Between the Sexes, A Great Divide by Anna Quindlen

Intention: Quindlen writes of the huge separation between men and women in her piece, humorously ruminating on how the two genders can even get along. She then shifts to explain that although the two groups are very different, it is how they use their differences together that is really important. She opens her essay by…

No Man is an Island by John Donne

Intention: The intention of this essay is to demonstrate the idea that every human being is connected to one another, and the idea that when one person suffers, we all suffer with him/her. One memorable quote from this essay is, “…all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter…

How We Listen by Aaron Copland

Intention: Copland informs us on the subject of music and the various ways that we listen to it. According to him, the different planes we listen on are the sensuous plane, the expressive plane, and the musical plane. Each plane of listening has its own purpose and advantages and knowing about them can help us…

Nowhere Man by Pico Iyer

Intention- Iyer’s intention of Nowhere Man is to display the increase of depersonalization in younger generations, as well as the lack of connection between home and self and self and others. Ethos- In his essay, Iyer describes the “transit loungers,” a group of people that spend most of their time traveling and not forming an emotional or…

Naps by Barbara Holland

Intention: Holland’s intention in this essay is to bring to light the importance of daily naps, and explain the benefits of napping in the middle of the afternoon. -Holland appeals to logos and builds her credibility with the audience by explaining other countries customs and views on napping versus the U.S.’s. For example, she tells…

The Crimson Tide by Atul Gawande

Intention- The intention of The Crimson Tide is to explore and explain to the audience the different reasons behind why a person blushes. Gawande explores the common belief that blushing is merely caused by embarrassment, and he proposes evidence that it is not merely caused by embarrassment, but instead is a sort of reflex humans have…

On Ben Franklin’s Virtues by D.H. Lawrence

Intention: Lawrence’s intention in this essay is to criticize Ben Franklin’s self-improvement essay. He responds to Franklin’s plan for achieving perfection and explains why it will not work. -Lawrence’s tone throughout the essay is sarcastic and disrespectful toward Franklin and his ideas. His dislike for Franklin’s ideas is shown through this tone and when he…

The Corner of the Eye by Lewis Thomas

Intention: The purpose of The Corner of the Eye by Lewis Thomas is to help readers understand the value of observation. He uses three main examples of observation, such as noticing minor things like the stars, or major like computers and artificial intelligence taking over human beings to make them better observers. The title suggests the main point…

Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self by Alice Walker

Intention: The intention of this essay is to show that we are often our harshest critics when it comes to beauty and we often let that affect our outlook on our lives. The intention of this piece is also to tell of her childhood experience with beauty, and how she came to feel beautiful after…

Living Like Weasels by Annie Dillard

The intention of this piece is to convince readers to live “as [they’re] meant to,” focus on their individual purposes (or goals), and never give up on whatever they feel they are meant to do. The sentence, “He had two black eyes I didn’t see, any more than you see a window,” was very effective…

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell’s intention is to offer information on how and why epidemics of any kind occur. Arrangement: “The Tipping Point” is the opening essay in Gladwell’s book of the same title. This piece is meant to introduce readers to Gladwell’s ideas and set the context for the remainder of the book.  It immediately begins with an…

Reading the River by Mark Twain

In Reading the River by Mark Twain, he uses his own experience as an apprentice steamboat pilot to suggest a pilot’s the loss of beauty in the river and the gain in awareness of its dangers. The analytical study of the river by the pilot shows it’s hidden dangers underneath the illusion of its beauty. It can…