Rhetorical Reading Strategies
Review the sample argument article and answer the following questions:
1 -Why did the author write this article (what was their purpose)? Provide evidence from the article that- supports your answer Do you agree with the author’s position on the topic? Is this a problem that you can help to solve? How?
2- Identify yourself with these students, Seth, Kara, and Bob. Think about how each of these students reads, and reflects, and thinks, and writes. Why do you identify yourself with that person?
3- which type of student seems to be the best type of rhetorical reader or critical thinker or analytic type of reader and writer? why exactly that particular student is the better one? What is it that that student is doing that the other students are not?
4- The three strategies identified are strategies for constructing meaning, are content strategy, function/feature strategy, and rhetorical reading strategy. Explain them.
5- The Role of Rhetorical Reading, this is really Haas and Flower reflecting on this idea of rhetorical reading. What are its benefits? What are its uses? How can teachers teach rhetorical reading? What are the various drawbacks and conflicts that arise when this type of reading is being implemented in instruction, and how beneficial is it really, compared to other types of reading?
Rhetorical Reading Strategies and the Construction of Meaning
- Why did the author write this article (What are their purposes?) Provide evidence from the article that supports your answer. Do you agree with the author’s position on the topic? Is this a problem you can solve? How?
The purpose of the article is to create an understanding of rhetorical reading strategies and their meaning. He explains that reading is a discourse act and for the readers to construct the meaning of a text, they must do it in the context of a discourse situation which involves other readers, the writers of the text, the history of the discourse and the meaning of rhetorical reading. I agree with the author’s position on the topic because to understand the content in a text, and the reading process must be constructive. Readings should be seen as a discourse act and readers can only understand most of the text meanings based on the discourse situation. Constructive interpretation should mostly apply in the colleges and universities where students find it challenging to understand hard and complicated documents, which in turn affects their performance in studies. The knowledge on how interpretative reading process is carried out is limited among most of the college tutors (Haas & Flower, 1988). It is difficult for the tutors to teach students about the constructive and productive interpretive reading process if they do not understand it. Tutors can only teach what they understand based on the readings to convey it in the best way and the right manner. I can solve this problem is by first researching and understanding what a constructive reading process is all about and how other students can apply it. Understanding the topic would help the tutor convey the meaning of the text in a manner that students understand.
- Identify yourself with these students, Seth, Kara, and Bob. Think of how each of these students reads, reflects, thinks, and writes. Why do you identify yourself with that person?
Kara is unsure about the meaning of a particular word when reading the text. She is content-oriented as she only paraphrases the passage. Kara’s content is limited as compared to other readers since she does not include all the crucial parts of the constructive rhetorical process. Bob reading, reflection, thinking, and writing process is more constructive compared to that of Kara. Bob builds structure and content representations (Haas & Flower, 1988). He tries to connect his text reading with his beliefs or what is already know but does not include the illustrations of other readers and the writer of the original text. Seth has a more satisfactory rhetorical process as is concerned with the entire content of the text. He identifies the intentions of the writer of the text, recognizes the missing book and also concerns himself with the experimental situation (Haas & Flower, 1988). He also thinks about what knowledge he lacks and which he already has and relates it to his past reading experiences. He is concerned with text’s multi-dimensions such as presentation of the function and structure of the text, representation of the text’s content, representation of the intentions of the author and his knowledge and experience as a reader (Haas & Flower, 1988).The material obtained by the three students were different in quantity depending on the way each one of the read, though, reflected and wrote the text after reading. I identify myself with the person because the understanding of each person is different regardless of the topic presented.
- Which student seems to be the best type of rhetorical reader or critical thinker or analytic kind of reader and thinker? Why exactly is that student the better one? What is that the students are doing that the others are not?
Seth is the best type of rhetorical reader, critical thinker, and analytic kind of reader and writer. He understands and applies almost the whole process of constructive reading. When compared to other students such as Kara, he comes up with a high amount of content after reading. Kara only paraphrases a text after she is uncertain with the meaning of a word, and she is then satisfied by just reading what she has written (Haas & Flower, 1988). On the other hand, Bob builds the representations of the content and the structure of the text and tries to relate his beliefs with his reading. However, Bob also does not apply most of the process required for the effective rhetorical operation. Seth is also concerned with the content of the text and includes both the functions of the parts of the book as well as the whole text and the intentions of the author. He also reviews missing text and experimental situations (Haas & Flower, 1988). Also, he relates to his previous reading experience and knowledge. Therefore, multidimensional consideration of the book is what makes Seth the best rhetorical reader and critical thinker and writer among the three students. He considers the representation of the author’s intention, description of the function and structure of the text, his knowledge and experience as a text reader, and representation of the content. Such characteristics are what good students do in order to understand while others ignore or do not focus on when reading and representing the topic content.
- The three strategies identified are the strategies for constructing meaning, content strategy, function/feature strategy, and rhetorical reading strategy. Explain them.
Content strategies are concerned with the information or the content of the topic. That is, what the text is all about. The main objective of the reader in using content strategies is to obtain information from the text. Kara is an excellent example of a student or a reader using content strategy as she paraphrases the passage to gets its content when she fails or is unsure of the meaning of a word in the text. Feature of function strategies is used to refer to generic or convectional functions of the text (Haas & Flower, 1988).. This is done by, for example naming parts of the texts, marking particular words, large parts of the text or even sentences. For instance, “this is the example,” “This is the main point” and “I think this is the introduction.” Feature strategies are also used to state what a text is doing. Functional strategies are used primarily in high schools and junior high curricula where students are not yet experienced readers, and they are taught to identify parts of texts such as the introduction, the body and the conclusion among others. Rhetorical strategies are beyond the content and parts of the book. They are concerned with the intentions of the author, the context, and the effect of the text to the audience. Therefore, readers need to use the context, the effect of the text and the content strategies to obtain information from the text in a manner that can be understood and displayed in a more logical way.
- The role of rhetorical reading, this is Haas and Flower, reflecting on the idea of the rhetorical text. What are its benefits? What are its uses? How can teachers teach rhetorical reading? What are the various drawbacks that arise when this type of reading is being implemented in instruction and how beneficial is it really, compared to other types of reading?
One of the benefits of rhetorical reading is that readers understand writers make different choices about structure, content, and style, depending on the context they are operating. Also, readers can differentiate their process of reading depending on their reading purpose by matching their strategies with the content in the text. Rhetorical reading is used to identify the intentions of the authors, representing the content, the function, the prior knowledge and experience of the reader, that is, rhetorical reading focuses on the multidimensional roles of a particular text. Teachers can teach rhetorical reading by helping students ask themselves questions such as: Who is the author? Who is the audience? What is the content of the text? How does the writer represent the argument? The significant drawbacks of rhetorical reading mainly when used in instructions is that it may be difficult and time consuming for the readers as compared to other types of reading. Sometimes it takes time to understand the context of the reading or what is being discussed in the text. Therefore, may need more time for readers to understand what is being conveyed. However, it is highly beneficial in terms of understanding the meaning of a text, the author, and their intentions and connecting the knowledge and experience of the learner with the book (Haas & Flower, 1988). Also, the reader can learn the functions of different parts of the text since rhetorical reading is multidimensional and may have different meanings and understanding.
- Discuss the problem Haas and Flower have with students identified as “good readers.”
Good readers have a problem because they sometimes miss a given point within a text and they unwilling or unable to critically read the passage. It is true that good readers are rich in vocabularies and they can easily identify parts of a text such as the introduction, the body and the conclusion (Haas & Flower, 1988). However, they do not analyze or criticize texts but just paraphrase and summarize them.
Haas, C., & Flower, L. (1988). Rhetorical reading strategies and the construction of meaning.
College Composition and Communication, 39.2(1988): 167-183.