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ERIC Number: EJ788139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 22
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0147-1635
The Economy of Explicit Instruction
Kraemer, Don J.
Journal of Basic Writing (CUNY), v26 n2 p95-116 Fall 2007
The risk posed by explicit instruction in composition is that the reduction of writing to stock moves and effective devices may diminish the writer's agency and guarantee reproduction of the teacher's. The advantage of explicit instruction is power: overt and recursive attention to selected strategies can help students imagine the public agency the instruction itself may temporarily suspend. This study argues that growth in student writing can follow from replacing problem-solving assignments (based on the problem-solving strategies found in "Freakonomics") with rhetorical-analysis assignments. In this latter kind of assignment, the four features of explicit instruction that this study found empowering are (1) paying attention to how published writers frame problems; (2) labeling the framing move as a rhetorical design on readers; (3) weighing the effects of such designs on readers; and, in a rhetorical analysis of "Freakonomics," (4) rewriting an already-framed problem. Such instruction is necessarily preliminary to, but also part of, reflective inquiry into the ethics of the conventions, practices, and aims of teaching and learning academic writing.
Kingsborough Community College City University of New York. Available from: Boyd Printing Company, Inc. 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. Tel: 800-877-2693; Tel: 518-436-9686; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A