A critical approach to rhetorical modes

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brian Douglas Weeks (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Advisor
Ervin

Abstract: During the late nineteenth century, the rhetorical modes of description, narration, exposition, and argumentation developed as democratizing tools to help writing instructors acclimate inexperienced students to the conventions of academic writing. These modes continue to inform many textbooks and guide many composition instructors particularly when dealing with inexperienced academic writers. However, the teaching of rhetorical modes may actually hinder students’ grasp of academic writing. Drawing from my personal experience as a composition instructor and English tutor at Cape Fear Community College, I will point out several common problems that occur when the rhetorical modes are treated as prescribed essay formats with no rhetorical purpose. The problems caused by the modes are rooted in current-traditionalism, the pedagogical philosophy from which they were developed. Current-traditionalism is a pedagogical philosophy that approaches teaching as an objective, standardized transfer of knowledge from teachers to students. This pedagogical philosophy continues to influence writing instruction, particularly in composition classes geared toward inexperienced academic writers such as those found in community colleges. However, the pedagogical philosophy of critical literacy has developed to address the shortcomings of current-traditionalism. A critical literacy approach to rhetorical modes shifts the focus from isolating and prescribing rhetorical strategies in the form of modal essays to engaging in organic combinations and considerations of modal strategies and the way they are used to achieve rhetorical purposes. In this thesis, I argue that such an approach avoids the pedagogical and political pitfalls often associated with the currenttraditionalism.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Academic writing--Study and teaching, Critical pedagogy, English language--Composition--Study and teaching, English language--Rhetoric--Study and teaching
Subjects
English language -- Composition -- Study and teaching
English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching
Academic writing -- Study and teaching
Critical pedagogy

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TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
Title Pagehttp://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncw/f/weeksb2005-1.pdfThe described resource includes the related resource either physically or logically.
Table of Contents & Abstracthttp://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncw/f/weeksb2005-2.pdfThe described resource includes the related resource either physically or logically.
Chapter Twohttp://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncw/f/weeksb2005-4.pdfThe described resource includes the related resource either physically or logically.
Chapter Threehttp://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncw/f/weeksb2005-5.pdfThe described resource includes the related resource either physically or logically.
Chapter Fourhttp://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncw/f/weeksb2005-6.pdfThe described resource includes the related resource either physically or logically.
Works Citedhttp://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncw/f/weeksb2005-7.pdfThe described resource includes the related resource either physically or logically.