ERIC Number: ED198474
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Higher-Level Features in Children's Stories: Rhetorical Structure and Conflict. Reading Education Report No. 18.
Steinberg, Cindy; Bruce, Bertram
Traditional surveys of children's literature have examined features such as text structure and topic, but have failed to take into account rhetorical elements such as author/reader distance, commentary, point of view, and inside view (insight into characters' minds). Similarly, they have glossed over aspects of character to character interaction, such as responses to interpersonal conflict. A children's story survey was conducted to determine the prevalence and distribution of a story's rhetorical elements, to examine the relationship between traditional measures of story complexity and a conflict complexity measure, and to explore relationships that might exist between preference ratings of the stories and the coding of the stories' rhetorical elements. Of the 32 stories examined, 29 exhibited conflict, especially interpersonal conflict. Inside view was found to be more prevalent in the upper level stories. The results suggest that this model of author/reader interactions and conflict is one step towards a richer language for discussing stories and for enhancing children's understanding of stories. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.