ERIC Number: ED382956
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Composing Oneself through the Narratives of Others in Writing an Academic Argument.
A study examined the problems students confront as they try to advance their own ideas when they are also asked to synthesize their interpretations of what others have said in developing a written argument. The researcher spent 15 weeks in a class of 15 students that focused on the theme of literacy. Discussions were observed and taped and protocols collected from six students who were then interviewed. All 15 student essays were analyzed. The focus was particularly on an autobiographical literacy essay and an argumentative essay in which students were to take a position on a literacy issue while drawing on some texts they had read. Although students were encouraged in a number of ways to use their own experiences as a legitimate basis for developing an argument, all but one appeared to rely almost exclusively on the assigned reading. A substantive analysis of how an Asian student went about writing the two essays shows important relationships between personal experience and positions taken on literacy. The way this student represents himself in his autobiography is a function of the position of difference from which he speaks; he experiences a real disjunction between the assumptions, expectations, and requirements that define him and those that define his readers. In the argumentative essay, the student chooses to talk about his concerns through describing others' struggles; it offers insights into the ways students appropriate other texts. (Contains 11 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Authorship; Literacy as a Social Process
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).