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ERIC Number: ED360626
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Students' Compulsion To Screen: Research on Kenneth Burke's Terministic Screens.
Strasma, Kip
Kenneth Burke suggests that language operates from ultimate motives centered around "god-terms" through terministic screens. God-terms represent the strongest terministic screens in any culture: they screen attention to selected realities while screening or deflecting away others. A model of composition can be constructed from these theoretical principles. A person preparing to write has a number of terms from which to choose, a few of which may be god-terms that direct attention over and above the observations possible through the remaining terms. The writer follows through with the initial observations by selecting similar terms for the available terminology. A study included a freewriting construct completed by 150 freshmen that included three different writing prompts, each containing a quote about freedom, an almost universal god-term among Americans. Competing god-terms in the prompts were communism, flag-burner, and environmentalism. A random sample of 100 essays were analyzed. Results indicated that terministic screens were observed: students selected their own god-terms and supported them as their own position. Pedagogical applications of the model and the study include: (1) provide multicultural viewpoints in prompts; (2) encourage students to revise specifically for their own terministic compulsion; (3) teach critical reading strategies to discover god-terms; and (4) use collaborative exercises in which students assume different terminologies. (The three writing prompts, a figure representing a composition model and graphs are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A