The Student as Interpreter: What Do We Mean When We Ask Who Did ItReport as inadecuate

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One version of a first year seminar in rhetoric examines the President Kennedy assassination controversy as seen by several writers in a rhetorical framework that stresses the difference, particularly in regard to the writers' approaches to truth, in intellectual and imaginative discourses. The assignments, three major writing projects, introduce students to the concept of competing interpretations and then encourage them to become participants in that dialogue. In the first assignment, students examine the approaches to truth discussed in essays by E. H. Carr and Joan Didion. In the second assignment, they interpret a literary account of an historical event (Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar") from a political perspective, and in the third assignment, they examine official, unofficial, and fictional accounts of the Kennedy assassination as part of the process of creating their own version of the event. (RS)

Descriptors: College Freshmen, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Course Content, Critical Thinking, First Year Seminars, Higher Education, Rhetoric, Writing Assignments

Author: Steele, Jack


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