You Can't Always Argue With The Text

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My name is Lauren Miller and I am a freshman at Seton Hill University.  This is my second blogging portfolio for EL150: Introduction to Literary Study.  In my first blogging portfolio, I mentioned that I was learning the essential skill of arguing.  But something odd happened in the last few months...I felt that I could not always argue a point about some of the texts that we were reading.  For example, when we read Essential Literary Terms by Sharon Hamilton, I did not have much to say.  It was more of an informational text and I blogged about new terms that I had learned.  I hope that I am not moving backwards by not arguing a point in every blog entry.  I just feel that it is not possible with every text.  So, in some of the following blog entries, you may find more of my opinion than anything.  But I reassure you, there are some in which I argue my point.







Lauren, you've made a subtle but important discovery. We don't always have to arge something in order to write usefully about knowledge. I think it's great that you're so focused on analysis and synthesis of new information, that you notice the difference when your learning is simply about acquiring a fact. You can't really argue about how literary scholars have defined terms such as irony or what the form of a sonnet is. But, armed with this new information, you can -- in the future -- argue about whether a particular line in a sonnet should be interpreted as ironic. With every new skill or term that you acquire, you put at your fingertips new tools that can help you do ever more complex, refined, and intellectually rewarding critical thinking. Keep up the good work! Even more important at this stage, keep reflecting on it, so that when you go back and review your work, you'll see clearly how far you've progressed.

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