Rhetorical Effectiveness Analysis Essay

“Building: Old Main on UA Campus” – rhetorical effectiveness analysis
The text “Building: Old Main on UA Campus” serves as a historical reference and clearly aims to show the significance of the building and its place in the modern world. After a certain time of analyzing it, one should conclude the text does have considerable merit as it deals well with the matter of showcasing the Old Main’s history and its historical and cultural significance.

The author of the text, in order to get the attention of any potential reader starts off with a curious fact of the construction: sinking in the ground, and by introducing an unusual term – “territorial hybrid”, which is explained as a necessary technological decision to prevent the ruination process during extremely hot summers that are so typical of Tucson. Another fact mentioned in the paragraph instantly reveals the administrative and social functions of the building – that is providing work space for the Dean of Students and Career services as well as providing a place for students to gather and communicate during breaks and launches.

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Then follows one of the weakest points the text attempts to make – visual representation: it is quite ineffective and uninspired. First of all, all shown pictures were done during sunny weather and not one was shown taken during rainy weather or at least a cloudy day. Second: all pictures are taken virtually from the same point – that with the fountain in the way. No pictures from other perspectives were presented as well as any considerable close-ups. Such a poor choice means that a casual reader will have to struggle to see any kind of special beauty in the building, which could justify its uniqueness and value to the community: surely there were other ways how the building could be photographed and presented, so that the impression from the photographs could be more positive. These three pictures hardly do though the building any justice. The visual representation aside, the text leaves a much more positive impression with the amount of facts it presents and the way with which they are told.

The first paragraph provides information of interest regarding the owners of the land, on which the building stands, which provides an interesting contrast to the academic nature of the place: after all professional gamblers and saloons do not quite mix with the higher educational establishments. In any case, this paragraph stresses successfully the important role of the University of bringing education and culture to the places, which have not been long something more than the US frontier in the west.

The next paragraph tells about the functions that Old Main used to have and it is a good rhetorical move indeed, because it opens up the mystery of how the building was used over the course of its existence. The number of 32 students and six faculties only is not coincidental, for it is called upon to show how the University has developed over more than a century of its existence: from being a tiny institute – to one of the most prominent universities in the state.

The next paragraph tells about the amount of care and consideration, which was dedicated to the building’s constructions: $500 dollars back in the 19th century was a huge sum of money – it was done to help the building to survive extremely difficult weather and climate conditions. Another curious moment: bricks used for the building were produced on the construction site. Everything in the paragraph speaks of various methods and tricks to make the building heat resistant and to make the temperature inside it bearable and adequate enough, so that it could host classes (one has to keep in mind that during the building’s creation such things as AC did not even appear in the minds of the sc-fi writers). The story of the fountain is included to show its significance and the reason for its implementation into the architectural ensemble of the premises – World War I and the wish of the locals to commemorate those who fell on the battlefield.

The next part is crucial to the whole text as it provides the most important contrast point to the glory of this building – its times of biggest downfall, when it was abandoned in 1938 and left to complete condemnation. The object was resurrected with the forces of the Navy and turned into one of the numerous training schools, which appeared throughout the war.

In order to point out the historical importance of the Old Main, two facts are presented: the event of Old Main’s addition to the National Register of Historic Places and the fact that the building underwent numerous restorations – both events show that Old Main is of major importance not only to the local community, but to the whole country.

Since the United States is such a young country, it is no wonder that building older than a century are regarded as doubtlessly important for the generations to come. The text concludes with the hopeful news of further renovations to the building’s foundation ($4,6 million clearly indicates that the restoration process was not underfunded at all), which surely promises a long and bright future for Old Main, which is bound to accept thousands and thousands of students for many years to come.

The text is well executed for someone who is interested in the history of Old Main: it provides all necessary historical and entertaining facts, which turn the reader’s attention away from the realization, that the text is filled with dry history. The only problem is that while the text shall be of immense interest and curiosity to someone who lives in the building’s vicinity or studies in the University, to which Old Main belongs – it is quite doubtful that the text and the information it gives can be of any interest to an outsider or someone who is not interested in the architecture of yore. It is not the fault of the writer, because he obviously picked the most peculiar and striking events, which create a nice case for the building’s preservation for future times.

The lack of interesting history cannot be a valid reason to call this text a failure because of the following: it provides valuable information about Old Main and provides perfect argumentation as for why the building still deserves any attention whatsoever. The sequence, in which the fact are presented is almost immaculate and clearly gives the feel of how the students felt under its roof a century ago. The only loss: if the author decided to include images as the sources of visual enhancement, he should have picked better images, which could portray the building from various sides, which could highlight its beauty and respectable age. In any case, the text shall serve not only as a good historical reference, but as advertisement for those, who consider applying to the University of Arizona, which can clearly boast some incredible history.

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