Life is full of corollaries; those facts that naturally exist as a result of another fact. For instance, when it comes to reading, most of my life I’ve been a Don’t, someone who didn’t if absolute necessity was not an immanent factor. The corollary is that I don’t write, either. In twelve years of primary education, of course, it came up, had to be dealt with, and endured. Then I walked into Freshman English 101.
The amount of information to ingest – even for a person who liked to write—would be something near overwhelming. But, for those of us who are Don’ts, it is incredible.
Through diligence and incremental steps, progress has been made. Learning has occurred. A transformation has begun to turn a Don’t into a Do.
My interest was hooked from the beginning when we reviewed Stewart Greene’s description of “Argument as Conversation”. Though reading and writing are not activities I enjoy -- talking, conversing, and arguing are. Greene said, “…learning how to write a researched argument is a process of learning how to enter conversations that are already going on in written form.” By researching what has already been written, organizing what is discovered into separate categories of information you agree with, stuff that you don’t agree with, and new information and supporting information that you are adding, clear logical thinking emerges in written word.
Greene also defined three factors that must be present to enter into an Argument as Conversation. First, an issue must be clarified. An issue is the tension that arises from conflicting points of view. Secondly, a situation must be identified in which the issue is clearly visible. Finally, a good question must be framed around the issue that we can answer with the tools of information we have. Rather than writing undocumented opinions, “research has the potential to change the readers’ worldviews and your own.”
The section we covered on Rhetorical Situations was also of...