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ERIC Number: EJ779581
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 47
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0741-0883
Get Comfortable with Uncertainty: A Study of the Conventional Values of Literary Analysis in an Undergraduate Literature Course
Wilder, Laura
Written Communication, v19 n1 p175-221 2002
This study describes the extent to which shared assumptions of literary scholars form part of an introductory literature course. Fahnestock and Secor, in The Rhetoric of Literary Criticism describe five special topoi of literary criticism (appearance/reality, paradigm, ubiquity, contemptus mundi, and paradox) that characterize the warrants of literary criticism appearing in a sample of major literary studies journals. This study triangulates ethnographic data of a class's meetings, analyses of students' essays, and questionnaires to discover whether these topoi are communicated to students in a survey course, whether students recognize and use them, and whether they are rewarded for using them. The special topoi of literary criticism appear in the discourse of instructors and students. Though textual analysis did not reveal a connection between using the special topoi in writing assignments and receiving a higher grade, questionnaires revealed that students adept at recognizing literary values and discourse conventions were more successful.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A