ERIC Number: ED312669
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Shirley and the Battle of Agincourt: Why It Is So Hard for Students To Write Persuasive Researched Analyses. Occasional Paper No. 14.
This paper connects recent research with common student problems in writing research papers and offers an analysis of the range of synthesis tasks and some reasons why students have difficulty with the demands of these tasks. The paper focuses on the student's problem of not knowing how to think about material in ways that allow him or her to say something original or persuasive and suggests that this problem may be reduced if students learn to read their sources rhetorically. The paper argues that such a strategy would allow readers to identify interesting conflicts, discrepancies, and rhetorical problems, as dissonances (gaps) of communication between writer/reader or reader/audience. Teaching students to think about such dissonances could help them to find original things to say about their sources and rhetorically purposeful reasons to discuss their topics with specifically imagined audiences. The fictional composite Shirley, a college sophomore derived from published research and personal experience, is used in the paper to discuss common student problems in the context of a real term paper. (Five figures of rhetorical situations and tasks are included; two appendixes containing Shirley's paper and a range of research subtasks and 57 references are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.; Center for the Study of Writing, Pittsburgh, PA.