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ERIC Number: ED378579
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Once More to the Essay: Prose Models, Textbooks, and Teaching.
Root, Robert L., Jr.
A study of 24 composition anthologies that reprinted E. B. White's "Once More to the Lake" reveals a number of disturbing assumptions among the editors of these anthologies. Four areas of examinations were concentrated on: (1) classifications of White's essay; (2) thematic categories; (3) suggestions for writing; (4) study apparatuses; and (5) context. Results were disparate; they revealed, for instance, that authors place unreasonable demands on students in the study apparatuses they write. Students must be able to read not only the author's but also the editor's mind. Generally, results showed that if there is some agreement about the reasons students should be assigned readings in a composition course, there is little consensus about what kind of reading White's essay is and what students ought to be gaining by reading it and using it as a stimulus. The attempt to teach critical reading may be valuable for readers; the attempt to apply literary approaches to non-fiction prose may be worthwhile for young literary scholars and critics; the attempt to provide a text for a course in the essay may be attractive; but none of these attempts succeeds very well at getting at the center of the composition course--the student's own writing. Most anthologies have precious little to say about the process of composition. (Contains six tables and 34 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A