Stratego Anyone?

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Strategy 1: Demonstrate That Conditions for a Solution Are Fulfilled

Strategy 2: Analyze Significant Words in the Phrasing of the Problem

Strategy 3: Refer to Literary Conventions or Expectations

Strategy 4: Argue Against Possible Questions

--Roberts, Pg 176-177

Okay, first of all, aren't "Problem questions" very similar to what Dr. Jerz said in class about "Research Questions?" After I read this chapter, I thought to myself, "wow I really could've used this before writing our first essay for class," but at least I'll have it in the future right?

The strategies above were what I found to be the most useful part of this chapter. I always have a difficult time coming up with theses for my papers, so I'll take any help I can get. Although a couple of the strategies are review for me, I still find it very interesting to read about how they can be used in an essay.

On a side note, I got a little annoyed with Roberts when he kept using Hamlet for his examples, only because I really disliked the play--probably would've helped if I'd had a better teacher back in high school, but that's beside the point. 

Like all the previous chapters, this chapter included an Illustrative Essay about the text we already read for class. This time it was "Desert Places" by Frost. I really liked how the essay actually demonstrated using more than one strategy within the text. However, I can't help but think that if I were writing a similar essay, I'd try to stick to just one of the strategies, only because I feel like it would make my thesis and paper as a whole more focused.


Jessie, I'm always interested when students say "I wish I'd read this sooner," since students rarely agree on what resource gives them the magic "aha moment" that crystallized everything. Typically, my response is to say that what you learned from the process of writing your first paper has created new neural pathways that were primed and ready to fire when you read this new explanation. Maybe if those pathways weren't there, reading this section wouldn't have had such an effect. Of course, if it turns out that a lot of students feel they would have benefited from this reading earlier, I can always rearrange things for the benefit of future classes.

As always, I appreciate the feedback.

Aja Hannah said:

About the Hamlet thing, I didn't have a bad experience with an English teacher (at least one that I haven't blocked out from memory), but I also get hung up on the Hamlet references.

I saw Hamlet, once a long time ago (in a land far far away lol), and I don't remember much of it. I never read it so all the references go past me. I'm learning about Hamlet as I read so I can't think of any objections (like for this chapter).

Maybe Roberts uses it because he is most familiar with it or maybe because he thinks most English majors would have read it at some point.

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Aja Hannah on Stratego Anyone?: About the Hamlet thing, I didn
Dennis G. Jerz on Stratego Anyone?: Jessie, I'm always interested