ERIC Number: ED188184
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Decentering and Identification: Making Argument the Core of the Composition Course.
Kelly, Kathleen A.
A writing course structured on the principle that personal experience essays should be written as arguments that draw out a conflict or opposing view can help student writers avoid producing prose that is either too abstract or too concrete. Students can be taught to approach the personal essay as a special type of argument on a particular controversy to a significant audience. First emphasizing the importance of audience, defined as the specific opinion, attitude, or ignorance that a piece of prose attempts to affect or change, and then leading students to see what they have learned or how their attitudes have changed about a subject, composition teachers can help students define their own previous attitudes as the audience for their arguments. A course designed around a sequence of assignments dealing with conflict progressively more external to the student might be managed in three phases: first, papers based on personal experience from which the student learned something significant; second, papers arguing with someone the student knows personally; and finally, papers based on readings in which the student argues with an unknown other, a professional writer or essayist. Such a course should enable students to make the connection between their own private experiences and issues significant to the society outside their private world. (AEA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (31st, Washington, DC, March 13-15, 1980).