I Wish I Could Remember

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Although this chapter was so short, I actually found it pretty helpful. I sometimes struggle with organizing a persuasive essay in a way that is not too confusing for the reader. The sample essay demonstrated the strategy of discussing an objecting viewpoint and then showing why that point is not good enough. I sometimes use this method; however, lately I have just been writing alternate views throughout my papers and then shutting down the opposing views throughout the body paragraphs. I am starting to wonder which method is better or if both are fine, or if one is less confusing than the other.

            If I remember correctly, my junior high school teachers used to have us write persuasive essays in the form of a compare contrast essay. For instance, one paragraph would be about one point of view, then the next paragraph would be about the second point o view. Also, I think the concluding paragraph was usually which point of view you thought was better and why. I know at least one of my teachers had us do that. I am really not sure how I feel about that method. It may be an effective way to introduce students to writing persuasive pieces; however, I think it should only be use for beginners if at all.

            I am also having difficulty remembering how my high school teachers had us write persuasively; however, I think one teacher in particular had a more sophisticated approach. She would take us to the library and we would find sources that supported our claim as well as some opposing views. The only difference was that we had to write a thesis before we did the research.

            I know this chapter was only about problems and writing persuasive essays, but I got more out of it than just that. I have a problem of writing too formally. Dr. Jerz once said that I like to talk a lot through writing. Ever since, I have been trying to write more casually, but it's hard to change a habit that I have had for the past 5 or 6 years. Anyway, I love how Roberts includes illustrative essays in each chapter because I am seeing examples of how to write less formally and get straight to the point. I have to admit though, I usually skip reading the sample essays, but I saw that Dr. Jerz said to pay attention to the example so I read it. For now on, I will probably read the sample essays and maybe even go back over ones from previous chapters. Well, maybe I won't become that ambitious.


Thanks for the feedback, Brooke. The textbook has some very good models, and even though often students in this class have said Roberts is often repeating what they've already heard, we can always gain something from looking at a model and evaluating it according to our criteria.

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