Essay I with Reflection


Guidance of Being Successful

     The Illini Wise is a handbook that was created for freshman women attending the University of Illinois for the first time. This handbook was formulated by the student committee of freshman advisors and provided plenty of information that could guide the newcomers to explore the campus in various areas.

The creators of this handbook were likely to be the faculty of University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign in the fifties who had great knowledge of the school. They would be credible and trustworthy to share their experience and knowledge with the incoming students. These creators of the handbook are the “Ethos” in the rhetorical triangle, and possess the credibility for others to trust them. This handbook first welcomed the freshman women who are the “Pathos”, the audiences, for entering into the university, then helps them to familiarize themselves with college life through the introductions of courses, housing, activities and so on. The handbook states, “ Your primary function here is to be as good a student as possible”(Student, 3). The thesis of this handbook is to help everyone to be a good and successful student in this university. Being a good student includes maintaining good grades, managing time appropriately for their classes and academic activities, and making use of the resources around them. The thesis of this handbook is the “Logos”, which is the main message the author is trying to convey to the audience. In order to help students to succeed in the university, this handbook has several subtitles specifically describing the mandatory policies, studying techniques, and academic standards.


On the first few pages of the handbook, it introduces what has to be done in school to be a good student. This includes taking the placement tests, having class registrations, and meeting the advisors who were selected for students to give them more detailed information. Through advisors students learn the locations of each building, schedules of activities within the living units, and the academic assistances. The courses and study methods are amply explained. For example, how to maintain a good academic record by listening and taking notes fastidiously in the lecture, how to manage time appropriately, and how to take a good part in various activities. These important instructions and advices are all listed in the book for students to look up. This handbook is the guidelines for students to follow in order to be academically and socially successful in the University of Illinois. It is particularly helpful for the incoming students who have little knowledge about university. In the Toulmin Analysis, this information is the supporting detail for the thesis statement that the handbook is to help students to flourish in the environment of university by providing all kinds of constructive information.


However, the same as every student in academic community, the most powerful proof of being a good student is a student’s grade point average. The handbook emphasized more on grades in an unstated way, such as teaching student how to calculate their grade point average, and encouraging students to try to make into the Alpha Lambda Delta, which requires an average grade point of 4.0. The handbook describes this organization as a great honor to be one of its members. This organization in the handbook serves as the warrant in the Toulmin Analysis. The unstated value that related to the thesis statement of encouraging everyone to be a good student with great academic harvest. Besides, this organization was also established to assist the new students with their weaker subject areas and discuss academic related questions. This function of the organization further backs up the value of helping students to be accessible to academic assistance, which is also used to support the warrant that the handbook assists student to be academically successful. This is the backing in Toulmin Analysis, which uses supporting reasons to back up the warrant.

In the Toulmin Analysis, the qualifier serves to limit the thesis by using the language implying possibilities “Plan your time. This is the most important suggestion. You should include time to study, recreation and sleep”(Student,14). The handbook suggests every student ‘should’ make plans ahead of time instead of using the absolute word ‘must’. The habit of making plans in advance and following the instructions on this handbook surely will help students to succeed in college, but after all, it is student’s own choice to decide whether to be a good and organized student or not.


It is undeniable that being a good and academically successful is crucially important for a student in university, but the handbook mentions that trying to be a good student all the time is not necessarily a good thing. Taking some time for relaxation is better for one’s development in university both mentally and physically. “ You will get better result, if you take time off for relaxation and fun”(SCFA,15). Not only does this handbook provide guidelines of how to be a good student, but it also gives plenty of suggestions and options of having fun with friends. Being a good student is not the only thing in one’s university life. There are recreations and activities listed on the last few pages of the handbook that university encourages students to participate in and enjoy. This part of the source is used as a rebuttal in the Toulmin Analysis, which uses a counterargument to object that the sole function of this handbook is to provide information of how to be a good student, but also suggests how to relax themselves, and have fun with friends within the university community. However, even though the handbook suggests that studying all the time is not the cleverest thing to do, it does not mean that the university does not highly regard students’ academic progress. But relaxing and having fun moderately will actually help one become a better student with a colorful life experience. A good mental condition can also make one’s studying more efficient. This way students would not feel studying is so hard and torturous.

Even though this book was created almost fifty years ago, there are a lot of great points and methods students can still use in today’s studying community. The time managing skills, the good mental conditions, and the quality of hard work are all important of being a good student in University of Illinois.

Works Cited

Student Committee of Freshman Advisors. Illini Wise. Champaign: U of                      Illinois, 1959. Web.



For this assignment, I mainly did the Toulmin’s analysis throughout the paper, identifying the structure including the thesis, support, warrant, qualifier, backing and rebuttal. I did not change the major idea and analysis, but revised the grammar mistakes and formatting errors. The book title is correctly italicized without quotation mark.