The Rhetorical Stance
Read Booth, “The Rhetorical Stance” and Connors, “Personal Writing Assignments” Booth identifies three “stances” that he has seen in student work. One of these, the “pedant’s stance” (think of the adjective pedantic), might be applied by some to describe much of student academic writing,which has also been described as “arhetorical.” Connors, in his history of “personal writing” assignments, touches upon similar issues in describing various ways teachers have attempted to make school writing relevant and meaningful to students. Connors also describes a “backlash” against personal writing as a remedy.
Drawing upon Booth and Connors (also thinking of Toye Chapter 2), offer an explanation of the causes of the “pedant’s stance” and then suggest some possible remedies (not specific assignments but guiding principles for creating assignments). Your audience are other teachers at an in-service workshop and you are on a panel entitled, “Helping Students Make Meaning that Matters.”
Your presentation should be at least two-doubled spaced pages (about five minutes spoken) and should include an overview of Booth, ideas/commentary from Connors, and a few “bullet point” take-away ideas for the the other teachers.
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