Intermediate Writing- Critique

“The Untouchables” by Thomas L. Friedman (p.323)

            In the article, The Untouchables, Thomas L. Friedman focuses on the impact of globalization on the employment sector. The purpose of this article is to enlighten people on how to position themselves amid the ‘flattening, of the world. The author addresses people from different countries but his main focus is the American people. This article is well written, with correct references to experts who help prove the authors point.

The author begins by noting that the world is ‘flattening’ at an alarming rate and cannot be stopped (Behrens and Rosen 323). With this in mind, a person has to position himself or herself in the right manner in order to take advantage of the situation. The author continues to say that, people need the right skills and ideas in order to get the good jobs that are available in the market. Globalization has changed the way countries, companies and individuals operate their businesses. The author continues to argue that, every employee must justify their role in a company in an attempt to prove they are not redundant. The solution to the problem created by globalization is for every person to make their jobs unique in such a way that they become ‘the untouchables’ (Behrens and Rosen 325). This means that even with technological advances, a person is still useful to their company because of their unique skill. The author also notes that the middle class who are the drivers of the economy must position themselves in the right way in order to be useful. In this view, the author concludes by saying that, for a person in the middle to survive, they must have the skills required to solve problems that arise in the society.

Thomas L. Friedman uses language that is both catchy and persuasive. The first line of the article is meant to attract the attention of the reader and it does so by the rhetorical question at the end of the first paragraph, which states, “What do we tell our kids?” (Behrens and Rosen 323). A person reading this article would want to find he answer to this question by reading the subsequent paragraphs. The author also uses information from other sources to make the article more valid. For example, he directly quotes the president of Wipro in order to show that experts in the field also share his opinion. The author also uses an example form a Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, which is a famous play and most people can identify with it (Behrens and Rosen 324). The author uses this as a technique of relating with the readers.

Another example is the use of direct quotes from Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani (Behrens and Rosen 325). The author is keen to use expert advice so that readers do not dismiss the article as being too personal. When giving examples in the first category of untouchables, the author lists people from a wide range of industries making it hard for the article to be termed as discriminatory. The language used in the whole paper is simple and easy to understand. This makes it easy for the author to persuade people of all ages and professions to follow his conclusion.

This is a reasonably strong article whereby the author easily sways the opinion of the reader from the beginning to the end. One of the greatest strengths of this article is the flow of ideas. The author gently transits from one point to the other without losing the flow of writing. For example, the three categories of untouchables are well connected and illustrated in such a way that readers easily follow where the author is leading them. Secondly, simple language is used to illustrate a complex topic such that all people can understand the conclusion made. The use of direct quotes from different sources helps to validate the author’s point of view, which also works well for this article. The only weakness in this paper is the lack of empirical data to support the arguments being made by the author.

In summary, this article is well written and represents the world of simple but elegant writing. The author makes it clear that simple words go a long way in creating an impression. The language and the flow of ideas in this paper make it an excellent read for most people.

Works Cited

Behrens, Laurence, and Leonard J. Rosen. A Sequence for Academic Writing. 4th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2008. Print.

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