ERIC Number: ED207081
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Language Analysis: Critical Reading and Writing--What's the Connection?
College freshmen, when confronted with an essay question using broad concepts such as "society,""freedom," and "progress," seldom clarify or define the concepts in their essays before expressing their opinions or solutions. Students who read without interpreting the concepts implied by certain words shortchange the author, and students who write without examining the content of their propositions shortchange their audiences. Language analysis can help eliminate this problem because it specifies a set of operations that the students can learn to perform, such as generating model cases, contrary cases, and borderline cases. Students must first learn to appreciate the need for clarification. Propositions from assigned readings must be examined, after which students can be taught to devise model cases that definitely are described by the word in question. Once they begin to see the possible range of meaning implied by a word, they can return to their own propositions and evaluate them. They will also begin to recognize words in need of clarification in the literature they read. Following these guidelines, students in a one-semester course were taught language analysis skills. As a result, they demonstrated increasing skill at recognizing words in need of clarification and used this skill in preparing their essays. (HTH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freshman Composition
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (32nd, Dallas, TX, March 26-28, 1981).