the “hidden” intellectualism. For him, he realized that he was intellectually gifted when he noticed that he was using reason and argumentative strategies while discussing sports with friends. Graff describes that through his arguing and reasoning, he was showing his intellectual side. He also gives the reader another example of the discovery of hidden intellectualism by telling the story of Michael Warner, a man who also realized his intellectual side through his arguing except instead of sports, he was arguing the Christian Pentecostal views of his parents.

Graff then transfers to a bit of a darker tone by discussing that intellectualism is often looked down upon and is labeled as being nerdy or geeky.  He explains that as a kid, he was afraid to show his intellectual side in fear that he would be the target of name-calling and bullying so he suppressed that side of him. However, by continuing to talk about sports (the cool stuff) he was just building upon his hidden intellectualism.

Lastly, Gerald Graff describes to the reader how important it is to teach this intellectualism to kids who do not notice the intellectualism inside of them. By bringing youth culture into the curriculum, Graff explains, the kids can make an easier transition into more intellectual subjects. He goes further that by saying that if kids can passionately argue about sports, music, and pop culture then they can hopefully channel that passion to discuss classic works of literature and other more scholarly subjects.  He closes by saying that helping kids become an intellectual rather than just finding it within themselves is still a work in progress.

Gerald Graff's Hidden Intellectualism Essay

1644 Words7 Pages

Co-author of “They Say/I Say” handbook, Gerald Graff, analyzes in his essay “Hidden Intellectualism” that “street smarts” can be used for more efficient learning and can be a valuable tool to train students to “get hooked on reading and writing” (Graff 204). Graff’s purpose is to portray to his audience that knowing more about cars, TV, fashion, and etc. than “academic work” is not the detriment to the learning process that colleges and schools can see it to be (198). This knowledge can be an important teaching assistant and can facilitate the grasping of new concepts and help to prepare students to expand their interests and write with better quality in the future. Graff clarifies his reasoning by indicating, “Give me the student anytime…show more content…

By stating his personal opinion here at the beginning of the essay, Graff boosts his pathos by being straight forward and stating his stance on this issue straight away.
Graff then goes on to establish his ethos in the first few paragraphs while continuing to expand the thoughts and ideas on pathos throughout his essay. He begins to build his community and trust by recognizing his own credentials and sharing his personal background in writing. One of the first things noticed from the footnote about Gerald Graff’s professional career is that he has vast experience in the writing department. He is an English professor at a prestigious university, a past president of the Modern Language Association, and part of the professional association of scholars and teachers of English and other languages (198). But, since his background only assists his argument and does not define it, it is crucial to also look at his word choice, mood, language, and ideology in order to fully claim Graff a credible author.

Graff then goes on to prove that he is not biased in the fourth paragraph when he expounds that challenging reading and writing is also essential to producing a more well-rounded and intellectual student. He proclaims that “students do need to read models of intellectually challenging writing” (199). Graff uses George Orwell as an example of a notable writer that should be read. Graff claims that George Orwell’s writings that incorporate street smarts are more

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