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Deliberate Reading: follow up

October 7, 2016

As a course focused in part on our own rhetorical knowledge and poetics, not just the that of the authors we read, we are practicing and exploring ways to be more deliberate with our writing and critical thinking. Sound familiar? Of course, this was a key focus for the first project, a way to get at Thoreau’s intensive environmental writing. Another lesson for intensive writing: continue to reflect on what you have been working on after the project is completed. I have linked to some samples of projects from the class that offer some models for approaching two important components for this (and any) writing project: the logic (argument), the rhetoric (organization of the argument), and the close reading of language. These aren’t presented as models of perfection; rather, ways for you to practice and experiment further, starting with your blog and the next writing project.

Clarity, Complexity

  • Tim: We talked about an argument/thesis being a problem and its response–or a question and a proposed answer. Note how Tim sets up his argument by borrowing from Thoreau the very idea that Walden (or nature) is a response to a problem, the attempt to answer questions.

Arrangement, Coherence

  • Emma: note her transition/topic sentences–a simple but effective way to move your reader through the essay (create a dynamic effect). This rhetorical effect is also stylistic, helps create fluid sentences–and so Emma’s is also a strong model for the category I call ‘grammar.’

Development, Close Reading:

  • Ashley: note her intensive focus on Thoreau’s highlighting of words
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