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Journal of Basic Writing (CUNY), v24 n1 p93-119 Spr 2005

Researchers use images of outsiders and insiders to distinguish basic writers from students more proficient with the demands of academic discourse and academic culture. For example, David Bartholomae examines how outsiders rely on unelaborated commonplaces to define their interpretations while insiders elaborate and work against their commonplaces. We underscore how the rhetorical topics are the basis of the commonplaces, how students can define, compare, relate, and cite their assumptions more successfully. We also describe a rubric to assess how students may move from outsiders to insiders in part by cultivating what Kenneth Burke calls a humble irony. This perspective may help students develop more critical viewpoints and may prompt teachers to better engage the dissonance and difficulties students bring to our classrooms. The following student essays are appended: (1) The Power of a Fist; and (2) Women in Combat.

Descriptors: Figurative Language, Academic Discourse, Writing (Composition), Scoring Rubrics, Student Adjustment, School Culture, Basic Writing, Individual Differences, Imagery, Student Writing Models

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Autor: Williams, Mark T.; Garcia, Gladys


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