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ERIC Number: ED420058
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Narrating Difference: A Cross-Cultural Approach to Writer's Block.
Corbett, Jan
The emptiness and nothingness associated with writer's block is often described as a kind of death, a place where there is nothing to decide, nothing about which to express an opinion. However, for students who enter the writing classroom from a different culture, the problem may not be lack of ideas, but conflicting ideas. Some of these students are unable to write because they have not discovered a way within the rhetorical conventions of the expository essay to acknowledge or articulate the conflict they experience as they move between the contradictory rhetorical practices of their native and adopted cultures and the opposing ideologies on which these practices are based. Two such students were able to begin writing by narrating their conflict. One student used narration to explore the play between the ideas she was not able to reconcile, phrasing her opening paragraph as an unresolved dilemma. A second student wrote a review of a presentation by a speaker on "Speaking Two Languages in College," which served to distance him from the authoritative voice of the expository essay while allowing him to show a constructive way of dealing with the conflict he could not personally resolve. This approach seemed to enable these students to negotiate opposing ideas in a way that the argumentative form of the expository essay did not, yet they were able to incorporate it into the expository essay in very creative ways.(Contains eight references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A