The New Literacy


The New Literacy is a piece of literature by Clive Thompson that discusses the writing skill regarding technological impacts. The article reflects on the history of how the writing skill was adapted before technology and also acknowledges that technological advancements have impacted it. Thompson compares the previous application of writing that was rare with the rampant use of the skill today due to technology. Besides, the writer illustrates how research has proved that technology is indeed not destroying writing. Instead, it is improving it. The article The New Literacy has sufficiently implemented the logos, ethos, and pathos rhetorical strategies with the primary ones being the use of concrete examples, illustrative anecdotes, comparing and contrasting, and the writer’s knowledge of the author.

Rhetorical Strategies

Thompson has applied the ethos rhetorical strategy by depicting to have more knowledge on the author. The strategy’s application in the literature is whereby he gives more information about Lunsford’s occupation, place of work and also her project before he introduces her findings (Thompson 1). The strategy is applicable in this texts since the primary motive of the statement is to enlighten more on the author of the project that Thompson is quoting, ideally showing he has prior knowledge of her. This technique is vital in demonstrating the credibility and the experience of the source of information.

Another communication strategy exercised by Thompson on the article is under logos category whereby the writer used concrete examples in the context. An example of its usability in the text is when Thompson illustrates how Facebook and PowerPoint as examples adversely impact the writing skill (Thompson 2). This approach of logos is relevant in the texts since it uses examples to precisely back the claims of the writer about technology affecting writing. The strategy of using concrete examples is critical since the writer can adequately persuade the reader.

Similar to the use of concrete examples, Thompson employs the logos strategy by including comparison and contrasting theme in the texts. From The New Literacy, the young people who are significantly affected by technology got compared to other generation that has used the skill to illustrate disparity. The approach relates to the texts ideally because the writer shows how the different generations vary from the age affected by technology and as a result, a reader’s perspective of a situation can become altered. Indisputably, this approach allows the writer to influence the reader based on the similarities and differences of an issue.

Besides, Thompson has also implemented the rhetorical strategy of pathos by employing illustrative anecdotes. In the article, the writer talks about the skill of writing as used by Americans before technological advancements such as the internet existed (Thompson 3). The strategy applies to the texts in that the writer uses the experience of other people to depict his message. This method is crucial since it involves the reader’s emotion and it also allows the writer to show their stance in a situation.


Conclusively, in The New Literacy Thompson has adequately applied all rhetoric strategies to ensure the achievement of reliable communication with the reader.  The article acknowledges both perspectives of the impact of technology making it nonbiased. However, the article focusses primarily about the beneficial effects. Besides, the writer has used powerful language with significant examples to back up his assertions. The intended message of the positive impacts of technology on writing has sufficiently been fulfilled. Hence the article is compelling. Thompson’s writing suggests usage of different rhetoric strategies to invoke different reception from the writer. Emotion has been involved sparingly with the inclusion of self-experience, and finally, the writer backs his claims which in turn realize a compelling article.

Works Cited

Thompson, Clive. The New Literacy

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