Expository Essay: Outliers– Malcolm Gladwell

1497 words, 6 pages

Intro Sample...


1. A person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system.
2. A person or thing excluded from a group; an outsider.

Gladwell starts off his book in this very way but, not only does he define an outlier he also gives an in depth analyses of how outliers come to be. He also points out today’s society’s misconception on success and discovers that outlier’s success isn’t just based on individual merit but much more than most people realize! Lastly he concludes that success is “grounded in a web of advantages” and is a product of “history and community, of opportunity and legacy” (Gladwell 285). He does an excellent job of this by using several theories explained in his book such as The Mathew Effect, The 10,000 Hour... View More »

Body Sample...


The basis behind this theory is that there is a certain period of birth, depending on the profession, in which the conditions are just right for a person so that as they grow older they are given “extraordinary opportunities”; if they take advantage of these opportunities they have the best shot at being the best in their profession [like the hockey players].
Another theory presented is called “demographic trough”. The easiest way to explain this is to give an example; the one Gladwell uses is the 1930’s and is he explains like this. In the U.S. in 1915 there are almost three million babies, in 1935 that number decreases by about six hundred thousand, and then in about fifteen years that number is back over three million (Gladwell 133). In simpler terms for every thousand people 29.5 babies were born in 1915, 18.7 in 1935, and 24.1 in 1950. This is what’s known as a demographic trough. Now the advantages of being born in this demographic trough, as described by economist H. Scott Gordon, are: roomy hospitals well equipped to serve the mass of babies before them, armed with staff “generous with their time” since they have little to do with very few babies; when school begins the “magnificent buildings” are already standing waiting to welcome the child, the teachers of plenty are welcoming with open arms; during his high school years the sports teams may not be as decent but there is always time for practice; the university is a place of comfort since the classes aren’t full, overcrowding in the cafeteria is non-existent, and the professors are attentive; lastly comes the ...

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