Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Path to Success Essay

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Imagine a book that offers the reader a key; a key that enables them to ride down the highway to success and see all of the stops along the way that are instrumental in achieving success. Malcolm Gladwell does precisely this in his novel Outliers, which examines some of history’s most successful people and then attempts to explain why they specifically became successful beyond their wildest dreams. Gladwell is a reporter for The New Yorker and an accomplished author in the areas of psychology, sociology, and social psychology. In Outliers, he presents his reasoning as to why some people become successful and some do not. One of his major points in this regard is the ten thousand hour rule, meaning that to master a topic and become …show more content…
He was way past 10,000 hours” (55). He then compares Gates’ experience with that of the Beatles in the early 1960’s, who played for over 10,000 hours during a year in Hamburg. In making the comparison, Gladwell effectively shows how his theory not only applies to two successful people, but applies in the same exact way. He is an expert in the use of logos, stringing together opportunities in Gates’ and the Beatles’ past to demonstrate how they achieved ten thousand hours of practice and how that helped lead to their success. While his argument greatly benefits from this, it suffers from a lack of strong ethos and counter-argument. Gladwell never really goes into his personal background and accomplishments. He merely heads right into the core of his theories. The only way the reader would be able to know that he is an accomplished author is by reading the back cover. This presents a major issue in truly believing what Gladwell is saying. He also is not very effective in creating any counter-argument in his work. He never fully comes out and says why the normal ‘hard work equals success’ theory is false. In explaining how his ten thousand hour rule, Gladwell seems to make the assumption that by proving the connection between ten thousand hours and success, one cannot be successful without ten thousand hours of practice. He does not write as to why someone

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