drafting / reflecting / writing

Different genres for responding

In middle school and high school, most of us are taught to write a persuasive papers, also known asposition papers. These papers tend to be opinion based; primary evidence comes from the self. This paper is all about “I say.”

As we move into argument, most often in college, the importance of multiple perspectives and evidence naked on research becomes  primary. Response papers are a common genre assigned as a precursor to argument essays or research papers. In the response paper, the self still matters, but the self is not primary. Opinions must be tempered and mediated by research to become arguments rather than just unsubstantiated beliefs. This paper is a combination of “they say something” and that makes me want to say “something else”.


I often find the literature review to be one of the most confusing genres for students to learn and the most diffi let to teach. It’s a combination of they say and I question. The goal is to show the many voices in a conversation about a topic and begin to ask questions, which will lead to research, and eventually an argument paper. It’s an interesting combination of summary, synthesis, and nuanced  argumentation about what others have said. It’s not a direct argument, but it requires the writer to make arguments about others’ arguments,well almost appearing not to be making an argument.



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