Since the very first posts, we have analyzed Gladwell’s PURPOSE in writing Blink with some mention of other contributing parts of the writing situation: AUTHOR (credibility and position) and AUDIENCE. The writing situation is discussed at greater length in Chapter 5 beginning on page 43 in the required first year writing handbook, The Every Day Writer by Andrea A. Lundsford. Since all parts of a writing situation contribute to the success of the work, let’s look at the other two a little more.
1.) I think we all can agree the audience Gladwell addresses is broad. Almost anyone can go to a local bookstore or get on Amazon.com and order a copy of his book in print or even for their Kindle. The subject of decision making is a pretty universal topic and relates to pretty much everyone. Because his audience is not an audience that can easily be characterized it would be considered a multiple audience rather than a simple audience. He therefore has to appeal to a wide range of people with differing opinions, backgrounds, understanding, abilities, and experiences. Considering this kind of audience one Lundsford calls a “whole audience”, how effective is Gladwell’s appeal? Which examples, anecdotes, studies, and cultural references are most effective to you as a member of his multiple or whole audience and which ones are least effective, possibly considering some of the following: Warren Harding, Kenna, the Getty kouros, Vic Braden and the tennis serve, the Millennium Challenge, Cook County Hospital, the shooting of Amadou Diallo, the Aeron chair, the Gottman experiments, and the Pepsi Challenge.
2.) Who is Gladwell and why is this important? For example, Gladwell is a best selling author, a journalist, and a staff writer for The New Yorker. He has written other well received books, four New York Times best sellers in fact, and perhaps most notably, The Tipping Point (2000). Gladwell is NOT a scientist, a sociologist, a psychologist, a medical doctor, a research marketer, a food expert, a military expert, or a police officer. How credible is Gladwell? Try to use specifics to support your response.
Keep in mind, as I mentioned in my last post, there is room for disagreement here, but there are no right or wrong answers.