Begin Paper 3

Due: November 11

Time on Task: 1-2 hours

Paper 3 invites you to develop your perspective on rhetorical development and its role in college success.

The assignment link: Paper 3 Assignment.

Your Task

  • Read the Paper 3 assignment, review your homework for the last couple weeks, and begin to plan your response.
  • Pick one or two of the Questions You Might Consider in the assignment and use it to help focus some semi-formal, paragraph-length writing.
  • Write one paragraph that develops a claim using specific text from Hass and from Bain, Gee, or Nathan.  (Think of this as a draft paragraph.)
  • Write one paragraph that develops a claim using specific text from Hass and from either Bain or Gee.  (Think of this as a draft paragraph.

11 thoughts on “Begin Paper 3”

  1. Alex Chamberland
    ENG 110 S
    Professor Cripps

    In gaining the talent of rhetorical reading, a student undergoes a “natural” development of growth where the student obtains maturity and sophistication. This idea of a student who has developed can be connected to Rebekah Nathan’s idea of the savvy college senior who has become a successful college student. In Haas’ study, when Eliza was a freshman “she seemed to view knowledge as something to be received [but as a senior] became a procedural knower and connected knower” (76). This shows that Eliza is an example of a student who developed through experience and viewed her learning of biology differently as she matured. Eliza acquires the necessary knowledge to succeed through development, just as Nathan describes the freshman to senior profile of a successful college student. The senior has learned to “balance, securing good grades, in anticipation of a lucrative or satisfying career, while experiencing the joys of college life” (Nathan 129). This is connected to Eliza in that she has naturally learned to balance a college life through rhetorical reading and development. Eliza has matured similarly to a student that Nathan calls the ‘successful senior’ who has utilized their professors and attended class on a regular basis.

    A college student can develop the skill of rhetorical reading by having a strong increased domain knowledge, which is part of their spock brain. Haas refers to increased domain knowledge as a characteristic of Eliza where she “increased rhetorical sophistication [and] facility with the terms and concepts of biology” (74). This means that Eliza a broader vocabulary range over time through her four-year college experience. Eliza gained many biological terms to store in her domain of knowledge, which is part of her spock brain, as Ken Bain would say. The spock brain is what “builds mental models, stores them, [and] remembers stuff” (Bain 72). One can surmise that therefore the spock brain is the section of the brain that carries the domain of knowledge for Eliza. Eliza’s spock brain stores all of the terms and definitions she has learned throughout the years which have caused her to develop a sense of rhetorical reading.

  2. Dalani Roy
    11/10/14
    With rhetorical reading, you can enter into a particular Discourse by using the different aspects that Haas offers. Not only that, but your ideas become more sophisticated. Before you enter a Discourse, you must understand all aspects of it. Understanding is of vital importance because “elements of the rhetorical frame include participants, their relationships and motives, and several layers of context” (Haas 48). The participants are not only the ones who want to enter a Discourse but the people around who are already in the process of or are already mastered in the Discourse. A Discourse is “sort of an ‘identity kit’ which comes complete with the appropriate costume and instructions on how to act, talk, and often write, so as to take on a particular role that others will recognize” (Gee 7). Increased domain knowledge as Haas names it, leads to “increased rhetorical sophistication” (Haas 74). Rhetorical reading helps to understand the different concepts and ideas in a Discourse.
    Rhetorical reading not only helps you to enter a Discourse but also helps you to grow and begin to think on your own instead of using only resources out of books, journals, and novels. “Her [Eliza’s] goals for reading changed as well… Eliza was trying to find or make a place for herself within an academic community” (Haas 73). Using rhetoric, you can make an impact in other communities as well, not just academic ones. Ken Bain would most likely refer to this growth as part of the Spock brain which “builds those mental models, stores them… and uses them to interpret new sensory input” (Bain 71). It’s important to build on new concepts instead of replacing old ones.

  3. In order to become fluent in a Discourse student must gain rhetorical reading by means of being part of a sociocultural setting. Gee believes that one cannot enter a Discourse until they have social interactions within his or her Discourse. One does not become part of a Discourse “by overt instruction… but by enculturation (“apprenticeship”) into social practices through scaffolded and supported interaction with people who have already mastered the Discourse” (Gee 7). Getting knowledge in a classroom is not enough because the student needs to be mentored while applying what they learned to a real life situation. Haas’s study of Eliza supports the importance of being around people already in the Discourse. Her “experiences in the real world setting of a lab, where students, professors, and other technicians worked together in the conduct of research, probably taught her a great deal about the actual, contingent nature of much scientific activity” (Haas 78). In order to be part of a Discourse students must become a rhetorical reader by having real life experiences to support what have learned in the classroom.

    Students must be exposed to different types of schooling in order to become a rhetorical reader in their Discourse. Being in different classes, having different teachers, and new kinds of assignments “required different strategies, goals, and views of discourse from” Eliza (Haas 75). Students must be put in new situations so that they develop different approaches to problems within their Discourse. Ken Bain would refers to those students who form new methods “mindful.” People who are mindful “constantly pay attention to different contexts and perspectives, and they live in the moment” (Bain 74). Students must experience various situations to gain the ability to be a rhetorical reader so that they can be successful in their Discourse.

  4. Jeremy Longchamp

    11/10/14

    ENG 110

    Thoughts on Beginning Paper 3

    1. Rhetorical reading is extremely important to not only success in college, but also to success after college. Christina Haas describes how the current education system is being plagued by autonomous texts: “Entering college students may hold and arhetorical or asituational theory of written discourse, a representation or model of discourse that precludes seeing texts as motivated activity and authors as purposeful agents, when in fact discourse theorists and scientific educators agree that students would benefit from a more rhetorical model” (46). Basically, students feel like texts are just words. Autonomous readers do not account for the author and her background and potential bias that could contribute to the words. In order to succeed in college and after college, students must develop as a rhetorical reader so that they can truly learn the material instead of just reciting words. Eliza did this throughout her college career and because of it became a much better student and biologist.

    2. In Christina Haas’, Learning to Read Biology: One Student’s Rhetorical Development in College, Haas describes a student’s (Eliza’s) growth from an autonomous reader to a rhetorical reader. One way that Haas claims contributes to her growth is the idea of instructional support. Haas describes, “She was exposed to different kinds of classes and assignments, and that this instructional support, provided by her teachers and by the curricula within the biology department, was responsible for Eliza’s rhetorical development” (75). Basically, that by taking other classes unrelated to biology, and doing assignments that did not relate to her field, she learned new ways of rhetorical reading. This concept of learning from other classes relates to Gee’s idea of metaknowledge, or “seeing how the Discourses you have already got relate to those you are attempting to acquire” (Gee 13). By engaging in, and mastering other classes or Discourses, Eliza learned how strategies of rhetorical reading that related back to her Discourse of biology. This lead to her becoming a more rhetorical and less autonomous reader.

  5. One can use rhetorical readings in ways to enter a Discourse that Gee refers to. Gee speaks about apprenticeship and being taught by others already in the Discourse one is trying to enter. He says, “Discourses are not mastered by overt instruction (even less so than languages, and hardly anyone ever fluently acquired a second language sitting in a classroom), but by enculturation (“apprenticeship”) into social practices through scaffolded and supported interaction with people who have already mastered the Discourse” (7). This relates to Haas and her study of Eliza. Eliza went into labs and classrooms where she was working with others and put herself into situations with people who had already mastered the Discourse. Haas says, “Elements of the rhetorical frame include participants, their relationships and motives, and several layers of context” (48). When Haas speaks about participants I believe she is referring to people who are trying to master the Discourse of biology. For Eliza to enter the Discourse of biology she had to be taught and learn through others already within that Discourse.

  6. Molly Mohan
    Eng 110-S

    Haas and Bain seem to have a connection on the topic of changing how one thinks to become better adapted to a discourse. “One of the things students of science must become privy to, as part of their disciplinary education, is this rhetorical, contingent nature of written scientific discourse” (Haas 45) One must open up their mind to a new way of thinking.This ties into Bain’s theory of being mindful. Bain suggests that thinking about how you think can greatly impact success. With the three brains, the spock brain, alligator brain, and the pleasure brain, Bain explains different ways the brain thinks in certain situations. This helps one advance in their field such as Eliza did in Haas.

    Gee’s concept of learning from someone who has already mastered the discourse ties into Eliza’s tools she used for educational growth. Instructional support and mentoring in a sociocultural setting are concepts that are important to Eliza’s growth. Eliza didn’t just learn by herself or from a textbook, Eliza get the experience of working first hand with people actually experienced in the field. “Discourses are not mastered by overt instruction…but by enculturation…into social practices through scaffolded and supported interaction with people who have already mastered the Discourse” (Gee 7). Eliza needed the interaction with experienced members of the discourse to be able to master it completely.

  7. Devon Verville
    ENG 110S

    The idea of rhetorical development relates to how students read text. Most students in the discourse of college will think that all text they read is autonomous, meaning it is totally independent and free of bias. Haas shows how students view text when she says “Beginning college students approach academic tasks as if they believe that texts are autonomous and context free.”( Haas 46) In order to change a student’s way of perceiving text they must change their rhetorical frame. This also relates to Gee’s concept of metaknowledge which is “the ability to manipulate, to analyze, to resist while advancing” (Gee 13) Students must use metaknowledge in order to change their rhetorical frame.

    Haas tells about how one student’s rhetorical development changed as she went through different experiences in college. She states that Eliza’s development was changed as she became a lab assistant “experiences in the real world setting of a lab, where students, professors, and other technicians worked together in the conduct of research, probably taught her a great deal about the actual, contingent nature of much scientific activity” (Haas 78) Eliza’s rhetorical development relates to Gee’s concept of discourse, Gee states “you are either in it or you’re not” (Gee 9) Since Eliza has been put in an environment where she was so much experience in what she wants to do, Eliza is now in the discourse of a lab assistant.

  8. Jessica Mikaelian
    Professor Cripps

    1. By using rhetorical reading a student is able to enter a specific Discourse using the different aspects that Haas has to offer. The idea of rhetorical reading is a concept that Christina Haas claims develops throughout college. Haas says “ [Eliza] subscribed to the doctrine of autonomous texts early in her college career, by the time she left college she had come to a greater awareness of the rhetorical, contingent nature of both the activities and discourses she participated in” (46). This idea of rhetorical reading means understanding that texts are not at all autonomous and are influenced and based on a multitude of other texts. Comprehending and acknowledging this concept is a necessity in order to be able to succeed in college and successfully enter the desired Discourse.

    2. James Paul Gee identifies a Discourse as “ a sort of ‘identity kit’ which comes complete with the appropriate costume and instructions on how to act, talk, and often write” (7). in order to be able to successfully enter a discourse of a major a student must be able to think and write in the Discourse of that major. A piece of being able to do that and enter the “identity kit” that Gee refers to rhetorical reading becomes a necessary component. Christina Haas develops a rhetorical frame that she defines as something “that helps readers account for the motives underlying textual acts and their outcomes” (48). The rhetorical frame makes it possible to engage in rhetorical reading, where a student is able to recognize that the text that they are reading is based on many other components (other texts as well as outside factors; such as the background of the author). Being capable of rhetorical reading is a large piece of being able to successfully engage in the Discourse of a major or even of the Discourse of college. Overall rhetorical reading is a major component is being able to enter the Discourse of a specific major or even of college as a whole.

  9. Joonho Han
    Professor Cripps
    English 110-S
    11/12/2014
    Beginning paper 3

    Through Eliza’s developmental growth, she became a more aware and good at what she had to do. As Haas talks about how Eliza goes from being a student in the sciences to describing herself as being in the sciences to being a scientist it relates Gee’s concept of mastering Discourse and being immersed into a culture or group. Gee says that you must be immersed into things “by enculturation (“apprenticeship”) into social practices through scaffolded and supported interaction with people who have already mastered the Discourse” (Gee 7). Eliza’s study relates to this because of her apprenticeship and her progression as a college student.

    For students to become a rhetorical reader in their subject, they must be exposed to many different ideas, including classes, topics, and teachers. When Haas says “…different strategies, goals, and views of discourse” she says that students must be exposed to different views in order to master something. Bain would call students exposed to different things “mindful”, these would be students who can approach a problem with a different view and can solve the problem unconventionally.

  10. For Hass, in order for a student to be successful in college they must understand the idea of rhetorical reading. According to Haas, rhetorical reading is “concerned with the nature of social, communicative acts and how individuals participate in and understand those acts” (Hass, 47). The essence of her argument shows that rhetorical reading can be related to students learning from new situations. Her idea of instructional support is a great example of this. By having a variety of teachers, classrooms, text/assignments, it improves our overall understanding of the subject and adds on to the knowledge you already have. Gee’s idea on “metaknowledge” explains this perfectly. Meta Knowledge can be defined as the “liberation and power, because it leads to the ability to manipulate, to analyze, to resist while advancing” (Gee, 13). In other words, meta knowledge is the knowledge of knowledge and adding on to what you already know. This relates to Haas in many ways because students are experiencing new things with a variety of teachers, classrooms and texts.

  11. Different texts and articles in different cultures are “intensely situated, rife with purpose and motive, anchored in myriad ways to the individuals and the cultures that produce them” (Haas 44). This differentiation in articles and texts creates the conflict of having or not having the prior knowledge or “rhetorical knowledge” to be able to read these articles and understand them for what they actually are. As a student progresses through college they are exposed to different types and styles of articles that they must interpret. Without having any prior rhetorical knowledge of the type of article they will never fully understand it. This rhetorical reading will be very important even more so after college is over and the student becomes involved in his/her career. If one cannot rhetorically read and understand to the fullest extent the article’s material they would not be very good at their profession. In James Paul Gee’s opinion they wouldn’t be considered part of the Discourse or the “saying-doing-being-valuing-believing combinations” of your profession (Gee 6).

    In Bain’s article he outlines several bad habits that college students undergo that range from cheating to the psychological problems students have when dealing with high stress situations. Rhetorical reading can help with a few of these bad habits including many of the bias issues. The bias that Bain talks about in his article triggers our brains to be lazy as we are “always looking for the easiest way out…following some well worn path, rather than thinking afresh and reflectively” (Bain 77). Rhetorical reading can provide us with the key to unlock the language of the particular discipline we are reading and give us a perspective that makes us think differently rather than autonomously.

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