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Rhetorical analysis of Lies my teacher told me: Everything Your American History textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen - Research Paper Example

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Institution: Instructor: Rhetoric Analysis Rhetoric is the study of potential misunderstanding. Therefore, when one conducts a rhetoric analysis, they are in a position to find out what the main argument of a person was and how it was conveyed to the intended audience…
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Rhetorical analysis of Lies my teacher told me: Everything Your American History textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen
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Download file to see previous pages This may be due to the methodology of teaching that they get or the materials that they are subjected to and this will form the basis of this discussion. This paper will be a rhetoric analysis of the piece Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen. The material under analysis is Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. It was written by James Loewen in the year 2005 and talks about most American students’ lack of knowledge about U.S. history and their lack of curiosity. However, he does not blame the students; rather he examines the way textbooks that are recommended to the students by their teacher’s present half-truths and sometimes ideas that are totally not true. One of the big questions in the material is the idea of whether America was first settled in 1960 as is claimed in most books and preached by tutors (Montagne 1). Loewen is troubled by the fact that students rarely consider what lies beneath the textbooks that they read; he further blames authors of History books for coming up with materials that are not properly researched but are simply a repetition of materials that have been earlier written (Loewen 344). For these inadequacies, Loewen argues that authors of History textbooks must carry out proper and new research that validates the information that they write. This is because, most of the time, history books have a number of sources quoted as references yet they were actually never consulted in coming up with the material inside the text. As a result of this, students end up internalizing concepts that are not really proven to be true. Generally, Loewen is criticizing History textbooks based on the fact that the information that is contained in them is not validated. However, this argument is subject to debate. History, just like the name suggests happened in the past, thus, the only source of information that is there on the subject is other written materials. There are no people to interview or anyway that the material written can be proved hence, teachers have to rely on what is in the written material. For example, the author compares History and Chemistry textbooks based on titles that are common in both disciplines. Most Chemistry textbooks have titles like Principles of Chemistry while History books have titles that suggest movements, causes and effects (Loewen 336). This is a true observation, but it is defendable, for Chemistry, one can go to the laboratory and work out experiments to prove that what has been earlier written is right. After the experiments, one can ascertain whether it is true or there are some errors, thus, new materials can be written either to emphasize on what had been written earlier or to dispute it. On the other hand, this is not possible in History, there is no way that one can go to a place where an event is said to have happened to question its validity. Therefore, this is the reason why History books always contain what is written in other books and teachers have to use that information in educating students. Loewen may have been influenced by his own version of what nationalism and true patriotism is other than what is portrayed in most History books (Stern 410). To support his argument, Loewen uses a number of reasons; he says that the teaching of History, more than any other discipline is dominated by the use of textbooks which students find to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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