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Rhetorical Analysis - Views on the Legal Drinking Age

            This text was a fictional letter written by a behavioral science PhD professor, Scott T. It was published in the Journal of American College Health of the May/June 2010 issue. In this letter Scott Walters goes by the name of Dean Walters. His purpose is to address upcoming students and their parents on the school alcohol policy in the year 2020. But to present day readers, it seems Walters is interested in opening up the discussion of ideas to improving college alcohol climate. Walters' letter has many strengths involved with logos and ethos, but has a poor appeal via the medium and its audience.
             Walters' letter strongly begins with a firm grip of ethos. He addresses himself with welcoming language and states his purpose, "I'm so pleased to be welcoming you to this new year. I would like to take a moment to orient you to this year's campus alcohol policy" (579). He also uses an example of history to back up his authority on the subject matter discussing alcohol, "As you are well aware, 5 years ago the US congress reversed their restrictions on the highway funds, resulting in a reduction in the minimum drinking age in most states, including this one" (579). In many parts of the letter, Walters continues to add ethos through continual information on school policies and facts about campus.
             The strong aspects of logos in this letter is that many common problems that result from alcohol among youth are addressed with logical solutions. Examples include that students are only allowed alcohol if they complete the basic alcohol safety course, therefore fixing the issue of ignorancy. They may only have alcohol in their residence if that room passed monthly health and safety inspections, removing abusive alcoholic behavior in residencies. Endorsements are prohibited but offset by increasing the alcohol excise tax. Students are screened regularly for signs of alcohol problems, and staff are trained to respond.

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