Essays For Students To Read

Essays For Students To Read-1
Others advocated replacing the essay with more “real-world” forms that would force students to think in fresh ways.

Others advocated replacing the essay with more “real-world” forms that would force students to think in fresh ways.

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She may even go a step farther, thinking about ways in which the new idea tells her something about the world into and out of which the text is created.

In any case, the essay ends somewhere different from where it began.

In other words, we believe in asking students to write the kinds of essays we write ourselves -- and in giving students the tools to do that. In fact, to do it on a large scale may require wholesale rethinking of academic structures.

But since virtually everyone agrees that there is a crisis in how we teach writing, it’s clear such rethinking is desperately needed.

Close reading is what lets students see how to find evidence from the text rather than from common sense or general knowledge.

The process work we’re advocating here is multistaged, iterative, messy work.That process is inquiry based and student directed -- it requires a student to look for a tension in the text, something strange or interesting that she doesn’t yet comprehend, and to ask questions about it.That means she must begin by admitting, “I don’t understand” -- a daunting and difficult prospect.The reader has learned something, precisely because the author has. In sum, the student essay falls into the same genre as the essays we ourselves write.But what we’ve just described is a finalessay -- that is, a product.As she figuring out the story she’s trying to tell, her early drafts will most likely be incomplete, overwritten or hard for the reader to follow.And that means she’ll have to revise and rethink and ask more questions.We think the essay form is still the best way for students to think hard on the page -- but we are not fans of formulae.Instead, we’re in favor of inquiry-based learning, evidence-rich analysis and process work.The student may move from the text to questions to freewriting or brainstorming to drafting, then go back to the text and so on, deepening her analysis by asking questions.She may use a range of visually rich, active-learning methods to generate ideas, get her thoughts in order and fill gaps.


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